POINT 01: Erik Spiekermann interview

Computer Arts: The theme at POINT is authenticity. What does that mean to you?
Erik Spiekermann
: Everybody says they’re authentic. What’s the opposite? Bullshit? There’s one thing that makes you authentic – a rule I always obey myself: I never talk about anything I don't know about. I guess that makes me authentic. In business you tend to have to improvise and join conversations that maybe you don't know about. I keep quiet. I was in Israel, in front of 2,000 people, Germans and Israelis, who are already a little difficult, and my slides didn't work. I talked about my work and my life and stuff. Obviously it was authentic. I didn't make anything up. I didn't pretend, I knew what I was going. And that's a very simple rule: just don't pretend. Be authentic. It's very easy.

We tend to, in our business, say to clients, we can do this and we can do that. We lie and we cheat. If a client asks me to do something I've never done before, I say: I've never done this before – but I'm sure we can do it because I've learned other things. Know what your talking about, and don’t pretend. Ever. I also don’t pretend I like something when I don’t like it. I don’t pretend I’m enthusiastic when I’m not. It never works. It doesn’t internally. It doesn’t work externally. Clients see through it. My colleagues see through it.

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