Stick-to-it-ness and lightning bolts

There's a fine balance to success. One really must be steadfast and committed; you gotta see it through. But one must also be open and willing to change, to adapt, to roll with the punches.

For me, tenacity can easily become stubbornness. And once it does, I have to wait it out, until I have that hit-over-the-head, lightning-bolt idea that breaks it all wide open. And I think it's this way for most of us, creatives and business folk alike.

In our weekly yoga class yesterday, our instructor relayed the idea of Shakti, or the divine creative force of the universe - think Star Wars - in a way I'd not heard before. She said, "when you're born, Shakti is breathed into your body, and it is breathed out when you die. So every breath you take feeds your Shakti."

Breath is persistent. You can't just stop doing it. (Duh.)

But we all have a tendency to breathe lightly, shallowly, not fully and deeply. We slump over our computer keyboards, squint into emails, rising from our desks only to grab a soda or gossip at the water fountain. We tend to unconsciously avoid feeding our own little piece of Shakti, our own creative life force. And we wonder why a particular project, venture or idea isn't succeeding.

It has to be fed. You have to buckle down, breathe deeply, stir up your Shakti and run with those lightning-bolt ideas it brings. You have to cultivate your stick-to-it-ness in order to reap the benefits adaptation brings.

Ryan McGinness, a very modern and graphic American painter, said this:

I think there is something to be said for ‘stick-to-it-ness.’ You have got to be in it to win it. ... When you realize that you just have to do what you do and not worry about whether or not it fits the mold or a model of what art is, then you’re truly making innovative or breatkthrough — and at the very least honest — work.

I think this is the secret not only to creativity, but to innovations and successes in all realms. And it hit me yesterday after yoga, this is what Function: strives to do every day, with every initiative for every client. We certainly don't fit any mold or model. We take it all in, swish it around, and come out with the good stuff. We dig out creative solutions by any means necessary. We keep ourselves open to inspiration while our noses are firmly to the grindstone. We seek balance as well as success.

So take a deep breath, settle into yourself and make something awesome.

angela mitchell
art director
FUNCTION:we’re into building things through marketing, design and public relations

Introducing the Construct Knowledge Marketing Exchange

If you're familiar with Function:, you know we are always up on the latest trends in marketing building products (and often creating some of these trends). We recently completed a pair of industry studies, one on targeting the contractor in 2011 and another on marketing building products in 2011.

As a marketing leader in the building and construction industry, Function: believes sharing knowledge from these findings and other relevant market trends is beneficial to our clients and the industry as a whole. Over the course of these studies, many participants expressed interest in not only seeing the results but also learning about the latest best practices in marketing building products.

Based on this demand, Function: is creating The Construct Knowledge Marketing Exchange, a live interactive meeting space/virtual forum for small groups of non-competing marketers of building products to come together to discuss marketing best practices and trends, share successes, insights and ideas, listen and learn from each other.

Facilitated by Function:, participants will login to view discussion topics and meeting agenda, slides, etc. on screen and can use their computer speakers or call-in via phone to discuss with their peers. We are keeping the groups small to allow for everyone to get an opportunity to talk. We expect the Exchange to last about an hour and sessions will be scheduled depending on participants availability.

Interested Building Product Manufacturers please email with their company and product category/division
and timeframe that best fits your schedule. Function: assembles the participants into groups of non-competing manufacturers, organizes the scheduling, meeting agenda/discussion topics and then communicates back to the group prior to the Exchange.

We are very excited about the Exchange and look forward to developing it into a helpful resource for the industry.

ted hettick
director of client development
business analyst

FUNCTION: we’re into building things through marketing, design and public relations

Living in Enronia?

A recent article on the Harvard Business Review Blog argues that the early failures of energy-giant Enron are similar to those plaguing the current global economy. Author Umar Haque says that before Enron’s spectacular demise, before the scandal and the bankruptcy and “creative accounting fraud,” was a fundamental and perhaps not entirely purposeful misstatement of their benefits and costs that skewed incentives for investors early on in their financial misguiding. Similarly, he says, in the atrophy of real profits and capital progress, the global economy has taken to undercounting its costs and overcounting its benefits, risking a similar flailing downfall to the once-great Enron or any corporation that took the same destructive path.

Haque’s main argument is that Enron’s biggest problem wasn’t their corruption or their fiscal strategy, but the way they represented themselves; the way they went about their marketing—to investors, to the media, to other businesses and eventually to consumers. Without undergoing an extensive economics or business refresher course, this could be a tough argument to dismantle, but one simple reaction to his general idea is this: could better marketing have saved Enron? And further, is marketing a way to subvert this future crisis in other sectors of our deeply-flawed but potentially resilient global economy?

It’s certainly something to think about.

jessi probus

public relations specialist
FUNCTION:we’re into building things through marketing, design and public relations

Construct. Build. Evolve.

At Function: our focus is reaching architects and designers. We're always faced with the challenge of uniquely marketing and promoting our clients' products to this audience, but now we've decided to create a challenge of our own. A depressed economy have made for some tough years in the industry, but we want to move past that and look at the future. We want to know how architects would want to build it. What they see in the future for themselves and for their communities.

So, this Spring, we are inviting architects, designers, contractors, students and our neighbors to join us for “Construct. Build. Evolve.” and answer the question: how would you build the future? During the event we will be featuring birdhouses constructed by architects from recycled materials and building product samples, which will “house” participants’ responses to the question. By hosting this thought experiment via a community event, we are hoping to connect the architecture and design community with new ideas and fresh insights, and learn more about how we can all shape our future.

The best part of this event, for me, is seeing the motivation by everyone in the studio. We love doing great work, but even more, we relish in doing work with a meaning. This event is all of that and more. It has been a wonderful team building experience, bringing together all we do from inspiring marketing and design to articulate PR and event coordination. It's something we all strongly believe in and the determination has been incredibly motivating. It's amazing how a single idea can grow with such strength when you truly believe in something.

We brainstormed the idea over the past months, and it grew and grew. Joslyn and Jessi had brilliant thoughts as to how we can promote it, from social media including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to traditional outreach. Their motivation connected us with the Atlanta AIA chapter and NAHB. They continue to identify new avenues of reach.

Angela headed up the design, and wow, did she embrace it. Her motivation has been inspiring. Starting with the branding and naming, she took it on. Her passion shows in the microsite - check it out! She didn't stop there. She employed the help of her architect friend Nathan Koskovich to spread the word and signed him on as our first architect.

We also don’t want the fabulous creations of our architects to go to waste, so to continue the positivity for the future, we will be donating the houses to shelters, nursing homes and schools.

I was amazed by the encouragement and excitement of our clients to help donate old samples and join the movement. We couldn't have done this event without their donations. And thankfully, we are all thrilled to weed through our own product samples that have been stashed in the studio! Everyone has been collecting corrugated boxes to create and cut our birds for the event.

It's things like Construct. Build. Evolve. that remind me how much I love what I do. Join us....and give us your insight as to how you would build the future.


Carnegie Mellon University Gates and Hillman Centers
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

Fairfield County, Connecticut
Gray Organschi Architecture

Samitaur Tower
Culver City, California
Eric Owen Moss Architects

Graeme Mann and Patricia Capua Mann

Lev-Gargir Architects

Yas Hotel
Abu Dhabi
Asymptote Architecture