Having worked with more than 40 television networks, created over 220 original series, and just north of 1600 episodes of television under their belts, it's no wonder that Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato have created a World of Wonder. Quite literally, World of Wonder was formed in the 1980's to manage the business affairs of the duo's early pop music career, and over the years became a film making power house, documenting the likes of Monica Lewinsky, Chaz Bono, RuPaul, and most recently produced HBO's MAPPLETHORPE - LOOK AT THE PICTURES.
During my interview with them on Innovation Crush, we explore the ins and outs of fringe culture, the journey of entrepreneurship, the power of storytelling, the art of pitching, and innovation made simple.
Here, are a few tips from the conversation about changing minds and perception:
Turn Your Pitch Into An Experience.
According to the duo, a great majority of their pitches are not simply PowerPoint presentations on a screen, or promises of what experts will be involved or which audiences will consume their projects. Instead, they take time to build personal rapport and add unforgettable creative flair (they once took an exec out of the building and into a limousine to drive around as they pitched) in effort to create a memorable experience. Even if they don't get the green light, their presence is forever immortalized in the minds of decision-makers.
Give a Voice to the Voiceless.
If there's one thread to Randy and Fenton's work, it's giving a voice to those on the outskirts of society. The misunderstood and unexplored areas of our culture. Any entrepreneur or storyteller worth their weight is great at finding these lanes, studying them, and building a product around them. In the case of MAPPLETHORPE, this was doubly true, as Robert himself, was an expert what I call "shock and awesome" - the ability to present subculture boldly and in your face. Developing the skill to identify these lanes and their usefulness to the world is the key to originality.
KISS: Keep it Simple, Stupid.
When asked to define innovation, Fenton responds simply, "Overrated." As much as we try to outdo ourselves and each other with the next and new and the wow, simplicity should always remain at the core of the message and experience we're trying to deliver. If you can't state your idea in less than one sentence-- and not a long, run-on sentence like this one-- you either need to rethink your pitch, or your idea.