Recent blog posts

3.29 – How it ends?

3.29 – How it ends?

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Smithery 3.0 | One Comment

We’re in the final straight now. It occurred to me as I sat down tonight that I just didn’t have time this month (not nearly enough) to chase down all the things I was going to cover, the people to speak to, the things to read and reflect upon. With every little thing I discovered, […]

3.28 – Question Engine

3.28 – Question Engine

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Smithery 3.0 | One Comment

Ok, so I was quite taken with the whole Flow Engine thing. Engines are useful things, after all. So I’ve made a Question Engine. Why? Well, good question… Yesterday morning in the post I received my paper copy of Dan Hill’s “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary“. It’s something that I have as […]

3.27 – Simple Starters

3.27 – Simple Starters

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Smithery 3.0 | One Comment

A brief tangent; I’ve been making bread today. Sourdough bread, to be precise. Oooo, how very hipster. Yes, well, possibly. But the thing is; it isn’t as hard as you’d think. You need a starter, which is basically just mixing some flour and water together, over a few days, until it starts to ferment. Then […]

About Smithery


Smithery is a Product and Marketing Innovation studio, established by John V Willshire in 2011.

We help companies Make Things People Want, rather than Make People Want Things.

We do this by making things quickly with our clients their teams, and customers.

Current clients include Carlsberg, Experian, Google, Gravity Road,
and the Saïd Business School at The University of Oxford.

Working with Smithery

Julie Doleman, Managing Director, Experian

“Working with John has been a brilliant adventure for my entire team.  John is not afraid of a challenge and his creativity and passion have opened our minds up to more innovative ways of working by helping to shape our thinking, actions and behaviours.  His work has helped us to create the culture of change we’ve needed to continue on our path of growth.”

- Julie Doleman, Managing Director, Experian
Thomas Moradpour, Vice President, Carlsberg Brand Global Marketing

“We love working with John, he’s an awesome source of brilliant ideas and endless energy in our creative process. Innovation as it should be.”

- Thomas Moradpour, Vice President, Carlsberg Brand Global Marketing
Tracey Camilleri, Saïd Business School

“I’ve found that if you have half an idea that you are excited about – John probably has the other half.  He has a generous imagination earthed in an intellectual rigour that makes him a rare bird.  I have benefited from his eclectic frame of reference and uncanny ability to make generative connections between people, ideas, genres.  Working with John feels like play – why isn’t all work like that?”

- Tracey Camilleri, Saïd Business School
Nick Kendall, BBH

“Mr King, Mr Bullmore… Mr Willshire. OK, John’s not quite the Third Ronnie, but I do believe he should be here alongside these legends, exploring what brands are now versus then.”


- Nick Kendall, BBH
Mark Earls, HERD

“Thinking without doing is as pointless as doing without thinking. John is one of the best of a new breed of strategists who actually do things. I learn a lot from him every time we collaborate”


- Mark Earls, HERD
Adam Morgan, Eat Big Fish

“John is the single most creatively fertile person I have met in the last five years”


- Adam Morgan, Eat Big Fish