Yes, it's true. After 8 years being an anonymous Ideasicle Expert, "The Director" is finally unmasked. And it's none other than Boston Executive Creative Director, Wade Devers. And the winner of the Ideasicle "Nothing is unthinkable" tee shirt is Tracy DeShiro (congratulations, Tracy!).
I can tell you I am always excited when "The Director" (er, Wade) raises his hand for an Ideasicle project. Anyone who knows him knows how wildly creative, funny, strategic and enthusiastic he can be. He's easily one of my favorite Experts.
Well, I took this unmasking as a chance to interview Wade about his Ideasicle experience so he could explain why he was anonymous all these years and what it's been like being an Ideasicle Expert. Here's what he had to say.
Why did you join Ideasicle?
I joined at the very beginning. I may have been Expert number 2 or 3. But you would know better. I remember that you bought me lunch at that burger place on Huntington Ave. near Arnold, and told me what your business plan was. I remember it so well because I love free hamburgers.
Why did you decide to go public after so long as an Expert?
As an executive creative director for a holding company ad agency, I was sensitive to the optics of it. On the surface it could easily have been seen as a conflict of interest and I didn’t want to make life difficult for the leadership team at Arnold.
I have always stayed away from projects that were in conflict with the agency’s clients and I would imagine anyone else in my position would be adult enough to self-police.
The truth of that matter is that being able to exercise your idea-generating muscles is always good practice. So in my mind, the agency and any of my clients all benefited from my involvement as an Ideasicle Expert.
Bottom line: Many of us in the industry maintain a reasonable amount of freelance work as creatives, for several reasons: it keeps the mind active. It keeps your skills sharp and it makes up for an overall decline in the amount of work getting done at agencies due to shifts in the business. I consider Ideasicle just one of a few freelance opportunities that I find interesting enough to spend my free time on.
What has been your favorite idea project you’ve worked on?
I don’t have a favorite. I find the range of projects to be what I like the most: from naming assignments to script writing, from TV spots to activation ideas. The subjects and briefs vary a lot and that is what makes it interesting.
What do you think of the Ideasicle process working with 3 other experts virtually?
The virtual collaboration is a great way to work becasue I get to decide how or even if I want to engage with the other experts on an assignment. Sometimes I find mysel in a groove and I don’t want any distractions. In that case I just keep generating ideas and posting them.
But then If I get caught up on an idea that isn’t panning out I may throw the seed of that idea up and see if it sparks anything or if anyone takes it in a solid direction.
What would you tell a prospective client who was considering Ideasicle?
The Ideasicle Experts list is quite impressive. I find myself on projects with people whose work I have admired for years. And there aren’t many, if any, scenarios where clients with such reasonable budgets could get access to this level of thinking and experience. I don’t know what the collective experience of the group of Experts is in terms of years, but it has to be a significant amount. Not to mention the book of work the experts have generated over the course of their respective careers. The list of brands and awards has got to be staggering.
What do you like most about working on Ideasicle projects?
Personally, I really enjoy the simplicity of the approach. I love thinking of ideas and to be able to focus on just that without having to think about any of the other parts of the process: presentations, meetings, time-sheets, testing, etc. is pretty liberating in a lot of ways.
The timelines are often short which forces you to use your gut more - less time to second guess an idea. And in my experience, the business of idea generation is largely something that exists in the gut.
I am thrilled Wade has gone public because it's another chance to show everyone just how awesome our Experts are. Please click through to see the identities of all the public Experts and the Experts who are still anonymous.
You can follow Wade Devers at @wadeforit on Twitter. And Tracy, send me your tee shirt size and address!