WHAT DO YOU DO AT SAATCHI & SAATCHI?
I weigh in on discussions of how to properly construct a user experience that deals with someone getting punched in the groin, and I’ve worked on a project that involves 512 ways of putting you into a speed-metal band. I love my job! They pay me to be head techno dork for the digital team in NY and to be involved with the integrated planning group, but it’s more fun when described the first way.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
When I was 14, I worked as a money collector and prize hander-outer at a carnival game called Fascination. It was my first and to this day most stressful. Truly horrible. I ran a department of 20+ people in a foreign country during the dot-com collapse. That was less stressful than working Fascination.
WHAT LED YOU ON THE PATH YOU’RE ON TODAY?
One summer of working Fascination will put anyone on a path to something, literally anything other than that. Also, I spent way too much time in high school and college writing software, and happened to find myself in New York City at the peak of the dot-com boom with some skills that companies were willing to exchange for lunch money.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AD (ALL TIME OR CURRENTLY)?
Any ad that’s part of a fully integrated campaign with sound strategy, clever creative, and measurably effective executions online, in print, OOH, in-store, and I guess a TV spot wouldn’t hurt, either.
IF YOU NEVER HAD TO WORK AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO DO?
I’d spend more time writing; it’s been years since I’ve had time to write another book (the first three haven’t lost their efficacy as an insomnia antidote, so the world isn’t yet demanding I make more). I might also try to pull off the geek’s version of the premise behind Julie & Julia, attempting to get through all the recipes in Nathan Myhrvold’s “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking”
FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE BEEN TO?
Other than 375 Hudson St.? I loved living in London, the desert southwest in the US is really haunting and beautiful, there’s this tiny park in Paris with a waterfall and small pond that seemingly no one else ever goes to that I love sitting in, but my happy place since childhood has always been Sylvan Beach, NY during the summer (but not the evil Fascination game they play there!)
WHAT’S YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
The keys to my apartment. Without them I can’t get to any of the other possessions.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEO?
I don’t have an all-time favorite, but I was just watching one of KipKay’s really awesome videos on how to make really wacky stuff. This time, it’s a laser-guided slingshot/pistachio cracker.
WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU MAKE REALLY WELL?
Software. I also have a way with roast pork loin, red snapper in salt crust, anything with puff pastry. I’m really good at making a mess.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WARM-WEATHER NYC ACTIVITY?
Love all the outdoor arts activities, Shakespeare in the Park, various things at Lincoln Center, etc. I also take every opportunity I can to sit outside and watch people go by doing their thing. It’s the best entertainment in town, and you can’t beat the ticket price!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHTIME SPOT NEAR THE OFFICE?
If not one of the great street-meat options from the food vendors in front of the building, then I’m usually getting a salad from Hudson Food Court (aka that-place-with-the-blue-awning-who’s-name-no-one-knows).
WHAT’S YOUR GO TO KARAOKE SONG? (COME ON, WE KNOW YOU HAVE ONE).
Fine, I’ll fess up. Most anything by Cole Porter, Arlen & Mercer – basically anything the Rat Pack guys would have done. This is probably the least interesting response anyone has ever given to this question.
WHAT’S THE BEST MEAL YOU’VE EVER HAD?
I’ve had amazing incredible meals at fancy-schmancy restaurants all over, but my favorite meal is good red wine, interesting cheese, awesome bread and maybe olives for good measure, with lots of friends (where “lots” is strictly defined by the quantity of wine and cheese), preferably outside. I wouldn’t cry if some smoked duck breasts made their way into that, either.
IF YOU COULD BE THE WORLD RECORD HOLDER OF ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I’m assuming I’m already fairly close to being a world record holder for most number of failed attempts at angry birds level 3-12. I’d rather be known for enabling more fully integrated campaign concepts than anyone else.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREATIVE PURSUIT?
I love to cook. I have far too much stuff in my kitchen. I’m one of those weird people who will obsess over the presentation of food that I’m only serving to myself. It’s bad when more room in your apartment is reserved for storage of Kitchen-aid attachments than for shoes.
WHAT BLOGS/MAGAZINES/BOOKS/PAPERS/WEBSITES CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
Hudson/Houston, of course. Slashdot, Engadget, Mashable, AdAge, HuffingtonPost, NYTimes, SparkFun, The Economist, Facebook API Changelog, Wired, Yelp, Time Out New York, Cook’s Illustrated, zillions more that I use every day.
WHAT’S THE LAST GREAT EVENT YOU WENT TO?
I’m more interested in an upcoming event: Meatopia. Run by a friend and terrific food writer Josh Ozersky, Meatopia is 45 chefs from around the country cooking lots of yummy animals in Brooklyn Bridge Park, July 23rd.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
“Don’t put your finger in that light socket.” Serves me well every day of my life.