May 16, 2021

Programmatic

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The secret of my success

AUCKLAND, Yesterday: Writer (and BCF co-founder) Paul Catmur has penned another thoughtful reverse-motivational piece for the Herald on Sunday business section, in which he asks: “Are you smart enough to be mediocre?”

Effectively, it’s a follow-up to A Manifesto for Mediocrity, written in March for the Herald on Sunday.

Of his own modest beginnings, he writes: “I possessed determination, a strong work ethic, and a reasonable writing style.


“The beauty of Catmur’s meaningful meanderings is that he doesn’t write like you’d expect an adman to.”


“I was OK at presenting, had avoided dependence on drugs (well, other than the holy trinity of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine) and generally had a decent working relationship with the people around me (fact unchecked).

“While some may dispute even these qualities, it was a start. I was on my way to being quite good.

“But what about you? Are you smart enough to be mediocre?”

Paul Catmur, having to a certain extent come to terms with his own failings, went on to become ECD of DDB NZ, George Patts Y&R Melbourne and Barnes Catmur & Friends Dentsu.

  • Read the full story here (you may need a Premium sub
  • Catmur’s March piece here
  • Michael Goldthorpe’s take here

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