Category Archives: Brand

Literacy has been a Curse? Thom Hartmann on Storytelling

What's Your Story?

Storytelling is a powerful thing. Here’s what Thom Hartmann had to say a few years ago on his radio program:

It’s interesting. In preliterate societies, which is the majority of the history of the human race, we didn’t write things down. We told stories. Everything had a story. Every tree had a story. Every rock had a story. Every animal had a story. Every place had a story. Every family had a story. Story was how we transmitted culture and it was how we remembered things.

When I lived in Vermont—I believe it was the University of Vermont, one of the colleges there—I heard of the Abenakis, the Native American tribe there. They have stories of what happened 10,000 years ago, when the mountains of blue ice, the walls of blue ice, receded: what happened, where and when, the order in which it happened, and things like that. A bunch of geologists checked it out, and the memory was accurate. A 10,000 year-old accurate memory.

There are a number of anthropologists over the years who’ve pointed out how literacy has really been a curse in some ways, as much as a blessing, because when we started writing things down, we stopped telling stories. We stopped having these multi-generational stories. We stopped teaching our children. And it’s so important that there be some stories that transcend literacy, that transcend the written down, the “here, it’s in a book.” It’s so important that we teach our children stories.

Thom Hartmann
29 January 2009

Free is a Lie

The business model of “free” is the business model of Corporate Surveillance.

6 Elevator Pitches for the 21st Century

From tweeting to rhyming, bestselling author Daniel H. Pink gives you six new pitching techniques from his latest book, TO SELL IS HUMAN.

Google Plus: Anyone?

Are you on Google+? Our marketing partners keep stressing the importance of having a Google+ presence from an SEO standpoint, and yet I don’t know anyone who actually uses it. Below is a thread from Reddit on the subject:

Google+, with all the hatred around Facebook and its privacy issues I thought people were going to think Google+ was a “safer” alternative.

• Personally I was just too lazy to make the switch. I had all my friends/photos/information on Facebook, why would I take the time to change it all over for something that did exactly the same thing?

• True, no one moved because no one was moving. If a certain number of friends made the migrations I would’ve jumped as well.

• I had a few friends delete their FB accounts and immediately jumped to Google+ once they had their invites. They all ended up recreating FB accounts a few months later.

• I think what killed Google+ was that they made a social network invite-only at the beginning. It made it so if you were the first of your friends to get an invite, you’d only have the one person that invited you, so you’d never use it. Then when your friends finally got their invites, you wouldn’t be on, so they wouldn’t use it.

• I really, really wanted it to take off, to the point I completely deleted my Facebook account and refused to have anything to do with FB for about a year. A social network is only as good as how many of your people are on it, and that didn’t last. Now I’m back on FB, because “everyone” has a FB account and I can communicate with the people I want to communicate with.

EDIT: A number of people are pointing out that FB was invite-only in the beginning, too. I say this isn’t relevant, as when FB was starting out it had a very different goal then when G+ was starting. FB was catering to a niche market (college students), G+ was trying to displace a heavily entrenched existing social media site. With FB during its invite-only time, there was no expectation that you would be able to talk to all your friends and family, so not being able to was not a deal-breaker.

• This was what I first thought of too – Google+ feels to me like a kneejerk “oh crap, we need to get a social network out there” reaction to the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, and I’m really not all that bothered by it.

• Yet another reason why people were hesitant to move to Google+. Google has a habit of outright killing services that they decide aren’t important anymore.

• A lot of people invested significant time and energy into learning and using Wave, and found a lot to like in it. But it didn’t live up to whatever Google’s expectations were, so they killed it. Why wouldn’t a potential user feel like the same thing is possible with Google+? Why would I go through the effort of learning a new system, spend the time to convince my friends to move, etc. when it’s entirely possible Google will just shut it down a couple years later if they don’t like how it’s going? For all its problems, you know Facebook isn’t going to shut down their social network anytime soon.

• Google has a habit of outright killing services that they decide aren’t important anymore. RIP Google Reader… sniff

Paper: the best reason to get an iPad

Years ago when I first heard that Apple was developing a tablet I had dreams of drawing directly on the screen. I already had a Wacom Cintiq but it was a monster: the screen was dim and the cables and boxes coming out the thing made it cumbersome and ugly.

Too bad Apple didn’t share my dream. I already had a Macbook Air, so why exactly would I need a tablet too?

Now there is Paper, the best reason I’ve seen to actually buy an iPad.

Curating A Collection Of Slow Fashion | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

“Not content with the conscious consumerism bona fides available at more stores, the founders of the new site Zady are making it easier to buy clothes with character that will last.”

If experiences truly beat objects as a path to consumer happiness, the next obvious step in retail is translating objects, as much as possible, into experiences. The approach was spearheaded by the sustainable consumer, for whom to trust is to verify. Increasingly everyone from Whole Foods to Etsy to Chipotle is seeking to provide maximum context on the organic, artisanal, and fair-trade bona fides of their offerings.

Now comes Zady, a new “conscious consumption” online retail company, founded by two women on the cusp of 30, Soraya Darabi, a startup advisor and cofounder of Foodspotting, with her high school friend Maxine Kaye, née Bedat, who founded the nonprofit, fair-trade direct sustainable home goods business Bootstrap Project and whose resume also includes a turn as a law clerk at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Their goal: to move from a world of fast fashion and Bangladeshi factory collapses, to one of products made with integrity to last.

NOTE: SF Entrepreneur had some scathing comments at the bottom of this article. We’ll have to see if Zady has what it takes to pull this venture off.


Soraya has no idea what she is doing with Zady. She got funding without any traction. Eugene Chung, the VC who lead her round from NEA, moved on to TechStars where he was fired after just barely a few months. Idiots help idiots. Zady was supposed to launch last year, but Soraya didn’t understand the buying cycles so its launch was delayed by a whole year. It should be noted that the $1.35M will be depleted soon after they launch and they will be raising yet another round of VC funding. –> BEACHMINT Part II, another NEA investment.

At what point are people (bloggers) going to realize Soraya was not a co-founder of Foodspotting? Or that she left Foodspotting at least a year before the acquisition? I wonder how the founders of Foodspotting feel about her co-opting their achievements!

Continue reading at: Curating A Collection Of Slow Fashion | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation.