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Aug 8, 2013

Uncomplicated Lifestyle

Just watched this documentary, Bill Cunningham New York. I loved his dedication, passion, humility, and his love for his work. It's as if he was married to his work and had no time for anything else - but he was so satisfied, happy, and focused despite the long hours every single day.

He worked day and night... but not many of us would be so willing to "work" day and night, especially for free. At one point he refused to get paid in order to maintain complete control over his creative direction.

Documentaries like this and Jiro Dreams of Sushi celebrate individuals who follow Malcom Gladwell's "10,000-hour rule". And it's interesting how both of them choose to live very simple lives... which makes me question whether I've over-complicated my life with random vices and curiosities. 

CommentsCategories inspiration gettowork Tags billcunningham nyc fashion photography introspection

Mar 18, 2013

It's easy to throw in some attractive bait if all the fish are in the same pond.

Just watched this presentation, by Mike Volpe, CMO at Hubspot, this weekend:

Clearly the title caught my attention since this is what I do every day. I don't like to associate what I do with "killing cute little kittens", but I get it. Disruptive marketing is just outright disruptive. It's annoying for me so why wouldn't it be annoying for anyone else?

But the difference is, I am very transparent about what I'm interested in when engaging certain brands, and I feel I can do so because there's a mutual agreement between me and various brands. Engage with me in a meaningful way or I'll let you know when I've had enough (unsubscribe, opt-out, tweet a complaint, send an email, etc. whatever it takes to stop the harrassment). 

One lead generation program in particular really set me off a few months ago. I received an invitation to participate in an online survey for marketers. I thought, "Sure, why not help my fellow marketer and give my two cents." Immediately after I completed it, I received a call from the receptionist. "No, I don't have a scheduled call with this person... please send to voicemail." 

I received the voicemail and the handful of emails - thanks, but no thanks, I really don't need your product. Really. 

This person proceeds to call in to customer service, lying about a scheduled call, then when that didn't work they called the sales line. Of course the sales rep didn't give a damn about whether I wanted to take the call or not, she just needed to get back to what she was doing so she tranferred the call. 

I answer the call, utterly annoyed, and he reads off of a script. I stopped him and said, "Do you really think I'll be receptive to your message after you weasled your way into a call with me, lying to my colleagues and harassing me for 2 days straight?" 

He said, "Well, maybe you should have thought about that before completing our survey."

Wow. 

He blamed me for this god-awful experience.

I get it - no one wants to be bothered with irrelevant messaging. But the problem is, the fish we want to "catch" don't kick-it in the same pond as the rest of the connected world. I would love to meet another marketer who has successfully integrated top notch content and campaign strategy that engages 50+ year old blue collar men. Show me how you get this demographic to fill out a form for an e-book, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, engage on a Google+ Hangout... I'll love you forever.

Every conversation I have with industry leaders ends with this:

"Well, you gotta do what you gotta do in this case." <shrug>

Can I call BS on this please?

CommentsCategories gettowork Tags marketing automation inbound marketing disruptive marketing HubSpot Salesforce.com

Mar 6, 2013

Conceptual Art Needs Boundaries

Fast Company article: Watch: “Portlandia” Takes On Conceptual Art

This is hilarious. As an artist, I was not offended whatsoever. Though, I guess technically I'm not really an artist anymore, now that I'm chin-deep in the Marketing Automation space. Either way, Portlandia does a great job of telling the joke we've all been dying to make when confronted with some of today's conceptual art... 

Established, mature artists are much better at balancing craft and concept - but a lot of emerging and especially students have difficulty with developing a relevant body of work. If the artwork only makes sense to you, then there's no point in sharing it with anyone else. 

Here is a TED Talk that addresses similar points.

This. Is. Brilliant.  

“How do you stage an international art show with work from 100 different artists? If you’re Shea Hembrey, you invent all of the artists and artwork yourself — from large-scale outdoor installations to tiny paintings drawn with a single-haired brush. Watch this funny, mind-bending talk to see the explosion of creativity and diversity of skills a single artist is capable of.”

We need more art work that is 1. Appealing to a broad public, and 2. Displays exquisite craftsmanship and technique.

Two criteria for the international art show:

1. Explain a work of art to grandma in 5 minutes

2. 3 H’s - Head (Intellectual), Heart (Soul), and Hand (Craftsmanship)

“How do you stage an international art show with work from 100 different artists? If you’re Shea Hembrey, you invent all of the artists and artwork yourself — from large-scale outdoor installations to tiny paintings drawn with a single-haired brush. Watch this funny, mind-bending talk to see the explosion of creativity and diversity of skills a single artist is capable of.”

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Feb 28, 2013

Your thoughts are yours, mine are mine - period.

It's really puzzling to me when I'm speaking with someone - whether in meetings or out networking - and there's so much more effort spent making and countering assumptions than actually listening to what's being said. There's a lot of "But if you think..." or "I'm sure you want..." and so on.

What does this accomplish? I guess this is a sign of insecurity... ?? Regardless of why, it's extremely counter-productive. What happens as a result is that I'm busy trying to reiterate what I just said and then it comes across confrontational or aggressive.

Then there's more of the... "No, that's not what I meant" or "All I'm trying to say is..." and then the conversation never ends well. 

It's... awkward

And pretty annoying.

I'm sure you've experienced this at some point. Sometimes what you say is not personal when your only goal is to solve the problem at hand - but the person you're speaking with values approval or validation more than meeting a common end goal. 

This excert from hbr.org's "Difficult Conversations: Nine Common Mistakes" summarizes this dynamic well.

Mistake #8: We make assumptions about our counterpart's intentions.

Optimists tend to assume that every disagreement is just a misunderstanding between two well-intentioned people; pessimists may feel that differences of opinion are actually ill-intentioned attacks. In the fog of a hard talk, we tend to forget that we don't have access to anyone's intentions but our own. Remember that you and your counterpart are both dealing with this ambiguity. If you get stuck, a handy phrase to remember is, "I'm realizing as we talk that I don't fully understand how you see this problem." Admitting what you don't know can be a powerful way to get a conversation back on track.

Time is precious - and if we can agree to be better communicators for the sake of time efficiency, we'd all feel much more accomplished at the end of the day.

CommentsCategories gettowork Tags communication collaboration hbr.org awkward

Feb 26, 2013

Can't get this song out of my head!!

A few of us are going to Solange's concert this Thursday. I've had this song stuck in my head for the past week! Not complaining - just thought I'd invade the minds of others and share this inability to hum a different tune for a week. Enjoy!

CommentsCategories wutudoin Tags music

Nov 28, 2012

Problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them.

Albert Einstein

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