Questions for Messrs Jaffe, Chapman, Holtz and Hobson

OK, I’ll bite.

Following this week’s announcement that Shel Holtz, Neville Hobson and CC Chapman have been lured into the clutches of one Joseph Jaffe, I’ve only seen one post, from Michael Seaton, about their new “company”.

However, they have asked to be interviewed about this nameless new/social media company. After the Adam and Joe show fiasco (this is the only Adam and Joe show I actually listen to now) Jaffe lambasted his (loyal) listeners for not “picking up the gauntlet” and doing something. What exactly, he may or not have said. I think I fell asleep or turned off.

I saw a few commenters on CC Chapman’s blog wanting to interview the Fantastic Four but I thought, what the hell, I’ll do a new sort of interview, one that’s based out of my post and conducted in the comments. So here are my questions for Shel, Neville, Joseph, CC and anyone else who works for the newly minted company. Which, incidentally, I hope fares slightly better than the god-awful movie-of-the-comic I referenced.

*Update* Now with an answer!

  • What is the name of the new company? crayon.
  • What is the management structure? Who is CEO, who is on the executive board etc?
  • Did you receive VC/angel investment; if so, from who?
  • What’s your first year projected turnover?
  • What does your client pipeline look like? Do you have any clients for the new firm?
  • What is happening to your current clients – are they now clients of the un-named company?
  • From what I can gather, Shel has mostly internal comms clients and gets paid from the PR budget as does Neville; Joseph has “marketing” clients and would get a piece of the larger marketing budget as a result. How will this dichotomy get sliced up when it comes to paying the salaries/commission? I’m presuming that this isn’t an “eat what you kill” deal.
  • It’s easy to be a pundit when your income is determined by how contraversial your views are; but harder to be a consultant when you could end up criticising someone you or a colleague may be/about to be working with. For instance, CC could blast a U.S. company’s marketing campaign just before Neville is asked to work with their EMEA subsidiary. Do you forsee having to temper your collectively forthright views to reflect this?

Answers in the comments section please! Many thanks and good luck with your new venture.

*Update* some people are less than impressed though

12 Responses to Questions for Messrs Jaffe, Chapman, Holtz and Hobson

  1. David Jones says:

    Nicely done, Ed. I’m looking forward to the responses. By the way, you’re managing consulting roots are showing…🙂

  2. Ed, thanks for the good wishes.

    Terrific questions! Some terrific answers to come next week🙂

  3. Bryan Person says:

    So, it appears, a clarification is needed: We can interview them … but not until next week! What is that in blog years?🙂

    Couldn’t have asked the questions better myself, Ed.

  4. David Jones says:

    It’s the slowest launch using a the most immediate of mediums…I’m not on the edge of my seat…I’m getting bored and gearing up for an anti-climactic finish to this whole saga. Please prove me wrong.

  5. Ed Lee says:

    Bryan and Dave make good points.

    When commenting on the Edelman situation, shel said “The problem I still have is with how long it took to begin participating in the conversation. ”

    I think we all have the same problem with this new company.

    http://blog.holtz.com/index.php/weblog/edelman_walmart_update_richard_speaks_up/

  6. […] And my third item for this evening … the big announcement from the Fantastic Four. (Hat tip to Ed Lee — very clever.) CC Chapman, Neville Hobson, Shel Holtz and Joseph Jaffe team up to create “crayon.” From Shel: “What makes us different is that Joseph assembled us based on our passion for new media and the fact that we already live and breathe it. We sleep it. We eat it for lunch. And ultimately, that’s what motivated me to accept Joe’s offer and join crayon: the opportunity to work exclusively on these types of projects and the opportunity to work with this particular collection of people.” […]

  7. Lots of participation in the conversation, Ed. Look around. We all posted about the new company – crayon – on Sunday. More to come when we launch on Thursday. Have a little patience!

  8. Neville:

    I have to jump in on this one. I don’t think Ed’s being impatient at all (despite a rascal attempt by this blogger yesterday that may have suggested otherwise🙂 ).

    You posted this on your own blog on Sunday:

    “And if you do want to know more about crayon **before** our launch, each of us is willing to talk to you at any time during the coming week.” [asterisks my own]

    And from Shel’s post: “We’re also interested in talking to you. I’m available, as are Joseph and the rest of the team, for interviews and conversations. Joe has cleared his calendar for this week…”

    You certainly have posted about crayon, and there’s been plenty of chatter about it in the blogosphere in the past 48 hours. But none of those posts or discussions really answer Ed’s questions, save for the one about the company name and possibly the identity of the CEO (he’s been named somewhere, I think).

    Now I’m sure there may be some very legitimate business reasons that prevent you from answering some of these questions before Thursday, but that isn’t clear from your blog posts.

    Maybe it’s up to Ed to specifically request an interview?

    Personally, I’m very excited about crayon, and I want to see the company do great things in the marketing space. I think Ed’s questions are just a thoughtful way of trying to learn a little bit about how you’re going to do just that!

  9. Joseph Jaffe says:

    I’ll answer these questions tonight. My only question is why Neville has taken so long to respond🙂

  10. Joseph Jaffe says:

    Is this thing on?

    ———————————–

    Joseph – apparently you were caught in the spam filter!  really looking forward to the answers and, as JT says, “cutting through the hyperbole”…

    Ed

  11. Ed,
    Clever post. The best I’ve seen. And a great way to cut through the hyperbole. So thick….

  12. Joseph Jaffe says:

    What is the name of the new company? crayon.

    Q. What is the management structure? Who is CEO, who is on the executive board etc?

    A. Gary Cohen, a financial services veteran previously with Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Bankers Trust Company, serves as crayon’s CEO

    Management structure is as flat as Holland. Every single person in this company has equity and everyone is an owner. In terms of management, there are currently 2 executives as in Gary and myself, however we run this company based on strength of ideas and conviction, as opposed to the number of abbreviations in your title prefix.

    Q. Did you receive VC/angel investment; if so, from who?
    A. We are internally funded.

    Q. What’s your first year projected turnover?
    A. Here’s what I can share with you. Our 5 year plan with inspiration from Jim Collins and Roy Spence:

    Year 1: Built to survive
    Years 2-3: Bult to thrive
    Year 4: Built to last
    Year 5: Built to first

    …sorry, but I can’t give exact numbers right now. We haven’t even launched yet!

    Q. What does your client pipeline look like? Do you have any clients for the new firm?
    A. Do I look like Howard Dean?🙂 When we launch on Thursday, we will introduce 2 of our existing clients and over the next few months we will announce a few more…

    Q. What is happening to your current clients – are they now clients of the un-named company?
    A. Pretty much

    Q. From what I can gather, Shel has mostly internal comms clients and gets paid from the PR budget as does Neville; Joseph has “marketing” clients and would get a piece of the larger marketing budget as a result. How will this dichotomy get sliced up when it comes to paying the salaries/commission? I’m presuming that this isn’t an “eat what you kill” deal.
    A. We aren’t as complicated as this. If you think about it, we have corp comms and marketing people living and working side by side…where else have you seen that? Lions and Lambs….the end of the word is nigh! Seriously though, we may come from different directions/backgrounds, but right now we’re all on the same page.

    As for eating what you kill, can the lion eat the lamb? Does that count? We’re all in this together…that’s what equity is for.

    Q. It’s easy to be a pundit when your income is determined by how controversial your views are; but harder to be a consultant when you could end up criticising someone you or a colleague may be/about to be working with. For instance, CC could blast a U.S. company’s marketing campaign just before Neville is asked to work with their EMEA subsidiary. Do you forsee having to temper your collectively forthright views to reflect this?
    A. We respect the lifeforce. We respect freedom of speech and expression. CC’s blog is CC’s blog. Neville’s podcast is Neville’s podcast. We trust each other to be business-savvy, but more importantly we only answer to one “consumer”: the truth. Authenticity, integrity, honesty and passion must always prevail. If our clients can’t deal with that, we probably aren’t right for each other…

    Sorry again for the lag, but I hope those answers are sufficient. Thanks again for your interest and curiosity🙂

    JJ

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