The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

You’re Either In Control Or Being Controlled …

Many of you may have already read this, but a while back, Politico magazine wrote a long – but fascinating – article about the moment George W Bush heard about 9/11.

What makes it especially interesting is they talk to people who were with him that day … from his Chief Of Staff, to his security detail to journalists to the pilots of Air Force One and the F-16’s sent to further protect the plan.

It is an amazing insight into one of modern histories most defining moments as well as being a wonderful lesson in how to give direction to chaos rather than letting chaos direct you.

You can read it here.

It Will Make You Blind And You Can’t Climb Ladders Easily …

A long time ago I wrote about a gum that was designed to stop teenagers whacking off.

Then there was the soap that supposedly made you a virgin again. Or something.

However before you think the ‘anti-sex’ brigade have the monopoly on stupid and ineffective products … don’t forget Vulva aftershave, the scent designed to make men smell like a vagina. A sweaty vagina. Oh how I wish I was joking.

Anyway, I say all this because recently a friend sent me this …

I am hoping he sent it to me because he knew I’d find it amusing, but seriously look at it!

I must admit, when I first saw it, I thought it was a joke but then I visited the URL and it went to a real place.

Now I have to be honest, having read it – I literally don’t know if it’s true or a parody.

If it’s true, it’s hilarious. [And a teensy bit scary]

And if it’s a parody, it’s absolutely brilliant. [Check out the ‘Family Fun’ link]

But here’s the thing, that ‘ad’ states that you can never climb the ladder to heaven if your hands are full of penis.

Despite my best friend being the proud owner of a penis that could easily be mistaken for an international ballistic missile, I’ve never had any penis size issues but I might now if this organisation say’s that the average penis requires 2 hands to control.

Or maybe that’s just people who are going to go to hell.

Which – if it is – is the best ad for sin I’ve ever seen.

Besides, there’ll be more interesting people there … not to mention all my friends.

PS: I promise the blog posts get better this week. Eventually.

Turning Monday Blues To Monday Yellow. Or Something …
October 24, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Communication Strategy

It’s Monday.

It’s getting cold and rainy.

You are stuck in your cubicle.

So, because I’m so kind, I thought I’d cheer you up by letting you join in The Kennedys assignment and feeling challenged and fulfilled.

Or something.

And what’s the assignment?

It’s what that picture at the top of this post says.

Over to you …


PS: Even Mr Dodds can’t say this copy is ‘too long’. Then again …

Putting The Con In Icon …

There are a lot of people who think that in the digital age, nothing can be kept secret.

Maybe they’re right, but that doesn’t hide the fact that some people can keep their secret from being found out for a pretty long time.

Case in point is Elizabeth Holmes – the much lauded, self-made billionaire of biotech start-up Theranos.

That’s her in the photo.

While many have written about her, her story is really one about confidence.

Or should I say the dark side of confidence … both in terms of how she used it and how many fell for it. That said, it is also a story about the fear of missing out and how cash can blind the judgement of many otherwise sensible people.

[But, fortunately, not all]

It’s a truly scary story though I must admit, the thing that shocked me most was learning there was a guy in the US – admittedly a Brit – who had never worn a pair of jeans.

Anyway if you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to read it … it’s a modern day version of the Emperor’s new clothes.

New Is Always Resisted …


3 letters that can inspire all manner of emotions in people.

When it is associated with something you already like, you tend to be happy … excited even.

However, when it is associated with a fundamental change to what you already know and/or do … then the general response is skepticism or outright distain.

I recently did a presentation to a client of ours about the need to do 3 fundamental things when looking to push into new territories.

1. Remember society knows what they want, they just don’t know how to articulate it.*

2. Make your UX as intuitive as possible so people can move from the present day to modernity without feeling insecure.

3. Prepare to ride waves of criticism.

There were two big reasons I wanted to remind my client of this.

One is that I recently read an interview with a tech journalist who said his biggest challenge was not to review brand new technology as if it was fully developed technology. He has to remember his view should be about potential, not realisation.

The second was this …

Interesting eh?

I don’t know when that article was written.

To be honest, I’m not even sure that article is real … but given the name of the ‘journalist’, the visual design and sarcastic ‘riddle of email’ that is placed at the bottom of the piece, it does seem the sort of shit The Sun newspaper would have peddled.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how mad ‘the internet’ and ’email’ must have sounded back then – mainly because I was living through it – however, instead of having the distain of The Sun, I distinctly remember how excited I was about what I was hearing.

Maybe that was because of my age.

Maybe that was because of my love of gadget tech.

Maybe that was because I was seeing science-fiction becoming reality.

Whatever the reason, it served as an important reminder to me to listen before I dismiss.

Of course, there’s lots of new things that turn out to be a pile of shite … and sometimes that is because they are literally, a pile of shite … however societies skepticism to ‘new’ plays a huge role in whether things take off or not [acknowledging there’s a whole host of other elements] which is why the next time someone offers up something that challenges your tradition, think about what they’re trying to solve before you judge how they’re doing it … and who knows, maybe adland can be part of something new rather than packaging up someone else’s new.

* I say this because people constantly quote Henry Ford’s “If I asked people what they wanted, they’d say a faster horse” … and yet, if they had said that, it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what they’re saying is they want to get from point A to point B faster than the current modes of transport available to them. In other words, they were giving big clues to what they wanted without even realising it.

Anti Positioning Is Enticing …


That thing that planners, marketers and advertising in general spends eons going on about.

Of course I understand why … having a clear and concise territory that you play in helps society associate you with a role/purpose that, hopefully, will pay dividends in the long run.

Now the thing with positioning is it’s as much about sacrificing what you’re not going to be as it is defining what you are.

As much about who you’re not going to appeal to as who you will.

For the last 25 years, I’ve been a massive advocate of that until I saw this …

The photo – and quote – comes from a band called Illust8ors.

I don’t really care if you’ve never heard of them, but that reference is amazing.

Rage Against The Machine and Maroon 5.

Two bands that should never, ever be in the same sentence and yet – despite all you would think – it makes me want to check them out rather than shut the door on them.

Who knows if they mean what they said.

Who knows if their music is like Rage Against Maroon 5.

But I will soon … because while some may say they’ve positioned themselves broad, they’ve achieved exactly what a great positioning does … pull people in.

Life Works In Mysterious Ways …
October 18, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Culture, Documentary, Film

So I recently watched the above documentary.

I bought it because quite frankly, there premise was utterly amazing.

Amputee, John Wood, finds himself in a battle to reclaim his mummified leg from entrepreneur Shannon Whisnant, who found it in a grill that he bought at an auction.

No, it’s not a pisstake, it’s utterly real.

But what follows is an amazing story that deals with issues of love, loss and the quest for meaning in your life.

It’s utterly brilliant and if you can find it, I cannot recommend watching it enough … because apart from it being an amazing story, it is a wonderful reminder of what my parents drummed into me – everyone has a story.

Here’s the trailer …