Can We Learn Anything From the Consulting Firms?

Blair and David explore the differences they see between consultants and agencies in an effort to understand how the landscape is changing and what creative firms can do to beat consultants at their own game.


The Business of Expertise: How Entrepreneurial Experts Convert Insight to Impact + Wealth by David C. Baker

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life by Rory Sutherland


BLAIR ENNS: David, we're being inundated by invading hordes.

DAVID C. BAKER: You just started watching Walking Dead? Everybody else watched that for years and you just discovered it, or what?

BLAIR: It's just the most provocative opening I could think of. Hordes of consultants. They're ruining everything. They're taking all the jobs.

DAVID: You talk big now that you aren't one.

BLAIR: I'm a recovering consultant. We've referenced this before, and unless you're living on Mars, you are familiar with the trend of the large and some even boutique consulting companies getting into the creative or the agency space, and we've touched on it in a couple of different podcasts, but it's time to devote an episode to this subject. Why don't you begin with a confession? Why don't you confess to your audience about what it is that you've been trying to do and have never owned up to over the last 10 years or so?

DAVID: That buildup is a tad too much, because once they hear this, they're going to say, "Oh, shoot, I was hoping for something juicier." It's that I've really been trying to turn my clients into consulting firms, not just traditional management consulting firms, in a tradition way. I don't mean real management consulting firms. I'm not a real management consultant.

BLAIR: You just play one on this podcast?

DAVID: Yeah. I've just watched a couple of TV shows, and I know a lot of good consulting jokes, so I kind of pretend. I really have ... and I did take a formal stab at this in the last book, and when people talk to me about the book, this is the one part that they reference most frequently, and it's the two-room model where you have this one smaller room that's the strategy room, or the research and insights room, and then you have the larger room which is the implementation or the execution room. I'm getting people to at least think about the work they do being in one of those two, and how those two relate together.

DAVID: When you look at how many of the things that people used to make money on in this field and how they have just disappeared completely, it's almost like the water is rising around us and we have to keep climbing onto something taller and taller, and everything else in the room is under water and we're still left standing out of the water on our thinking, and that's about it. I've also thought there are some things we don't want to learn from consulting firms, but there are some things that we should learn, because they are generally cleaning our clock in all but two or three areas, and so it's worth talking about it. That's the confession. I've been trying to make everybody a consulting firm.

BLAIR: You've been trying to turn agencies into consultants? That's not such a bad confession. I kind of understand where you're coming from on that subject. Now, the book, your latest book that you mentioned, I'll give it a plug because you so graciously plugged mine in the last episode or the one before. It's called The Business of Expertise: How Entrepreneurial Experts Convert Insight into Impact and Wealth. I'm holding a copy in my hand, and it's still got the cellophane wrap on it.

BLAIR: Yeah, I knew it. I knew it. You told me not to autograph it because you wanted to sell it on eBay, and you thought it would be easier to get your money out of it.

BLAIR: Yeah. Thanks a lot. I have read the book a couple of times, just not this copy I'm holding in my hand. If somebody would like a free copy of The Business of Expertise, why don't you tweet us with the hashtag 2Bobs and I'll send you this copy, unsigned by the author.

DAVID: Right.

BLAIR: Let's talk a little bit about the differences between consultants and agencies. To my mind, these two different businesses aren't really all that different, but there is some difference there, and why is it important that we understand the differences?

DAVID: Yeah. I think if we had been recording this podcast a decade ago, it would have seemed like a ludicrous topic, because our areas of influence didn't overlap at all. Back then what we were nervous about were the big firms invading our space, and now those big firms are running for their lives because they're worried that the consulting firms are invading their space. I think it's so important for us to understand this stuff, because we don't want to underestimate the strength of this movement and what it will mean for us.

DAVID: I would say that being a smaller independent firm like the folks listening here, you have less to worry about than the big agencies do, but there's still something that's happening there that's worth knowing, and it's also indicative of the direction. It tells us where the world is pointing and what our clients are starting to listen to and listen to differently and how they're listening to them, so it's really worth it. Like you said, unless you've been on Mars, you know that something is afoot here and it's changing in a big way.

BLAIR: Now, do you remember what we in the agency business were worried about 25 years ago, in roughly 1995? Somebody else was invading the agency space, but it wasn't the consultants. Do you remember this?

DAVID: The printers?

BLAIR: No. It was CAA. It was that pivotal moment when Creative Artists Agency, who was a talent agency, had taken a large chunk of the Coca-Cola business from McCann Erickson.

DAVID: Oh, yeah.

BLAIR: It prophesied the beginning of the end for agencies, because at the core, CAA's point of view, I believe ... going back 25 years now ... we were in the early ages of digital, and we had this conversation about is it the content or is it the media, what's more valuable. CAA basically said, "What's most valuable is the content, and we control the content because we control the talent." The first commercial that came out of ... the polar bears, was that CAA?

DAVID: I don't know.

BLAIR: Product placement started to come back, so they placed Coke in American Idol, they started to get celebrities involved, and it looked like it was the beginning of the end of the agency model. Then for reasons I don't fully remember, it kind of flamed out. Now, Coke worked with CAA for about 15 years, and at some point they were on a $400,000-a-month retainer. Again, it looked like the beginning of the end, and then it was just another industry or profession had gotten their hooks into the agency business but it didn't mean ... nobody ever got worried about it.

BLAIR: In fact, I hadn't thought about this in years, and I don't know that we in the agency business have talked about this for years. To some extent, I think of what's going on with the consulting firms. Part of me thinks, "No, this isn't going to hold. It's not going to last."

DAVID: Well, I was going to ask you this. Do you think this is like the CAA thing, or do you think this is different?

BLAIR: Well, I find myself 25 years later still prophesying the same future for the agency business. To me, that was the first time I thought, "You know, the future of the agency is the agency is going to shrink. The agency is going to shrink to its core services, and then reach out and move to this Hollywood studio model where they go get talent, they go get media, they go get execution." We've talked about that in a recent podcast, but it's never really played out. I see different forces in play now, including the pressure that the consultants are putting on the space, and it leads me to think, "Oh, this is the model of the future." I see trends toward it today, but I don't know. Maybe I just had this prophecy 25 years ago, and every new trend that comes along I say, "This is it, this is the one."

DAVID: Well, maybe this is the mother kicking us out of the nest, and it's going to force firms to rethink what they do and solidify their positioning and the depth of their insight, and the fittest will survive. That whole process isn't a bad thing. I can't help but think that ... and you would think we'd be able to prognosticate here, and it doesn't seem like we can all that much, but you would think that there's something still about our industry, this creative, entrepreneurial ... these folks, the folks listening here, they are still the rain dancers, and business would still like to get rid of them because they're difficult to work with, they're difficult to manage.

DAVID: A lot of the work is not accountable, so to speak. In other words, it's not directly tied to results, but in the end when they're struggling, they still want to hire a rain dancer, even though they kind of shake their heads and say, "I don't know." There will be a lot of significant work being done by management consulting firms, but it's not ... maybe some of it is additive. I don't know. We know that they're invading this space, so what does that mean? We can certainly unpack that without knowing exactly where it's going to end up.

BLAIR: Well, if you look at how they're invading the space, they're all in digital, right? Accenture Interactive, PwC Digital, Deloitte Digital. Between the three of them, they have about $30 billion in revenue. If you look at what percentage of the larger agencies' income falls under the digital banner, as of last year, 2018, it's about 54%. When you add up the top five holding companies and you take 54% of their business, it's still slightly less than $30 billion.

BLAIR: Your point that maybe some of this is additive, I think it's understood that some of the work that's being done under the banner of digital marketing, bringing that moniker of marketing to it, isn't real marketing. Maybe it's systems integration stuff. Maybe it's other deep back-end developmental stuff that dev shops who have their roots in marketing would never touch, but still, that's been the entree for the consulting companies, has been the digital. Pretty soon we're going to acknowledge everything is digital.

BLAIR: Right, exactly. I was just looking at some results at well. If you take just Accenture Interactive, their billings from that space have been more than 4X in four years, crazy growth. PwC Digital, sixfold in just four years, and you could go on and on, so yeah, it's crazy. It's not all additive. We don't know, but why not learn from what they're doing? In the end, we may just understand what they're doing to a much better degree and decide we don't want to adopt any of those practices, but there can be no harm in understanding what they're doing and trying to unpack exactly why they are making such quick inroads in this space.

DAVID: Okay. What do you think the consulting firms are doing well?

BLAIR: Yeah. Well, there are a lot of things. One of the most important ones is that they are connected at such a high level.

DAVID: Yeah.

BLAIR: If I wanted to go do something and sell a traditional marketing service, I would know how to do that and I would know who to contact. If I wanted to take an invading horde ... like we opened here ... of 300 people and put them on site and get paid $4 million a month, I would have no idea even how to have that conversation. These people are just connected, and it's not just connected currently, but they went to school with these people. They can just pick up the phone and call them or send a text message because they have the person's mobile phone, and most of us, anyway, don't have those kinds of connections.

DAVID: They went to business school together. They're consultants in the clients. They come out of business school, they've got a freshly-minted MBA. They go to work for the consulting companies, and after a few years there's this up-or-out culture where if you don't keep moving up, at some point ... it's understood right from the beginning that it's best for to you move on. You go out into the world with the blessing of the parent company, of the consulting company.

DAVID: In fact, they often place the consultants who are leaving them into their client organizations, and that is one of the primary business development mechanisms, is leaning on the alumni from the consulting firm. These relationships are minted. As you point out, they're minted in school. They kind of grew up together professionally, and they're part of this vast diaspora of alumni of former consultants, who tend to almost always hire from the firm that they came from.

DAVID: Exactly. That's an ingrained competitive advantage that starts right at school, and we don't have anything equivalent to that. You know, your creative director went to art school or film school with the CEO? Not likely.

BLAIR: Yeah, exactly. You think, "Well, how are we going to bridge that gap?" Well, we're probably not, and we don't have solutions for all of these observations. It's just more observations, to think about how it is that they're winning. They decided at one point to flip a switch, four or five years ago, and it's just like happened. How did that happen? One is this connection thing for sure, I think.

DAVID: What other advantages do consulting firms have? You might put them under the category of why consulting firms win when they do, so they're connected at a high level. What else?

BLAIR: Well, this one touches on that, and I'm interested in your perspective in particular, but it seems to me that the very successful people in this consulting world are largely good at sales as well, so it just goes without stating. Compare that with a firm ... I worked with a firm recently. They were 60-some people and there were three partners, and the first question you have is, "Okay, who's focusing on new business between the three of you?" That's not necessarily a question that you would ask at a big consulting firm. All of the partners are focusing on new business. If you can't bring business in regularly, you are not going to climb that ladder very well.

BLAIR: That's my understanding of how that works, and it's the same in a law firm, in an accounting firm. In our world, it's sort of like we look around and say, "Okay, I'll be the creative director, I'll be the chief technology analyst. Now, oh, we've got one job left. It's new business. Who wants that one?" It doesn't have the same genetic sort of ... it's not woven as tightly in a fabric in our industry like it is in that industry.

DAVID: Yeah, and I think there are some exceptions to that, where people who excel at new business often get a fast track through the ranks in a consulting firm, and that sometimes creates some kind of tension when it comes to compensation. There are some peculiarities about how they work out part of the composition in the consulting firm, where it's such a fast track. It kind of creates some tension.

BLAIR: Largely I think you're right, where I think there's a general expectation for a consultant to not only deliver but to sell, or at the very least to grow the business. I always say consultants are like a virus going into a computer. I have clients, and I know you do too, agency owners who used to be consultants, and one guy used to say ... I won't name the consulting firm or the client that he worked on, but he said, "We brought you guys in seven years ago to do one project, and you just won't leave." That's the joke. The consultants laugh. I love how they kind of embed their people, for the most part, into the client's offices.

BLAIR: A few years ago, maybe 10 years ago, many creative firms started to move into this world of innovation, so you and I have both worked with a lot of innovation consulting firms who started out as agencies, and I've heard so many stories of they're on the phone with a client or a prospective client and there's four people from McKinsey or Deloitte in the room. They're embedded in the client, listening in to the conversation about what the agency or the innovation consulting firm is proposing to do, and you know as soon as the phone is hung up, they're trying to get that piece of business away from the innovation consulting agency.

DAVID: Right.

BLAIR: Just ask yourself, like how often does that happen? How much time do your people spend in your office versus in the client's office? Are your people embedded to the extent where there's a phone call with a consultant or somebody on the outside and they're invited to sit in, or they just assume the right to sit in and walk into those meetings? It doesn't happen at all, does it?

DAVID: It doesn't, no, and before we leave this, I want to just throw in that this is one reason why I've changed my thinking a little bit about personal branding. I think executives, principals at the firms that you and I work with, they should pay some attention to personal branding just like the folks do at large consulting firms.

DAVID: In fact, Deloitte actually coined a term called executive eminence. It's really a bad term, but if you look at term up ... and I have a couple of clients that are focusing in that space ... it's the notion that in order for you to fulfill your mission to help enlarge, to help grow this firm that you are a part of running, you will have to have some degree of personal, I don't know, reputation. It could be speaking, it could be a book, or it could just be networking, really good at it, but anyway, there's some element there that the executive, there's just an assumption built in to being in consulting that you are going to grow the firm in some way.

BLAIR: I have to tell you, I dislike the term "executive eminence" less than I dislike the term "personal branding." I have a bee in my bonnet, a bug in my craw, whatever metaphor or colloquialism you want to pick about the term "personal branding." I think, as you explain it, the importance of it for an executive moving up, that makes sense, but I think we're getting a little bit sidetracked here.


BLAIR: Why else do consultants win?

DAVID: Well, they hire different people. They hire people from very unique business backgrounds, varied backgrounds. They're going to have a lot of people with an economics background, a lot of accounting, a lot of data scientist people, a little bit of anthropology and sociology and education, but behind all of that is this sense that you have to be credentialed to be successful unless you're an indie consultant, like me.

BLAIR: Yeah.

DAVID: I'm not credentialed at all in that sense, and I think that's important. I don't know how long it will be important, and I don't know it's important at all for small firms or indie consultants, but for the larger firms, you do have to have that credentialing. I think it's a little bit unfortunate, but it is a cost of entry, and they're really good at that. You go to their LinkedIn profiles, you see where they went to school, and you immediately just check it off and say, "Okay, next." It's like that's good enough, and we don't really have that in our field so much.

BLAIR: Got you. As we're talking about this, I'm thinking ... and I've posed this question to audiences before ... why don't agencies just hire consultants? Why don't they hire consultants and employ them as consultants in ways that we think of? You know, account management or even account planning? Why don't we hire from the Big Four or the boutique consulting firms? Why don't we hire these credentialed people who have relationships at high levels in the client organizations?

DAVID: That's a great question. I've never thought about that. I'm not sure. Maybe because we'd have to change all our jokes. I don't know.

BLAIR: Maybe we can't afford them. Maybe it's a culture clash.

DAVID: Yeah, or the only ones interested would be sort of failed consultants, because they don't feel like there's enough upside for them. I don't know.

BLAIR: Yeah. Is there anything else on the list of why consultants win that we want to address before we talk about any advantages that agencies might have over consultants?

DAVID: Well, they tend to have deeper, longer relationships with their clients, and I've usually felt like that's a way to minimize how you are perceived as an expert. The truth is, these people have somehow figured out how to move beyond the liberating force to be the occupying force, and they're leeches in suits. They just take over the place.

BLAIR: I don't think you mean that to be as ... or maybe you do. Sorry, I'll quit talking. You keep going. Leeches in suits, taking over the place. Leeches don't really take over, but when they grab on, they never let go.

DAVID: Yeah. I saw a turtle out in the road last week and it had two leeches on it, and I was like, "Oh, I'm so sorry. You can't reach around and get this." Consultants are sort of like that as well, and they've managed to do this. It's hard. It's hard to land those engagements, but it's really hard to get fired as well. It's harder to get fired as a big consulting firm at one of the big firms than it is to get fired by the government, because you sort of know all their secrets at this point, and they have built up so many dependencies on their work.

DAVID: They're not there to teach other people how to succeed, like we try to do as an industry. They're there to build dependencies, long-term dependencies, and that's not my style, but it is in part why they're able to invade a place and make lots of money. It's also why they don't work for small firms. They work for large firms where there's just no budget on what they could do for the firm.

BLAIR: I'm imagining some consultants listening to this too, getting irate at us, saying, "Screw you, we add tons of value." How would you respond to that?

DAVID: Yeah. I would say they're probably right. I mean, at the end of the day, it's the client that gets to define the value, and the client is sending us as an industry signals over and over again that we do not add value. It hurts our feelings and it may not be true, but that is the signal they are sending. We do not add value. They love us, they thank us for the work we do, but when it comes down to the money side, they don't believe we add value in general.

BLAIR: Do you think the procurement people on the client's side ... now, obviously we're talking about large companies here ... see the procuring of consulting services different from the procuring of marketing services?

DAVID: I do. I'm not sure I have a lot of scientific evidence for that, but I do. I think partly it's because they develop cozier relationships with them. They don't want to piss them off. There is some crossover back and forth across those boundaries. They come from the same business background. They feel like there's more meat in what the consulting firm is doing for them, and there's also a lot more transparency. Consulting firms don't have a problem saying, "Here's our hourly rates, here's what we're paying people, here's how we're going to provision the account." Those numbers that they're providing are two or three times higher than the numbers that marketing firms are providing, and of course the marketing firms are getting pushed back at those low numbers even, so they don't have a problem with that.

DAVID: There's just something about the confidence that they bring to the table. I think we see this too when it comes to how they can run a big meeting as well, and I would say they don't have a huge leg up in this space, because the folks that are listening to us, I've seen them perform, and some of them are really, really good. It doesn't come quite as naturally to folks on the front line of consulting firms, and so all of that confidence-building stuff sort of feeds the equation for them, I think.

BLAIR: We've talked about some of the advantages consultants have, how they're different in a way that's meaningful to them or to the clients, but it's not all bad news, like we said at the top. In fact, I think you and I have said, in the long term, we don't think this is a big, massive threat to agencies, at least all of them. I kind of think it's here for a little while. We can learn some things from these consultants, but I think if we play this right, the creative firms, the marketing firms, are going to come out of this just fine. Do you share that point of view, or do you have a different point of view?

DAVID: I do share it, but I was listening to what you were just saying not from my perspective but from the perspective of maybe a listener who I don't know, and I'm picturing them. They're hearing what you're saying, they're hearing what I was saying before, and they're just dismissing the role that consulting firms have with their clients and just saying, "Ah, it's just bullshit, it's not really significant." I think that's a really dangerous perspective, because it's so easy for us to be parochial about that.

DAVID: On the other hand, there is some mix here, yeah. I'm not worried long-term, because I have a lot of confidence in the intelligence, the EQ ... probably higher EQ, even, which I think would be more important than IQ in this setting ... and their ability to pivot. Yes, I do share your perspective on that, and I think the consulting firms, there's going to be a day of reckoning at some point because their history so far, over the last four years, even though they've made a lot of money, their history with pulling off the big creativity plays is not all that stellar. In the end, that is the magic rock we have that they can buy it by buying firms, but then I don't know how ...

BLAIR: Then they kill it.

DAVID: Yeah. That's the thing. I don't know how long it will last. It'll be interesting to see how this [inaudible 00:26:18] experiment lasts, how uniquely will they push. You're always talking about how creativity is innately wasteful and it can't be measured and it can't be boxed, and I so believe that. That is the one thing that I don't think these consulting firms will be able to take from us, and I hope that's not just me being wishful, but I do believe there's something really ... do you believe that as well, on the creativity front?

BLAIR: Yeah. A generalization here, when I think of the consulting firms, I think of people who are more kind of linear and process-oriented. They're more systematic in their thinking, a more convergent thinking style, which is converge on the one solution and arrive at the model, apply that model to every problem. Whereas in an agency, they're less systematic, less process-oriented, more creative. They employ a more divergent thinking approach which is essentially brainstorming. "Let's try this. Let's try this. Have we thought of this?"

BLAIR: I think, as I go back to your idea of turning agencies into consulting companies, I think of them as creative consulting companies. I think there's a big distinction between a creative consulting company ... and I don't like that. That's just the label that I'm using. I'm not proposing we would take that to the market, but there's a big distinction between how a creative company thinks about a problem versus how a consulting company thinking about a problem. I have never been more optimistic on this front than I am maybe today, because I've recently finished my first pass of Rory Sutherland's new book, Alchemy. I read it quickly. I was blown away by it. I fell in love with advertising again, even though it's not really a book about advertising.

BLAIR: It's essentially Sutherland bringing the field of behavioral economics or psychology to business problems, and he talks about logical thinking versus psycho-hyphen-logical, psycho-logical problem solving, and he gives example after example of how people who like to spreadsheet out risk and try to measure everything and predict as much as they can through market research and then explain what happened through kind of principles of economics, how in situation after situation they just get the problem wrong, because they're not thinking about the problem correctly.

BLAIR: He gives this great example in the book. He tells a story. He says, "Imagine the board of directors at an airline, and they've just spent the last 60 minutes in a directors' meeting discussing whether or not to spend like $1.5 billion on these types of planes or $2 billion on these types of planes. Then the agency comes in afterwards and shows the ad campaign, and in the ad campaign there's a picture of ... " I forget what he says, but it's like cucumber sandwiches. It's basically a picture of the in-flight catering.

BLAIR: Now, what is their response going to be? The response is going to be, "Listen, we just approved a multibillion-dollar expenditure on the product, the planes. We want you to show the plane." His response is, "It's kind of hard to argue with that, but passengers don't give a shit what plane they're flying on, but they infer so much from the quality of the in-flight catering, so much more than you could ever communicate in words. By showing a picture of that cucumber sandwich or whatever it is, they infer so much about the quality of the airline." That's an example of more psycho-logical thinking versus logical thinking, and he gives example after example.

BLAIR: He's kind of cemented for me a journey that I've been going on, which is becoming enamored with the field of economics through becoming suspicious of it, to "I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water," but he does such a great job of showing how economic models are often wrong and we need to think about the problem differently. He's really talking about divergent thinking, divergent problem solving that is really ... that's our wheelhouse. That's our competitive advantage. I think if we can just grow a spine and we can get access to the C-suite and we can have these conversations, where it takes a lot of courage on the client side of the table to make these decisions that aren't ... they're not defensible, right?

BLAIR: Because when you're playing to the psychology of people, it seems irrational. The consultants on the other side of the table have all of the spreadsheets and all the rationale for why we should do X, and we as creative consultants, we should be empowered to show up and say, "I don't care what the spreadsheet says." We should show why, "Here's why I think I'm right, and if you think I'm right too, let's take this chance together." I think that's the opportunity we have, to essentially beat consultants at their own game with our take on it, because I think that's our superpower.

DAVID: Yeah. I agree, and maybe this is the best way to end this thing. We need to think bigger and we need to grow a spine, as you talked about, and let's borrow some of the things that consulting firms are doing and let's sneak around behind them. Let's hire somebody with an economics background. Let's read different things. Let's network. Let's spend less money going to the networking groups of people like us, and let's go spend time with other people, rub shoulders with them. Let's learn differently, and let's beat them at their own game, rather than sell out to them. Some of you are going to get bought by them, but most of you aren't going to be, so why not incorporate some of the best features?

DAVID: I've never felt more, I guess, positive about this industry, even though we're probably more under attack than ever. It's not a loss of hope, it's all more just let's keep our eyes open, let's make the right moves, and let's just think bigger, right?

BLAIR: Yeah. I agree. Let's think bigger. Again, I'm inspired by this idea that I think business has gotten too logical. I think it's gotten too spreadsheetable, and I think we own the illogical, or what Rory Sutherland would call the psycho-logical, what Dan Ariely would call the irrational and economists would call the rational. We own the irrational. We own the psychological point of view, that thinking, those frameworks, to the extent that there are frameworks. A lot of that's just rolled up in the ability for us to kind of see around corners and think about the problem differently.

BLAIR: I think instead of trying to act more like the consultants, where we need to act more like them is we need to get access to the senior decision-makers, and then we need to go in and find brave leaders and challenge them to put the rationale and the market research and the spreadsheet aside, and take a seemingly illogical ... or what Rory would call psycho-logical and what Ariely would call irrational ... take an irrational step with us and see if we can't affect some sort of dramatic change.

BLAIR: We should be in the business of transformation, and I know "transformation" and "disruption" are overused, but we should be that the business of transformation and not like tactical incrementalism. We should own that, and you can't be in the business of transformation if you don't terrify people. I think we need to own this, this place of we're the freaky people who come in with the crazy ideas, and you've got to have the spine to be able to work with people like us. You have to have the courage, because we can't prove to you it's going to work, but we feel strongly that it is.

DAVID: Well, and we're so much fun to be with too. I mean, who wants to go get a beer with your consulting ... the leeches in suits after the end of the day? We're a lot more fun to be with too, or at least I am.

BLAIR: It was either Oscar Wilde or Hunter Thompson who said, "I would rather drink with a bad writer than a good accountant."

DAVID: Yeah, okay.

BLAIR: We'll close on that note. We've gone long today. Did we lose anybody, or is this interesting enough they're still with us?

DAVID: Yeah.

BLAIR: We rambled for a while, but I think we put a bow around it at the end. We believe in you guys. Go do it. Be your freaky selves. Thanks, Blair.

DAVID: Thanks, David.

David Baker