Yesterday, in Portland where we are doing some work with the fantastic folks at Bent Image Labs, I exited with a freshly trimmed head of hair from my second favorite brand of the moment Rudy's Barbershop (the other being Stumptown Coffee and a close contender with the h ) which happens to be on the retail street front level of the Wieden Kennedy mothership.
Walking out of Rudy's a man crossed my path, I looked up, he looked over. I didn't recognize him, he didn't recognize me... but then once he was three steps past I recognized him. It was Dan Wieden. Who was on his way to pick up his own lunch from Whole Foods.
I didn't think much of it at first but then on the flight home realized I crossed paths with the man who inspired me to be in advertising. He is the reason why I do what I do and love what I do. Specifically because of the Nike work his hand crafted that I grew up with. It is a brand I've always related to and enjoyed trying to figure out their strategy even before I knew there was such a thing as strategy in advertising.
It is interesting using hindsight to understand why you did what you did, or do what you do. Coming from sport continual analysis is as important as breathing but when it comes to careers it's easily overlooked. Seeing Dan poignantly affirmed how I got into what I'm into and also made me appreciate why I didn't just get into advertising anywhere, but specifically got into advertising in Canada at a place at the time called Palmer Jarvis which matched well with my personal values and took a similar creative standard as WK to be a challenger agency from a small corner of the advertising planet, in Palmer Jarvis' case from Vancouver BC.
If I happen to cross paths again I might just thank him, but then again that will be awkward for both of us.