30 May 2007

Marketing geekiness

Seth Godin's blog entry today is particularly good. It hits a chord in my geeky marketing soul.

Pundits are (nearly) always wrong
Here's why: Because we measure the wrong thing... We measure whether or not it agrees with our worldview and our sense of the way the world is.

The problem is that hits change worldviews. Hits change our senses. Hits appeal to people other than the gatekeepers and then the word spreads...

No one 'pre-predicted' the astonishing success of Flickr or Google or Twitter or Bill Clinton's first run for President. Sure, it was easy to connect the dots after the fact, but that doesn't count.

Of course, there are plenty of failures to go around (I know that I've got more than plenty). Just because everyone hates it doesn't mean it's good. Execution is everything. Execution and persistence and the ability to respond to the market far outweigh a pundit's gut instinct. But, the thing to remember is this: if everyone loves it, it is almost certain to have troubles.

In fact, my rule of thumb is this: if the right people like it, I'm not trying hard enough.

On a related note -- I was in a meeting last week with a couple of marketing/business case consultants. I mentioned the book Differentiate or Die, by Jack Trout, 'the world's foremost marketing strategist.' They hadn't heard of Trout. My perception of their work went immediately in the toilet.

29 May 2007

Mouthiness for almost Monday

I'm listening to David Sedaris' Me Talk Pretty One Day. I read the book and have already listened to the audio once. (Bonus! David reads the book!) I'm not a re-reader of books so that tells you about the brilliance of the book. It's one of the funniest ever. Examples:
  • A concept as uninviting as a shampoo cocktail
  • [Remarking on the sorry state of many Americans' attire while traveling in Europe.] Comfort has its place but it seems rude to visit another country dressed as if you're there to mow its lawn.
Since it's the equivalent of Monday here (yesterday was Memorial Day, a holiday.) A few more laughs to get you off the ground.
  • I'm a great interviewee. I have something else no one has. My brain. Which I use to my advantage when advantageous. (Andy on "The Office.")
  • Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (An appetizer on the menu at Granite City. I understand the concept -- chunks instead of paltry crab shred. But I still don't want to eat anything that has "lump" in the name.)
  • Take it to shutty town. (A euphemism for shut up from "King of Queens.")
From the above you'd think I watch a lot of television. Not so. But when I watch a show like "The Office," in which you are always gifted with at least one gut-busting laugh, I write down funny things I hear. Nerdy but it delights me to no end.

28 May 2007

Poo Poo on Monday -- Atom Bomb

"The Young Ones" was a fabulous British comedy. The characters are absolutely horrible. But incredibly funny -- especially Rick, the nerd, and VyVyan, the guy with the silver stars stuck into his forehead.

22 May 2007

Not quite Successories

A while back I overheard this funny interchange between two individuals who appeared to be work colleagues.

Colleague 1: "Your were there. Were you asleep?"
Colleague 2: "I didn't care."

Universe, random thoughts

Today's note from the Universe. Particularly timely!
Just put yourself ahead in time, pretend that it's next month already, and imagine that the past 4 or so weeks just totally rocked. Every hope you now possess for the coming weeks has manifested. Every challenge was breezed through. Every cool person stayed cool, every trickster became an ally, there were happy surprises along the way, and, you got plenty of sleep.

This is how we do it.

Kung Fu -
The Universe

On a completely different note, I'm on a Peter Gabriel roll. I am spellbound by "More Than This," from Up (Roxy Music also has a lovely song by the same name). And I don't care how often I hear it, "In Your Eyes" is a treat for the ears and spirit (and Youssou N'Dour is fabulous).

21 May 2007

Poo Poo on Monday -- fax machine

From "Office Space." The characters take the horribly functioning/jamming fax machine out for a beating. We would so like to take our office color printer. (Print two pages -- slooooooow, jam in some unfindable place, warm up for 10 minutes, print one page on white paper, print the next on huge purple paper, jam...)
Due to langauge, this is best listened to with headphones unless you're at home. Or don't care.

17 May 2007


Herbert Groenemeyer's new CD, Zwoelf (twelve) came out in March. I was on Amazon right away to purchase it. But I didn't. It's $33.40 (24.83 Euro) I suppose because it's an import and new. I love Groenemeyer but this seemed a bit steep.

Last night I had the very best surprise. I was snooping around iTunes for Groenemeyer and other songs. I found the CD! For $10 (7.40 Euro). I did the happy dance and downloaded it. (Lyrics are on Groenemeyer's site. Yay!) I stayed up way too late listening.

The entire CD is grossartig (grand). Every track! The music is very upbeat and uses a lot of strings and piano -- my favorites. (Mensch, his previous CD, came out within a couple years of his wife's death. It was, understandably, dark.) My current favorite is Liebe liegt nicht (Love doesn't leave -- I think. I can know the meaning of a word or phrase in German but often can't iterate it in English. I would make a horrible translator.)

One last plug. He supports DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa). " DATA is an advocacy organization dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty and AIDS in Africa." It monitors the G8's progress on its promise to Africa.

15 May 2007

All of the knowledge, but cheaper!

At Mental Floss you can buy Med School in a Box. All you need to know in a handy carrying case and only $14.95 (about 11 Euro). It would likely unnerve patients, however, if you had to shuffle through the cards to answer questions or name a body part.

14 May 2007

Happy Birthday Sophie!

It's Sophie's birthday today. She is 8. She's a goofy little thing and such great company. Yay for Sophie!

Looking all official. She wasn't quite sure about sitting on the chair (see ears).

Here she is as a pup. It expresses her personality quite well! Boston Terriers aren't smiling dogs so you have to watch their body language to gauge their moods.

Poo Poo on Monday -- Corky

A classic clip from Christopher Guest's "Waiting for Guffman." One of the funniest movies ever. Guffman is a mock documentary about a play produced for a town's anniversary celebration. In this scene Corky, the play's director, asks the town council for money to produce the play.

10 May 2007


This is what's for lunch and dinner in our cafeteria today. The lunch looks like a joke. Especially when juxtaposed with the dinner offering of tofu satay.

Tator Tot Hot Dish
Green Jell-O
Chocolate Cake

Italian Chicken
Oven Roasted Potatoes
Tofu Satay

It's supposed to be 85F (29C) today. Who wants any kind of hot dish when it's that warm?

Johnny Cash/NIN

I really like some of Nine Inch Nails' music. There's something so strong yet desperate, and slightly menacing, in a lot of the lyrics. "Hurt" is gorgeous and heartbreaking. Johnny Cash's cover is beautiful. It's especially poignant since the story is no stranger.

Those sweet Mutts

This one made me a bit teary.

09 May 2007

New Yorker cartoons

The New Yorker has great cartoons. They're smart and funny. My first read when I look at the magazine. In a recent cartoon there are a number of people sitting around a board room table. The man at the head of the table says, "As board members, we need to speak with one voice. I'm suggesting Donald Duck." See the cartoon here.

If you like the cartoons you can get one every day on e-mail! Go to this page and look for ArcaMax newsletters on the left side of the page.

08 May 2007

So bad, yet so good

I couldn't find a clip of this on YouTube so I'll explain this Saturday Night Live sketch. I haven't heard or seen this in more than 15 years. Even so, the song will pop into my head and linger as an Ohrwurm.

Garrett Morris plays a guy before the parole board. He's wearing the grey and white striped uniform and hat. He is a model prisoner. He vows that he's reformed, will be a model citizen, can re-enter society, etc. The parole board is very pleased. They are about to grant him parole and he tells them he'd like to sing a song. He launches into this:

I'm gonna get me a shot gun and kill all the whiteys I see
I'm gonna get me a shot gun and kill all the whiteys I see

[can't remember this bit] ... whitey he won't bother me

I'm gonna get me a shot gun and kill all the whiteys I see

I'm gonna find me a chick in a navy blue sweater
I'm gonna find me a chick in a navy blue sweater

At this point in the song he is hauled off by the prison guards.

07 May 2007

Poo Poo on Monday

I e-mailed EclectChick this a.m. about Bush's approval rating -- 28 percent. She coined a new word to describe her delight: Schadenfreudelicious (Schadenfreude* + delicious).

I am eating my lunch and the celery is extra salty. I wonder if that means it's gone bad?

*Glee at another's misfortune.

Welcome to Optimism
no longer publishes Stu Poo Poo's the Blues. It's a dreary spring day here so here's my Monday Poo Poo the Blues (I hope that title isn't trademarked) -- future Dwight.

04 May 2007

Finally, what I was meant to do!

EclectChick sent this. Finally, I can leave the tedious world of marketing and pursue my dream of packing heat and catching speeders. I bet you get your own roll of yellow tape.

03 May 2007

Blast from the past

I love these photos. Both include my grandparents, Sam and Tina. They doted on us. Up until I was 5 years old they lived about four blocks away. When they did their weekly grocery shopping they would take either Mike or me. I don't remember much about it but I'm sure it was quite a treat! The second photo includes my Dad, Mike (4 months) and me (3 years old).

02 May 2007

Yard art

ElectChick's recent post about things left behind at the antique show reminded me of these photos. I took them last summer in Osakis, an odd little town in western Minnesota.

01 May 2007

Those clever Pythons

This is one of my favorite Monty Python sketches. I dissolve into giggles every time I see it.

Eco and large

I usually bring my lunch to work. It's not a big lunch. A sandwich or leftovers, some veg and fruit, maybe some yogurt. I try to be eco friendly so everything goes in reusable containers rather than plastic wrap or bags. Those little containers take up much more space than disposables. I come to work everyday with a lunch bag that looks as if it could be a picnic for four.