Two years ago I wrote this after my first marathon. I took a year off running, and recently finished my second. I was curious to see how I felt then vs. now.
Remarkably similar. My times were even within a few minutes of each other (despite running this year with a surgically-repaired hand in a cast, which not only threw off my stride but prevented me from completing the last month of training). I'm a bit more informed now on things like nutrition and training, but I'm equally ambivalent about running (as a sport and culture). Read More
Yeah, man. Bruce is a very unusual rock star, isn't he, really? I mean, he hasn't done the things most rock stars do. He got rich and famous, but he never embarrassed himself with all that success, did he? No drug busts, no blood changes in Switzerland - even more remarkable, no golfing. No bad hair period, even in the '80s. No wearing of dresses in videos, though there was those fingerless gloves in the '80s. No embarrassing movie roles, no pet snakes, no monkeys, no exhibitions of his own paintings, no public brawling or setting himself on fire on the weekends. Rock stars are supposed to make soap operas of their lives, aren't they? If they don't kill themselves first. Well, you can't be a big legend and not be dysfunctional. It's not allowed. You should at least have lost your looks. Everyone else has. Read More
When you work in advertising you spend a lot of time talking about human truths. Read More
Truths lead to insights lead to creative briefs lead to great ads.
Or something like that.
For no reason at all here are 5 totally useless, but indisputable, human truths:
Yesterday afternoon, walking down a street I wouldn't normally find myself on at that time.
My headphones in, as always. Listening to Bill Simmons and Joe House pick the lines for Sunday's NFL games.
I heard a voice yell something and didn’t think anything of it.
Then I heard it again, and reluctantly stopped.
(If you know me, you know small-talk outside of work isn't my comfort zone. I've crossed thousands of streets in my life to avoid it.)
A man standing in the middle of the sidewalk calling my name.
I stared blankly until he introduced himself.
An Englishman who had moved to Chicago about a year ago. Read More
We "knew" each other from Twitter and Instagram; having first "met" via a few very loose professional connections from ages ago (at least in Internet terms ... like 2006 or so).
A few weeks ago someone asked me to write an article on 2016 digital marketing trends.
Flattered he'd think I'd have something unique to add to the cacophony (how many ways can we boldly predict 2016: the year of ubiquitous mobile commerce) I quickly (and politely) declined. I’ve done it before and am not interested in doing it again.
During our conversation I offhandedly mentioned I’d rather predict 10 years from now … I’d have more fun with it and no one could ever grade me. He chuckled (equally politely) and we went our separate ways.
But walking home from work that afternoon I started thinking about the future. Not 10 years out, but 36 to be exact. Because in 2051 my oldest son will be the age I am now (and the younger, 40). Specifically I thought about current-day institutions (i and I) we take for granted, and what would/wouldn’t exist in 2051.
On that 25 minute walk I captured these five thoughts. And then I stopped thinking about it, because that’s all the time it deserved. And because I wanted to get back to the new Bill Simmons podcast. And because as Nils Bohr famously said, "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.” Read More
I hear this narrative recounted often in interviews (most recently as told by Steve Albini) and it always fascinates me. I wonder if – or how – it'll play out in my house with my boys. Because the interplay between them is remarkable. Because I didn't grow up with an older brother, so I have no point-of-reference. Because I always wonder where creativity comes from.
A 15 year old boy sits in his bedroom, alone.
He studies the record jacket, the lyrics.
He imagines, for the first time in his life, a world beyond the bubble of small-town highschool; a world where value isn't defined by homecoming dates and touchdowns and penmanship.
His big brother is off to college now. Or the army or a commune. With him went baseball caps and perfectly worn-in jeans. The music, the books, the family camcorder stay behind.
These brothers, 2 ... 3 ... 4 years apart. They grow up best friends. They eat, sleep and play together. These are mine, now. Always side-by-side. Read More
Doris Lessing has her own version of our bedtime ritual - a rallying cry for independence and creativity. I found it a few weeks ago (via the excellent Nitch):
Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly throughout his or her school life is something like this: You are in the process of being indoctrinated...What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture...You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors...Those of you who are more robust and individual...will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself—educating your own judgments. Those that stay must remember, always...that they are being molded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society. Read More
My mind doesn't find peace as miles melt away. Read More
I run fast to be done sooner.
I don't have a clue if I under- or over-pronate (or what pronate means).
I can't pin a race bib on straight.
I don't hit the lakefront path to run an anxiety out of my system.
I sometimes pretend to stretch before I run. Yes, pretend. But only when other people are around, naturally.
I don't think I've experienced runner's high.
I buy running shoes based mostly on aesthetics.
Carbo-loading sounds horrible to me.
I run alone, but not for the solitude or space or peace. Simply for convenience.
I was recently at a conference hosted by Contagious Magazine, called Now / Next / Why. Really one of the most thoughtful days I've had in while. So it basically starts with these two guys talking about this idea of transference of experience expectations, as explained here ...
“To start off with, Matt and Will from Contagious encouraged us to think about the best and worst brand experiences as of lately, and how transference of experience expectation happens without us knowing: the last great experience you have with a brand will then go on to shape how you feel about other things in your life. You might have had a terrific experience with Uber, where you can sync your Spotify playlist with the car you’re about to board, and then reasonably wonder why you can’t do the same thing with, perhaps, a restaurant you’ve booked for a special dinner out. You start to wish other brands or services in seemingly unrelated industries offered the same level of personalisation.” Read More
What if success has nothing to do failure? What if success has nothing to do any of the factors we often attribute it to, namely hard work or luck. What if success has everything to do with making calculating decisions that put you in the best position to succeed? Or what if some people are just more apt to succeed than others?
I don’t think we’re ready to have that conversation because that would burst a lot of bubbles.
Hard work is easy to quantify in hours, push-ups, page-count. Anyone can work hard.
Luck takes no effort, it either happens or not.
And admitting some people are just more wired to succeed than others goes against the very fabric of our participation trophy culture. It would hurt too many feelings. Read More