The Nincompoop Forest

One of my instructors shared a piece of writing from Mark Fenske, an Advertising lifer who currently teaches at VCU Brandcenter.

The short piece, called “The Nincompoop Forest,” talks about how creatives must push their idea across many obstacles in order to see it actually come to life.

As much as I liked the original (posted below), I decided to take a crack at rewriting it since there were some repetitive bits.


“For an idea to live it must journey from the mind of it’s originator out into the ears of others, into the world.

To live it must cross an area that is dangerous to the life of an idea… an area between the mind of an originator and the world where other people live who fight against ideas and try to kill them. This area, that challenges every ad idea the moment it is born is called the Nincompoop Forest.

To find your way through the Nincompoop Forest takes heart, intelligence and determination.

There are many obstacles lying in wait. Some people fear big ideas or are afraid to defend them or don’t know how to explain or sell them.

Some people are afraid to buy big ideas because, by their nature, they have never been done before and can be scary. (It’s been said that if you’re not scared of an idea, it probably is not a big idea at all.)

You’ll have to save your idea from all the people who want to change the idea, “help” the idea, compromise the idea. They want to “make it better” or safer or less expensive or more comfortable.

All great ideas have to beware of the Nincompoop Forest.”


Nincompoop Forest


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