I travelled more than 50.000 kilometres to find out.

12 planes, 6 trains, countless Ubers and almost 500km on foot.

Last year I visited 50 modern marketing agencies to interview their visionary leaders and dive into their culture. I called this adventure Agency Safari, a 3-month quest to find and document some of the wildest companies in the industry. This is the first of many articles where I’ll share my findings, and hopefully help shed some light on the future of the agency business model.

© MAD Streets

Progress is a better guiding principle than perfection or growth

Where did the first half of the year go?

If you’re anything like me, you started the year with big ideas and ambitious goals. But, 7 months after, you haven’t seen as much progress as you’d like. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work, and to delay those long-term projects until "later”.

Last week I had time to check in on my goals, and figure out how to make the most of the rest of the year. But one idea kept coming to my mind. The idea of progress as an alternative to perfection.

I’ve always been proud to be a perfectionist, but recently I…

A quest to find the world’s wildest creative companies.

“The vast majority of what the advertising industry produces isn’t brilliant or even good. Most of what we put out into the world is banal, mediocre, unremarkable. Some of it is much, much worse — patronizing, insulting, hectoring, polluting, stupid, intrusive, toxic. Perhaps this is not surprising at all.

Martin Weigel

Technology has changed a lot in my lifetime, but how ad agencies are run has not. Most are still 20th-century companies living in a 21st-century world, slowly becoming irrelevant to people, business and young talent. …

A brief summary of Ashlee Vance’s book “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future”

In January I read “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future”, written simply and well by Ashlee Vance. This biography took me on a journey into the brilliant and difficult character of one of today’s most successful and innovative business leaders.

Musk is often compared to Steve Jobs or to early industrial titans like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, but for me there’s no one quite like this South African-born entrepreneur, inventor and engineer. Elon Musk combines long-range vision and deep technical intelligence to build solar panels, electric cars and space rockets, all…

In 2018 I’m only reading 12 books

In January I made a list of 12 life-changing books to read in 2018. Only one book a month might sound like a modest goal, even for a slow reader like me, but my real challenge is to go deeper on each one of these 12 books.

Why read less books?

It feels like everything I read or learn is stored away on some remote part of the brain to make room for the absurd new amount of information we need to process everyday. Remembering stuff is becoming harder and harder (at least for me). Every time I read a good book I feel…

Between strategy projects at comOn, a 3-week trip to the US and launching a newsletter called MADvice, I tried to spend a little more time reading, listening and thinking.

This is a list of the 17 most surprising things I learned last year, in chronological order. If you’re curious, click here to see all the 173 random learnings and thoughts I wrote down during the year.

  1. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply. [Stephen R. Covey]
  2. If you refrained from eating meat just one day per week, you’d do more…

We rarely want to be led, but we’ll gladly follow.

I’ve come across many people who are leaders just by title. They are “the boss”, and we do what they say because they have authority over us. But I bet nobody would follow them willingly. There are also many people, sometimes even at the lower levels of an organization, who don’t have any kind of authority but are true leaders. The key difference between them is that the latter choose to look after the people at their side. Or using Simon Sinek’s words:

“We call them leaders because they go first, because they take the risk before anybody else does…

I’m a firm believer that you’re never still. If you’re not growing, you’re already dying. That’s why my 26th MADweeks celebration was all about my need for constant growth, my willingness to learn.

I asked 60 friends for their opinion and advice. Those friends included family, childhood buddies, but also bosses, co-workers and even clients. The idea was to reflect on my first 30 years of life and plan for the next 30.

These are 13 things I learned from this survey:


When asked to select my top 3 characteristics, more than half of my friends described me as creative…

9 things I learned after 30 MAD weeks

My 30th birthday is in two days! It’s my golden birthday, I’m turning 30 on the 30th of April, and I have no idea how to celebrate it. My friends keep asking if there will be a party or a dinner. After dodging the question for days, I finally come up with a last minute idea: to celebrate my birthday 30 times. Who said you can only celebrate it once, right? I made a list of 30 things I was grateful for and celebrated each one with a mad experience every week, for 30 weeks straight. I called it #30MADweeks.

Ready to walk a mile in my shoes?

Me and RJ Bush are starting a collection of stories about empathy and human understanding. It’s called EmpaFit, a gym to exercise our empathy muscles.

Without Empathy Our World Would End

“We live in a culture that discourages empathy. A culture that too often tell us our principle goal in life is to be rich, thin, young, famous, safe and entertained.” -Barack Obama

The further we progress into the age of information, the less we use our minds. We are surrounded by all types of artificial intelligence that do all the thinking for us. …

Filipe Macedo

Trying to put complex stuff into simple words.

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