Asshole of a year!

Dear clients and friends of gpstudio

It’s been a tough year! For all, both business and on many personal levels. Interestingly however I feel I know you all a little bit better… rather than just boardroom backdrops or building sites, courtesy of Zoom, I’ve seen your home offices, living rooms, kitchens, been introduced to your family members, seen what books or objet d’art are on your shelves … even a few pet antics and Amazon deliveries going on in the background.

A slice of ‘real life’ rather than curated life not seen before. And a new honest backdrop to business dialogue, that in my view has just strengthened relationships rather than distracted. So thank you.

While many projects went on hold (and to be honest some I thought would not re-surface), actually many have continued throughout or returned. Along with new projects commencing.
And while the national news uses the high street as the mercury in the barometer (citing brands that quite frankly prior to the global pandemic were woefully lacking) they often sadly ignore rising successes and the visionary…

Many brands have performed exceptionally well this year, many brands have hunkered down, re-shaped, re-focussed, shown resilience or adapted extremely well. And many agile start-up brands have emerged seeing opportunities, market share, and aiming to make a lasting impression over the coming years.

A year of chiefly virtual meetings, digital platforms have been a saviour, enabling momentum and traction, and will remain an important tool to bind business communication. A PowWowNow conference call (compared to the likes of Zoom or Teams) now seems strangely old fashioned. My BA executive club status might drop a tier as a result, with business trips cancelled or deferred to next year, but I do so look forward to them again, and closer to home, discussing in person strategies and ideas over a lunch at The Wolseley!

As I reflect over the last year, I initially thought we’ve just been lucky, with projects in March made up of: leases already signed; projects at a hole in the ground stage (so needing filling in); launches not scheduled until 2021/22; or projects geographically located in the world where the wearing of face coverings was already de rigueur. Then a client suggested to me ‘you make your own luck in business’, and they are probably right.

According to Spotify, my number one ‘Top Songs 2020’ is ‘Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole’ by Martha Wainwright. Which made me smile, what’s yours? Awesome song, the lyrics however I believe are about her strained relationship with her Father (which doesn’t resonate with me), but the song title I thought possibly and aptly sum things up, it has been an asshole of a year…

But we should now all look to treasure the learnings and positives of this year, cradle and build (in the broadest sense), on what we have all managed to achieve under adverse conditions, and both gradually and optimistically move forward…

Merry Christmas.