Operating Partner #208

Happy Thursday <<First Name>>

I created a playlist for my most recent birthday party. If you are looking for a Spotify playlist that features music primarily from the 90s, check this out. It features artists like Mephiskapheles, Dispatch, Everclear, Nirvana, Live, DMB, Blues Traveler, and more. For 99% of artists included, there are no more than three songs on the list. I had to put this rule in there, or I would have chosen too many songs from a few artists. I know myself…

Talking about music, The Fray lead singer Isaac Slade left the band. This is a sad moment as I liked some of their piano-driven music, which stood out from a sea of sameness. Here’s a link to You Found Me on YT.

Are any OP subscribers going to the TD Foundation Gala in New York on March 29? Please reply to the note and let me know. I’ll be there and looking forward to seeing folks I haven’t seen since pre-Covid.

My brother turned me onto the 12-3-30 workout, and I’ve been enjoying it a couple of days per week in between more rigorous routines. Is anyone else using this simple workout where you set the treadmill to 12% and walk for 30 minutes at three mph? I have been adding situps and pushups at the 30, 20, 10, and 0-minute marks.

Congrats to my friends at the various agencies that AdAge just announced to their A-List. Spoiler alert, Mischief @ No Fixed Address won top place this year.

Speaking of brands and agencies, take a peek at the first bullet below:

Thanks for reading and subscribing to the OP. If you have any questions, comments, or thoughts, please reach out. I read/answer all.

Darren H

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Impressive Collaborations

I've been a judge at the Shorty Awards, an annual awards show that recognizes people and organizations that produce real-time short-form content across the social web for a while now. I was lucky to be at the original Shortys in 2008 and some of my work has received awards over the years.

I recently went through this year's submissions for awards and came away very impressed with the quality of work from brands and their agencies.

One insight: while reading through close to three dozen case studies, very few listed business outcome moving results. Many celebrated impressions, engagements, and similar, but very few tied those to metrics or KPIs that move the actual business forward. Per the last OP (and those that preceded it), I would highly recommend you celebrate business outcomes over activities.

Two entries stood out to me, and I was able to locate their case studies on the public web, so I figure I can share them with you.

  • Chipotle x elf cosmetics. Watch this video (2 mins). Read the case study here. I love this collaboration on so many levels. The partnership is unexpected; the production of the cosmetics mirrors the Chipotle store, the resale value of the cosmetics was 5x, and more.

  • State Farm x NBA 2k22. You can read a little about State Farm's foray into gaming here. I'm partial to this as I co-founded an in-game advertising company back in the very early 2000s. As a 2K22 player myself - (a player who continually loses to his 13-year-old son), I've been highly impressed with this integration. 

I wrote about the PPC framework in 2020 (product, partnerships, community). This framework should undoubtedly be a tool in any marketer's playbook. Here's another piece of writing which has continued thought on the subject. 

If you think your brand is not interesting enough to collaborate with, the USPS x TGR collab is super cool. The USPS?! This hit my inbox as I wrote the OP and wanted to share.

Calling All Digital Execs, Entrepreneurs, and Ecosystem Supporters

As many of you know, I chair Silicon Alley Sports, a group I founded almost 20 years ago in New York. Silicon Alley is an homage to where “digital” began in Manhattan, similar to Silicon Valley in California. Silicon Alley Sports is graciously supported by The Buddy Group, The Hunt Club, and Bain Capital this year.

The goal of Silicon Alley Sports is to bring together like-minded digital folks to network while playing sports… and do good by donating money to a variety of charities. Over the years, we have donated funds to Meals on Wheels, the American Cancer Society, Charity Water, Robinhood, Venture for America, and others.

We are readying our event roster for 2022 and would love to have Operating Partner subscribers join us. All events are held 45-60 minutes from Manhattan to be most accessible.

We have traditionally played tennis, golf, and paddle tennis on various dates throughout the year. We play each event on a different date, and you can sign up for one (e.g., golf) or all as they are released.  

We typically do a cocktail event in Manhattan at the end of the year, where all attendees receive an invitation. It’s a nice moment for people who only play one event to mix and mingle with attendees from other events.

Over the years, we have been a pretty male-dominated crowd, and we usually are about 20% women and 70% white. I’m hoping we can change that up this year and ongoing. I’d love to have as diverse a group of participants as possible and am open to working with anyone who has ideas in making that happen.

Please sign up here if you are interested in receiving more information as we release our events. By signing up on the form, it does not mean you are registered for our events. 

Articles To Read

Foxxcon Halts iPhone Shenzen Plant Due to Covid (Bloomberg)

Global Smartwatch Shipments Highest Ever (Counterpoint Research)

Brand Positioning: How To Get Into the Minds of Your Customers (Startup Stash)

The Benefits of Venture Capital in Web3 (AVC)

The Range Anxiety Weekend (AVC)

7 Creative Tips To Increase Brand Awareness (Mason)

The 2022 AdAge A-List (AdAge)

Omnicom First To Integrate with NBCU’s “Clean Room” (Mediapost)

How Big a Threat To The US Economy Is The War In Ukraine (The New Yorker)

Casey Neistat and Christine Vachon on ‘Under the Influence,’ David Dobrik and the Perils of Social Media (Variety)

Startups and Macro Risk (Continuations)

A Musician’s Guide to Web3 (Billboard)

$450M Raise Values Ethereum Builder ConsenSys at $7B (CoinDesk)

Same-Day Shipping Revolution Has Come to DTC Brands (Glossy)

Thank You for Reading

Thanks for reading OP #208. What an incredible ride it has been so far. 

Durhamism # 1140: "Go the extra mile. It's never crowded."

Darren / @dherman76
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