“Shaking up Pharma from the inside? Exactly.”

office art rocehr 131231

[Some of my work appearing at a private event at Roche Pharmaceuticals a couple of months ago.] 

For the last year, gapingvoid has been working intensively with Hoffman-La Roche, the large Swiss pharmaceutical company.

I drew hundreds of cartoons for them in 2013. Hundreds! All to do with fostering innovative behaviors such as entrepreneurship, risk taking etc etc., all targeted at improving internal culture, which is what we do best.

Shaking up Big Pharma from the inside? Exactly.

Everybody there is INSANELY smart, which makes them really amazing to work with.

A lot of people want to be the smartest guy in the room. Not me; you’re better off being the dumbest. It raises your game, keeps you on your toes etc.

Right now the work is just being used internally. Sorry I can’t show you more of the work close up; I’ll be more forthcoming once they’re ready to go public on it.

My take on the pharma industry in general? Their problem is not money or talent. All the major players have tons of both.

The big issue is complexity. The list of things that can go wrong getting a billion-dollar drug to market is beyond huge, for both Roche and their competitors.

And then add all the government regulations (from dozens of countries) that you have to comply with at one time. It’s mind-boggling stuff.

But there’s the big opportunity: Even by reducing *complexity* by a couple of points, you can create a ton of value. There are VAST rewards for anyone who manages to solve even a small piece of the puzzle.  Like I said, it’s really raised my game, I’m totally excited.

During 2013, we also did some cool work for VMWare, Cisco, Havas, and many other global blue-chips. We’ve also started new projects for 2014 with both Microsoft and Rackspace (with the latter I’ll get to work directly under my friend Rob La Gesse again, which makes me EXTREMELY happy). We are currently hiring some very talented people to work with us, so feel free to ping us us if you’d like to talk: work@gapingvoid.com. Hurrah!

Happy New Year Everybody, and a big thanks for all the love and support that helped get us this far. May 2014 be your biggest year ever, as well. Rock on.

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

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Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

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In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
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