Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Agony of Defeat

Goal keeper in action. (Youth game in Germany).

Image via Wikipedia

This year’s was Paco’s first playing competitive sports.

All along, I told him that my only standard for success was “leave it all on the field.”

I didn’t care if he won or lost, scored or didn’t. I cared how hard he tried.

And tried he did. Every play. I was very proud of him.

Now, of course, we like to win as much as anyone and his team made it to the championship game.

With minutes left in the game, his team was leading 1-0.

Paco was in goal.

The other team (Blue) kicked a ball from a relatively far distance, it took an admittedly weird bounce and went over his 3’5” frame into the goal to tie the game.

Ultimately, the game went into overtime and Blue beat Paco’s team (Gold) for the victory.

Surprisingly, Paco wasn’t that upset about the goal. That is, he didn’t feel like he had cost his team the victory, but he was DISTRAUGHT about the loss.

He cried on my shoulder for a good few minutes.

He wanted to win so badly and I felt his pain so much that I started to get choked up.

I admired his guts and his determination. His desire for excellence and victory.

I didn’t like that he was too upset to go shake hands in the post-game lineup, but I suppose I get it.

Still, I was proud of him.

Even beyond that, I was surprised by how much my emotions were wrapped up in his.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Seinfeldian Economics….

Like chocolate and peanut butter, we now bring together two perfect complements.

Seinfeld and Economics.

see http://yadayadayadaecon.com/

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kinect for Xbox 360-Controlling by Moving Your Body

imageUntil now, I didn’t want my kids playing video games. Too passive.

Well, not anymore. Personally, I think this video of my kids is more powerful than Microsoft’s official video, but I’m biased.

“You are the controller” is the tag line for the Xbox 360 Kinect system and, well, let’s just say that that is indeed the case.

You can play a video game without holding any controller or any type. You just stand in front of the camera and move around.

It’s pretty crazy.

Best of all, it’s active and, now, I have a 5 year old who thinks it’s totally normal to stand in front of a TV and have his actions reflected on the screen.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Which do you “like” better?

I’m going to put a “reveal tab” on the Never Stop Marketing Facebook Fan Page (become a fan, if you aren’t already).

Here’s how you can create one for yourself, if you want.

Now, vote in this poll and let me know which one you “like” better?

Version 1



Version 2



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Illness as a Gift?

On this day of Thanksgiving, here’s an interesting take on gifts and being thankful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Feeling Like a Sell Out…

For a long time, I’ve taken pride in the fact that I mow my own lawn and rake my own leaves.

This year, mostly due to work commitments, I just didn’t see how I would have the time to rake the leaves prior to the collection date.

So, I hired someone to do it.

In a business sense, I outsourced a non-core competency, but I did feel like a bit of a sell-out.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Never Stop Marketing TV

Just a public service announcement. If you are  YouTube user, you can subscribe to the Never Stop Marketing channel.

Some self-promotional stuff, but trying to put augment with good, solid interviews up there as well.

Not all of them make the blog, but they are there.

As with everything. Feedback welcome.

Just click on Subscribe.


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Little Moments and the Big Picture

“When I go to college,” Paco announced, “I am not going to live there. I am going to stay at home because I want to be near you and Mommy.”

“That’s nice, Jokinen,” I said, “but one of the reasons you go to college is to begin to learn how to live on your own. You’re not going to live with us forever.”

“Will you start teaching me how to live on my own when I’m 18?” he asked.

“Every time you watch me doing something, you’re learning how to live on your own,” I said.

“You just don’t realize it yet.”

Made me appreciate how these little moments all add up to the whole of the childhood experience.

And the awesome responsibility of every day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Angels and Football in the Bible

Sarah and Abraham hosting three angels

Image via Wikipedia

There’s a story in the Old Testament about 3 angels visiting Abraham and Sarah in their tent.

There’s also a song which many parents sing at night to their kids which indicates that there are 4 angels (one on each side) that serve to protect us.

Paco and I were discussing which of the 3 angels (Raphael, Uriel, Michael, Gabriel) had visited Abraham and Sarah.

We concluded that Uriel was the one who was absent (not sure how).

“Where do you think he was?” Paco asked.

“I think he was probably at home, watching football,” I responded.

“No way!” Paco exclaimed emphatically.

“It wasn’t Sunday!”


Friday, November 19, 2010

Ending Family Traditions…

A friend of mine has been going to her husband’s family’s Thanksgiving celebration for every year they have been married (over 10).

Last year, shortly after the holiday, we were discussing the fact that she never had the opportunity to spend the holiday with her own family.

She wanted to.

I suggested to her that she “hold on to that feeling” and 6 months before Thanksgiving, announce to the family that she would like to do something a bit different this year.

Otherwise, when it was too close to the holiday, she would just “cave” and end up going, despite her own wishes.

I should add that Thanksgiving at her in-laws is a BIG deal, with over 30 people from multiple generations and branches attending.

So, I gave her the strategy and she executed.

Made a note on her calendar and reached out to her mother-in-law, well in advance.

The response?

Not so warm.

Mixed, actually.

Her husband’s grandparents took it in stride. “Life happens, goes on” was kind of their philosophy.

Her mother-in-law was pretty hurt.

Her husband’s cousins were FURIOUS!

“You’ve ruined the holiday!”

“You won’t ever be forgiven!”

Now, many others have taken the attitude, “well, if she and her family aren’t coming, maybe we won’t” and the family tradition could be at an end.

On the one hand, maybe it was well past time for it to end.

On the other, maybe she (and I, indirectly) should have just left it alone.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Marketing in India…

I’ll be heading to Delhi in a few weeks to deliver a marketing training session.

I’m very excited (since you know I love travelling and marketing) and am doing my best to figure out how to make sure the concepts “land” with an Indian audience.

As part of my prep, I watched a fantastic presentation on the difference between Western and Indian mythology and how that affects business.

Wanted to share it.

I actually think that some of my ideas will resonate better with an Indian than with a Western audience.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Once Brothers…

As a sports fan, the names Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic meant something to me.

Some of the first (if not, the first) foreign-born players to play in the NBA, they were well-known in basketball circles.

I also knew, tangentially, that they both hailed from the former Yugoslavia.

What I didn’t know was the story of how their once strong friendship was another casualty of the civil war in the Balkans.

As luck would have it, I watched the ESPN 30 for 30 film “Once Brothers” and got an entirely new perspective on them, basketball, and the world.

How two people who, ostensibly, were all about basketball and friendship, got caught up in events out of their control.

A humbling reminder for all of us.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On Empathy…

I’m not naturally gifted in the area of empathy.

And, I’m the first to admit that it has definitely come back to hurt me at times.

The other day, I heard a sermon where the person defined empathy as a skill:

the ability to anticipate the needs of others

I found that refreshing.

It gives you a clear definition and a binary Yes/No…”either I did anticipate or I didn’t?”

I guess the next question is…just because you CAN anticipate someone else’s needs, does that mean you should act on them?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Secret Life of Garbage

I had recorded this, but was afraid to watch it…for fear of what reality I would have to confront.

It’s pretty sad and disheartening (with sprinkles of cause for optimism). We’re all guilty here.

I’m definitely a bit depressed now. It’s like the Wall-E vision is really happening.

Here’s info on Trash in your state and the “life of a water bottle.”



Sunday, November 14, 2010

That Great Idea of Yours…

I’ve been told MANY times by people that “I have an idea, but I need an NDA before I tell you.” Or “I’m worried that someone might steal it.”

I always tried to convince people that most others don’t have the passion or drive to take it, so you’re better off sharing it and getting feedback than keeping it to yourself.

Now, I have the best response yet.

“Don’t worry about people stealing your idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.”

Howard Aiken, US computer scientist, (1900-1973)

as written on p. 149 in The Mesh

Friday, November 12, 2010

My dad knows too much…

National seal of Brazil, according to Decree n...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m going to Brazil in a few months and my dad who, was there last year, offered to sell me his Reales at the market rate.

It just so happens that I saw the Google News headlines and caught that a new President had been elected on the day prior, as a successor to Lula.

My dad quoted me a rate.

I glibly responded:

Check's in the mail. You are probably buoyed by yesterday's election  of Lula's successor, but I'm happy to pay for Brazil's optimism

My dad replied:

I don't know that I have a reaction to the election of Lula's successor. IF she remains oriented towards a free market and growth then okay.

Lula danced with the Presidents of some trouble-making countries. I don't know where the new President will go.

The economic policies that have brought growth to Brazil were put in place by Lula's predecessor, President Cardoso.

Lula continued those policies, though his previous history would have suggested a different course.

He called my bluff. Ouch.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Man vs. Food and Sustainability

There’s a show on the Travel Channel called “Man vs. Food
Basically, the host goes to various locales and challenges himself to eat ridiculous quantities of food (7 lbs of fish, 12 egg omelettes, etc.)
I saw this while flipping through the channels the other night and contrasted that with a  TED talk I had heard that morning about how we are fishing the Bluefin Tuna to death.
Knowing what we know about the threat to our food eco-systems, I just wonder if these types of shows demonstrate the right values and are anachronistic. Kind of like the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Key to Success…

“I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Bill Cosby

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Learning to Samba…

IMAG0067It’s a long story about WHY I had a free dance lesson coming to me, but I did, so I figured: what the heck?
I went to the Arthur Murray Dance studio in Silver Spring where the fantastic Jenny patiently took me under her wing.
I told her that I wanted to learn Latin dances, so we started off with the Bachata before progressing to the Samba (I’m going to Brazil in Feb) and then some Salsa.
Now, I’ve watched enough “So, You Think You Can Dance,” “Shall We Dance” (Japanese version) and “Dancing with the Stars” to be dangerous, so I had a particularly good time in adding in some extra hip movements.
Though, I have to say, I’m not giving up my day job just yet!
They put on the “soft sell” and I’m not sure if I’ll go back for more…but I did have a GREAT time.
Also, got a chance to watch some serious dancers. Here’s the video.


Monday, November 08, 2010

The Mayor of Divorce…

For those of you unfamiliar with Foursquare, it’s a service where you “check in” to places (a Starbucks, an event, a restaurant) and then, if you wish, you can share that info (with a comment) to your network on Facebook or Twitter.

The person who checks in most frequently at a location becomes “the mayor.” Sometimes that brings privileges, but mostly not.

It’s interesting to me because it is part of the new era of “Location-based services,” but the other day I saw something that was a first for me.

It’s probably been done before, but Adam checked in at the courthouse and then announced that “at long last. I am now divorced.”

It really is a new world, but certainly an easier way to get the word out.

adam schorr divorce on 4sq

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Serendipitous Art of Arcimboldo

A few weeks ago, the kids Fall 2010 Field Trip to National Gallery of Art (4)had a day off from school and while I was tempted to get them some “playdates,” Tonka and Paco insisted that we “take the Metro and do ‘something’ in Washington DC.”

Proud of them for that alone, but even more so when they suggested the National Gallery of Art (primarily because they love the moving walkways in the basement there, but hey).

Well, as luck would have it, we ran into two GREAT exhibits. One was the drawings of Edvard Munch (yes, we saw “the Scream”), but also wel earned about the insanely good work of Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

His paintings, almost all commissioned by Maximillian II, the Holy Roman Emperor were exquisite compilations.

For example, he painted a series called the “4 Seasons,” but they were paintings of people, but made up of items like marine life and fruit.

I couldn’t believe I had never heard of him, but was doubly excited to make this discovery with the kids.



Friday, November 05, 2010

If you don’t ask…

You never get.

That’s kind of the salesman’s motto, right?

I guess the question is: at what consequence?

The other Monday, my kids didn’t have school (professional day) and I took them to the pediatrician to get their flu shots.

I was promptly told that flu shots were only given on T-F.

“Do you ever make exceptions for your best customers?” I asked.image

I mean, we were there already and it was a day off.

The receptionist, a bit grumpily said, “well, if the doctor says it’s ok, it’s ok.”

I went into the business manager’s office. He knows me (after all, I am the mayor.)

I ask him the same question.

He says, “well, it’s fine by me if it’s not too busy.”

It wasn’t.

He went in…next thing I know and there’s a small (but loud) disagreement in the back between the nurses (who apparently didn’t like the change in process) and the business manager.

I have no idea if I am right or not, but afterwards, I feel like we are getting some cold stares from the staff.

And, yes, we got the flu shots.

Was this the right call?

I don’t know.

But, I did use the opportunity to explain to the kids the ideas of “customer service,” “processes,” and “efficiency.”

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Unexpected Stamp Surprise…

I received an envelope the other day with the state flag of Mississippi on it.

I guess I didn’t realize or wasn’t aware of what it looked like.

But it took me aback.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day and the “Apple Ballot”

001 Even before one of the Board Members of the NEA made anti-Semitic remarks to me on a plane, I had negative feelings about the Teachers’ Union.

After reading Richard Evans’ great book Coloring Our Way to Calamity: Globalization, the Public Schools and Your Children (review here), those feelings intensified.

So, today, when I go to the polls, I will take the “Teachers Recommend” list here and vote AGAINST these people.

Now, it’s not about the teachers, it’s about the union. I think they do MUCH more harm than good.

Most of my friends who are teachers know that they pay union dues, but really don’t understand what the union does.

At least the Montgomery County Educators Association made it easy for me.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Struggling American Dream

You should read this article from TIME magazine.

I see part of what he describes already happening in my own business.

For those of you who don’t know, I have a personal assistant. She lives in the Philippines. She can do as much online as pretty much anyone you know.

And her rates are…shall we say…VERY competitive.

It’s my perspective that Americans haven’t fully come to appreciate this fact yet.