innonate consulting (Part 1)

June 9, 2008   

This is Part 1 of a series of posts explaining my dive back into the consulting space. If you're interested in hearing how I could collaborate with your business, stay tuned for future posts, or contact me at nate (@)

In the last few weeks, I've been approached and encouraged by a number of people to do some freelance consulting work.

My first reaction to this was two fold: 1. humility, of course; and 2. caution.

I had been consulting for National Public Media for a while, but soon after our merger with NPR things with BricaBox started to pick up, so I dialed down my outside consulting activity and focused on building my own business. Until a few weeks ago, I didn't think much about going back.

But, as I was approached several times in the course of a few days, I started thinking about the nature of consulting again.

You see, as someone with a natural skepticism for so-called consultants, I feared that the word "consultant" meant "disinterested third-party with a know-it-all guise."

This is not something I wanted to be or do.

But then I thought about my time at NPM. This is not how I felt in their organization. Why?

My relationship with NPM was wonderful because the relationship was symbiotic. I loved being in meetings with the team because I learned so much about the advertising industry -- they had some of the best experience in the industry, and were willing to teach. In fact, I learned enough at NPM to really hang with advertising industry folks. I gained so much

Meanwhile, the folks at NPM were eager to get up to speed on the evolving web -- and this is where my value was. How could their business make use of the latest and greatest while not getting burned by all the new and shiny crap that's out there? NPM didn't have anyone inside their company dedicated to thinking about these things. I, meanwhile, was up to speed. By the nature of running a small startup, I had my entire mind wrapped around what was going on in the new media/web 2.0 world.

Tapping this knowledge and interest into the intriguing world of web, TV, and radio advertising was not only productive for me, it was measurably valuable for my client. By the time I had left, I had shapped the company's approach to advertising in downloadable media environment (podcasting, etc) and laid the foundation for a new ad network of public broadcasting-related social media websites. I had also become a smarter, better-rounded individual, with a sharper eye for how "business 2.0" gets done.

So, with this in mind -- that consulting, when between two learning parties, can be a wonderful thing -- I intend on dipping my feet back into the business of consulting. I'll be posting more about what opportunities I'm looking for and the mechanics of how I can help your business. For now, feel free to reach out with your ideas.

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