It came down to a simple concept: great work comes from balanced people who know their shit.

We are on a mission to stay well-versed.

There is something about people that are always on a quest to learn. I have always really admired their beliefs, their actions, and how they conduct themselves. The pursuit for the better is something that most people value, but like myself, struggle to live out. It was high time that we decided to take this seriously as an organization.

As an agency, we act on behalf of others. It is our responsibility and goal to be keenly empathic when finding creative solutions. To do this effectively, we need to be strong learners that are curious about the world around us. This goes beyond sharing the typical marketing blogs and publications. As great as those are, it’s too easy to find ourselves stuck in a bubble of information. As stated in an earlier blog, stagnation and routines can ruin a business over time. We are creatives, and we need to ensure that we are keeping things fresh with new ideas and perspectives.

We set off to shape this vision and make it more of a reality. Between our two offices, we have such a deep network of intense readers and learners, so there was no shortage in great thinkers with helpful resources. We just needed to tap into that pool and activate that mindset. With this goal in mind, we decided to launch a blog series focused on compiling fascinating content beyond the realm of marketing. The Mixtape was born. It’s a hodge-podge of long and short-form editorial, YouTube channels, microsites, and many other mediums, from around the web and it goes live every single Monday.

There’s way too much crappy content out there.

The internet has been maturing in wild and unpredictable ways. There are literally entire careers focused on understanding how we use the internet and, more importantly, how it shapes us. Of the many digital evolutions in recent years, one of them is the rampant growth of content production. It’s everywhere. It’s almost to the point where it has become annoying and more of a nuisance than a resource. It’s a struggle most people can relate to, and the way these emotions have manifested is interesting to think about. Most people desire to be better tomorrow than who they are today. We want to be more disciplined and pursuing a greater purpose, but then we continuously fall short and default to what’s easy, to what is simple and entertaining. It’s this common behavior that has given rise to way too much crappy content. Rather than in-depth reading and knowledge, we have become fanatics for random tweets, nonsense listicles, and other largely uninformative formats that we keep digesting without thought. How many times have you seen an article starting with “10 ways to…” and it turns out to just be trash, completely not helpful to what you were actually searching for. It’s just ridiculous to me how often this occurs. The democratization of writing, photography, public reviews, and other creative outlets has been great for furthering culture and society, but it has also suppressed our ability to actually be adept thinkers and learners.

With that said, we knew we didn’t want to contribute to that chaos. We didn’t want our blog and content to just be more nonsense for the world. We wanted to write and think deeper, to create blog posts with a stronger sense of purpose. The Mixtape fell nicely in line with that vision. Yes, the Mixtape is literally a small list of great reads, but the philosophy behind it is important. We created a space where readers can always find great and powerful content that we are reading ourselves. With this small step, we are slowly building a space where we can discuss and debate about the work we do and how we build solutions to creative problems.

We decided to share this with others. It creates a sense of transparency about what we do.

Of course, we could have just shared this internally. We do, after all, already have a wild channel on Slack that is a peek into the unpredictable hive mind of the agency. It would have been totally acceptable to share this content around the office, and a lot of this already happens. But we decided it was much better to make this public. We know you can always find great content on your own, but The Mixtape provides it in a great way that our followers, partners, and employees can read together. Through this, can share ideas and thoughts, not keep it to ourselves.

This transparency was a big part of it all. As we grow and work with new people, The Mixtape fills a gap into understanding more about Drake Cooper. While our social channels provide a great view in how Drake Cooper acts, The Mixtape and blog are the foundations for understanding how Drake Cooper thinks.

It’s been a fun project, and there’s more to come.

Right now, The Mixtape is just a weekly post about what we are reading. There’s not a whole lot to it, and in some ways, that simplicity is kind of nice, but things are expanding and we are rolling out new components along the way. Starting in July, The Mixtape will follow a monthly theme. Not every article will be a part of that theme, but it will provide some guidance for the week and one or two original blog posts for that month. This first theme will be focused on underground markets. We are going to explore niche industries and cultures you may not even know exist. We will explore their purpose, the people they draw in, and how to market and reach these people. It’s going to be a fun experiment.

Further, we hope to see The Mixtape evolve into more than just a blog post. Starting with email, The Mixtape and other news will start getting tied in. If you want to be the first to hear about it, you can subscribe to our email newsletter.

Hope to see you there.