Since then, I've started four agencies, six divisions in new specialist areas, lived in Asia-Pacific and America, and now I'm coming back as the chairman of the event, which is obviously a great honour.
The only reason to tell you this is that if someone had told me that I'd do all of this stuff in the next five years, I would have laughed in their face. We live in super-accelerated times, and nobody can predict what we will be doing next year, let alone in five. There has been more change in the past five years in our landscape than in the previous 100, and that pace of change will only continue to accelerate.
What that means is that events such as Media 360 are super-important. They are occasions to reflect on our past, centre ourselves on today and project forward for tomorrow. It's an event where the various facets of industry get a chance to take a deep breath and check in on where we've respectively got to. A chance to peer over the fence of the industries we all buttress up against.
There are many themes that will emerge from the two days, I'm sure, but one of the most interesting is the way our industry sectors are colliding. The confluence of the media, marketing, creative, content and digital sectors of our industry is truly stunning. Five years ago, these industries were discrete with a gentle overlap. Not any more. All offer creative, strategy, data and buying, and this collision of interest shows no sign of abating. So where is our centre of gravity in this new world? How do we get our compass fixed in this new 360-degree world?
Underneath the big driving themes of pace and confluence, what other big themes will help us derive our new compass for the next few years? The following will be high on the agenda:
Data. There's a ton of it. How do you find it, aggregate it and use it for strategic development?
Social. Developing ideas in a socially propelled world. How do you really do it - and do it live?
Working in real time. How do we all accelerate the process of development from point in time to interactive, while retaining direction?
Content. What does great content really mean? How do you develop it and own ideas in this hyper-engaged world?
In times of financial uncertainty, clarity of thinking and purpose will differentiate the winners from the losers. Marketers have never had a greater opportunity to create value for their customers, but getting answers to some of the questions above will surely help all of us. I certainly can't wait.
Jon Wilkins is a founder of Naked Communications and the chair of this year's Media 360 conference, which will be held at the Hilton, Heathrow Terminal 5, on 17 and 18 May