EOW Thought: Spottin' Hits

A follow up on creativity...

Another Friday with yours truly! We made it.

Today’s newsletter is sponsored by someone very special: my wife Lexi.

She’s promoting her new, critically acclaimed movie, Bad Things.

Bad Things kicks ass - it’s been lovingly referred to as a “queer take on The Shining” and features freakin Molly Ringwald. It comes out today, 8/18 on Shudder and AMC+, so you now have weekend plans to fill the void you’ve been feeling since Barbenheimer. Oh, it also made its world premiere at the freakin Tribeca Film Festival this year.

You can watch Bad Things HERE. Support great movies, support great partners, support great producers, and support the transfer of $4.47 from one pocket to another in my household.

And yes, you read that right. $4.47. Subscribers have gone up. Prices have too. To sponsor, Venmo me at @danny-weisman.

Onto today’s thought. One note is I’ll be on vacation next week. Typically, when people go on vacation, they go radio silent. I, on the other hand, will likely increase my newsletter frequency, so you can look forward to that.

Onto the thought…

EOW Thought

I got a lot of feedback on my post earlier this week on creativity: that it can’t be taught, only maximized.

Most of you agreed on one thing - that the Rick Rubin book sucks.

I’m sorry we’ve all had to sit through it, waiting for an epiphany.

But I had another thought I wanted to share on creativity.

It can sound defeating to hear that creativity can’t be taught.

If you’re not creative, and you strive to be, what can you do?

Well, there is another type of creativity.

An underrated kind, and a needed kind especially in marketing and advertising.

I call it hit spotting.

Bill Simmons once exclaimed that his dad is fantastic at being able to spot future hit radio songs. He’ll hear the song, and instantly be able to tell if it’s going to be big or not.

In marketing, I think that’s very needed.

There are so many ideas thrown around inside the walls of an agency or a marketing team.

Some good, a lot bad.

Although there should be brand positioning or guardrails or parameters to guide your judgement, very often people are left not knowing which ideas they think of are really good and which ones really stink.

That’s where the hit spotter comes in.

Like a music executive who is able to see a hit single from a mile away, or a basketball scout able to see through the data and intangibles to identify a generational talent, a hit spotter needs to see what others in their field cannot: that an idea has the potential to rock the world.

I often find that the people who are the most creative, are the worst at identifying their best work. My beloved Dave Matthews Band refuses to play their best songs in favor of personal favorites, which often suck.

Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, infamously is a terrible talent evaluator: he picked Kwame Brown with the 1st pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, who is largely regarded as one of the biggest busts in NBA history, and had been a horrible general manager and owner of the Charlotte Hornets until he recently sold the team.

Ultimately, the hit spotter doesn’t need to be the one who thinks of the idea.

They just need to be the one who really sees it, and know instantly that there’s a classic on their hands. Their lightbulb needs to screamingly go off.

And they need to be aggressive in the fact that the biggest mistake the team can make is not pursuing the idea further; to park other, less worthwhile threads in favor of the bigger one the hit spotter has found.

So if you’re not creative, not all hope is lost. Be the hit spotter.

This is likely an inherent skill as well, but doesn’t require you to be the one coming up with the idea - only to be the one spotting it, championing it, and telling the team to run with it.

Every team needs a genius and a spotter. Which one are you going to be?

Stay thinkin this weekend (and a reminder to watch Bad Things HERE),