Piers Fawkes is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of PSFK.com, a go-to source for new ideas and inspiration for creative professionals. Each month, 1 million creative professionals turn to the site to unearth new ideas that enable product, service and marketing innovation. Piers also hosts conferences and salons around the world, during which he and his team bring to life the stories that are written about each day on PSFK.com. These events cater to people working at the cutting edge of cultural and business change.
The Essence of PSFK | We have these trend reports – they’re an expression of the robust analysis we do for clients like American Express and Apple. We look at certain subjects that are very interesting right now, like the future of gaming; we look at the future of real time information, the future of health, and the future of retail, which is probably our flagship.
Ideas that Excite | Our website is a go-to source for new ideas and inspiration, so everyday we mine the web and talk to people. We basically publish the ideas that excite us, 30-40 ideas a day. We also publish reports; sometimes we even do analysis. We have an events business, so we hold large conferences in London, San Francisco, New York, Singapore and we hold smaller salons and basically bring to life the conversations we have each day on the website.
On Information Sharing | We are the great sharers, before everything else. It’s been wonderful to have Twitter come along and Facebook so that the ideas could then be shared to a greater network.
Trends Of Brand Marketing | I think the two things that are coming through the retail report are: the idea of retail demands – i.e. where I want it, when I want it…and then secondly is that of the new brand champion – seeing how customers and shoppers are actually doing the work of brands. They’re being advocates for brands and being affiliates. They’re selling brand products; they’re even doing the customer service of brands.
Daily Actions and Habits | I wake up about 06h30 – 07h00. I spend about 3-4 hours researching. I spend a lot of time researching and during that time I really cut myself off. I don’t read my e-mails till about 09h00 or 10h00. I then come to the office and work on the website; I work with my editorial team for an hour or so. I get involved in reviewing what the consulting team are doing, talking to the events team and what they’re doing. I think my job is about the quality of thought
behind everything. My job is also to create a bridge to connect with readers, our clients and our network. So I think my job is actually to be the network for PSFK. I have to be the person going out there in the industry, telling people about what’s going on.
Best Advice | Take advantage of opportunities when they come along. You make your own luck; I think you create your own luck by working hard. Work really, really hard. It’s really rewarding. Work really hard and think about what makes people happy.
To Be Successful You Need To | Spend more time thinking about what people want. At the end of the of the day it’s trying to work out what people want, what your readers want, what your clients want, what your lecturer at college wants and then providing the answer.
On Making Money | We’re all going to have to find different ways of making money. I think the web is going to break down barriers. If you had a business which was about the restriction of information or the restriction of products, or restrictions of anything, the web is going to change that, like the music industry, like any content business. The changes that are happening to content businesses are going to happen to every business – you just have to find a different way of making money.
On Leadership | I think I set an example and then I involve people. I allow them to challenge what I did in the past, how I used to write the website, how I used to find consultancy. In the past we use to be outdated and so when I bring people in, there’s an expectation of them to meet what I did but it’s also an expectation to evolve the offering and that’s why they’re here.