Archive for March, 2010

You Know Nothing About Marshall McLuhan

March 17, 2010 Leave a comment

H/t to The Ad Contrarian for this gem:

I wish there was a version of this video for self-appointed Social Media Experts.

Categories: PLANNING/STRATEGY Tags: ,

What Can You Buy to Be Happy? Experiences.

March 8, 2010 1 comment

Just found an article that came out a year ago over on Science Daily that said “Buying Experiences, Not Possessions, Leads to Greater Happiness.” I’ve written before about “What Makes Us Happy?” in an extensive Harvard study led by Dr. Vaillant.

Apparently , this “…study demonstrates that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased well-being because they satisfy higher order needs, specifically the need for social connectedness and vitality — a feeling of being alive.”

Makes sense. Most people are social by nature, so it seems logical that if forced to choose one or another, we’d rather be doing things with people than by ourselves, despite our accumulation of material possessions.

In other words, no matter how bad-ass this new Porsche 918 Spyder is, it’d be a lot more fun with some company.

Porsche 918 Spyder

Image “Porsche 918 Spyder concept is the most beautiful hybrid we’ve ever seen

Categories: PSYCHOLOGY

L.A. – One of the safest cities?

Even though I’m not going to be living in L.A. (I’ll be an hour South, in Orange County), I’ll probably be spending some time there. Luckily, I have a much lower chance of getting killed there than in a number of smaller U.S. cities:

“Not since the Beach Boys were in peach fuzz and crew cuts has it been so safe to live and play in the City of Angels. Believe it: you are more likely to be murdered in Columbus, Ohio, or Tulsa, Okla., than in the nation’s second most populous city.” — via Marginal RevolutionLos Angeles Fact of the Day

So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

Luckily for me, I’ll be driving through Columbus, OH; Tulsa, OK; and even sunny St. Louis when I move. Better keep the windows rolled up just in case:

Categories: TRAVEL Tags:


March 4, 2010 3 comments

Image here

At last.

I’ve had a long job search — a really long job search. But I have great news.

Today I accepted an offer to join Casanova Pendrill, a Hispanic Advertising agency in Orange County, CA, as a Strategic Planner.

There’s a scene towards the end of the Will Smith movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” after he’s just been offered a job, walks outside the office and claps his hands together as he walks through a crowd of people, elated about his accomplishment. It’s not just the fact that he was able to find a job. It’s that he was able to overcome all the adversity he faced through perseverance. Incredible perseverance and an ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

That’s how I’m feeling right now.

In early 2008, I made the decision to leave my company and carve out another path for myself. It’s taken two years to get here. And it took a lot in between — soul searching, going back to school, working here and there – to get to this point.

I’ve thought about that scene a lot of times in the past 24 months or so.

It’s a tough thing to switch careers. It’s even tougher as you get older.


Because of all the excuses you give yourself. And none of them hold any water. These are limiting beliefs.

This is where most people quit. It’s what Seth Godin calls “The Dip” and it’s your mind giving up on you.

Image Seth’s Blog

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I know there are lots of people out of work right now, and if you’re one of them, you need to get the negativity out of your head. Stop blaming the economy, or the market, or anything else. In the end, it’s all up to you.

And in the end…there’s “Happyness.”

Christopher Gardner: Hey. Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. All right?
Christopher: All right.
Christopher Gardner: You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

Categories: CAREER

Book Review: “Into Thin Air”

March 3, 2010 1 comment


I started reading Jon Krakauer’s book “Into Thin Air” on my flight to LA last week. Apparently there was a TV movie made about this story back in 1997, but I don’t remember ever seeing it.

I’m about halfway through the book now. It’s just a really, really good story. I like how Krakauer starts off each chapter with a quote from another book on mountaineering. Here’s one from Chapter 7:

But there are men for whom the unattainable has a special attraction. Usually they are not experts; their ambitions and fantasies are strong enough to brush aside the doubts which more cautious men might have. Determination and faith are their strongest weapons. At best such men are regarded as eccentric; at worst, mad…

Everest has attracted its share of men like these. Their mountaineering experience varied from none at all to very slight — certainly none of them had the kind of experience which would make an ascent of Everest a reasonable goal. Three things they all had in common: faith in themselves, great determination, and endurance.” —Walt Unsworth, Everest

“Into Thin Air” has a lot of elements that make it a great adventure story. For me, it’s about the strength of the human spirit and persistence; moving forward one step at a time as you get incrementally closer to your goal.


Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

Categories: BOOK REVIEWS

Craigslist’s Business Model

March 1, 2010 1 comment

I’m just going to share a couple passages from this month’s WIRED article about Craigslist and its founder, Craig Newmark, but you should really read the whole thing:

“Though the company is privately held and does not respond to questions about its finances, it is evident that craigslist earns stupendous amounts of cash. One recent report, from a consulting firm that counted the paid ads, estimates that revenue could top $100 million in 2009. Should craigslist ever be sold, the price likely would run into the billions. Newmark, by these lights, is a very rich man. When anybody reminds him of this, the craigslist founder says there is nothing he would care to do with that much money, should it ever come into his hands. He already has a parking space, a hummingbird feeder, a small home with a view, and a shower with strong water pressure. What else is he supposed to want?”

It gets better:

“Newmark’s claim of almost total disinterest in wealth dovetails with the way craigslist does business. Besides offering nearly all of its features for free, it scorns advertising, refuses investment, ignores design, and does not innovate. Ordinarily, a company that showed such complete disdain for the normal rules of business would be vulnerable to competition, but craigslist has no serious rivals. The glory of the site is its size and its price. But seen from another angle, craigslist is one of the strangest monopolies in history, where customers are locked in by fees set at zero and where the ambiance of neglect is not a way to extract more profit but the expression of a worldview.

The axioms of this worldview are easy to state. “People are good and trustworthy and generally just concerned with getting through the day,” Newmark says. If most people are good and their needs are simple, all you have to do to serve them well is build a minimal infrastructure allowing them to get together and work things out for themselves. Any additional features are almost certainly superfluous and could even be damaging.”

I’m always interested in reading about business models and their perceived strengths/weaknesses. No matter how I look at it, I always come back to the same conclusion: businesses that succeed today are successful because they provide their customers value.

Categories: BUSINESS
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