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A conversation on creativity and technology in a commercial world. Mike Colombo and Jason Ocker from the digital agency Maark discuss creativity and technology in a commercial world. Except it gets a lot messier than that. A weekly podcast from the agency's basement studio in Boston.

A conversation on creativity and technology in a commercial world. Mike Colombo and Jason Ocker from the digital agency Maark discuss creativity and technology in a commercial world. Except it gets a lot messier than that. A weekly podcast from the agency's basement studio in Boston.
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Boston, MA


A conversation on creativity and technology in a commercial world. Mike Colombo and Jason Ocker from the digital agency Maark discuss creativity and technology in a commercial world. Except it gets a lot messier than that. A weekly podcast from the agency's basement studio in Boston.








We Just Need a Website: The Crazy, Complex, and Highly Variable World of the Corporate Dot Com

For a while there, it looked like corporate websites were becoming less relevant, but today they're the hub of all digital activities, complete with a complex, multi-system back-end, highly competitive customer experiences, and a need for a clear strategy and strong story. Mike and Jason just want to Squarespace you up an enterprise dot com right quick.


The Ultimate Digital Experience: Video Games Could Change Every Industry...Even Yours.

We welcome Mike Dowd to the conversation to talk video games, their massive market share, and how it has the potential to be as life-altering as the internet is...for both people and industries.. Mike and Jason just want Gears of War games to come out more frequently.


Beware Collaboration: When Working Together Works Against Your Project

Collaboration has become a feel-good word and a general goal in corporate culture, but the truth is, collaboration (as corporately defined) is the worst way to get anything good done. Plus, you're probably not really collaborating anyway. Mike and Jason just want to be left alone in their offices with meals left outside their doors.


Strategy is a Prototype, not a PowerPoint

If your management consultant can't build a world-class digital experience, you shouldn't be listening to them. No matter how much data they have. Jason and Mike just want to sell a six-month PowerPoint project for $300,000.


Strange Receptions: The Kaepernick-Nike Marketing Partnership

From burning socks on one side of the political spectrum to celebrating the morality of a multinational corporation on the other, the reception to Nike's Colin Kaepernick campaign has been weird, with both sides seemingly missing the real implications of this marketing strategy. Either way, we might be at a real watershed moment for branding. Mike and Jason just want to know what their vintage Nike Solo Flights (with tag still on) are worth now...had they kept them.


String and Tin Cans or a Swiss Army Knife: What Apps Really Changed Our View of Smartphones?

In this episode we dig through our phones mining for meaning in a sea of meaningless apps. Has the mobile app revolution really changed the way we live, or just the way we chat? Mike and Jason just want to figure out if Google's really stealing Jason's travel pins.


Did Alex Jones Just Become a Martyr? Society Needs to Determine the Purpose of the Socials...Fast

The recent de-platforming of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones by just about every social media from YouTube to Facebook to Pinterest (???) puts us all at an awkward crossroads. Is social media merely the private domain of private companies or has it evolved into a forum for public discourse. Mike and Jason firmly believe that Bigfoot faked the moon landing, but only to defend us from the lizard people who shot JFK.


Music as the Ultimate Collision of Creativity and Technology

Your quasi-intrepid hosts have lived through MTV, cassettes, Walkmans, CDs, Napster, iPods, Zunes (Google them), streaming, and the resurrection of vinyl. How are we supposed to listen to music these days and has that relationship changed as the technology for making, storing, transmitting, and listening to music has evolved in such a short time. Mike and Jason just want the beat to free their souls and to get lost in rock n' roll.


What's Agile about Agile? Prying Pragmatic Concepts From the Dogma of a Software World Gone Mad.

In this episode Mike takes a turn in the captain's chair, forgets to introduce himself, and all but reaches for the parachute. Fortunately, Rich Wagner joined the show to share some insights on how Agile works (and sometimes doesn't work) in a services business where budget, deadlines and accountability rule. Mike just wants a release after every new line of code.


A Story in 5 Acts: The New Ancient Approach to Business Stories

Freytag built a pyramid so that you can tell better stories. In this episode we break down Maark's storytelling methodology and what it means to put your customers on a hero's journey. Mike and Jason just want to watch a dragon battle in the boardroom.


What Ruined Content on the Internet? Not What You Think. But, Also, Exactly What You Think.

We've had thousands of years of practice at making good content. Why did we chuck it all out the window for the Internet? Mike and Jason just want an RSS feed full of blog posts on their Google Reader page.


All the Skills Between the Skills: What would an IT Renaissance look like?

The demand for more sophisticated digital experience is coming at IT like a comet. Dodging it means embracing a new managerial role over enterprise technology, while standing in its path requires a leveling up of IT skills in order to take an "experience-first" approach to supporting the business. Mike and Jason just want to make file servers extinct.


MBA and Marketing Degrees are Overrated: Our Enlightenment via the St. John's Great Books Program

We come (mostly) clean about our past to discuss our education in the classics from the Great Books program of St. John's College of Annapolis and how we think that equips us to be better agency executives than if we'd gone conventional business education routes. Mike and Jason just want to discuss this 1,500-year-old book with you.


Skill Silos as Vision Killers: What Does it Take to Achieve Design Vision?

We welcome Maark Creative Director Alex Carr to talk about why digital product designers should have the strongest opinion on the team, the prevalence of dumb UX paradigms, and where strategy and design really meet. Mike and Jason just want designers to be more than police sketch artists.


Big Agency as the new Big Tobacco: Is the Future 100% Freelance?

The agency world has been in upheaval for a while, so much so that companies are looking for any way around the Big Guys that they can find, no matter how off the wall the replacement. In this episode we look at a Forbes article and an Accenture report that seem to claim that the future is 100% freelance. Mike and Jason just want you to send us your 1099s as soon as you can.


Adventures in Virtual Office-ing

Maark went from a posh office on Boston's State Street to a completely virtual office spread across the world and everywhere in between (including a few months in a rock climbing gym). In this episode, we discuss our firsthand experiences trying to remotely control our work environment in every possible configuration. Mike and Jason just want the dog to shut up on conference calls.


Bitchin' About Pitchin', aka, You're Buying People

We welcome Maark colleague Michael Dowd back to the podcast to discuss our experiences pitching work to potential clients, while turning the tables and scoring clients on how they judge pitches. Clue: It shouldn't be merely on skill sets and case studies. Mike and Jason just want people to clap and throw roses at the end of their pitches.


What the Hell's a Maark?: The Unlikely Path of the Agency Behind AOR

Our eleventh episode centers on Maark, the agency behind AOR; where it came from, and its role as an unlikely veteran in a field that may not exist. More like Quantum Leap than AOR, Mike and Jason just want this episode to put right the wrongs of practice podcasts past.


The UX Engineer as Unicorn: Why App Development is Even More Complicated Than You Thought

AOR welcomes Alex Carr, creative director at Maark and the one in charge of user experience (UX) engineering at the company, to discuss how UX engineering takes as much art as engineering, the myth of the full-stack developer, and why there's no such thing as a simple handoff between the design team and the development team. Mike and Jason just want a clean QA phase.


I, Robot. You, Hair Salon.

We still don't know if Google faked its Duplex demo, but the idea of it still made us break out our brand new recording equipment so that we could wonder out loud and on mic about the ethics of A.I. in life and marketing. Resident Maark futurist Michael Dowd returns. Mike and Jason just want robot butlers the size of the Iron Giant.