Sir John Hegarty and the power of doing interesting things

In 2006 I was sitting in Sir John Hegarty’s office at BBH on Kingly Street in London. I had come up with the idea and business plan for TIE. But it still needed a name. I had a number of different names to choose from, but I felt stumped.

But, as usual he got me back on track.

Sir John Hegarty is the Creative Founder of the global Ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (known as BBH) and is the world-renowned creator of legendary ad campaigns for Levi's, Lego, and Audi, Johnny Walker’s Keep Walking, the Links Effect amongst many others. John is also one of TIE's incredible mentors.

His Mantra Do Interesting Things and Interesting Things will happen to you is something I personally find so inspiring.

Today, John will inspire you with wonderful nuggets on how to live your best life.

He talks to us about how to find real inspiration in your day-to-day.

We talk about riding the bus.

Sayings that don’t make any sense.

And about his mantra “Do Interesting Things and Interesting Things will Happen to You”.

00:00:07:23 – 00:00:29:17
Philippa White
So the questions are these. How can we really activate the best of the private sector to meet the challenges of the real world? Is there a way to accelerate my career that doesn’t involve boring online or classroom courses? And can I really impact people in the developing world with the skills that I have? Can I finally feel proud of what I know?

00:00:30:09 – 00:00:54:03
Philippa White
Those are the questions. And this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Philippa White and this is TIE Unearthed. Keep listening and you can follow us on our journey as we show you how we’re connecting the private sector with the social sector to make change.

00:00:57:03 – 00:01:17:10
Philippa White
Hello everyone. Phillip Whyte here and welcome to Episode five of Ties Podcast. Now today we have a very special guest with us, the one and only Sir John Hegarty. Today we will be talking about do interesting things and interesting things will happen to you. Hi, John.

00:01:18:03 – 00:01:24:16
Sir John Hegarty
Hi there, Philippe. Lovely talking to you. What a wonderful sunny afternoon we have here in London. What’s it like in Brazil?

00:01:25:04 – 00:01:33:20
Philippa White
It’s it’s very hot because we live just below the equator. So as always, it’s hot and about 30 degrees. Pretty much the ceremony every other day.

00:01:34:04 – 00:01:34:23
Sir John Hegarty
Every other day.

00:01:35:10 – 00:01:35:17
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:01:36:05 – 00:01:47:24
Sir John Hegarty
So you never you never talk about the weather, do you know, you don’t you get to this day, it’s always the same. Yeah, I was like that in Singapore. Didn’t talk about the weather is always the same. Anyway, wonderful to be here. Fantastic.

00:01:48:10 – 00:02:17:10
Philippa White
Good. Now, what I’d love to do for people who don’t know you, I’d love to bring you to life for our listeners so you can just explain to people, and then we’ll go into my questions that I’ve got for you. So Sir John Hegarty is the creative founder of the global ad agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, known as BBH and he is the world renowned creator of legendary ad campaigns for Levi’s, Lego and Audi Johnny’s Johnnie Walker’s keep walking the links effect among many, many others.

00:02:17:24 – 00:02:44:02
Philippa White
Know his mantra do interesting things and interesting things will happen to you is something I personally find so inspiring, which we will be talking about today. So, John, I’ve known you since I started working at BBH back in 2004 oh nine. Yeah. And very quickly you became an advisor of Tie, which was shortly afterwards. And BBH has been a client of ours since around 2009.

00:02:44:02 – 00:03:06:17
Philippa White
So our relationship goes way back. And to kick off, yeah. So to kick off John, I want to start off asking you about BBH is Black Sheep. Now, BBH obviously holds a very special place in my heart and walking into work every day and seeing the black sheep for me was quite it’s very iconic. So let me just put this question into context for people.

00:03:06:17 – 00:03:26:00
Philippa White
So TIE is all about doing different things and getting people to challenge the status quo and finding innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. Now we create change makers. That’s kind of our big goal. Can you bring to life where the black sheep of BBH comes from, and what can you tell our listeners about what it represents for you?

00:03:27:03 – 00:03:55:17
Sir John Hegarty
Well, first of all, you have to understand the business we are. We’re a service industry. We do that. What we make is thousands and thousands of different ideas. So we’re not like Apple. We don’t have full products or a motorcar that you can recognize. We have kind of thousands of ideas that we create for clients. Therefore, having some sense of identity of what we do we always thought was very, very important.

00:03:56:01 – 00:04:19:11
Sir John Hegarty
And the black sheep came out of that and the black sheep, meaning when the word zig zag, in other words, when everybody’s going in one direction, you should go in the other direction. But just as a little story behind that and this is can be an interesting lesson for people, we didn’t get to that from day one that that piece of thinking came out of some thinking.

00:04:19:11 – 00:04:44:11
Sir John Hegarty
We did for one of our clients, Levi’s, who wanted to market black denim. And so we did a poster with all these sheep going in one direction and a black sheep obviously going in the opposite direction. And it just said Black Levi’s matter, the world zig zag. And that thinking became our thinking. And it’s a very interesting way of thinking about your own creativity.

00:04:44:11 – 00:05:08:13
Sir John Hegarty
It’s when you express yourself, you begin to understand the things that you want to do. And it was when we were talking about a logo, a way we describe it came out of that thinking that we did for Levi’s and we adopted it proud selves. We didn’t sit down and sort of do it from the word go. So allow yourself to express what you feel and you get to interesting places.

00:05:08:23 – 00:05:34:15
Philippa White
Yeah, yeah, very cool. And I mean, I can remember in your office and you had the black sheep sitting there. So sort of the iconic remit for you to remember, okay, do things differently, see the world in a different way. Yeah, cool. Well, I remember talking about your office. I remember a meeting with you so clearly back in 2006, and I had come up with the idea and the business plan for TIE, but it still needed a name.

00:05:34:21 – 00:05:51:12
Philippa White
And I was sitting in your office at Kingly Street in London, and it was a sunny afternoon like today for you and for me and asking for your advice. And I had a number of different names to choose from. And I remember I had them all listed on this piece of paper and I sort of came to us.

00:05:51:13 – 00:06:09:07
Philippa White
And John, I really need your help. I’m feeling a bit stumped, but as usual, you got me back on track and I don’t know if you remember that day, but I just wanted to, if you can, for you to talk a little bit about what you said to me and some of the lessons that you sort of I left feeling completely resolved.

00:06:09:07 – 00:06:11:08
Philippa White
So I don’t remember.

00:06:12:08 – 00:06:31:23
Sir John Hegarty
Where it is actually. You know, just in general, one of the things that, you know, I spent a lot of my time dealing with new companies. In fact, that’s what I do now. I help companies start and get them financed and we give them advice in terms of how to market themselves. And one of the things you always get when anybody has a new business, they say, what am I going to call it?

00:06:32:10 – 00:06:57:06
Sir John Hegarty
And it becomes a kind of a sort of almost a wall they can’t get over. It’s going to be called How do I Do It? That’s it. And so what you have to do is you have to say to people, well, first of all, you know, relax. Remember what it is that you’re trying to do. And the two things you have to remember about your naming of a company is one is it memorable?

00:06:57:22 – 00:07:18:19
Sir John Hegarty
In other words, because if nobody remember it, what’s the point? You know, you can’t buy something from somebody you can’t remember. So it has to be memorable. And the other thing you want is, does it describe or does it contained within it the difference that you’re trying to put into your idea? So those two things are the most important things to remember.

00:07:18:19 – 00:07:25:18
Sir John Hegarty
And I think I did say to you, you know, the other thing to also realize is if you can sell a cigaret called a camel.

00:07:25:18 – 00:07:26:03
Philippa White
You can.

00:07:26:03 – 00:07:45:17
Sir John Hegarty
Worry too much about what it is. But the actually interesting thing about that is not that I’m mad about cigarets I would never work on them, but interesting as a product that what they were trying to do is to say we don’t have the usual tobacco in our cigarets, we have different tobacco and therefore we’re going recorded a camel.

00:07:45:17 – 00:07:50:17
Sir John Hegarty
And people will say, Well, that’s very different, isn’t it? So instantly they have captured.

00:07:50:17 – 00:07:52:01
Philippa White
That’s interesting. I didn’t know.

00:07:52:01 – 00:08:13:00
Sir John Hegarty
Oh, yeah, yeah. They’re not like everybody else. And I think that’s sort of in a roundabout way, what I was trying to say to you is, you know, remember, you’ve got to try and make people understand. They’ve got to remember. And also, if they can say a difference. So, you know, in the world, I always love it as a charity called Medicins Sans FronTIEres.

00:08:13:12 – 00:08:38:10
Sir John Hegarty
And I think it’s brilliant because, one, it’s incredibly memorable and it has a kind of power to it, medicines without fronTIErs. And also it describes what they do. Yeah, they they operate across borders with people from different cultures and everything like that. And so it’s a wonderful description of what they are and it’s also very memorable and that is from I think I was talking about.

00:08:39:15 – 00:08:55:06
Philippa White
Yeah, yeah, totally. And it’s funny actually, because I think probably a lot of people don’t even know TIE finance would be international exchange. So that’s where it sort of came from, which obviously explains, you know, it’s the international exchange, but also it’s all about TIE. It’s tying people together and bringing totally everyone together. So it’s sort of felt.

00:08:55:08 – 00:09:13:23
Philippa White
Yeah, so it felt yeah. Right now. I mean and also remember because you said it’s what you pour into it as well, right? Obviously we work in branding, we work in in helping people understand what it’s all about. And that to me, it’s sort of okay. So that was the name. And then it’s kind of exactly how you what you pour into it and what you make.

00:09:13:23 – 00:09:39:09
Sir John Hegarty
And how you represented and the culture that you build around it creates even greater meaning. I mean, we constantly in this world talk about Apple, but, you know, there’s a lovely story about Apple, which is when Steve Jobs went back and I read this in full was when he did an interview. And of course, you see those. Do you remember the original Apple logo was multi-colored and went, Yeah, right.

00:09:39:09 – 00:09:58:10
Sir John Hegarty
When you went back into Apple in 1999 or whatever it was, he wanted to signify a difference. He wanted to signify a change. So he just said, Right, it’s just going to be now one color and in the interview he said and produce it. So how long did that take you to get to that decision and make that decision?

00:09:58:16 – 00:10:09:09
Sir John Hegarty
And he said, oh, I got to move very quickly. And it took about a ten minute conversation in the board meeting, and that was it. And I think that’s lovely in a sense. It can be that quick, but also.

00:10:09:09 – 00:10:10:03
Philippa White
It can be that.

00:10:10:13 – 00:10:18:01
Sir John Hegarty
That simple change indicates that a kind of this is the new apple without being, you know, complicated about it, too.

00:10:18:08 – 00:10:18:13
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:10:19:02 – 00:10:19:08
Sir John Hegarty
Yeah.

00:10:20:13 – 00:10:39:12
Philippa White
Yeah. Interesting. Well, moving on to your mantra, which is, you know, the big thing that I wanted to cover up today because it’s such a big part of TIE do interesting things and interesting things will happen to you. It’s such a huge inspiration for me. I mean, I heard you talk about I remember when we went to you gave that presentation.

00:10:39:12 – 00:10:48:24
Philippa White
I think that was one of the first times I heard you talk about it, which was in Canada, when you talked about an advertising, an advertisers.

00:10:49:08 – 00:10:50:11
Sir John Hegarty
Advertiser that could show.

00:10:50:13 – 00:11:07:13
Philippa White
You something. Anyway, I remember here. Yeah. And I remember hearing you talk about do interesting things and interesting things will happen to you. And I I’d heard you sort of I’ve read things over the years, but it is a huge inspiration for me and it’s actually become a huge essence of TIE. And I just can you bring that to life for our listeners?

00:11:07:14 – 00:11:07:24
Sir John Hegarty
Most of the.

00:11:07:24 – 00:11:09:11
Philippa White
More people need to know about it.

00:11:10:01 – 00:11:28:19
Sir John Hegarty
Well, I think we live in a world where people are constantly projecting into the future it projecting, you know, what am I going to do tomorrow? What am I going to do with that? How is that going? You know, and in a way, I think I spend my life trying to solve problems in the in front of me.

00:11:29:13 – 00:11:48:10
Sir John Hegarty
And therefore, I’ve had a whole career. Because if you’re in the creative world, you’re you’re trying to solve something. Now, this is the problem. How are we going to solve it? So if you’re a painter, what am I going to put on the canvas? If you are a writer, how am I going to write this book? What am I going to do where you are?

00:11:48:10 – 00:12:17:09
Sir John Hegarty
Filmmaker How am I going to make this film? You’re very much concerned with making something now and you realize the value of that, the value of focusing on the now, because in reality that’s the only thing you can change. I can’t change the future. You know, people were used to that great line about, you know, if you’re worried about the future invented or whatever that phrase is, and you can’t invent the future when you’re talking about who can invent a COVID, I mean, come on.

00:12:17:14 – 00:12:51:05
Sir John Hegarty
You know, I mean, don’t stupid. So you know that the thing that you can really control is now and the more interesting you make now, the more interesting tomorrow will become in lots of different ways in what you’re doing, the people you meet, the opportuniTIEs it throws out to you. So if you start focusing on now, I’m going to make now as interesting as I possibly can with the work I’m doing, whatever I’m doing that will open all kinds of doors tomorrow.

00:12:51:06 – 00:13:02:06
Sir John Hegarty
But you don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. You know, it’s like people say to me, Jean, you know, do you have a five minute plan, a five year, five year plan? And I say, no, I have a five minute plan.

00:13:02:23 – 00:13:03:19
Philippa White
A five minute plan.

00:13:03:19 – 00:13:23:23
Sir John Hegarty
Because I all I can control now and we do live in this world where people and I think it’s one of the things that is said about us as as adults. As we grow up, we forget to live in the now. And the wonderful thing if you observe children as they live in the now they live now. This is it.

00:13:23:24 – 00:13:43:15
Sir John Hegarty
This is happening. This is and I can affect it like I enjoy it. I cannot enjoy it. I can do this. And so it’s fundamentally important that. So if you apply that to yourself, not in a kind of childlike way, but you say, I can really do something interesting right now, and who knows how that will affect tomorrow.

00:13:43:20 – 00:13:48:18
Sir John Hegarty
But if it’s interesting, there’s a good chance it will affect it in an interesting way.

00:13:48:18 – 00:14:12:19
Philippa White
Yeah. And do you do you have some sort of specific some sort of tangible examples of what people could do if they’re looking to do interesting things and have interesting things happen to you? I mean, we talk about we’ve talked about that we put together actually a list of ways that people can reach their full potential back in 2015.

00:14:12:19 – 00:14:22:19
Philippa White
And and you highlighted some really interesting ways that people could do that. Do you want to sort of bring some of those to life, perhaps just some people have.

00:14:22:21 – 00:14:56:18
Sir John Hegarty
Said to certainly. I mean, I think, you know, the more interesting you are, you know, certainly, you know, if you go back, I spent my life as a creator. So I’m creating things all the time. So therefore, I want more influences coming into my life more and that that affects what I do. But even if you’re not doing that, even if you’re I don’t care if you’re an accountant, a lawyer, a you know, an engineer, I think first of all, by being constantly curious, what is that?

00:14:56:18 – 00:15:34:05
Sir John Hegarty
Why is that? Why does that work? I think looking at things that you don’t normally look at, reading things that other people don’t read, I mean, I as a creative person, read the Financial Times. Now, I have to tell you, I understand about 4% of what goes into the Financial Times, but I actually what I do get occasionally is brilliant articles that completely expand my understanding of business and finance and therefore makes me a much more interesting creative person because I know most other creative people aren’t reading that.

00:15:34:14 – 00:16:05:06
Sir John Hegarty
They’re reading quite rightly, books on Picasso or, you know, some great director or writer, which I think you should do, but also read other things that other people aren’t doing, and therefore you’re making yourself constantly more interesting. I think, you know, I always you know, I meeting people is like, I love meeting people, but sometimes you get an absolute dread when you realize you’re meeting somebody who only operates in a very narrow field.

00:16:05:15 – 00:16:24:15
Sir John Hegarty
They have no ability to talk beyond the field they’re in. They only talk about that thing to a certain extent. It can be interesting, but then it becomes very boring. And I think that’s the worst thing you can say about anybody can be boring, please, whatever you do. And I.

00:16:24:15 – 00:16:24:21
Philippa White
Don’t.

00:16:25:02 – 00:16:45:19
Sir John Hegarty
You know, and I don’t care what anybody does, you can make it interesting. There’s no such thing as a boring job is it’s just looking at it in a boring way that makes it boring. So all of those things and I think I would like to say something else about I think people get on people who succeed, especially creative people, they are optimists.

00:16:46:14 – 00:17:07:12
Sir John Hegarty
And you have to be an optimist because you’re you’re going to create something and you hope you’re going to change the world with what you’re creating. And you’ve got to be an optimist to believe that. You’ve got to be, because the good chunk, the chances are it’s not going to happen. But actually, in your in your heart, when you’re doing it, you think this is going to change the world.

00:17:08:01 – 00:17:19:19
Sir John Hegarty
And of course, you know, you have to maintain that. But cynicism is the death of creativity. And I think you said, yeah, you know, innovation is the death of entrepreneurship.

00:17:19:19 – 00:17:37:18
Philippa White
Innovation. I mean, it is so much bigger than just creativity. I mean, I couldn’t agree more. And actually, I see that in the work that we do, if someone was to go and approach a challenge that they’re facing, you know, let’s get new fuel efficient stoves into the hands of people in Malawi. And someone goes, Oh, God, that’s impossible.

00:17:37:18 – 00:18:10:12
Philippa White
You know, you’ve been trying to do that for two years and you’ve only sold 500. I mean, that’s not that’s impossible. Impossible. But if you go and you sort of say, no, okay, I need this is totally possible, of course we can do it. And over and over and over again, we see that. We see people embracing a challenge that they would not normally have the opportunity to face in their day to day jobs and suddenly, just through sheer determination, open mindedness, flexibility and positivity, they suddenly manage to get, you know, in this case, on 10,000 stoves into the hands of people in 30 days.

00:18:10:12 – 00:18:13:02
Philippa White
And now I think we’ve got like 500,000 of these.

00:18:13:02 – 00:18:14:06
Sir John Hegarty
Totally in the hands.

00:18:14:06 – 00:18:29:18
Philippa White
Of people as a result of pushing and actually as a result of many of these. As you talk about pushing through boundaries, unlocking potential, you know, being constantly curious, to be constantly inspired, be brave, dare to be different, be positive. You know, it’s all those things and look at what can happen.

00:18:29:18 – 00:18:51:22
Sir John Hegarty
And once you do that and then, of course, the other thing about that is, is it is it magnifies its way through a group of other people around you. It ripples through them as well, whereas the cynic just brings everybody down. I mean, one of the things I always say to to creative people, when I was running the credit department is, you know, take the headphones off.

00:18:52:20 – 00:19:13:05
Sir John Hegarty
You know, you see them really walking around with headphones on and it’s fine. You know, you’re listening to music or podcasts or whatever you might, whatever we’re doing. But I actually look around you and and I think the great tragedy today is, is an especially if you’re in the creative world, what you’re doing is you’re constantly looking for inspiration.

00:19:13:19 – 00:19:38:13
Sir John Hegarty
You’re open things happening, you’re constantly seeing things, aware of things the way light reflects on a building, the conversation that somebody was having behind you on the bus, you know, all of those things, you’re you’re absorbed in them all the time. Once you put the headphones on, you’re cutting yourself off. You’re cutting yourself off from this world that is giving you information and that makes you so interesting.

00:19:38:13 – 00:19:51:23
Sir John Hegarty
So certainly for the creative people, I say, please take the headphones off, look around you. Inspiration. There’s this wonderful book, the Paul Smith has written. So inspiration is everywhere. You just have to see it. Yeah.

00:19:52:08 – 00:20:11:02
Philippa White
Yeah. And actually, John Steele, he he often said to planners, ride the bus, ride the bus, ride the bus and and just open your eyes and see. And it’s it’s so true. I mean, just even if you travel to a different place, you know, don’t just take taxis, ride the bus, suddenly you learn about another culture.

00:20:11:03 – 00:20:33:23
Sir John Hegarty
Of course, you know, the thing is, success breeds your failure, doesn’t it? Because you know, as you become more successful, you become isolated. You are isolated from the things that made you successful. And, you know, consequently, you’ve got to fight that. And I know some people laugh and saying you’re being a bit harsh, but, you know, I actually, believe it or not, do love getting on busses.

00:20:33:23 – 00:20:51:24
Sir John Hegarty
I do love going on the underground, seeing the world around me and seeing what’s going on. Yeah, I could. I could easily afford to have a chauffeur and take me everywhere. Why? How boring that would be. I’d only be talking to that one person. I’d be looking at the world. Going in the world. You want to be in the world not just observing the world.

00:20:53:11 – 00:21:14:16
Philippa White
Yeah agree. And actually just as a really quick one to to complement that in Brazil, when you ride the bus, if you’re standing up and you’ve got heavy books with you, the person who’s sitting down offers to hold your books for you. And it’s so extraordinary because Brazil is known as being quite a dangerous place. Right. So you as you’re walking down the street, you’re holding your belongings.

00:21:14:16 – 00:21:27:02
Philippa White
So close to you because you’re worried that someone’s going to suddenly grab them and run off with them. But suddenly the world completely changes when you get on a bus and suddenly you’re handing your bag over to the person who’s sitting down.

00:21:27:02 – 00:21:31:18
Sir John Hegarty
It’s so clear why you see circumstances. Circumstances change everything down there, you know?

00:21:32:07 – 00:21:32:17
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:21:33:00 – 00:21:33:14
Sir John Hegarty
That’s lovely.

00:21:33:24 – 00:21:54:11
Philippa White
So I thought, yeah, so I thought, yeah, I just wanted to kind of bring to life as well what we’re doing at the moment as well, which is we’re launching our Thai accelerator program which you about Young, which is finally a way for people to get involved with Thai without needing to be sponsored by their companies. And it’s six weeks.

00:21:54:11 – 00:22:16:06
Philippa White
It’s a leadership program which is CPD accredited. It’s virtual, only takes 2 hours a day, but basically it’s a chance for people to learn about innovating for real by using their skills in an alien environment, a developing world environment from their desk. And it’s a chance for them to work with good people who are in really difficult situations, trying to do great things in need of their help.

00:22:16:06 – 00:22:41:03
Philippa White
And it so it’s a test like no other. It’s something that they will probably always remember and a way to genuinely impact the world with what they know. And it’s not boring traditional learning, which is, I think what we’re talking about right now, you know, it’s learning from real experiences that will get people to stand out as leaders and be the change that they want to see in the world, which is really all about the power of doing interesting things and how interesting things will happen to you as a result.

00:22:41:03 – 00:23:01:08
Philippa White
We know that learning from experience is significantly more effective than, you know, learning theories and sort of traditional kind of classroom learning. And especially if you’re really passionate about something, you absorb the information much more quickly. So with all of you know, with this in mind, with time accelerator in mind, you know, is there any advice that you’d like to share with our listeners?

00:23:01:11 – 00:23:25:23
Sir John Hegarty
Well, I one, I think what you’ve done with TIE and actually now with Tie Accelerator was it makes it more accessible to people and that it’s all about access, which I think is fundamentally important. But I think what I’d like to say to everybody is that I think the future in terms of business, in terms of experience, in terms of all those things is creating win win situations.

00:23:26:15 – 00:24:01:02
Sir John Hegarty
The trouble with business as it stands at the moment, it will lose. It’s you were always looking to kind of how can I beat my competition? And, you know, I’ve always said that, you know, one of the most disappointing things to me is when you ask business people what is their favorite book? So often The Art of War comes out as their favorite color and you just see how disappointing the people in business view The Art of War as a book that they should read to succeed in rather than a book.

00:24:01:07 – 00:24:33:04
Sir John Hegarty
How do I create value? How do I make myself better and the person I’m dealing with better? How do I make the world better? How do I create a win win situation? And I think what TIE teaches you is how it takes your experience. It applies it to other people’s problems and makes you both better. And that’s a kind of a brilliant kind of positioning to have, you know, your skills, their needs.

00:24:33:12 – 00:25:02:16
Sir John Hegarty
And what you’re doing is you’re bringing those two things together and you’re creating this wonderful world where everybody wins. You know, I, you know, I can give money to Oxfam or I can give money to someone else to make somebody like that. And you should do that, too. But I do it and it’s done and that’s it, you know, and I, I feel good because I should do that and, you know, but it doesn’t make me a better person is just doing what I should do.

00:25:03:00 – 00:25:29:01
Sir John Hegarty
But actually I think what Ty does and obviously the accelerator program makes it more accessible to more is it makes each party better and improves everything around it. And I think in a way, that’s what you should always remember with Ty. That sort of gives you this ability for everybody to win. And I think that’s genius. I really do.

00:25:29:01 – 00:25:42:24
Philippa White
Well, thank you. I mean, it’s been yeah, it’s been a powerful experience. I’ve seen it started off with a project back in. Yeah, it was 2005 or whatever. And yeah, now it’s been going for 13 years and as you say, yeah, you know, just stay with it.

00:25:42:24 – 00:26:07:16
Sir John Hegarty
That’s the other, the other great lesson. You know, I always remember listening to a wonderful interview with Henry Moore, who is one of the great British sculptors, and he was 80 years old. And it was a radio interview. And the radio interview was pouring kind of, you know, accolades on him. And, you know, and you could hear him soon getting slightly agitated by all of this.

00:26:07:16 – 00:26:31:13
Sir John Hegarty
And he eventually stopped the interviewer and all these great, great sort of, you know, commendations he was getting and said, look, you said when I when I left the Royal College of Arts, I think it was the Royal College of Art, he says there were 30 of us doing it 20 years later. There were 15, 30 years later, there were ten, you know, 50 years later, there are five of us keep doing it.

00:26:31:23 – 00:27:07:00
Sir John Hegarty
That’s the secret. And I do think, you know, we forget that we are we give up very easily on things. And I’m not I know just that working in America, I was surprised how readily people gave up on things and didn’t stay working at it, didn’t stay trying to make it work. And again, another great example I was given when I was at art school and the teacher was going around, we were drawing and he was correcting people’s work and he stopped the class.

00:27:07:00 – 00:27:35:01
Sir John Hegarty
He was at one particular person’s easel and he stopped the class. He said, Look, I just want to say something to when a drawing is going wrong, which you don’t do, is turn the page over and start again. You keep working on that drawing until it’s right and then, Oh, I love it. You turn the page over. And it was this brilliant pause and you just said, I suppose I’m talking about life as well, really?

00:27:35:18 – 00:27:42:17
Sir John Hegarty
And then we went back to drawing. Wasn’t that brilliant? That was said to me. It’s been I love it. I love the art school.

00:27:42:17 – 00:27:57:21
Philippa White
It’s so true. That wasn’t it. I mean, if I look at it actually, it’s our conversation actually that we had today, which you might want to talk sort of Darwin, right? You know, you could just I mean, you mentioned it this morning. I just think it’s such an important one. I mean, everyone’s facing the same thing, right?

00:27:57:21 – 00:28:17:02
Sir John Hegarty
Yeah, they are. Everybody. Everybody. Well, I think it’s one of those things that, you know, when you talk about Charles Darwin and we are in a Darwinian moment, you could argue, you know, people say, oh, it’s survival of the fittest. An actual fact that isn’t actually what Darwin was saying. He was saying those that survive are those that adapt.

00:28:18:04 – 00:28:43:24
Sir John Hegarty
And if you think about it, it’s quite right. Being fit isn’t going to make you succeed if the world is completely changing, you know, it’s those who can adapt will survive and it’s that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to think about how we adapt. I mean, the clever word that people use is pivot. You know, we all talk about pivoting and all that, and it’s a bit of a kind of trendy word, but actually it’s a very true look at what you’re doing.

00:28:44:03 – 00:29:05:07
Sir John Hegarty
How should I adapt to the new environment? But also within that has that thing of, you know, we have all we accept all these sayings, don’t we? All the time. So that was it. I thought it was great that, you know, Charles Darwin actually didn’t say that it was survival, you know, the ability to adapt, which is what humans adapt.

00:29:05:16 – 00:29:29:22
Sir John Hegarty
And I always think a lovely one and maybe, maybe people will know this when we’re talking about commerce and things like that, is that, you know, that money is the root of all evil. And, you know, I said people not age wisely and oh, yes, money is the root of all evil. And that’s actually not the quote. The quote and it comes from the Bible is the love of money is the root of all evil.

00:29:30:12 – 00:29:37:15
Sir John Hegarty
And it completely transforms meaning, right? Yes. They said money is not the root of all evil.

00:29:37:15 – 00:29:39:19
Philippa White
It is a tool. It’s a tool.

00:29:39:23 – 00:29:57:03
Sir John Hegarty
But within that, you have that sort of so quick keep questioning. Is that really true? Is that what I do? And again, a creative kind of industry or a creative background teaches you that constantly question, constantly. You know.

00:29:57:21 – 00:30:01:16
Philippa White
If be constantly curious and constantly curious.

00:30:01:16 – 00:30:01:22
Sir John Hegarty
Yeah.

00:30:02:16 – 00:30:21:19
Philippa White
Yeah, exactly. Now, John, you’re all just to wrap things up. You’re always up to so many different things. I mean, even just the conversations here, you’re just your brain is just so busy and you’re so busy. So to wrap things up, I just perhaps you can tell our listeners what you’re working on at the moment or what you’ve been talking about lately.

00:30:21:19 – 00:30:25:14
Philippa White
What’s what’s what’s sort of the current thing that you can tell me?

00:30:25:16 – 00:30:53:22
Sir John Hegarty
Well, I’m at the moment at work now. I’m I’m a partner in a company called The Garage in Soho here in London. And we are what we call an early stage investment company. We help young entrepreneurs get finance and we help them find finance to get their ideas up and off the ground. So it’s a wonderful thing to be working on because you’re I mean, the reason I loved advertising and for many reasons, it’s a great educator.

00:30:54:12 – 00:31:13:14
Sir John Hegarty
But also you were you were working on so many different things at one time. You know, in the morning you might be doing fashion. In the afternoon you might be doing something in the automotive world. And later on that day, you might be doing something in finance or whatever it might be. So you are constantly moving from one industry to another and doing what I’m doing now.

00:31:13:14 – 00:31:33:14
Sir John Hegarty
It’s very similar. So you don’t know who’s going to come through the door with an idea. It might be anything, you know. And so that that knowledge, that skill, that ability to look at it and think about it and be able to go, well, we could help you here with this. Have you thought about that is a wonderful thing to do because it maintains your alertness.

00:31:33:14 – 00:31:55:03
Sir John Hegarty
It maintains your connection to the world. You want to be very connected to do that. You go reach self Lucas not be aware of what’s going on. So that excites me enormously. And we do talk about looking for businesses that make the world a better place. So, you know, when people come into is we, you know, somebody came in, I’ve got this new idea for a gambling app.

00:31:55:13 – 00:32:16:14
Sir John Hegarty
I think we’d be showing them the door to say, you know, to be honest with you, I don’t think we need a gambling app and we’ve got enough of those or somebody and another fashion. I think we might show them the door depending actually what it was doing. So that for me is is really, really interesting and I love that sense of constant challenge.

00:32:16:14 – 00:32:36:14
Sir John Hegarty
Seeing things grow. Sometimes they’re going to fail. You never know. And I that’s the other thing I always would say to people. You never know. And we all kind of, you know, people sort of say, oh, you know, with big data, we can now predict the future and build it. And I think, oh, really? So you can predict the weather, can you?

00:32:36:14 – 00:32:43:18
Sir John Hegarty
Then you can predict COVID, can you I with all the big data in the world, nobody predicted it over. You know, we’re all this massive.

00:32:43:23 – 00:32:44:12
Philippa White
Data.

00:32:44:16 – 00:33:11:04
Sir John Hegarty
And that’s going to transform everything. And of course, the other thing actually remember when people talk about data is the weather transforms it as well, is what it does tomorrow is going to be rains tomorrow. If you’re going to be out buying umbrellas, they’re not going to be buying sunshine green. So, you know, you never know. So again, you go back to, I think what you’re doing today, you can make really interesting and that will help you survive the future.

00:33:11:10 – 00:33:14:16
Sir John Hegarty
So that’s what I would say to people. Yeah.

00:33:15:17 – 00:33:24:19
Philippa White
Gosh. Well, John, it has been so nice to connect with you. And likewise, the last time I saw you in person was sort of, I don’t know, I guess probably a year ago.

00:33:24:19 – 00:33:25:18
Sir John Hegarty
And it was yeah.

00:33:25:23 – 00:33:34:13
Philippa White
It was summertime. It was summertime. It was sometimes it was about a year ago. So yeah, hopefully it won’t be long until I’m back in the UK, but for now I’m in quarantine. Well, sort of quarantine.

00:33:35:13 – 00:33:37:19
Sir John Hegarty
And I am too actually having just got back from France.

00:33:37:19 – 00:33:40:02
Philippa White
Oh yes. Because you just got back from France. Of course. Yeah.

00:33:40:06 – 00:33:41:14
Sir John Hegarty
I’m hardly enjoying.

00:33:41:14 – 00:33:42:18
Philippa White
Your two weeks.

00:33:42:18 – 00:33:43:07
Sir John Hegarty
Will do.

00:33:43:07 – 00:33:49:18
Philippa White
Yeah. Well, enjoy your two weeks in quarantine. Thank you so much for this. It’s just wonderful. And yeah, until the next time.

00:33:49:18 – 00:33:57:24
Sir John Hegarty
Absolute pleasure, Phillip. And congratulations to you. Retire and look forward to seeing the success of Accelerator produced accelerator.

00:33:57:24 – 00:33:59:01
Philippa White
Amazing. Take care.

00:33:59:21 – 00:34:00:06
Sir John Hegarty
Bye.

00:34:00:12 – 00:34:02:04
Philippa White
Okay, bye.

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