David Ogilvy

Supported by Greenhaven Road Capital, finding value off the beaten path.

pablo (34).png

Much like our posts on Rory Sutherland, IDEO, and Bill Belichick, this is a deeper dive.

David Ogilvy succeeded as a Madison Avenue advertising executive for multiple reasons, including these three:

  • He was objective in his research. If the facts differ from your beliefs, change your beliefs rather than the facts.
  • He created advertising around big ideas. Images should aim to inspire intrigue, not win awards at Cannes.
  • He groomed a culture. Hire “gentlemen with brains” and give them the autonomy to do good work. Also, avoid bureaucratic bloat. “If you were a dairy farmer and kept cows, would you employ twice as many milkers as you have cows?”

You can read it here.

You can listen to it on Soundcloud, iTunes, or Overcast.

12 thoughts on “David Ogilvy”

  1. […] David Ogilvy advised young people to learn before they earn. That requires curiosity and humility. Charlie Munger saw this in his grandfather too:  “he had an attitude that was pretty damned extreme. And I would say his attitude was, you had a moral duty to make yourself as un-ignorant and as un-stupid as you possibly can.” […]


  2. If you’re fond of Ogilvy you should also check out his book, Ogilvy on Advertising. It’s the thing that introduced me to Ogilvy in the first place, and it’s excellent.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.