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Dear Outsiders,

How did you go with "everything takes longer than you expect"? Did it help to know it is a thing, or is performative workaholism too embedded...

Many of you delighted in the message to plan less. Yes! This week we look at how to implement that; the Ad Hoc way of working.

Ad Hoc honours the now. Gives it what it needs, what it is asking for. It is about acting quick and ignoring traditional processes.

Get outta here with your questions about trend prediction. Answer the moment and you'll automatically be 10 steps ahead.

Came for the radicalism? Stay for the encouragement.
I'm glad you're here.
– Jess

P.S. Outsider is here to help you subvert from the inside. Bringing counter-cultural thinking from the fringe to the centre. Use these thoughts to fight from your front line.

P.P.S  We met V. Vale... really. Scroll down for pic.

Outsider 133



Ad hoc has got a bad rap. It has become a negative word and is often used as an insult. Synonyms might include; poor planning, reactionary, irritating, avoidable, amateur. But that's not what it means.

Ad hoc is Latin for "for this" or "for this situation" – synonymous with bespoke, improvised, instinctive, responsive, specific.

Back in the '70s when the phrase Adhocism was coined, this was the definition;


“Adhocism is the art of living and doing things ad-hoc — tackling problems at once, using materials at hand, rather than waiting for the perfect moment or ‘proper’ approach.”

– Charles Jencks and Nathan Silver,
Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation (1972)



Adhocism bypasses the delays typical of bureaucratic and hierarchical organisations. This strategy undermines approved procedures and expected methods.

Adhocism urges us to pay less attention to the rulebook and more to reality. How things are actually unfolding around us.

To be responsive, to act spontaneously, to meet a particular end, to do things that fall outside the paradigm of pre-strategised intentions and clear objectives is


Last week we stood face-to-face with the reality that things always take longer than you expect (Hofstadter's Law) and the expert advice was to avoid planning in detail;

"...the problem with unforeseen delays is you can't foresee them!" said Burkeman.

With an Ad Hoc approach you receive the gift of real feedback! Not guess-timated, algorithm-mated “predictions”. Live response, from alive people, to alive brand behaviour.
'Prediction'-Free Zone


Ideas do not have the chance to go stale when you act on them promptly. Bringing them to life as they make sense.

Consider ideas, like food:


Use them while they're fresh,
or they rot!



Ad Hoc is an undeveloped force within the way we approach almost every activity – from design to urban development, to political revolution (perhaps this is its most experienced field) to our topic – brand action. For brands, to be ad hoc is to be alive.

"There is a huge divide right now when it comes to brands talking, rather than doing...

...Don't be precious!

The best brands do a lot, make a lot, throw a lot, move a lot – and sometimes things are going to stick, and sometimes they won't but that's okay!

It's better to be active and making all those great ideas come to life in a timely manner, rather than sitting on them and have them peter out.

Too much consideration becomes doubt.

- excerpt from old school
Outsider 102: Precious Kills

Development processes, feedback processes, approval processes, are all decelerating. Don't get caught in some loop seeking perfection. You'll never find it.



Latin for "for this" or "for this situation"
– think synonyms; improvised, custom, responsive, specific. 

A tailor made suit. Ad Hoc.
Shifting context to create new meanings. Ad Hoc.
Duchamp. Ad Hoc. 



What is that?

"...any form of organisation that cuts across normal bureaucratic lines to capture opportunities, solve problems, and get results."

– author Robert Waterman Jr. 1990.


Question everything.
Talk less. Worry less. Do more. 

No matter your industry, product, service, audience, or company size, do something Just Because* it feels right to the moment and watch the magic unfold.

Are you already an advocate for Ad Hoc? Has this stirred something within? Whatever you have to say, I want to hear your thoughts. Send them in.

See you next time,

– Jess

*Read the original piece where Outsider coined the phrase Just Because Marketing


>>> V.VALE ON AD HOC <<<

V. Vale and Outsider at Printed Matter's LA Book Fair last Sunday.

OUTSIDER: You believe in working Ad Hoc?

V. VALE: I don’t know what Ad Hoc means.

O: You have to be agile and react to the situation.

VV: Of course you do! You have to be fully present.

Like if you’re talking to me, I’m not spacing out. I’m trying not to. I’m talking to you back. I’m not thinking about a million other things. Well, I am. But I’m not.

All of us try to be fully present while another real life person is here talking to us.

O: Some do but others don’t.

VV: Fuck them.

V. Vale is the founder and living legend behind RE/Search Publications. Collect everything they have.

Outsider is a counter-culture punch from inside the creative industry.

Promoting real life interaction. Pro-offline.

It came into being after watching client after client come seeking 'relevance' with 'millennials' and crying inside. Seeing misconceptions on the efficacy of social media rise. 

Named Outsider as, like Outsider Art, we observed that no/informal training cultivates greater instinct and disregard for 'rules' and established systems.

Jess is a pseudonym to keep the digital footprint of our real identity to zero.

Born 1991 but knowing better than old man CEO's.

Secret Access to past issues here.


This is not a trend forecast agency.
We will show you what you should be doing today. Yesterday.

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