“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use, do the work you want to see done.” Austin Kleon
The “Big Idea Model” is dead from a business perspective. The big idea points in a direction and says, “Charge!” Resources are poured into it. It’s a boastful model built on force. And more often than not, it’s a Pickett’s Charge. (The movie industry is suffering from this as well)
On the other hand, having many small ideas is a cheaper, faster, lower risk and a more diverse way to create. After all, little ideas can out grow their fish bowl. You only need a few successes to really make it big. The Recording industry has operated this way for years.
As CMO’s tenures dip below 2 years, it seems they would be much better off working with agency operating on the Many Small Ideas model. After all, failure is more common than success and there are only so many big ideas you can execute in two years.
That said, maybe ad agencies should mimic companies like Y Combinator, Curious Office Partners, Obvious, Tech Stars and Hit Forge who incubate and execute lots of little ideas (typically Web 2.0 startups). Each idea out with a small bit of financing and once it proves itself, it receives more. This means that all the time and money wasted worrying about and researching whether a new idea will succeed is unnecessary; you simply try it out.
This offers up an interesting paradox: the agencies who thrive in the future will be those who do not just outsucceed other agencies but outfail them as well. They will grow not in spite of failure but because of it.