Free from the Box. Pandora is not happy.


It’s just a haircut after all’, the chief Architect said to the Yin Media CEO, smiling widely, at the Briefing for the Green russets real estate venture, ‘you’ve always been a bit eccentric anyway.’ He took his eyes off of the CEO’s head and launched into the project brief without notes or slides. He gave the kind of precise descriptions of someone who had obviously sacrificed sleep to build ideas for the project. 1st Generation architects Steveben & Associates and Green russets consortium were planning to build a 5-star hotel and an American University of science and technology along the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua expressway in Abuja. The CEO had disappeared into his frown of focus; every single project where people get together to do the grandiose manages to bring a concentrated glare to his face. They began to imagine the different possible applications of their skills to the project, how brief or extensive, what would be the sacrifice in time?

The emergence of this project coincided with the move of their operational headquarters from Abuja to Lagos and they had already closed shop, secured office space in Lagos and were ready to leave town but they knew better than to turn down an opportunity to be part of a gig this big. But they were in need of a temporary station to set-up and execute this project, since they had already given up their previous office space they decided to move into a Hotel for the duration. After all, their current mandate required knowledge of hotels.

Yin Media was consulted to develop and publish an executive government bid for the Green Russets consortium that would be forwarded through the federal government to the World Bank to express their development plans and request for a build, own & transfer contract agreement. The bid would contain vivid graphics and well researched data, project specifications and 3d imagery of the proposed structures, beginning with the end in mind.

Research on similar successfully executed projects was the procedural minimum, but the Yin Media team has always had a problem with the status quo regarding ‘groupthink’. With fighting the old war and applying supposedly ‘classic’ approaches to problem solving, expression and creativity. For instance, when Generals read up on war history and great conquerors before them, it should not be so that they follow the strategies they have read to the letter, copying exact maneuvers. Rather, it should be to stimulate their imaginations and prepare them for any number of strategic possibilities, so that when they are faced with challenges, they find that they are mentally prepared to adapt and survive.

Loosely adapting knowledge gained they launched into development by assembling the necessary quarry; the hotel blueprints- designed by an independent Brazilian Architect, the site map and satellite imagery, the numerous potential sub-contractors  profile sheets and an acknowledgement note drafted by the head of the Green Russets board. Meanwhile, their frequent movement- carrying files and briefcases around was causing a stir at their temporary station, the client’s offices and the site.  It could have been their sense of purpose or their smart corporate attire, but what distracted them was most likely the CEO’s Mohawk.

The only way to stand out and achieve perfection is by uniqueness of character and skill, which is the general consensus towards work at Yin Media; that the final product surpasses its advertised potential. In this case they had to deliver a product of superior quality in a limited period of time, working out of a hotel room. The best possible materials for the bid production were chosen; impression hard-back binding and matte gloss paper within. No compromises.

A few more meetings with the clients, numerous cups of coffee over late night brainstorms and several half-decent hotel meals later they had completed the draft for the bid. The CEO who had to be in Lagos to water the ground for the arrival of his team booked the next available flight. They would publish the bid using a renowned printing press in Lagos.

The Yin Media content developer spent his Saturday morning at an impressive print centre in Abuja ensuring that the sample copy of the bid was done in perfect order. It was pertinent that no detail was lost during print: borders, water marks, numbering and image clarity. Needless to say the final bid came out looking impeccable; befitting the presidential team of executives it was created for. The content developer received the bids by courier that morning was excited to be the one to deliver it to the client. Enroute the Green Russets office, a young man with oversized baggy jeans and a Mohawk dashed across traffic, causing the elderly taxi driver to abruptly step on the brakes. As the young man dashed across, the taxi driver shouted at the absent minded youth ‘Won’t you look before you cross the road?’ hissing as he drove on. Under his breath he muttered to himself ‘I wonder who would give a job to someone with that kind of hair…’’ The irony of the statement wasn’t lost on the Content Developer, who plugged in his earphones and turned up the music on his iPod, contemplating Steve Job’s unique design.


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