Do you believe what advertising tells you?

If yes, well ... I don’t know ... read this book anyway, I guess. Most people don’t. Nowadays, a relationship to a company is most often built through product experience, not just advertising.

But brand thinkers are still often being left out of the process of product innovation until the new product needs to be launched. And on agency side, we still have massive organizations working for just a tiny piece of the brand, the advertising. When you look at these organizations, you will realize that they have much of the same creative talent you will find in a startup incubator in Silicon Valley, and yet these environments are primarily used to create things like funny videos, rather than successful companies.

This is not the talent’s fault. It’s the fault of an agency model that is not set up to build or maintain more than just content.

Agency folks know that and feel how their influence is slipping away, so in order to conquer more than just advertising, agencies are creating “Labs” and internal incubator to show they got it. But let’s be honest, most of these are bullsh** PR tactics that are not taken seriously inside the company. These “Labs” are still living in the same old structures of the ad agency and the people involved still have to do their advertising client work first, before they’re allowed to put their “twenty percent” into the lab.

This book provides an analysis of how product innovation is treated in agencies today. It shows how the model can be changed to cultivate an environment and business model that creates successful, new products, as well as deeper agency-client relationships. It also provides a blueprint for motivating and empowering team structures that will help to get the most out of employees and their talents. And it will conclude with actionable tips for brand managers and agency execs to start right now.


A great product is the best marketing

Why should I care?

Disposable things

The talent agency gap

Hi. You're in the business of everything

Agencies make great accelerators


Product innovation in an ad agency

Product development is different than campaign development

Spike and Die

Holding companies force agencies into short-term thinking?

Honesty in a service industry

My success is your success

From Vendor to Founder

Value your most valuable asset: ideas

Make making a product a product

There is no such thing as free ideas


Collaboration vs. Committees

Looking good vs. doing the right thing

Destroy the meeting floaters

The magnificent trio

DB - Decision Back Up

Enable, don't direct

Erase the fear of failure

Zeitgeist beats experience

If someone tells you this is how it's done, there is probably a better way to do it.

Skill Cloud

Horizontal People Development vs. Vertical People Development

Building teams with Skill Cloud


The eco-system of happiness

The cycle of mediocrity
Partner with your clients (or agency)


Five to six types of digital products

A product idea as a communication tool

Use your product as advertising

Treat it like a startup, because it is

The product is never finished

Do it better

It's easier to add a dollar than to get a dollar

The two-year-overnight-success

Failing is part of the process

About mistakes

A brand is built by what it does, not by what it says or looks like

Kill the manifesto

Function is branding


Expectations are meant to be broken

The list of things that suck

Look elsewhere

Map of needs

Feature creep & Negativity

Using an innovative technology doesn't make an innovative idea

If something is impossible, invent it

A Process
90 Days

Seek destruction

Promote it when it's done

Let your product promote itself

Tell people what it is

The price is right

Your newest creation should be the best you've ever done

The product checklist

Now, please kill the lab

Last words by a special someone


Leif Abraham is a product guy with an advertising background. Currently, he’s Partner at Prehype in New York, a venture innovation firm that is incubating new digital companies on behalf of corporations and VCs and also serves as Creative Director of Bark&Co. He is also a mentor at Rock Health, an accelerator for health startups, Urban.Us an accelerator for startups that solve urban challenges and teaches product innovation at the Miami Ad School.

Before that he was Creative Director, Product Experience at West Studios in San Francisco. A startup accelerator that helps tech companies like Jawbone and Rdio grow. He was also a Creative Director at R/GA New York where he created digital products and campaigns for companies like Google, McCormick, MasterCard, A&E’s Duck Dynasty and more. And worked at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky on Guitar Hero and Best Buy, and at Jung von Matt Hamburg on Mercedes Benz. He has won over 150 awards, including two Cannes Lion Grand Prix and a MTV OMusic Award. His work has been featured in various international media outlets, like The Atlantic, FastCompany, Forbes Magazine, TechCrunch, Brand Eins, Creativity, INC, as well as a, no doubt, very popular TV show in Thailand. In 2011, AdWeek named him one of the "top 10 most creative minds in digital." Leif is the co-founder of Pay with a Tweet, a social payment system that lets people sell and buy stuff for the price of a Tweet. In 2013, Pay with a Tweet got acquired by HanseVentures, Germany. He co-authored the book "Oh My God What Happened And What Should I Do?"" a guide for marketing in the digital age that sold more than 350k copies online for the price of a tweet.