From the Rails 6 (The Final One)

Well folks, I’m on my way to San Francisco. That means from here on out, I’ll be located in California until the trip has come to an end. On a similar note, this is actually the final train ride of my journey, as I’m hopping a plane to LA and then another back to Cleveland. Am I nervous about it all? Of course. Am I just as equally excited? Absolutely. But that brings me to what I wanted to write about today, as I stare off into the west coast’s endless tree-covered hills and snow-capped mountaintops.

When I first embarked on #TGAA, I scrambled to gain as many online followers as I could. I was so sure that I needed to amass as many likes, retweets, links and mentions as possible. What I’ve since learned is that I had the whole thing backwards. This project isn’t about any of that. Sure, I utilize the Internet to tell the project's story and spread the word about what’s going on. But at its core, #TGAA is about connecting people in the real world; showing people what’s possible; and proving there are opportunities out there you may have never thought to consider—places you never thought to go.

The gravity of this project is not lost on me and neither is my unique position to help others. I may not broadcast all of the things we’ve done along the way, but my hope is that there are now plenty of people out there who can sing their own personal praises for the project. That’s because, whenever I find a line I can help connect, I jump on the opportunity to do so. And I truly believe these are the things that help measure the overall success of our project. I’ve connected musicians with labels, job hunters with headhunters, agencies with apps, writers with artists and individuals with publications. These real world connections are an element that has grown out of #TGAA over time and that—to me—is magical.

While I do my best to open a window into the ever-changing world I’m currently living in, there are limits to what I write about. That’s because the last thing I want to do is cheapen the interactions I have with people along the way. I’ve had drinks with executives, lunches with entire creative teams and picked the brains of musicians, authors and artists alike. Yet, aside from adding their names to the ‘Great People’ page, I’ve elected not to mention many of them in the blog. I feel the anonymity that comes with knowing our interaction is off-the-record helps people relax and be themselves. In turn, this creates more meaningful conversations. Plus, the last thing I want is for someone to think I’m only talking to him or her, just so I have content for the blog.

Of course, the information I gather does make it to everyone in many other ways—even if it’s not attributed to anyone in particular. Every piece of advice—every tidbit of information—has been shared in one form or another. Whether it’s the topic of a blog, through an on-campus Q&A, a one-on-one chat with a junior creative or in response to an inquisitive email, I strive to share everything I learn on our journey. So, trust me when I say, I’m not hoarding any of this newfound knowledge. Most of it is already out there. And as always, if there’s anything you want to know, just ask. This project has always been an open book and that’s what it will always be.

-Steve-

Day 232

Yesterday, I went to the live theater broadcast of Monty Python Live (Mostly). It was an incredible time that saw the audience break into song on more than one occasion. If you’re able to catch any of the replays this week, I highly recommend it. The Pythons’ creativity is inspiring on so many levels, even after all these years. Aside from that, my weekend consisted of running—and lots of it. And since I’m sure no one wants me to ramble on and on about the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series, I thought I’d talk a little about TRIS3CT.

If there’s one question I've been asked more than any other this month it has to be, “What’s with the ‘3’ in TRIS3CT?” Well, now that I’ve finally infiltrated their headquarters, I think it’s about time I provided an answer.

I should admit that when I first noticed the 3, I was a bit hesitant about its presence. You see, I grew up listening to a lot of heavy metal and in the 90’s that meant some questionable nu-metal groups, some of whom loved adding numbers to their names. (i.e. 40 Below Summer, Apartment 26, Project 86, Primer 55, Powerman 5000). So, when I saw 'TRIS3CT' it gave me some pretty dicey flashbacks to parachute pants, eyeliner and fishnet. Thankfully those have passed and I’ve since learned to love the ‘3’. That’s mostly because I discovered it wasn’t there for the sake of being different. No, the ‘3’ serves a purpose that goes well beyond delivering a unique name.

The ‘3’ is a reference to the agency’s defining principles—fearless, inventive, humanistic. It’s also the essence of their culture and a staple of their décor. As it says on their website, everyone here “believes that when these 3 forces of good come together, something powerful is created. Strategy becomes stronger. Ideas work harder. Results jump higher. Pigs literally take flight”.

It just goes to prove that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. TRIS3CT is an agency that knows what it can do and how to do it. I’m three weeks in and I can confidently say that everyone here believes in the ‘3’ and embodies what it stands for by pursuing those defining principles and strengthening their presence with each new project.

My hope is that by explaining this, I can help others out there learn to love the '3' as well. Oh and on a bit of a side note, if you aren’t yet, be sure to follow @TRIS3CT on Twitter. I’m taking it over at 3:33 everyday to document the various “threes” that can be found throughout the office.

-Steve-