From his puzzle-solving prowess to his incredible tales of survival and adventure, LPK’s Brand Information Manager Auggie is quickly approaching legend status in our Cincinnati office. Impossible to define, he’s the one you always want in your brainstorm, on your sports team and seated at the bar stool next to you.
You’ve been with LPK since early 2011. What keeps you coming back every day?
I love the shared focus on getting things done and enjoying what we do. It’s not all meetings and late-night grinds, and it’s not all beer carts and happy hours—but it’s that sweet spot in between that makes it challenging and refreshing at the same time.
What are your favorite types of projects?
Projects with problems. Problems without solutions make me want to find them. Problems with solutions make me want to find better ones. I think most of the solutions humanity has found aren’t really solutions anyway; they’re temporary band-aids—crutches that give us excuses to stop learning. I’m the guy you turn to when you’re tired of staring at a problem. I’d LOVE to just solve puzzles all day.
Very cool. Can you give us an example?
A friend and I recently concepted and executed CXD, a year-long project powered by a grant from People’s Liberty here in Cincinnati. CXD was an alternate-reality game, designed to unite diverse city goers—people who might not otherwise interact—around a common pursuit. The four-phase experience spanned six months across several neighborhoods.
I also recently won a Red Bull Mind Gamers Challenge. It involved a series of questions on quantum phenomena, including a video submission on how to test for quantum entanglement through superluminal effects and local realism. I get to spend two weeks learning at the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology—super stoked!
Any advice for future problem solvers?
Stay inquisitive, dig deeper and don’t take anything at face value. Trust in the work your colleagues do, but make sure the things you put your name behind have your seal of approval, not your complacence.
What’s something you can’t live without?
I’d really miss the Internet. We literally have almost the entire wealth of human knowledge at our fingertips. I got giddy just saying that.
Speaking of the Internet, how do you feel about social media?
Big fan. I’m really anti-gossip, but I’m very much pro-connection. I’m of the mind that the future of technology is going to rely on a lot of information trading, so I’m priming myself to be an open book.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?
I’d spent a few months in the desert in Peru with no running water or electricity. I even contracted malaria. When I got back, my mom met me at the airport with a pizza. She rocks.
Word around the office is you’re pretty obsessed with animals.
Very accurate. I wanted to go into zoology, but changed majors when I found out through volunteering that I couldn’t handle the bad days.
Who is your dream dinner companion?
If we’re talking alive, then it’s almost certainly cultural critic and philosopher Slavoj Žižek. I think he’s a great mixture of pure brilliance and seeing what he can get away with. One way or another, I doubt we’d be picking up the check.
Your dream client?
Thinkmodo is putting out my favorite stuff right now.
So what’s your pulse on branding today?
I would love to see a greater utilization of neuromarketing. Our work is in the understanding of human emotions, desires and needs, and we have the technology to understand people (including ourselves) better than we think we know ourselves. That’s a little scary, but it’s an extremely powerful notion in the right hands.
What are you most proud of?
The same thing I hope most people are proudest of—the person I am. Internal pride (not ego) gets a bad rap. You decide who you are, and if you’re not proud of that, I’d say it’s the best place to start.