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Marketers Paint the Future

Epiphany:

Marketers are in the business of painting the future in such a way that using their company’s products look like common sense.

Now, if you’re peddling crapola for a company you don’t believe in then this is sheer torture—but if you’re fortunate enough to be inspired by the benefits your company’s services or products provide, then it’s creative, inspiring and lots of fun.

And if you’re Apple, then I guess you make products that change the future!

 

Walk the Alleys–Gain New Perspective

Walk the Alleys–Gain New Perspective

I live in semi-urbia. A big town. A very small city.

Here’s one of the things I love to do: Walk the alleys.

Here’s why: you get to see some interesting stuff.

For example, here’s a little spontaneous micro-landscape design in a veritable pot (really the end of a dormant pipe). Nature’s work is genius… you just have to keep you’re eyes open.

 

Or how about this crazy paint job. Seriously, can you imagine watching this person flub this project?

 

Or this plane crash. Shot with Instagram, but without the retro look, it was a pretty wild find.

 

Or this cat.

 

So next time you’re walkin’ the streets–take the alleys and find something new.

Poets Can Be Marketers–Marketers Should Be Poets

I’m on record for thinking it’s an easy hop from being an artist to being a good marketer. And this Charles Bukowski quote reminds me ever more.

An intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way; an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way.

Marketing is about robust communication on the head of a pin. It’s about the ability to distill–to take the complexity out of a thing without taking out the thing that makes the thing a thing. Wait, I just turned into Bukowski’s intellectual!

Kitchen Knives Need to Be Sharp–Otherwise, What’s the Point?

If everything is a metaphor then look no further than your kitchen for some good ones.

I was slicing some veggies the other night and noticed my slice was off. My cuts weren’t smooth. Pieces ended up being different sizes–I had no mojo. So I took a break and tuned my knife up with a few pulls through the sharpener. Nice. Now my job was easier. My work was higher quality. My job satisfaction got a bump too. I turned from amateur to a chef with mad skillz.

So here’s the metaphor: your kitchen is your life.

Do you keep your tools sharp so your work is rad–and not a struggle? In other words, to get to the ‘Pièce de résistance’ and not the ‘piece of s$%t’ you’ve got to get past the basics–and stay past the basics.

Folks, if you want to create works of beauty keep your tools in tip top shape–otherwise, you’ll end up cutting your finger tip off.

Michael Jordan never went out on the court without tying his shoes really well (I’d bet pro athletes are obsessive over that stuff)…

I’m Kicking An Old Habit: Microsoft Word

Here’s some naked lunch I woke up to this morning: Microsoft Word is dead.

I’m just done with it. Cold Turkey.

Here’s why: it’s a tool for printing stuff.

I’ve been using Word since I was in, like,  middle school–and it was always in preparation for printing.

It sounds like an epiphany–but it’s really been a long train coming.

I think the first thing that happened was that I checked out Google Docs–which doesn’t have a lot of fancy formatting tools. But it made me think: what formatting tools do I really need?

The next thing that happened is that I switched my Word ‘View’ from ‘Print layout’ to ‘Web layout’–which allowed my content to fill  my entire screen. Really, why would you want to reproduce the constraints of paper on a screen? This was the ‘ahah’ moment.

Here’s the nugget of truth I’ve been working on:  we need tools to enhance our thinking–not to structure the output of our thoughts; otherwise, the tail starts wagging the dog. The focus should be on synergy, interrelatedness and sharing. The goal is enhancing thoughts (like shoes enhance walking!).

I want a tool that lets me cut, paste, share, email, tweet, blog, label, hide/unhide, connect, disconnect, save–whatever.

The last thing I need to worry about is getting my indent perfectly at 1 1/4 inches (who hasn’t lost a day in their life trying to get Word to obey!).

Let’s agree to move away from tools that constrain (not even a tool then, right?) to tools that liberate and accelerate.

Right now I’m using Evernote–not perfect, but totally digging the shackle free experience. No tabs. Just content.

Ben Folds–On Being Obsessive

Came across this great quote from Ben Folds:

“I spent maybe six months just running scales with a metronome like a freak,” Folds said. “I suppose that did something.”

Of course it did something Ben!

Fundamentally, it’s about knowing that being a maniac about something is the right thing to do sometimes–not as a way of life, of course, but as a way to build up expertise or a skill that you feel will be fundamental to your life sometime in the future.

When I learned HTML I think I went through hundreds of tutorials–just did everyone I could find. It was important to know everything–not just the things that were immediately involved in a project.

I also went through a phase when I underlined everywhere word I looked up in the dictionary–and then I’d review all the ones I’d ever circled–every week!  My wife gave me a weird look about that one.

Quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Folds.