WISDOM: A PORTRAIT SERIES
J A C K H O R N E R
FOUNDER + EXECUTIVE
CREATIVE DIRECTOR FRUKT
Photograph by Damian Weilers
I. 2015 has been quite a year. It’s been a year in which I’ve come to terms with loss - the leaving of something I love so much, a team who was always more than colleagues and employees and work that has spanned from the impossibly challenging to the ludicrously fun. I’ve had to consider starting again alone. I founded FRUKT when I was twenty five. It was a huge risk, embracing the unknown, fairly rapidly we established that we were onto something. We grew from two guys and a couple of Macbooks in the corner of a friend's office - to over a hundred and twenty people in seven offices around the world. We work with and are trusted by some of the biggest brands on the planet. I feel immense pride that we created something real - something that hadn’t existed before us, and something that has ended up adding a lot of value back to the artists and related businesses around them. We’ve worked on two Olympics, a World Cup, with brands including Coke, Mastercard, Sprint and O2, I’ve learnt from and work with creative minds including Tony Wilson, UNKLE, Underworld - and I sometimes remember the smaller pieces we did years back - rebranding The Electric Ballroom, defending The Astoria when London Transport threatened closure. 2015 represents a year of change for me - my eyes are wider, my heart is beating faster, my senses are on edge - watching, talking and waiting. I’m also treating it like an open source project - not being protective about ideas - sharing, learning and giving some things away.
II. Leadership needs vast balls, so to speak. Senior people need to learn what the fuck it is kids are doing. Mentors need to come from places other than the bosom of an industry which has far too much of its fat ass still in the ‘glory days’ of the eighties. Everyone needs to look outside of their myopic little sphere - smart shit is mainly happening elsewhere. Management need to look at the top heavy salary issue and invest in the next generation.
III. Wisdom is about thinking and believing in good business at a basic level, in the core and at the soul of a business. It doesn’t need to be a Live 8, it can just flow through everything and everyone. It’s the three dimensional education of staff, talent and audience.
IV. Steve Jobs talked as apologetically as he could about how his ideas weren’t new - they were just existing thoughts put together, he just did it better than anybody else. If the old expression GIGO - garbage in garbage out - holds true then so must the opposite. I share this philosophy - filling my head with ideas, techniques, facts, sounds, images, businesses, people and places that I seem to have a knack for rapidly combining into new and more interesting things. It helped with making sense of the context the music industry sits within, it helped as I’ve moved through a career in digital innovation and then onto brand building and creating. Now it’s already helping spawn exciting and new thoughts about where I go next.
V. The only tangible thing I have done in this transitional year is register the URL joinerofdots.com - when you strip me back to the raw mechanicals, to the philosophy, I am nothing but a joiner of dots. Ideas to people, people to people, investment to ideas, business to channels, channels to partners and so on.
VI. We need to talk more about how to attract the most sharp minds, the bravest idealists and open minded listeners. We need it more than ever.
VII. I am for extreme change. Turning shit upside down. There will be blood.