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The Essential List: John Cornette

Advertising Agency
Greenville, USA
Executive Vice President, ECD/Director of Innovation at EP+Co buys pens by the case and pinches snacks from his kid
As director of innovation at EP+Co, you’d think that John Cornette would be all tech, tech, tech. But when it comes to ideas, for him nothing beats a proper, human conversation. What’s more, when it comes to board games he’s somewhat of a classicist. That’s not to say that he doesn’t have his fair share of gadgets though, from his BMW motorcycle to his Nikon 5D camera. 

Get to know more in his Essential List below. 


Place of birth: Winchester, Kentucky
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
Staycation: New York City (include all five boroughs and I have a world of options)
Vacation: Paris, France or Yellowstone National Park. City mood vs. adventure mood
Place of work: New York City – Bryant Park area
Place of workout: West side highway bike path or hotel gym. Mostly the latter, unfortunately
Mode of transport: Motorcycle (specifically BMW GS700)

Miscellaneous Travel Essential: Aside from a motorcycle, it would be a new book on tape loaded into my phone. Right now, I’m listening to Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari


Artist: Marcel Duchamp: I saw some of his work again recently in the National Gallery in D.C. Still thought provoking. Not bad for a guy born in 1887
Musician: Kendrick Lamar – but just at the moment. Next week I’ll obsess over something else… 
Commercials director: Craig Gillespie – was years ago – but he was the most creative, collaborative and dedicated I’ve worked with to date.
Film director: David Fincher – from Fight Club to Mindhunter. SO good
Photographer: Andreas Gursky – especially ‘99 Cent.’ I look at it every day and still love it
Film: Michael Clayton 
Series: Ozark: Haven’t been as gripped since Breaking Bad. See how I got two in there?
Commercial: ‘Meet the Superhumans’ – for Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympics

Music Video: Johnny Cash ‘Hurt’, directed by Mark Romanek
Video Game: Assassin’s Creed: Black Sails – lost a few days on that one. The deepest game I’ve ever seen. Really excellent bisection of story and game theory
Board Game: Clue. Colonel Mustard
Book: The Alienist by Caleb Carr – I hope the upcoming TV series does it justice. 
Graphic Novel: Spawn by Todd McFarlane
Newspaper (off or online): I like AP News. Go to the source that other outlets republish from
Magazine: New York Magazine. Solid blend of smart and fun

Food and Drink

Breakfast: Coffee and a green juice

Restaurant: Shuko on 12th street
Cheap bite: Frankel’s Deli on Bedford & Manhattan in Greenpoint
Working lunch: Bryant Park Grill’s patio on a nice day is hard to beat
Dish: Porterhouse for two from Keens Steakhouse
Snack: My kid’s Annie’s Snack Mix (when they aren’t looking)
Guilty Pleasure: Pizza – Spunto in the West Village
Bar: Fresh Kills on Grand St. in Brooklyn
Tipple: Maker’s Mark Manhattan rocks


Phone: iPhone 7s Plus – once you go phablet you never go back
Computer: MacBook Air – portability and capability
Camera: Nikon 5D with 24-70 lens. It’s heavy as hell but still produces my favourite images
Pen / pencil: Uniball Signo 307 Black – I order them by the case because people notoriously steal pens
Where you document an idea: Notes program on my iPhone. Some old gems in there I need to dig up actually. With someone, having a back-and-forth immediately really changes things 
Casual wear: Black Nike dry-fit t-shirts. It’s my uniform
Footwear: Common Projects sneakers – I call them meeting sneakers 

Watch: Panerai 111. I bought it years ago and still love it. The sound of the manual wind each morning is a ritual
App: Strava for running and cycling. I like to get credit ☺ 
Website: – so much amazing design and craft. Humbling
Blog: Uncrate
Work program: Email. Walt Mossberg

Walt Mossberg

Digital work tool:  Photoshop forever – still an amazing tool
Analogue work tool: Speech - as in words coming out of a real human mouth. Shocking how little people just TALK about ideas. Email is great, but conversation still results in the best ideas
Work from EP+Co