In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking….

Are you telling me that we can create particle accelerators to find elements that exist for a nanosecond, but we can’t create a sealed product that can be easily opened with just a pull on a tab? It takes a peregrine falcon to open a package of blueberries. Did the people who produced True Detective’s first season have talent removal surgery prior to producing the second season, which is ludicrously bad, with more unintentional zombies than the Walking Dead? If …


Hold the Crowd Back for the Person We Don’t Want You to See

I was walking into The White Elephant here in Nantucket to meet my wife for brunch after parking my car a quarter mile away. As I approached the main entry, a Massachusetts State Police SUV pulls in, followed by a high-end Mercedes sedan, followed by another, private SUV. A civilian woman hops out of the police vehicle, and stands with arms folded in front of the rear passenger’s door of the Mercedes. A guy gets out and hops into the …


The Great Debate

All of the Republican candidates looked like Lincoln compared to the three-person circus that Fox News put on the moderator’s stand: Brett Baier, Megan Kelly, and Chris Wallace. Mr. Baier looked as though he was just pleased as punch to be there and couldn’t wait to join in the fun. Mr. Wallace seemed ill-at-ease, probably wondering what his father, a serious newsman for seven decades, would think of this brand of amateur journalism. And Ms. Kelly proved that you can …


Faceoff

Facebook has become one of the largest organizations in the world largely because it doesn’t have an intelligence test to qualify members. This morning some moron posted that we have to become like Canada in the US: triple our union membership percentage, raise the minimum wage by 50%, and escalate taxes “on the rich.” By all means, let’s become a country one-tenth our present size and find a much larger country with which to share a long border that will …


Try To Remain Calm, I Want To See How Sick You Are

CVS, as have many pharmacies, has a blood pressure machine to provide an easy way for customers to check their own blood pressure. But it ain’t what it seems. The store logistics experts have placed the machine well out of the way—in a corner. The person inserting an arm is staring at two walls in very tight quarters. Around the contraption, people are agitatedly waiting for their prescriptions, complaining about the cost of drugs, and asking indelicate questions about bodily …


Brian Williams Is Still Lying

In an interview with Matt Lauer, one of the few tough ones Lauer has generated (too bad he couldn’t manage it with Tom Cruise and Scientology), Brian Williams never used the word “lie.” He talks around it, over it, and under it, but his “rehabilitation” clearly hasn’t been effective. He can’t say the word, and won’t admit to the other (documented) times he’s done it. The man was making $10 million a year and, while he won’t make that at …


Get Off This Avenue

I received a call from someone named Sara at a place called Avenue. She claims that they are doubling in size frequently, and provide three-minute videos to clients using others’ intellectual property. The profits are split. My air raid warnings sounded. There’s a lot of nonsense going around about technology that guarantees passive sales (I think Lightspeed, for example, is pure hype). It became clear quickly that Sara was quoting from a script. I kept interrupting her. She told me …


Does CVS Read My Blog?

Recently I published here (http://www.contrarianconsulting.com/dasm-cvs-and-baltimore/) my recommendations for CVS in the wake of the Baltimore riots. A few days later, they announced (as reported in the Wall Street Journal) virtually identical steps being taken. Reader Tim Wilson suggests that it was no coincidence and they accepted the free consulting advice.


The Hypocrisy of the Media

Britt McHenry, an ESPN reporter, was caught on camera berating a towing company employee with comments about missing teeth, education, weight, and so on. It was an exercise in self-absorption and self-importance of volcanic measure. ESPN suspended her for a week. (A TV poll showed that 84% of viewers thought she should be fired.) Imagine a politician doing that? He or she would be hounded for weeks and perhaps forced to resign. The media outlets would seize on it. But …


The Publishing Plunge

My first book (The Innovation Formula) was published in 1988, and my all-time best-seller (a real best-seller), Million Dollar Consulting, was published in 1992, and its fifth—and 25th anniversary—edition will be published next year. In the interim, I’ve produced 53 others, in 12 languages, and three more are in the works. I believe in literally agents and mine, Jeff Herman, placed my three most successful books over the years. I write to sustain my thought leadership and to attract clients, not to …