MATE 008 – Tommy McCubbin on why advertising sucks, avoiding start-up mistakes and podcasting

Tommy McCubbin—advertising Creative Director, dad and podcaster—joins me on MATE to discuss why he thinks advertising sucks, how to avoid the #1 start-up mistake and share his thoughts on podcasting. We jump right into his controversial opinions about the advertising industry and why traditional ads don’t work. Tommy reveals the harsh truth behind why his start-up failed and the warning signs he ignored. And we also talk about exciting new technology, trends in podcasting and how to succeed with side projects.

Tommy McCubbin recording MATE 008
Tommy McCubbin recording MATE 008


Topics and links:

    • Tommy’s podcast: Future Sandwich.
    • Family (not work) is the only thing that ultimately matters.
    • Writing lists to be productive
    • OmniFocus, the to-do list app mentioned in MATE episode 004, with Leigh Price.
    • Written lists reduce stress and get things out of your head
    • Why traditional ads suck (why we should be creating platforms and products instead of campaigns).
    • What does an advertising Creative Director do?
    • Why is advertising work called “the creative”?
    • Advertising teams were originally organised into departments by discipline; there’s a documentary film about it called Art & Copy.
    • The shift towards everyone in an ad agency being “creative”.
    • Happy Wife, Tommy’s gift reminder app (which has since been shuttered).
    • WhisperTip, bringing pub sports tipping to the 20th century.
    • Why you shouldn’t fall in love with your start-up idea
    • Prove your concept by trying to extract cash from people for your start-up prototype
    • Friends are the worst judges of your start-up because they’re inherently biased
    • The Future Sandwich podcast was modelled off Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
    • The trend of narrative journalism in podcasts (i.e. shows with a “story arc”).
    • Recent Future Sandwich episodes:
    • Here’s the video of PJ Vogt talking about how the best podcasters on Earth don’t even really know what they’re doing:

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MATE podcast is a show about Marketing, Advertising, Technology and Entrepreneurship. Hosted by Adam Jaffrey: Digital Strategist and Entrepreneur. Made with ❤ in Melbourne, Australia.

MATE podcast is a production by branded podcast agency Wavelength Creative.