“That’s going to be hard to do in Oklahoma. People aren’t ready for it.”
I was sitting across from a friend at a café in downtown Chicago, telling him about the offer I’d received to join Saxum as Vice President, Digital. I had spent the preceding 20 minutes outlining my vision for building a digital practice at one of the region’s most well-respected integrated communications agencies. I shared my excitement about working with clients to execute strategies that fully utilized social, mobile, multimedia and the traditional Web. I geeked out about online community-building, cause marketing and issue advocacy. I confessed my dream of creating digital campaigns that would earn recognition and admiration up and down Madison Avenue.
Now he was raining on my parade.
“Your location is the biggest thing holding you back,” he said. “You can’t do digital work like that unless you’re in a major city. New York, San Francisco, LA, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C., even Austin.
“But not Oklahoma.“
My friend was wrong. I know it, because I grew up in this state. I’ve watched a drainage ditch become a world-class Olympic training facility. I’ve watched the “Oil Capital of the World” become a hub for finance, technology, telecommunications and the arts. I’ve watched an unapologetic weirdo from a poor neighborhood in Oklahoma City become one of the boldest creative forces in independent music. I’ve watched a college football state become a professional basketball mecca.
Is there any reason to believe Oklahoma couldn’t become the next “place to be” in digital? A revolutionary beacon in the heart of America? The Silicon Plains?
I don’t think so. That’s why I accepted Saxum’s offer.
Over the next few months and years, we will expand Saxum’s digital practice to rival those in cities like New York, San Francisco and Austin. We will do great work. Bold work. Work that my friend from Chicago won’t be expecting. We’ll start by reimagining Saxum.com, and we won’t stop until we’ve changed the perception that world-class digital campaigns can’t come from Oklahoma.
I’m ready. Are you?