"I don't feel I'm a capitalist, I feel I'm a creativist. Capitalists make things to make money, I like to make money to make things – I love making things."
Eddie Izzard – Live from London (available on iTunes)
I was listening to Eddie Izzard's Live from London podcast – recorded at the apple store in Regent St – recently and was rather taken by the above quote. Izzard was meditating on the theme of the banking crisis and observed that he was, in his judgment, a creativist.
its a great thought but what's even more powerful is the logic flow that sits behind it. think about it. brands and marketers that consider themselves to be in the business of making things to make money will, I suspect, end up behaving very different from those with a mindset of 'let's make money so that we can make more things'.
let's use marketing investment not to make money as an end in itself but so that we can make more (interesting, exciting, imaginative, engaging, challenging, fun) stuff as a result. of course lots of businesses work like this – ROI from one year is reinvested into the next – but its indirect and not by any means guaranteed.
besides that what I think is more important is the attitude, the mindset that this thinking gets you into. yeah, hell lets do some successful communications and make shedloads of money. but let's be explicit about why we want to make money… we want to make money so that we can increase a brand's presence in the world; not by being in more places more often and seen by more people, but by the creation of more things. things created with people, by people and for people, that add value not just to brands but to our world.
from today I'm not a capitalist either. I'm going to be a creativist. and I'm going to be in the business of making money so that I can be the best and most interesting creativist I can be. thanks Eddie.