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Ignacio Oreamuno, Editor of Ihaveanidea (INTERVIEW)

— July 22, 2009 — Business
Ignacio Oreamuno had an idea, and he hopes you do too. He started Ihaveanidea to collect ideas with the hopes of spawning creative advertisements around the world. Ignacio Oreamuno talked to us about the role of trend spotting in his work.

12 Questions with Ignacio Oreamuno

1. How did you get involved with Ihaveanidea and what motivates you to continue?

I started Ihaveanidea 8 years ago. I was a student with no money or job. I thought to myself a very simple question, “what if I use this new “Internet” thing to connect the brains and ideas of all the people in the ad industry.” So I basically built the website and started getting know-how from people and posting it online. It soon grew on its own.

Through Ihaveanidea and Portfolio Night (our international recruiting event, the biggest in the world) we have helped thousands of people get their first jobs in advertising. We have also helped agencies and people get their names out there. We have touched so many lives that when I meet them in my travels it gives me such a high, that I’d be unable to stop what I’m doing.

The power to change a person’s career is amazing.

2. How significant are the topics of trend spotting to Ihaveanidea?

My world is advertising, and advertising tends to copy trends :) So usually if you see a really cool video on YouTube done by a “civilian” you’ll see it three months later in the form of an ad on TV or the web. Nowadays, brands are playing serious catch up with social media.

Skittles, for example, did an open campaign with Twitter where everyone mentioning Skittles would show up on their site. Sadly, people started saying very nasty things as soon as they knew they were on the spotlight and the site had to pulled down.

It’s hard for brands who were in control of their communications for so long via TV ads, and radio ads to then have to pass over control of their ads to consumers!

3. How do you define a trend?

Forwardability. Everything goes by either email or Twitter right now. If it’s trendy, I’ll pass it down and get it passed down. I think it’s that simple.

Trends, however, used to be much longer. Nowadays a “trend” can last a week. I think someone should coin a new word for these smaller trends. How about “

4. How do you define cool?

I think the difference between “cool” and “trendy” is that cool can be sold and monetized. An iPod is cool. A Nintendo DS is cool. Coldplay is cool.

5. Do you need a culture of innovation to create something that is cool?

Nowadays, all “cool things” tend to be very simple. Even websites that we consider to be “cool” are really basic. Look at Google for example! A culture of innovation is needed to simplify things to the max. The best designers now are the ones that can strip everything down to the core.

6. What is the best way to create an infectious idea, product or service?

I heard this line in a movie, “Stress is the fertilizer of creativity.”

7. What is the key to innovation?

I used to be a creative professional, an art director at an agency. I was paid to be creative. I can tell you one thing, to innovate, to create from scratch, all you need is one great idea that was preceded by 400 really bad ones. In other words, everyone can innovate, but you have to be ready to try over and over and over again.

Not many people have the skin to create something, show it around, then hear it’s no good, only to start from scratch. If you are insecure it will be hard to innovate.

8. What is the most important trend you see in your industry?

There’s going to be a rise in “social media professionals”. These will be people that can help take a campaign and act as firestarters amongst consumers to get the dialogue going around a campaign or brand. Right now these are mainly PR people that have adapted themselves to social media, but I think that people will specialize. I would not be surprised to see people become “Twitter propagator” in the next year or two.

9. What are your ambitions for ihaveanidea?

Our goal is to be an agent of change for the industry. To help disseminate knowledge. The hardest part right now that all publications and communities have is in raising money. There’s a balance of power happening between publications and the public. Everyone is essentially a magazine right now, so we have to adapt quickly to be able to continue pumping out original content.

Our goal is to be the world’s largest community of creative professionals.

10. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?

I work very late nights and sadly it is then that I get most creative. The 9-5 schedule is not a good time to be creative at all! Phone calls, emails, they all distract you from trying to solve problems creatively.

The more stressful the situation the easiest it is to get creative. When we have money in the bank and time we get lazy and things don’t get done. When we’re tight, we are actually more productive and smart. It doesn’t make much sense.

11. Professionally, what do you want to be doing in 10 years?

I have a very unique knowledge set now. I’m a community builder, and everything I learned I did so by doing it, by making tons of mistakes and tons of great achievements too. It was like going to the wild west to look for gold with a wagon, shovel and a pail. It would be fun to pass down all my knowledge to other companies and brands, perhaps I’ll do that 6 months a year and relax in a villa in Spain for the other 6!

12. What are your most important hobbies?

I work very hard but I also play very hard. I am an addict of food and wine. I could eat and drink great food until I’m rolling like a ball. Chefs have to be creative too and I do get my mental energies to continue what I’m doing from tasting and eating. I spend 12 hours or more a day on the computer. Food gets me away from the monitor and into the art of conversation. Boring people do not make good creatives.
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