Rance Crain at ADWKDC 2016

By Cary Hatch, CEO, MDB Communications

The legendary president and editorial director of Crain Communications and Editor in Chief of Ad Age captivated attendees at ADWKDC’s opening session this year.  The Crain empire is celebrating 100 years in business as a family-owned company; quite remarkable in today’s world.  Rance Crain shared his early beginnings with Ad Age as a cub reporter and his sage insights over his 50-year history with this storied company.  He went on to punctuate the importance of entrepreneurial spirit as the key ingredient to building a century of publishing success.  His top 10 “Rules for Successful Entrepreneurs” follow:

  1. Timing – it has to the right time to advance your idea or company
  2. Distinct point of view – your POV or offering must be unique
  3. Enthusiasm – it’s mandatory
  4. Be lucky – enough said
  5. Be confident – if you don’t believe who else will?
  6. Trust – trust your people and show respect
  7. Be opportunistic – seek and recognize opportunities
  8. Be optimistic- see the possibilities,  less the hardships
  9. Make a nice place to work – this is key to your employees
  10. Have fun – it matters

Of the ten rules, Rance pointed to numbers 3 and 9; enthusiasm and providing a nice place to work as the most important in building a successful organization.

Additional industry observations included his recognition of customer fatigue with cyber stalking (retargeting) and the palpable “low ebb” of client-agency relationships and the apparent abandonment of brand building over time.

The lasting inspiration and wisdom of Rance Crain’s remarks energized the attendees who were fortunate enough to hear him. We were so fortunate to have such a remarkable industry icon address the 13th annual ADWKDC.

(Photo:  Cary Hatch, CEO, MDB Communications, a Capitol Communicator sponsor, and Rance Crain)



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