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2011 – The Next Year of Video

To celebrate 2011 being an even bigger year for video on the Internet, I have decided to do my first video blog (vlog?). Let me know what you think!

Admonsters Sydney Members Dinner

Admonsters held their first event in Australia this week, with a members dinner at the Waterfront restaurant in Sydney. The 3 course meal was very generously provided by aiMatch on a perfect summer’s night right next to the harbour.

The event was attended by around 25 people, which made for an intimate yet comprehensive representation of the major Australian advertising operations teams. Ninemsn, Carsales, REA Group, APN, CBS InteractiveYouTube, Google and number of niche publishers were represented. It was amazing how small the industry is (I had worked with at least 5 others previously) and yet how diverse our backgrounds were. There was some reflection on this topic, in particular what qualifications you need to get into Ad Operations, and therefore what you look for in new hires.

Other issues that went around the table included the continuing friction between digital and traditional media (both internally and in the market), the National Broadband Network and how it will accelerate this structural change and the amount of hand-holding that clients are still requiring.

Overall it was a great night which really helped build relationships across what is a very fragmented online media landscape in Australia. The discussion ended with a hope that there will be a larger Admonsters conference event in the APAC region next year!

Movember 2010

30 days worth of growth...

This is the second year that I have participated in Movember, a great initiative to raise money for men’s health. Google Australia put together a strong team to compete, so I had no excuse not to join the cause. If you don’t know what Movember is, here is the summary from their website:

Each year Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Australia and around the world, with the sole aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men.

The program started in Australia, but has now spread to 9 more countries around the world. It’s really great to see Australia coming up with programs like Movember and Earth Hour that make a difference to the world.

If you would like to donate to my (poor) efforts to help, then that would be greatly appreciated! You can do so here:

Speech for Pa

Pa in his later years

Pa does not need me or anyone else to tell you all how inspirational he was. Inspiring and challenging people was what he did best, and what he spent his whole life doing. He had an amazing mind that would happily recount how to set up an artillery rig, run a poultry farm, make a profit on trucking ash or a list of other materials, how to grow tomatoes, how to manage people or even how to repair the rising damp in my house. If I didn’t follow his advice, or rather instructions, then I knew he would check as soon as he saw me next. He was so passionate and engaged with everything that he did, and that passion rubbed off on everyone around him whether they liked it or not.

There are a lot of people here today, myself included, who list him as one of a handful of people who challenged them to be a better person. He loved challenging people too. He always did it with a twinkle in his eye that let you know he was one step ahead.
Even now he is still challenging me today and will continue to do so. His mind never gave up either, he was incredibly sharp right till the very end. He didn’t die wondering whether he should have said or done something, he did and said everything he wanted to.
His body simply could not cope with a 100th minute loss by the Tigers and Labor being sworn back into office that very day. We love you and will miss you Pa, but we promise to keep doing better.

Visit to Google HQ in Mountain View, CA

Scott at Google MTV HQ

Originally uploaded by Scott Savage

Maybe someone has noticed that I haven’t blogged much lately? Well since my last post I got married and have travelled around the US, including to the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA. I just had to get a photo in front of the Tyrannosaur that has an appetite for pink flamingoes. It has been an absolute blast ever since joining Google. I just have to make more time to keep up my blogging!


Scott with Liberty

Originally uploaded by Scott Savage

Just a couple of weeks into my new job and I am off to NYC for the first time to get trained up. I left Friday morning Australian time and arrived Friday afternoon ET, despite the fact there were 20+ hours of flight time in between (seriously dreading the flight back). In the two days that I have had I have tried to hit all the top sites; Central Park, 5th Avenue, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, a Knicks game and the Apple store. 🙂 Check out my Flickr for more photos, I should keep uploading new photos pretty regularly. The weather has been great so far, plenty of snow on the ground but some blue skies and no wind. Loving it!!

Inspiration for a New Year

CNBC recently ran a rather patriotic “Keeping America Great” interview with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. I don’t normally read much from these guys, but there was one comment from Buffett that really struck a chord for me.

BUFFETT:  First of all, I’d say marry the right person. [LAUGHTER]  And I’m serious about that.  [APPLAUSE]  It will make more difference in your life.  It will change your aspiration, all kind of things.  It’s enormously important who you marry.  Beyond that, I would say that do what you would do if you were in my position, where the money means nothing to you.  At 79, … I work every day.  And it’s what I want to do more than anything else in the world.  The closer you can come to that early on in your life, you know the more fun you’re going to have in life and really the better you’re going to do.  So don’t be driven where you think the last dollar is presently or anything of that sort.  And then also go to work, if possible, for an organization or an individual that you admire.  I mean I offered to go to work for Ben Graham because there was nobody I admired more in the business than him.  I didn’t care what he paid me.  When he finally did hire me in 1954, I moved from Omaha to New York and I didn’t know what I was getting paid until I got my first paycheck.  But I knew I wanted to work for Ben Graham.  And I knew I would jump out of bed every morning and be excited about what I would do and I would go home at night smarter than I was in the morning.  Go to work at a job that turns you on and a person that turns you on and institution.  [APPLAUSE]

I am determined to base the decisions I make  this year on this quote.

Vision and leadership

Seth GodinSeth Godin is my favourite marketing guru, and he recently published a free e-book that has statements from 70+ great thinkers. For me, reading these statements was the perfect way to reflect on the past year and motivate myself for a big 2010.

There was one slide in particular that resonated for me. The ability to create a vision is a product management skill that I have really tried to build, but I never realised that by creating a vision you are demonstrating leadership. It is so easy to put vision in the “too hard” basket and let your daily grind expand to fill your day. A leader rises above this by setting a vision that resonates with those around you and motivates them to do the same.

In a down economy – particularly one that has taken most of us by surprise – things get very tactical. We are just trying to survive. What worked yesterday does not necessarily work today. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow. Decisions become pragmatic.

But after a while this wears on people. They don’t know why their efforts matter. They cannot connect their actions to a larger story. Their work becomes a matter of just going through the motions, living from weekend to weekend, paycheck to paycheck.

This is where great leadership makes all the difference. Leadership is more than influence. It is
about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build – and why it matters. It is about painting a picture of a better future.
It comes down to pointing the way and saying, “C’mon. We can do this!”

When times are tough, vision is the first casualty. Before conditions can improve, it is the first thing we must recover.

Vege Garden Update

Vege Garden 17/12/09

Originally uploaded by Scott Savage

The tomatoes are now officially out of control (in a good way). They are loving our heat wave backed by storms and have really taken off. No ripe tomatoes yet, but there are a ton of green ones on the way. Even the jalapenos are taking off, probably because they now have a little more shade under the rocket. I think the new mulch layer has helped keep the moisture in during the heat of the day, and plenty of weeding and tying hopefully helps to make a difference too. No chemicals have been used yet, which is a huge benefit of growing your own produce!

Burwood Festival 2009

My second festival for this Spring weekend was a bit closer to home, the Burwood Festival. It was held on Burwood Road and in Burwood Park. I remembered my camera this time, so here are some photos:

Burwood Festival tents

Burwood Festival Tents

Burwood Road closed for Burwood Festival

Burwood Road closed for Burwood Festival

Burwood Festival model boat show

Burwood Festival model boat show

Mustangs everywhere

Mustangs everywhere

...and plenty of Fiats

...and plenty of Fiats

Stalls and pavillion

Stalls and pavillion

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