The elephant in the room: The war between art and commerce

We’re not talking about it directly, but  let’s not kid ourselves, theres a war going on.

On one side, there are those of us who see the potential for interacting as one community (from producer to consumer) as a core value to be cherished and nurtured and as a linchpin to worthwhile, world-changing (and yes, wildly profitable) work.

On the other side, there are those for whom connection that is not in service to a marketing goal is an expendable luxury, for whom sitting back with arms folded and a “prove it” stance is preferable to opening up and saying “what if”, for whom asking about ROI is not actually meant as anything other than a conversation stopper and a muzzler of progress in the name of inertia.

You can probably tell by my descriptions which side I put myself on.

Underneath every “What is the ROI of caring?” argument and “Can’t we get an intern to run our Facebook page?” email is a silent “fuck you and what you stand for,” whether the sender is consciously aware of it or not.

The most valuable warriors in this battle are the ones in parts of the gray area between extremes, who have a better view of the common ground, and “speaking each others language” without compromising the core values of “their side” (i.e. without getting too close to the fence).  Do the creative people need to partner with the business people to figure out a way to get creativity done through the lens of business?  Yes.