Brother and sisters, I confess I have sinned. I, too, have committed that terrible, soul crushing, demoralizing, and unproductive act of telling a designer to "Make it pop." I know, horrifying. However, I have decided that in order to make penance for my crimes, the least I can do is help future designers not have to experience such atrocities again.Read More
The end is coming!... for ads. All those stupid ads cluttering up our content, slowing down websites, and making browsing on your smartphone feel like sitting in a traffic jam are approaching doomsday. Just like the Gold Rush, there are few winners, many losers, and an entire industry that will look like a similar ghost town in a few years.Read More
2016 was rough. Like many of you, I want to be optimistic of 2017, but there are some good reasons to worry that things are just going to get worse. Well, here are my 5 things keeping me sane as we press forward into 2017.Read More
That’s right, if you want to be successful in business, you might as well be a psychopath. Between all this talk of focus, grit, and determination, there is an underlying messaging: If you aren’t successful, it’s because you feel too much.Read More
Donald Trump is showing the world the power of tribal marketing. Trump's surprise success has some very practical elements of sociology. Also, I will explain the very NOT POLITICAL reason Trump can’t make it to the White House.Read More
There are two harsh realities business strategists need to understand: 1) Most people in the world are poor by "American middle-class" standards and 2) Change comes from the poor, not the wealthy.Read More
I have directed, advised, and executed social media for dozens of companies. However, I have to confess that I am terrible at the social medias. At least, I am pretty terrible regarding my own social media.Read More
The 80’s called… they’re reminding you how to succeed. As one of the loyal customers they originally built their empire upon, I can tell you that the world still needs, and WANTS, a RadioShack. Just not the one we have today.Read More
What if I told you the best book on marketing is a children’s book? Well, it is. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss has just about everything you need to know to understand how great marketing works.Read More
Our culture of “If you work hard you will succeed, and if you aren’t succeeding, then you should work harder” has it’s toll. The truth is that we aren’t always aware of the very real cost our ambitions take on our mental and emotional health.Read More
Do you know where your business fits on the scale from impulsivity and intentionality? Products and services which are impulsive purchases require completely different strategies than intentional purchases. Before you start your marketing plan, make sure you know where you sit on the scale.Read More
“Are you an optimist or a pessimist?” Well, I’m not either. I am also not a realist, an idealist, or just about any “ist” you can think of. After giving it some thought, I have come to realize that my worldview can best defined as this…Read More
Super heroes are as popular as ever, including my childhood favorite: Batman. Batman evolved out of our need for a more “complex” super hero. The black and white representation of the “good society’ and the “bad criminals” in the golden age gave way to a kind of of heroic cynicism. So enters Batman. A hero who fights against the corruption of institutions as well as the violence on the street. However, even Batman is an avatar of our misunderstandings of the nature of real society and justice. More than just Batman, the idea of dedicated vigilantes with virtue of any kind is pretty much a fairy tale.
There Will Never Be A Joker
Like many others I LOVED Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. I loved him because he played the villain the world has never known, nor will. You see, the human psyche is not capable of doing something “evil” while being aware of it at the same time. Murderers, psychopaths, rapists, and thieves all act out of a perverted sense of justice or rationalization. The Joker, however, was completely clear-minded about his actions, which is why he was so dangerous.
If there was ever a human being capable of being completely self-aware of their actions, while still acting as intentionally “evil” they would truly be unstoppable. However, even mafia and mob leaders have seemingly contradictory values of family, loyalty, and honor. The idea of a Joker is a phantom in the human psyche, something we all fear but is ultimately non-existent.
What Society Calls “Crime” Is Only Half the Picture
On that line of thinking, people only commit crime when they feel they can no longer trust or rely on society to help them or have their best interests in hand. Thieves feel society hasn’t given them a fair chance at success. Gangs are full of people who are looking for family and acceptance. I am not saying their actions are justified, just again pointing out they don’t see themselves the way we do.
To be a “Batman” or superhero requires a kind of pure conviction. You have to believe, whole heartedly, you are fighting evil to justify the sacrifice and stress of the job. Even soldiers struggle to maintain that kind of blind conviction. More and more, society is learning that crime is really just a symptom of greater issues in our social systems and institutions.
You Can’t Fight Crime and NOT Kill People
It makes for good TV, and keeps Saturday morning cartoons running, but idea of a vigilante never killing people is just silly. Even if you never TRIED to kill anyone, people are going to die just by the natural violence of fighting. People die today in boxing areas, MMA, and even regular sports’ accidents. There is an old Samurai code, “Do not draw your sword until you are ready to kill.” This is the true nature of conflict and violence. On that note, I think even our real police draw guns too flippantly.
“Us vs. Them” is a Mental Disorder
The infamous MMPI (or Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) test lead to the common misunderstanding that police and criminals have “the same psychology.” What the test really showed was that VIOLENT police, the kind we now catch on camera beating people, have the same psychology as many VIOLENT criminals. That psychology? The belief of “us vs. them” and good guys vs. bad guys.
Violent criminals have often come to believe that society is against them. While violent cops often believe that they are here to fight evil criminals. Either way, “us vs. them” is a mental disorder as the very root of all violence. Sadly, our history of super-hero stories have fed our appetites for this simple black-and-white conflict.
The Kind of Heroes We Really Need
The best police officers, and they are out there, are the ones who appreciate the complexities of society. They don’t see their job as “good vs. evil” but a job of trying to protect people, often even from themselves. Anytime we think we are truly the “heroes” of a story or situation, we are at the greatest risk of creating evil ourselves. We need less stories about “good vs. evil” and more stories about people working to overcome their own evils together.
Now, I am still going to watch any and every Batman movie out and yet to come, because Batman awesome. I am just going to keep in mind the story is fiction. Besides, Superman is the real “good vs. evil” tool anyway.
The phrase “scientific consensus” has become like a beating drum, said over and over. These two issues represent “crazy” on both sides of the aisle. Why do so many people refuse to believe what 99% of scientists agree on, or what 99% of medical professionals agree on? Here is why that pesky 1% is putting up so much a fight…Read More
The economic drivers behind soccer are so powerful, that there is no chance of it being over-thrown any time soon. What are these drivers I speak of? They are the economics of a child and a ball.Read More
Before the Internet we needed retail to SHOW us what we could buy, something the Internet does a hundred times better. Retail stores that innovate ways to be a gateway for customers to better their life or enter a lifestyle are the ones that will last through the next couple decades.Read More
The pursuit of artificial intelligence has ironically brought more progress into understanding the genuine article (the human brain) than it has to creating an artificial one. Here are five big things we have learned about the brain and how we think.Read More