A contributing writer for Fast Company, Lucas Conley is an experienced journalist with an eye for stories that change how we see the world. Widely published in a number of fields, his work has appeared in The Boston Globe, SPIN, and ESPN: The Magazine, among other publications.
Question: Did corporate America resist your project?
Lucas Conley: No, not until...really not until the book’s been out. I think the joke... kind of running joke was while I was reporting is that nobody thinks they are the problem. They know that there is a problem but nobody wants to admit that they are part of the problem, and this is true even of the folks at Procter and Gamble who use these massive word of mouth campaigns, these 250,000 teens, 600,000 moms, which amounts to 7% of U.S. moms with a kid of 19 or under in the house. They did... They don’t see a problem with not telling those people to reveal their connection, which to me... I couldn’t believe it but that... I found that again and again when I talked to branders even if they were branders who were just redesigning a package of Tylenol or a new bag of Lay’s potato chips. They saw the fact that they were just designing a new package because Wal-Mart or Target wants one, as just part of the market, part of the system, and that maybe the cycles are speeding up and we have to design a new package every three months or every six months to keep consumers’ interest, but nobody feels like they are part of the problem. They feel like they’re part of the solution.
Recorded on: 7/23/08