Election 2020: Not Trump vs. Biden, but “Raw” versus “Peak Outrage”

On Friday, October 23, after the final presidential debate, President Donald Trump held a rally in Florida that featured something rare even for a Trump event. At the rally, there were large screens showing video clips that he would reference like colossal visual aides during his speech. Don’t take my word for it, he seemed […]


Adidas’s Approach to Co-Creation: “Swimming in the Culture”

In Stephen Denny and Paul Leinberger’s new book, Unfiltered Marketing: 5 Rules to Win Back Trust, Credibility, and Customers in a Digitally Distracted World, they interview Adidas’s former global creative officer Paul Gaudio on co-creation, finding unexpected cultural intersections, and building raw-ness into the design process at a 23-billion-euro global brand. The following is an edited excerpt. In-Process as cultural […]


Data, Insight, and Hubris: A Cautionary Tale

This is from the True Stories archives – I posted this on LinkedIn originally but it belongs here, as well. A quick story about data, insight, customer relationships built on professionalism and vision (instead of taking the buyer to the Palomino Club), and extraordinary hubris. The last part about hubris was not my role to […]


What Texas Hold ‘Em Can Teach You About Influencing Customers

A smart sales strategy includes both the up-cards and the down-cards. Do you play Texas hold ’em poker? If you’re a business owner, you should. The simple reason is that Texas hold ’em teaches that when you’re selling a product or service, you can’t focus on its features and benefits alone.  If you’re not familiar with this particular variation […]


5 Rules for Managing Superstars (and Their Egos)

Wisdom from Silicon Valley to Formula 1 to the highest levels of the NBA on managing high performers Sometimes, everything comes down to that one player on the team to take the shot, close the sale, or design a product the way no one else can. Superstars transcend the normal distribution curve of contributors on your team […]