Tuesday, December 18, 2007


i was working on repairing and replacing and adding fencing on my farm. the repairing began after a storm and when i inspected i realized how many areas of the fence over 25 acres were compromised. and as i was fixing things i thought about the importance of checking and repairing fencing on a regular basis; especially since a steer and a pony got out. to paraphrase frost, good fences make for good neighbors. but beyond that i thought of the old timers on farms around me. when the weather is bad; "too rough to work out side right now, good time to sharpen the saws." good idea to keep sharpening the saws and check the fence rather than scrambling to repair things that could have been prevented. much easier and more satisfying in the long run. and doesn't that pertain to work and relationships?
and as the thought, as simple and obvious as it is, crossed my mind, i looked up and saw the rainbow. no kidding. not a movie set. too corny even for most tv.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

next book

looks like ian might be the only one still playing along but this is the next book on the list. great idea of moving from everyone thinking outside the box when the real difficulty is thinking inside the box/ like houdini had to do. more later.

Friday, November 16, 2007

brand gap(s)

for those of you who want to read the next book in our quasi club and have been patient with me (ian, kelsey, heather); i suggested the brand gap. simple but some really good ideas. i particularly like his 3 questions, "who are you, what do you do and why does it matter?"
also some good ideas on naming.
and i await your responses on other things or concepts that might be of use to you in this book.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

what's bad for you?

we started a book club of sorts. picking a book and then discussing it here through comments and posts. this is the first one; "everything bad is good for you" by steven johnson. basically, he makes the point that pop culture is not dumbing us down, in some ways it is making people smarter. i found it ironic that johnson quotes a 2004 study from the national endowment for the arts; "...reading for pleasure had declined steadily among all major american demographic groups. the writer andrew solomon analyzed the consequences of this shift: 'people who read for pleasure are many times more likely than those who don't to visit museums and attend musical performances, almost three times as likely to perform volunteer and charity work and almost twice as likely to attend sporting events. readers, in other words are active while non readers- more than half the population- have settled into apathy." might be true but reminds me of the warnings and fears about magazines displacing and destroying newspaper and radio displacing magazines and books and television sounding the death knell of radio and the internet hastening the demise of all other media. it looks more like time spent with the internet and games etc changes things but ends nothing. still only so much time in a day; either fit more in or let something go. seems to be mostly fit more in. thus the multitasking.
but there is some reason why people often say the book was better than the movie. because they helped co author the book. hard to co author a movie when someone tells you what the character looks and sounds like. but maybe there is an element of co authoring games or is it all about the reward system of getting to the next level and sending dopamine through the circuitry of the brain? and are we co authoring at all when we get into games and have to figure out how it works as we go?

at any rate, is there a mass culture or a herd culture or both? does it make any difference when you are trying to develop and media neutral plan and strategy?
more to come(?)

Friday, October 19, 2007


i was looking through seth godin's book "small is the new big" and i was struck by the post on 'cogs'. he states, "the end result is that it's essentially impossible to become successful or well-off doing a job that is described and measured by someone else...the only way our country (or your country depending on where you live), your economy, and most of all your family has to get ahead is this: make up new rules".
"People who make up new rules continue to be in very short supply".

seems formal education tends to work in a linear fashion and aids a linear thought process. those most rewarded in life often think in a lateral fashion, making unusual combinations and connections. as more people become formally educated, are education and creativity headed on a collision course?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

as many have mentioned, it seems an inordinate amount of time (and money) is being spent on the upcoming presidential election. i think this is especially lengthy considering whoever is elected will be in office for 4 or at the best (?) 8 years. so it could be a quarter of the time or more will have been spent on getting to the office. and then it's over because it is a set time limit.
and my thought was, what if marriage worked this way. you spend a year or 2 in courtship. and then marriage lasts for a limited time. perhaps longer than the presidency; maybe 12 years. then you can mutually decide to re-elect each other but at the end of 2 terms you have to either run for another office or choose not to run for anything again. maybe write a book or just read books.
just a thought. blasphemous i suppose.

Friday, October 5, 2007

the inevitable but not to be morose

we can cheat taxes or at least some people can but we can't cheat death. we can add a little to life perhaps by attitude, diet and exercise and of course not forgetting to drink plenty of water. but if we know it is coming why are we so surprised when it happens. my younger brother died in august. he was ill so we knew it was coming. and now he has a chance to get another body and try again according to some philosophy's and religions. and according to others, he is simply in a better place. i think he has a chance at a better body and i will see him again some time. but in either case, i find it curious that it is so hard for us to value the moment and i find it curious that it is so hard for most people to live as if this is the last moment of your life in a positive way and not a negative and hedonistic way. and perhaps most curious is how people can live as if the extinction of life will not come.
in the mean time, think i will do my best to enjoy life.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

what's it mean?

we were stuck in one of many traffic jams on our way out of accra and i was struck by the simplicity of the statement on the back of this bus. and of course wondering what it might mean to the driver.

Monday, July 23, 2007


just returned from trip to ghana. interviewed people in ad agencies in accra as i was curious about how they develop strategies for the accounts they work on. some large agencies have opened offices there. basically the system for developing strategy is the same as u.s. and europe but the outcome/ the creative product is very different. nothing works with out remembering the indigenous culture.
saw many different signs as the commerce is set up in many small individualized stores (?). only one mall in the capital accra. as second, larger one is being built. most of the signs were not created by ad agencies but either by the people who own the shop or sign painters working at the behest of the shop owners.
definitely the feeling of a developing country.
may the people there remain open and friendly.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

you're welcome

noticed that people rearely say 'you're welcome' anymore when someone says thankyou.
instead, it's more often 'no problem' or 'you bet' or 'sure. what's that about?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

what's wrong with being curious?

It appears that the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat was first penned by Samuel Johnson in 1598 in his play “A man and his humor” A year later, William Shakespeare used a similar sentence in the play “Much Ado About Nothing”. This idea has been in our collective consciousness for some time.
So what is it that scares people about being curious and why would anyone want to stifle it?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

rekindle your curiosity

"I am much more curious than I was 20 years ago, when I was mostly operating under the pressure of trying to look like I knew what I was doing. I know I probably should know by now, that it would be more impressive, that my books would be more definitive, my conference speeches would feel more actionable. But since I actually spend most of my time working on problems and ideas, curiousity is my best friend and the idea of being an “expert” in advance of properly doing that work is just a recipe for disaster (or a job with “executive head of” in the title!)”.
John Grant, The Brand Innovation Manifesto

Monday, April 2, 2007


“Creative thinking begins with great questions, not answers. Great creative thinkers stay with the question instead of rushing to find an immediate solution. They ask more questions than the average person and are comfortable in the often uncomfortable situation of not immediately having the answer”, (Elaine Duton, The Seeds of Innovation: Cultivating the Synergy That Fosters New Ideas).

“Curiosity we are told, killed the cat. Of course, what nobody ever told us is that curiosity did no such thing. If anything killed the cat, it was not curiosity it was not being curious enough. How do you create something without asking questions? What if we did this? What if we tried that? And yet year after year, we get the creative daylights beaten out of us until one day we actually come to believe we don’t have a creative bone in our body. We have a creative bone alright. We have a lot of creative bones. Most of us just don’t know it.” (Ernie Schenck, The Houdini Solution).