Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bill Wyman and Michael Jackson, the Pale King

On the eve of his most awesome final tour, we were all shocked with the way the King of Pop slipped away from us in the night. A good friend gave me a hard copy of Bill Wyman's powerful summary of Jackson's rise and fall. That means something because these days it's rare thing to receive more than a link from someone sharing content.

Wyman links Jackson's music with our struggle as Americans to get along and to fit in-- and how the King of Pop both dealt with and represented that struggle. If Jackson's life impacted yours at all, it's available at The New Yorker's website and well worth the read.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

You on Woo Woo?!

Adobe's recent ad is hilarious.

It does a great job of satirizing the marketing panic that occurs when conventional and digital product owners chase the always shifting online populace, but it also does something else-- it supports Bevel creator Tristan Walker's recent statement that the African American "community is the most culturally influential demographic in the world."

When the corporate leader declares "we need an ethnically ambiguous Woo Woo mascot!" he does so as an acknowledgement that he wants to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

While it's just a silly commercial, in this regard, it unfortunately mirrors all too well some of the places I've worked at. It begs the question-- Why not appeal to the same wide audience when it comes to hiring practices? Build a team that represents your target demo rather than picking up a tip while eaves-dropping on an elevator conversation or acting on unverifyable outside data. Bringing together diverse opinions nad life experience also allows companies to act on a key piece of advice from the most powerful corporate entity in the world: "[to]build the products that [they] want to use [them]selves."

It's not easy, but it's often worth it. Diversity of social class, of sexual orientation, culture,race, etc. could expose valuable opportunities that your competitors, stuck in the mud of 'sameness' could pass by.

Think about it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

"The Community Deserves Better"

Tristan Walker on Bevel:

"When you consider that the community is the most culturally influential demographic in the world, the community just deserves better."

Bevel is the first brand out of Walker & Company. It's a shaving system designed to allow men of colour-- men with curlier, coarser hair, to be able to shave without suffering from razor bumps and other issues associated with products made primarily to serve other hair and skin types.

Walker formerly lead business development at Foursquare. From tech to grooming? Weird right? Not when you consider that his Bevel brand  is a technology hardware company that solves a problem for about 20 million people in the US with a combination of durable and consumable goods.  Now that's a solid user-base-- especially at around Father's Day or Christmas Time.

The company philosophy is focused on building brands that solve problems like razor burn, vitamin D deficiency, hyper-pigmentation, and the age-old problem of natural-hair transitioning.

We look forward to it.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Elon Musk De-Escalates the Patent Wars

I don't think of Elon Musk as Iron Man.*

I do, however, believe he's a hero for geeks everywhere. In the spirit of All Your Base Are Belong To Us, he's announced that Tesla's patents will be made available in an effort to get other EV organizations... on a roll so to speak.

It's understanding the difference between a patent and quality engineering. And it's great.

All Our Patent Are Belong to You

*Iron Man's got daddy issues and designs weapons of mass destruction from his basement.