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source: Blake Richard Verdoorn via Unsplash

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. — Seneca

The other day, I came across the quote above that perfectly characterized my current situation.

I’ve taken on a new role, as Head of Research for Spark, a strategy, research, and integrated marketing communications agency with offices in San Francisco and New York. Only a week or so ago I left Gigaom, where I had been serving as Head of Research, and after 6 years of working there.

The part of research work I’ve always enjoyed the most — and which benefits my clients the most, too, I think — is working closely with a small number of clients, and becoming deeply involved in their plans, products, and programs.

While I have had the opportunity to do that with many clients over the past years, much of the work at Gigaom involved the other side of that equation: working with a large roster of companies on a more shallow level. That’s the pattern when writing a market analysis of a product niche, like a review of the leading work chat products, for example.

This does not mean that I am no longer interested in work chat technology and its impact on work practices. On the contrary, my interest in that and the myriad other product areas I’ve researched remains unabated. If anything, I’m looking forward to working in a broader range of industries. For example, last year I was involved with a hotel multinational on the launch of a new hotel concept, and I’ve advised clients in music, media, and finance in recent years.

I have already experienced a widening of my focus at Spark, which is one of the reasons I originally suggested working here. I came into Spark’s orbit when senior managers there brought me into a few projects earlier in 2016. It quickly became clear to me that a future-leaning researcher could do a great deal for their existing clientele. Just as importantly, I started to understand that research connects with the strategy and integrated marketing communications activities to yield something greater than the sum of the parts.

I will be sharing more about this new beginning over the coming weeks and months, both here, at stoweboyd.com, and the Spark blog. Let me know if you’d like to connect and talk about this in more detail.

Tobin Trevarthen, Spark’s Chief Narrative Officer, who I been working with on several projects this summer, had this to say:

I am personally very excited to have Stowe join our team. His new beginning is fuel to the emergence of Perpetual Studio — a new division within Spark that will focus on developing breakthrough narratives for companies that are in change, need change and or help with defining a new category that literally changes the existing status quo. Stowe will bring the futurist “lean in” texture and research discipline to our Agile Narrative process that will enable us to take this vision to the next level. Today, every company is a challenger brand. Our respective quest is to find the unseen and undiscussed whitespace from which to mold a new beginning. Welcome aboard Stowe.

And Alan Soucy, Spark’s CEO, has the final word:

We’re thrilled to add Stowe to our team. The complexity of our clients’ needs within the ever-changing media landscape are demanding more research and insights before marketing strategies take shape. His unique perspective on the industry today, and his informed outlook on the future, will add enormous value to our clients and the overall direction of Spark. Welcome Stowe. Onward and upward!

Originally posted at stoweboyd.com.

Written by

Founder, Work Futures. Editor, GigaOm. My obsession is the ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

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