Smithery is a marketing and product innovation studio founded by John V Willshire.
The core purpose of Smithery is to help companies Make Things People Want, rather than spend all their energy and resources trying to Make People Want Things, an approach which has evolved into a manifesto in its own right:
Since launching in August 2011, I’ve been helping Royal Mail, Channel 4, The Huffington Post, Skype, Google, wheretosleep.com, Gravity Road, LBi, 101 London, Creature London, Corke Wallis, AKQA, Saatchi & Saatchi amongst others to unpick what it means to them to Make Things People Want…
“John is the single most creatively fertile person I have met in the last five years”
Adam Morgan, Eat Big Fish
“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
“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, Group Strategy Director, BBH
“We’ve been fortunate enough to command some of John’s attention for our clients’ brands during his and our first year of business. He’s attacked them all (the brands, that is, not our clients) with his trademark blend of unstoppable enthusiasm and thoroughly modern thinking. No brand or idea ever went backwards with John at the table”
Laurence Green, 101 London
“John has an unrivalled depth and breadth of knowledge of the things that really matter at the leading edge of digital thinking. If you’re thinking about hiring him to give a talk, or indeed to work with you on innovation projects, do it and don’t hesitate”
Neil Perkin, Only Dead Fish
“An astonishingly smart chap, strategically and creatively ruthless, and only rarely impenetrably Scottish, John’s an absolute pleasure to work alongside. Relentless in his thinking and invention, and generous in his thinking; whether you’re looking for someone to parachute in to make all your problems go away, or a strategic and creative partner to work with throughout a project, I couldn’t recommend John highly enough. Creature of London is proud to consider John a friend.”
Dan Shute, Creature London
“John is one of the most impressive people I’ve worked with, whose output is always built on creativity, enthusiasm and innovation. A smart, inspiring thinker, a tireless doer and a creative powerhouse”
Tim Sparke, Congregation Partners
“I’ve worked with John several times whilst both at Virgin Media & Wheretosleep.com. He has proven himself to be adaptable in both established & start up environments. His level head and enthusiastic nature quickly endears him to stakeholders. His ability to grasp business issues from a consumer point of view and offer tangible solutioms makes him a true leader in his field, he is also highly enjoyable guy to be around.”
Dan Daly, Marketing Director, WhereToSleep.com
Prior to founding Smithery, I spent seven years at PHD Media in London, as Head of Innovation and then Chief Innovation Officer.
It was a brilliant job at the best agency in town, and encompassed everything from brand & communications planning theory to the creation and cultivation of ideas, through the study of social, cultural and technological innovation.
I was lucky enough to work with companies like Cadbury, The Guardian, Simple, The Co-operative, Warner Bros. and innocent drinks.