on the shore of the ultimate sea

About me – Contact Nick


Hi! I’m a writer and editor, culturally a Michigander, situationally a Portlander (OR). Should you wish to contact me, or learn about stuff I’ve worked on, you’re in the right place.

Most of my day-to-day work revolves around thinking and writing about how technology impacts culture.

I’m interested in systems design, specifically those that impact how our culture tells stories. A lot of my work has had to do with how people who’re communicating on behalf of brands or companies approach creative projects, emerging platforms, new audiences, and, generally, how they can do things with their influence that encourage and glorify human intelligence and creativity.

nickparish.net (since 2005!) is where you can find short observations, links to my work, and small, shiny things that have distracted me. I maintain a much-less-frequently-updated blog about fly fishing at Current Flow State.

If you’re looking for a simple way to stay in touch I also put together Nick Notes, a twice-monthly email on creativity and other stuff that matters. Sign up on the right side of the page.

You can also…

favicotw shout at me on Twitter

linkedinconnect with me on LinkedIn


Selected Publications

I’ve had writing published in New York magazine, the New York PostAdvertising Age, CreativityComstock’sSlam, Flaunt and more and wrote a short book in 2014.

A bunch of other writers have talked to me for stories from media outlets, including CNN, Headline News, Inc., Bloomberg NewsMercado (Argentina), Canadian BusinessMaclean’s and others. Here are a few of my favorites. Many of these have gone behind paywalls, but if you’re interested get in touch and I’ll share a PDF.



Contagious’ Next Practice, “Pay No Attention To The Bot Behind The Curtain,” January

Contagious 46, “What’s In a Brief?,” April

Contagious.com. “The Writing on the Wall” February
Contagious’ Next Practice, “Bringing the Creative Brief Back To Life,” October

Le Petit Mort, “River Talk,” January
Contagious.com, “Meet the foolish baby sounding the death knell of online ads,” April
Cool Code, Bro, How team structure influences product, as seen through the uneasy clash between old and new cultures in Silicon Valley
Contagious.com, “Take Risks, Be Loved,” on the Serial phenomenon and the advantages of brands encouraging niche creativity


Contagious.com, “CES 2013: Small Standouts,” January
np.net exclusive: “Behind the Book Burning Party,” January
Contagious 34, Throwaway Moments,” March
FlauntNicolas Jaar cover story, July
Contagious.com, “The Rise of the CTO,” September

np.net exclusive: “Coming Home to a Company Town,” January
Contagious.com, “Ford: NAIAS 2012,” January
Contagious.com, “Super Bowl XLVI Round Up,” February
Contagious 30, “Soul Shaping,” (Patagonia case study) March
Inc, quoted in “B-Reel: The Company That’s Changing Advertising,” May
Bloomberg, quoted in “BMW Courts Bloggers for $110 Million Online Boost,” June
Contagious 31, “Project Fly: Close-Quarters Creativity,” June
Macleans.com, quoted in “Chuck E. Cheese has a better mouse… or does it?” July
Contagious 33, “Bigger Big Ideas,” December

Contagious 26, Into the Jaws of the Leviathan,” March
Cannes Lions Daily, “Brands and Digital Downtime,” June
Contagious 29, “The Flight Club” airline sector focus, December

Contagious 22, “Bottoms Up” (Pampers case study), March
Contagious, “SXSW Interactive: Creative Marketing’s Critical Mass,” March
Cannes Lions Daily, It’s Ugly, But It Gets You There“, June
Contagious 23, “Transparent Take-Out” (Domino’s Pizza case study), June
Contagious 24, “Fabled Formulation” (Gatorade case study), September
Contagious.com, “Facebook Deals,” November
Contagious 25, “Soul of Silicon” (Intel case study), December

Creativity, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” creativity during crisis, February
Creativity,“Heavy Industry” Aaron Draplin profile, April
Creativity, The Mobile Apps Honor Role,” June

Creativity, “Recruiting: The Next Generation,” July
Creativity, “Next-Level Tech,” ITP show coverage, July
Creativity, “Whopper Leave-Out? Bogusky To Write Dieting Tome,” August
Creativity, “The Price is Right (Isn’t It?)” September
New York Magazine, The Most Memorable Advertisements Madison Avenue Ever Sold,” October

Creativity, Feed Frenzy,” August
CreativityNeill Blomkamp Q&A, October

New York Post, Our Man Nick Gets a Hit Off Rocker,” March


Talks, appearances, juries, and events

For the last decade of so I’ve spoken regularly at public and private events and am happy to share my perspective.

Due to other commitments at present I’m limiting my appearances to once a quarter. I’m also committed to only accepting invitations to appear at events that have an equal gender representation on stage and a clearly communicated set of behavior standards for participants.








The Monocle Daily, June, phoning in live from the Cannes Lions (about 39 minutes in)

Contagious Now / Next / Why, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, May & June
Worldwide Partners Global Meeting,
What’s Contagious Now? Cartagena, Colombia, April
U. of Montana
BMGT 403: Principles of Entertainment Management II guest lecture, Missoula, April
SXSW Interactive:
Brands: The Connective Tissue Between People and Technology, March
Brightworks Innovation DayMarch
University of Oregon, J408 Design & Tech, guest lecture, Eugene, January


Most Contagious, London, December
Inter-American Development Bank Demand Solutions, Washington D.C., November
Portland State University, Marketing 435/535 CPG Strategy, guest lecture, Portland, November
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Cannes, June
Boomerang Montreal, May
The Big Shopping Shakeup, “Creating Cults” panel, April
University of Montana, BMGT 403: Principles of Entertainment Management II guest lecture, Missoula, March
NYAMA / Jack Morton, “Marketing in the Age of Experience,” February
Brightworks Innovation Day, February
IAB West speaker series, Vancouver, February
NRF Big Show, “Think Fast: Creating Opportunities for Breakthrough Ideas,” January

Brightworks Innovation Day
, February
ADC Festival, “The Invisible Metric: Finding Beauty in Simple Interaction,” April
BCON Expo, “The Innovators” panel, October
PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Summit, “7 Minute Masterclass: Driving Brand Innovation,” November
Most Contagious, December

Brightworks Innovation Day
, March
Judge, One Show Interactive, March
Horn Group, “The Convergence of Social Marketing and Social Business,” April
4A’s PR Conference panel, “The Creative Conversation,” (audio) April
Institute of Communications Agencies, trend presentation, May
Panel moderator, Barbarian Group / Adv. Week, “Products, Process and Progress,” October
Panel, Adv. Week, “Give to Get: Building Brand through Service Innovation,” October
Contagious Now / Next / Why, October
TBWA, “Dragon Bytes” web series, October
Most Contagious, December

Panel moderator, JWT / Adv. Week, “How Social Dynamics Are Reshaping Games” February
The Hershey Company, Global Marketing Conference, March
SXSW Interactive panel, “Client Knows Best: How To Sell Unsolicited Ideas,” March
ICA, “Engagement in the Social Entertainment Age,” May
Quoted in The Daily Beast’s “Is Osama bin Laden Bad for Business,” May

Cannes Lions seminar with Hewlett-Packard, “The Return of the Physical,” June
Jury member, Yahoo Create for a Cause competition, September
Marketing Agencies Association Worldwide, trends presentation, October


Other stuff
100 Slaps (2006)
Manhattan steam explosion (which got me on the phone with none other than Anderson Cooper in 2007)
Letter from Brooklyn (2009)


Wall of Fame

AlexanderBerners, Chouinard, DrummondJosaitisMathewsMcGoohan, Scully, Wilson