Sunday, January 24, 2010


I've been thinking a lot lately about my career path and/or my "calling" in life. I listened to a radio interview of the author of the book The Element (fyi not a good name for a book. It's impossible to google and find). He claimed that each of us has our "element" - that thing you are passionate about, you have a natural capacity for and you are driven to succeed in. For instance, music isn't my element. Why? I have a natural capacity for it and maybe even passion - but I don't have the drive to be successful in it.

I was discussing this theory with a friend and she added that it should also be something "useful" to society. I completely agree. Many careers and jobs are useful, so it doesn't mean it has to be something immense, but something the world needs.

I've also considered the idea that if you aren't saying something that at least one person disagrees with, you probably aren't saying anything worth peoples' time. Even in marketing. If someone doesn't hate what you're doing then probably nobody has noticed it.

Anyway, I thought I'd write all this out because I just saw this video on a friend's blog. I love his idea of conviction. And I've realized that whatever I do, I hope to do it with conviction and a purpose.

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Master Illustrator

Well, not quite. I did spend 8 hours today learning how to use Adobe's Illustrator. I had never used the program until today, but luckily I had experience with Photoshop which made learning this program much easier. Many of the tools are the same, but you can do so much more with Illustrator! I love it. Now I just need to save up the money to buy it for my home computer so I can play all day long.

Here's the logo I created for a business idea I'm working on...

It's not exactly how I originally created it since some information was lost in the format I emailed with. What do you think?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Growth By the Numbers

Apparently, I love lists... so here's another one! This is Bruce Mau's "Incomplete Manifesto for Growth." His ideas are simple yet brilliant, perfect for your business - no matter what kind of business you're in.

There are a few personal favorites of mine:

1. Allow events to change you.
You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

10. Everyone is a leader.
Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead.

14. Don’t be cool.
Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

15. Ask stupid questions.
Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.

24. Avoid software.
The problem with software is that everyone has it.

25. Don’t clean your desk.
You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight.

32. Listen carefully.
Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same.

33. Take field trips.
The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–simulated environment.

39. Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms.
Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces – what Dr. Seuss calls "the waiting place." Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference – the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals – but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.

After reading so many lists like this (my other favorite belongs to Stefan Sagmeister) I think I need to make a list of my own. I think this might call for a new notebook.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Google That.

Check out this list of Kids' (under 18) top searches for 2009.
1. YouTube
2. Google
3. Facebook
4. Sex
5. Porn
7. Yahoo
8. MySpace
9. eBay
10. You Tube
11. Wikipedia
12. Michael Jackson
13. Taylor Swift
14. Gmail
15. Party in the USA
16. Miley Cyrus
17. Club Penguin
18. Miniclip
19. Fred
20. Games

My comments could go a few ways. Disturbing? Yes. The data is divided up by age group and even the under 7 crowd has Porn as the 4th most popular search after Youtube, Google and Facebook. Confusing? Yes. I don't know why the search for miniclip, Club Penguin and fred are so popular... anyone? I guess I'll have to Google it.
But my real point of this is: YOUTUBE. If you consider the fact that it's in the list three times, that probably means the intention for youtube is miles ahead of any of the other searches. So, how is this useful? Should we all have our own youtube channels? Should I start talking to my computer screen like this girl?
I have no real answer, but the data here seems more like a mandate. Get on Youtube or perish. At the very least, Google yourself or your business and find out what that situation is like. And then get yourself a Facebook page.


I have quite a few pet peeves. For the most part, I don't let them get the best of me, but there's one that I find particularly frustrating: Group Think.
Maybe it's because I go to a lot of meetings and, typically, the people in the meetings are from similar backgrounds and often friends. As soon as I see the first signs of discussions becoming one-sided or conversation hurling toward some sudden quick decision, I like to jump in and play devil's advocate. I start asking "Why?" a lot and asking for more clarification. Basically, I just don't agree with anything.
I often wonder if everyone sees what I'm doing or if they think I'm just being annoying by diverting our train from it's track.
I also often think that it's probably why many of my ideas always win, because I'm the first one to jump in and nobody wants to disrupt the flow.
Well folks, without questions there's no creativity. If there's no disagreement, we're probably not coming up with anything innovative.
I've been reading Seth Godin's book Tribes... it's fascinating. He really knows how to motivate his readers, not because he tells you how to make great changes and improve how you do business... he just tells you to do it. DO IT. You are the only thing keeping you from greatness.
So, my suggestion is to start by actually voicing an opinion during your next meeting. When you hear that voice in your head questioning things - say it out loud.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Consumer Experience: Web

(via The Toad Stool)
It is SO IMPORTANT to have a website that makes sense and is easy to use. Confusing websites and useless information and chaotic trails of links drive me absolutely crazy. I certainly hope that you think about the consumers experience when visiting a website rather than how hip the graphics are.
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.

Everything I Have

Whoa, this is so crazy/cool.
(via SwissMiss)
I don't know why I think this is so amazing. It might be because of one of my secret wishes to take on the 100 Thing Challenge. I'm kind of a mix of a minimalist and a kitchy collector of random vintage pieces and piles of books. I truly think that would be my major challenge in limiting myself to 100 things. Nevertheless, someday maybe I'll do it. And then I'll be able to achieve my second secret dream: living in a Tiny House.


I always have heard that you should never apologize for being late or making a mistake, just carry on and you'll look better for it. So...

I've haven't had a moment for writing on the blog and I've been thinking so much about what direction I would like to take it now that I'm working in a new position/field and I also have a lot less time for such leisurely activities.

I'm still working that out, but I do know I think about marketing EVERY DAY. It hurts my brain. Especially because now my marketing techniques are being put to the test, run through the ringer and chopped, cropped and chewed up. It's really not that horrible, but it's definately causing me to think harder, not only about marketing but about how marketing fits into this complicated world - and our complicated organizations.

My hope is that I can find ways to provide some insight into my brain and how it's working all of these things out. I will not say sorry for spending time away from the blog, but I certainly hope to give more attention to it in 2010 (twenty - ten, by the way).