Q&A: Neu

In large organisations, innovation is slow. We use our objectivity and expertise to speed it up.

Meet Grant, the founder of Neu

Author: Admin cs

A self-taught developer and self-styled “total httpster,” MacLennan has masterminded eye-catching campaigns for everyone from Tennent’s lager to Coldplay, and created innovative, internet breaking products drawing a line between technology and popular culture. In a wide-ranging conversation, MacLennan shares revealing insights into how he works, how he stays at the cutting edge, and where he finds his inspiration.

Grant MacLennan Founder, Neu

Question 01 In your line of work, do you think it’s better to be a generalist or to be niche?


Businesswise I’m a generalist; I’m interested in lots of different businesses. I think the secret is seeing things happening in one industry and applying them to another industry, reading between the lines. I think I’ve had ADHD since I was a kid, but it’s never been diagnosed. I was reading articles about it, and one person mentioned that they find things funny that other people don’t find funny, because they join them up to other things. I absolutely do that, too. It works in a creative process as well because you think‘I saw this thing over here, I saw this thing over here, and I think there’s a gap in the middle, which this thing fits into.’

Question 02 What made Neu famous?


Making things that are interesting, that have kind of popped. The first thing was [online radio station] Poolside, which I made with a friend of mine that went viral. We did an ad for Tennent’s that was in The New Yorker. We’ve done stuff with the music industry that’s popped. Exit Brexit did really well. The interesting thing now is people come to me for consultation, like, ‘have you got an idea for this?’ Which is great, but it can be very hit or miss.

Question 03 Tell us about some weird things you've built


I built something on Twitter a couple of years ago called DJ Lazy Set, where you tweeted the name of an artist and it replied automatically with a playlist. That went so big that Twitter closed it down because it was sending so many tweets. There was another I did on Twitter called MJ’s Mixtape, based on a scene in the Michael Jordan documentary on Netflix where he’s got headphones on and he’s bobbing his head. I built this thing where, if you tweeted at MJ’s Mixtape with the name of a track, it automatically generated the video with the track over the top pulled from Spotify. I quite like seeing memes or things in culture and thinking: how do you automate them?

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