The Cocktail Napkin Is Nothing Without Collaboration

You may be noticing a theme on this page. If you’re getting the sense that we at Eckel & Vaughan are obsessed with cocktail napkins, you’re partially right. What we’re truly obsessed with are great ideas and the fact that a handful of powerful, culturally significant ideas got their start on a cocktail napkin.

We’re talking everything from Trickle-Down Economics to Shark Week.

So this brings up the question — is there something magical about a cocktail napkin that elicits great ideas? Some might suggest that it’s less about the napkin and more about the cocktail. And they might be on to something. But I’d argue that it has less to do with the cocktails or the napkins and everything to do with the collaboration that takes place around a table.

The Laffer Curve is a key tenet in supply-side economics. While economist Arthur Laffer admits that he did not invent the concept, it was popularized following a 1974 dinner meeting with members of the Nixon/Ford administration, during which Laffer sketched the curve on a napkin. The concept then went on to inform President Reagan’s economic philosophy, better known as Trickle-Down Economics.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Shark Week. This cultural phenomenon originated when a handful of Discovery Channel executives went for drinks after work. A conversation among colleagues, an offhand remark, and the scribbling of the name “Shark Week” on a napkin spiraled into the longest running cable TV programming event in history.

These two examples frankly have very little in common. One became one of the most controversial economic debates in American history; the other dominates our consciousness for one week every year. What they have in common is that they are both the production of collaboration.

At Eckel & Vaughan, collaboration is an essential component of every project we tackle. Each team member brings a different background, a unique imagination, and a distinct perspective to the table. We bring that diversity of experience to the table when we meet with clients to determine how best to raise awareness about an issue, educate the public about a complex idea, or generate business leads. Ultimately, we know that the best ideas will take flight when we combine the talents of our team with the talents of yours.

We’d like to put that creative energy to work with and for you. So bring us your next great idea, and let’s get started.

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