By Marta Morientes
Just do it?
Dan Wieden grew up in Portland. He was graduated from the University of Oregon. He started working at a local agency where he met his creative partner, David Kennedy where they started working together on a regional sneaker account. When the agency-client relationship began to fail, Dan and David opened their own shop on April Fools’ Day 1982. They took with them the newcomer sneaker company, called Nike. The rest is history. (Wouldn’t it be cool to make a film about that?)
In the early years, nobody wanted to move to Portland. That’s why for Dan the only solution was to “create a culture that’s so damn weird, so wild, so sticky that it would hurt your very soul to leave the place”.
Dan embraces failure. Dan embraces chaos. He recognizes “chaos” as a state of deconstruction that challenges comfort zones. It demands creativity, as opposed to ‘order’, which thrives off structure and formality. The working environment needs to inspire people. It allows each person the freedom to express themselves without fear of failure. It becomes a place “where people can do the best work of their lives”.
The moment of enlightenment
Yesterday night I was listening to Dave Dye podcast interviewing Tony Davidson (Pt. 1 and Pt. 2), Executive Creative Director of Wieden+Kennedy London. The ending question of the second part is ‘What have you learned from Dan?’. Tony says Dan is a sort of hippy, good listener, everybody loves his persona, he gives amazing freedom. He will never sell his company. And Dan would never make a book about himself. I was so immersed in the culture. I felt like Jack Kerouac before starting his journey on ‘On the road’. So I had this great idea:
I have to meet Dan Wieden in Portland.
I thought and I think, seriously, why don’t I travel 8683.68 km/5395.79 miles from Spain to Portland, Oregon this summer to meet Dan? Will he accept to see me? How weird would it be? Will he be at his office? Does someone know where he lives? Or can provide any help? Will he want to drink a beer together? Or coffee? Despite all his success, people say that Dan remains as a regular guy.
I should just do it, isn’t it?
The copy scores 74.2 in the Flesch Reading Ease test