I'm going to answer the questions in order. I'll do as many as I fancy in one post/sitting, and then continue with the rest very soon...
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given? asks Alistair
I did read somewhere quite recently that you should always aim to be the dumbest person in the room. Always ask the dumb question that everyone else is thinking but is too afraid to ask, in case they don't look cool or smart anymore. I like to try to be the dumbest person in the room. I also like Ben's thought of Always Do It For Real. It sums up how we've done lots of our best work at innocent.
What does the world need more of? What does the world need less of? And who was your favorite Muppet and why? asks Asi
The world needs more suitable spaces for people to live in and I think it needs less cars. I think it needs more people thinking long term and fewer people thinking about what stuff they can buy tomorrow. The world needs more people eating healthy nuts and seeds and less hydrogenated fat. All of the usual stuff. My favourite Muppets were Statler and Waldorf, because I didn't quite understand what they were there for, so always paid more attention when they came on, to see if I could work it out. I really couldn't stand Miss Piggy. Made my flesh crawl.
Do you think agencies sometime struggle with the idea of hiring outside help (freelancers) as they can feel that it compromises their teams 'completeness' and damages the egos of said teams? Can there be a future for the freelance creative? Or is my question naive and foolish? Or are there other reasons for not hiring freelancers? asks Charlie
I've never worked in an agency so I'm probably not the best person to ask. But I imagine that in a traditional agency, it might hurt the existing creatives if outsiders are brought in to crack a brief. I'm sure it might damage the ego of a team if an outsider did better work. The opposing argument is that I've met people who work in smaller agencies that can only continue to exist by bringing in brains/skills when they need them. These agencies are starting to lose their egos (a bit) and just concentrate on getting to the best work, regardless of ego, protocol or tradition. So there is definitely a place for the freelancer, as long as that freelancer has got some great work in his/her book, or is prepared to work for bugger all when young and hungry.
More answers soon...