PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN.


Confession time. This past week-end, I watched Glengarry Glen Ross (the 1992 film adaptation of David Mamet’s devastatingly scorching Pulitzer prize winning play), for the 20th time.

Known mostly today for Alec Baldwin’s classic “coffee is for closers” speech, there is so much more to it.

I’ve long admired the astonishing logic and cadence to Mamet’s dialogue. It allows his characters to arrive in triumph at the ends of sentences in a way you couldn’t possibly have imagined. All served up with a crackling energy.

My favorite line is actually from Jack Lemon’s character Shelley Levene. He’s a salesperson, schooling the office manager, and he dispenses the following wisdom: “You can’t learn it in an office . . . you have to learn it on the streets. You can’t buy it. You have to live it.”

I love that line because it reminds me that such a huge part of Upstream’s success is due to the individual nerd-fests we all have for ideas.

Our craving for new concepts, experiences, perspectives, and ways of life is a big part of what drives us forward. It serves as the fuel that ignites our creativity.

Paraphrasing Mamet’s Shelley Levene, “creativity doesn’t happen in a cubicle or a conference room. It happens inside the moments of everyday life. It’s experiencing something new (in the streets) that triggers the spark.”

What do YOU do in your free time? Because whatever it is, you can be sure it is shaping your craft one way or another.

I remember once seeing a brilliant Twitter profile that simply said under the name: “Observer Believer.”

Yes, exactly!

It is precisely our job to observe the world . . . and distill what we are seeing, so we can add value to everything we deliver to clients.

But to make sure you never lose touch, the key is to learn from actual human beings, instead of learning from ads. In other words, why trust third-hand sources?

When folks interview here, instead of asking “what are your favorite Brands,” we like to ask “Who are your favorite minds . . . who are your favorite thinkers?”

That’s where the inspiration lives. And that’s why we bring together what we’ve learned in group-settings.

It’s only when there is a blend of your unique thinking and strategy with that of partners and collaborators, that the work begins to exceed expectations.

As we always say in our InnoVision™ Sessions, the point isn’t to have the best idea . . . the point is to get to the best idea.”