Having young, diverse creative talent is critical for success in any creative business. We’re excited for our first residency. We’re going to accept 10 for our inaugural class. If you’re an inventor, designer, UX person, technologist, or ad creative, who lives and breathes marketing, creativity, and technology, this is the right program for you. Applications for Summer 2014 accepted soon.

We started working on the new vw.com over a year ago. Our objectives were to help the brand make an innovative leap and drive sales conversions. Most car sites are glorified brochures and not useful. That’s why more shoppers are spending more time on 3rd party sites such as Cars.com, True Car, and Edmunds, where they can get transparent pricing, reviews, and find real inventory without jumping through hoops. We wanted to reverse the trend.  

During the discovery phase, we analyzed site data, did rounds of qualitative testing, and concluded that most people who visited our site were there to shop. Not watch ads. That’s what they do on YouTube and elsewhere. Rather than put the focus on brand marketing, we decided to instead focus on shopper needs. That led us to ecommerce and dating. It led us to Matchmaker – the match.com of car shopping. A branded shopping tool designed to match people to real cars they love quickly and intuitively. 

We’re still a little ways out from launch, but the above video is a pretty good preview of what’s to come. Congratulations to the Volkswagen and Deutsch LA teams who have slaved over this project for the last 15 months. There have been countless ‘first there, last to leave’ days.

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6 things I learned last week

1. Intuition is your best friend in the backcountry. Be in tune with yourself, your surroundings, and listen to your gut. It will help you stay alive but also succeed in life. Emotional IQ matters.

2. Meditation is powerful tool to maintain balance, reduce stress, be more productive, and live more contently. Thanks for sharing, Gretchen and Chris. I’m going to give it a shot.

3. I’m not always the best skiing partner. I like to ski fast and sometimes I let it get the best of me. In the backcountry you need to stay close to your partner. I need to be a better buddy.

4. Business books aren’t working. Most I’ve read lately feel like common sense disguised by fancy jargon. I’m going back to non-fiction unless anyone’s got some mind-melting recommendations.

5. Personal drones are here and going to be big. They don’t cost a lot and can fly up to 800 feet with a wi-fi connection. Think Instagram in the sky. Humble brags at new heights.

6. Snow is worth fighting for. Not only is sliding down mountains incredibly fun, it’s also social glue. It brings people together and creates lasting friendships  More people need to experience it. Particularly, the backcountry. Help us

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Last night’s show was a social media fail of big proportions for people on the West Coast. CBS tape delays the show here (unlike the Oscars and Golden Globes). It meant that much of the show was spoiled for me and others who use social media heavily during TV events. I also had to sit through a lot of bad commercials. Something I’m generally only willing to do during live broadcasts (I watch most of the ads I like on YouTube or Vimeo via my social networks - not on TV). Get with it CBS. Stop fighting the Internet. Give up your tired ratings model. What works today won’t work tomorrow. And tomorrow’s coming fast. Also, don’t cut QOTSA off. Thank you.