PRAVEEN VIADYANATHAN

Praveen is the archetype of an incredibly interesting person!

He caught my eye with his pleasingly presented notebook-marketing musings which he shares regularly on his socials (more of that below).

He is a born rule breaker, occasional tie wearer and regular tea drinker.

His career as a strategic director and brand planner has seen him work with everyone from Vodafone, VICE and Volkswagen to KFC, IBM and ING, with campaigns that have been recognised at Cannes, the Effies and the Shortys.

Oh, and he also took a summer out to study Philosophy and Economics at Harvard.

He currently resides in Sydney, Australia and shares his workspace with some very colourful companions.

Enough of this, lets dive in.


What’s your dream client brief?

Skittles Super Bowl campaign


What one tip would you give someone looking to create their best work?

Check if their idea still sounds good when they’re drunk


If you were guaranteed the correct answer to one question, what would you ask?

If Karl Marx were back, would he despise the elitist organic movement and appreciate an egalitarian McDonald’s?


When you are gone, what would you like people to write for your obituary?

That there once lived this man who was from another planet


What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Door-to-door electricity salesman


What is your most used, ‘couldn’t live without’ phone app?

Mail app


What do you spend way too much money on?

Scandinavian clothing


Where is your happy place?

The time that’s called 'me time'


Last thing you searched for on your phone?

The fastest way to get there


What is something that I could learn right now, that will be useful for the rest of my life?

The mathematics of odds and probabilities


Most played song on iTunes/Spotify?

It’s usually what’s the most played right now: Cameo’s Back and Forth.


There are 5 empty seats at your table, who are your dream dinner party guests - from any time or place?

Aristotle (philosophy) Steve Jobs (business) Dame Iris Murdoch (literature)

Milton Friedman (economics)

Vincent van Gogh (art)


Quick fire….

Book or boxset? Boxset

Call or text? Text

Introvert or Extrovert? Ambivert

Netflix or YouTube? YouTube

Library or museum? Museum

Classic or modern? Classic


Finally, who would you like to see answer these questions in the spotlight?

Alain de Botton


Pigment ink pen: Uni Pin Fineliners by Mitsubishi Pencil Co.

Writing isn’t just an exercise in articulating thought, it’s a means to get our thoughts out; to tell us the things we never knew. Especially through an ink pen; which isn’t just a weapon of thought, but a free-flowing piece of craft that makes us want to write more.

Moleskine plain notebook: Black, Hardcover

There’s something refreshing about the limitlessness of an unruled notebook, which feeds the creative urge to resist the confines of lines, borders, rules and sanity. It's a canvas to think on; to scribble freely, in all directions.

A vintage tie with a clip

It's good to wear a tie at least twice a week. Your humble tie isn’t exclusive to Wall Street, Ivy League or Savile Row, it was originally worn by Chinese soldiers before Jesus was born. And in a world corrupted by the casual revolution, the tie is a means to rebel; to be appropriate. It keeps us polished, prepared and persistent.

Bone china teacup and saucer

Tea is a means to slow down, pay attention and take pleasure in the simple things. This idea of thinking it over tea feels refreshing even by the sounds of it. And tea tastes better in a delicate teacup and saucer; for ornate, handcrafted teacups flavour the feels, which is just as important as the tea itself.

Books

Merely being around books is enough to stroke the mind. Because the function of books — by the desk, on a wall, or in a library — isn’t just to enlighten, but to create a sense of profound existential disorientation; to remind us to be humble about the things we don't know.

A classic lamp

History and science tell us that creative enthusiasts lean instinctively towards darker hours and dimmer lighting; for it puts the mind in an exploratory mode. So giving your desk its classic lamp with subtle, yellow lighting lets you switch the mind on, literally, aesthetically and philosophically.

So I started revealing some of the pages in my notebook under #PraveensNotebook — available both on Linkedin and Twitter.


They're handwritten notes that people seem to like. Perhaps you will too. Here's one.

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2020