The Idea Peepshow Best Of 2016

January 3, 2017

As the editor of the company blog, I get the pleasure of reading every word my colleagues contribute to this fine publication. I know when someone has turned in an absolutely 🔥 article, but with a new post every day, favorite articles quickly disappear below the fold, never to be seen again. In the spirit of reflection, I thought I’d share a few pieces of writing that really stood out this year. Enjoy!

A Defense of the Open Office — Dave Fransen, Jan. 8
“When Fast Horse transitioned to an open office almost 10 years ago – which was pretty revolutionary at the time – I admit I got a little nervous. I too lost my office. My privacy. My little sanctuary. But I got over it, and so should all these crazy naysayers.”

Meet the Neighbors: Dogs of the North Loop — Tara Niebeling, Feb. 25
“Not only is the up-and-coming North Loop neighborhood home to the Fast Horse office, but the ‘hood is also home to dozens of city-dwelling pups in the surrounding dog-friendly apartments. We see them out for walks every day, and we recognize a few familiar furry faces among the bunch. (North Loopers apparently love huskies.)”

“Talking Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Kat Higgins” — Hannah Miller, March 3
“As an über-fan of Triple D, I knew I had to take Kat to coffee to learn some precious intel. I mean, how could you not like a guy who says stuff like “I could put this on a flip-flop, and it would taste good,” and, “It’s like a hot-dog lasso on the ranch in Flavortown”?”

“Celebrating a Century of Service” — Allison Checco, March 10
“My days are filled with creativity, fun and often a dose of chaos that keeps me fueled. But there are always those programs that leave a lasting impression — something that makes you so damn proud of where you work, your colleagues, and most importantly, your client. These don’t come about by happenstance. It takes a client with a bold vision who is willing to look past marketing as solely brand promotion and instead view it as a way to promote something meaningful that ladders up to the brand purpose.”

“Big Company, Huge Changes” — Dave Fransen, April 19
“That day, and in the days leading up to last week’s rollout, I have gained so much heart and unending respect for The Coca-Cola Company. I hope its actions inspire other companies big and small to find ways to make lives better for the people who pour their hearts into their work.”

“The Unsettling Impact of Seemingly Minor Missteps” — Jake Anderson, June 10
“Why do these seemingly minor missteps matter? Because they’re a stark reminder to professionals – in marketing and any other industry – that even the smallest details matter, and they add up to a bigger picture that conveys capabilities and trustworthiness on a much larger scale.”

“How to Snapchat like a Teenage Boy” — Sam Tuttle, June 16 — Winner of the Editor’s Choice Award for 2016
“I was in line at Chipotle the other day and saw a high-school-aged girl Snapping and typing at a rapid-fire pace. She was having multiple conversations at once without ever opening up her messages app. For teens, it’s beyond just being the hot new app or social channel; it’s becoming the preferred form of communication over text messages. Why is that?

I took to my expert source — my 16-year-old brother JT — who boasts a Snapchat score of 95,000, sending him what could soon be considered an ancient form of communication only used by parents and un-hip folks: a text.”

“How 20 Years at an Agency Prepared Me for a Year with This Guy” — Scott Broberg, June 20
“I celebrated my son’s first birthday and Father’s Day over the weekend, which caused me to reflect on what a whirlwind the past 12 months have been. I had virtually no experience with kids until I had one of my own, but I’ve managed to adapt — at least so far. It turns out working at an agency is decent training ground for fatherhood. How, you might ask? Here are a few lessons that actually translate pretty well.”

“Minneapolis Gardening: The Rabbit Wars” — Tony Kirwin, June 27
“That’s when I learned the true secret of successful gardening (at least in South Minneapolis). It’s not the amount of sunlight or water or even weeding. It’s trying, over and over, and often in vain, to keep the damned rabbits from eating everything. I now view gardening as having less to do with plants and more to do with defending a portion of our backyard from hordes of adorable, fluffy little animals who love nothing more than ruining all of our hard work the second we turn our backs.”

“Pokémon GO: A Brief Introduction, an Apology and a Phenomenon” — Hannah Miller, July 15
“This has to be melting your brain cells, right? You’re 25 and should be doing more with your life, right?

WRONG. I get it now. I understand that urge to open your phone, check your surroundings for Pokémon, and feel that Pokémon rush with every new capture. I’m scared to see my cell data come the end of the month.

Admittedly, the fact you need to be walking around outside for the majority of Pokémon GO action does make it slightly less brain melting than Clash Royale, but still, I’m just as guilty as him. I’ve gone to the dark side. I’ve turned into a Pokémonster.”

“Get Creative” — Alex Weaver, August 2
“Creativity is written and talked about as something that’s accessible to everyone — but only if we only carve out enough time for it. Well, I’m calling bullshit. That definition can only serve to make someone who feels “busy” and off “balance” like they can’t be creative or add creative value. On the flip side, it also means that someone who has a TON of time of his or her hands will be more likely to be creative. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

“Positivity on the Internet: #ThatsGold” — Sammie Holden, August 24
“I was blown away by what we captured. Each message became more and more positive and uplifting – something you don’t always find on social media. It was great to see how we were helping give a voice and platform to share happy moments, and how excited the public was to participate. Helping people laugh, smile and spread happiness.”

“Things I Learned Growing Up in a Small Town” — Talia Wischmann, Sept. 14
“As a 14-year-old, did I care that Marilyn Jorgensen didn’t pull her weight at the church potluck last weekend? No. Did I hear about it? Absolutely. And now do I care when Kylie Jenner posts a Snapchat story about her new lipstick line? Not really — I mean I kind of want some of them, but that’s beside the point, and they’re always sold out anyway. Are Kylie Jenner’s snaps relevant to my work and an important part of culture? Yes.”

“15 Years, 15 Bits of Advice on Starting Your Own Agency” — Jörg Pierach, Sept. 30
“Let it go. There will always be things you can do better than the people around you. Doesn’t mean you should. Take a deep breath and let some things go. In the long run, everyone wins when you do.”

“The North Loop: Instagram’s Favorite Backdrop” — Andrew Miller, Nov. 2
“One of the most interesting developments in the neighborhood — and maybe just as much so in social media writ large — is the sheer amount of street fashion photography that takes place. I use “street fashion” liberally here. What I mean to say is North Loop denizens and tourists alike have decided the neighborhood — even its most mundane structures — are Instagram gold.”

“Purchase or Pass: 2016 Celebrity Product Lines” — Sam Tuttle, Nov. 11
“I’m a product junkie, and I wait anxiously each month for my Birchbox subscription to arrive so I can try out the newest in hair, skin and beauty. While I’ll try out any brand or line that’s housed in places like Sephora at least once, I am particular about the quality of products that I put on my skin and hair – and in the past, celebrity products just haven’t made the cut. The difference in this new round of celeb collaborations? I actually believe these personalities are wearing and using the products they promote, and naturally, they prove it on Snapchat and Instagram.”

“Christmas Birthdays, Explained” — Alex Gaterud, Dec. 27
“While you and yours were frittering away just another day of Christmas vacation — the days when you’re forcing your way through the leftovers, trying out your new gadgets and slippers and looking for some post-holiday deals — my fellow early Capricorns and I were celebrating our birthdays. The days around the 25th might just be Christmas Eve or Boxing Day to you, but they’re important to us — after all, no matter what form of celebration you subscribe to, you do only get one real birthday.”