Tim and I started The Leading Edge in 1990. Tim was 31, I, Derek Leddie, was 27. The brand was four boots to big for us but we soon grew into the name.
We were determined to live up to the brands brashness. We sent quailes to quant school and visa versa. In 1991 we developed the two page report. We had both been brought up on the 60 page report to prove the process. Two pages sounded far more interesting. Sometimes the two pages took longer to write than the 60 pager.
Tim was the qual guy. I was too but I was also OK at quant so I became that. Thank goodness Andrew Kelly came on to sure up the quant.
It made no sense to us that advertising agencies owned strategy. So we stepped into their space. We had brand experts, innovation experts, quant modelling experts. The business was like a wild ride. We somehow knew how to integrate people that normally wouldn’t hang out together. We built an award winning culture. In the 90’s we got rid of offices, brought massage, yoga and meditation to the staff. We invested heavily in training and we developed a process to attract the cream of the industry.
80% of our work came from 12 loyal and humanist clients. Deep loyalty and respect.
Tim and I were the odd couple. We created magic together as did the amazing tribe of people that built the brand. After a decade together we parted ways. It was a difficult time but eventually we found a different respect for each other.
In 2004 the business was sold to Photon with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, London, and then NY.
At Tim’s funeral, I felt the pain of the beautiful blended family he had created and loved. When I knew Tim he was the ultimate chameleon. At his funeral I learnt he had morphed into a loving caring Dad. Tim deserved to evolve into his heart.
Tim lived life with courage, creativity, craziness and he then found compassion and care.
Tim, you are a great bloke.
Author: Derek Leddie, Managing Director, Collective Mind