Sanjay’s Super Team

I’m thinking about Sanjay’s Super Team, and Ratatouille, and overcoming ‘villains’. Overcoming cynicism. I was a very optimistic kid and that I think that changed quite dramatically when I took on a mortgage.
What I found interesting about SST is that it’s about a young, modern Indian boy finding a way to bridge the gap between himself as a globalized, 3rd/0th culture kid and his father, who has a traditional, religious point of view. And what’s interesting is to get meta about it and see how this piece of art, fiction, film – helps to bridge that gap in real life, between Sanjay and his dad, millions of Sanjays and dads. And so it becomes clear that art has utility. Art can mend relationships, or at least shed some light, help people understand one another better, empathize better. What sort of dollar value do we put on that? What sort of dollar value SHOULD we put on that?


David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man is one of my favorite books. He wrote clearly, with humor and taste.

One of my favorite posts about advertising is Ads Don’t Work That Way, by Kevin Simler.

What is the role of influencers, celebrities? cara / emma for burberry – how does the economics of it really actually play out? give people something to aspire towards / be inspired by / signal to peers about

cigarette advertising? smoking kills?

10 traits of successful entrepreneurs

I originally posted this as an answer on Quora, and it got picked up by Inc.

What are ten signs that you might have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

  1. A deep dissatisfaction with the status quo. (Ability to see things not just as they are, but as they might be). This is what drives you. The people who build incredible companies under them don’t do it just because they like the idea of being successful. That’s not enough to sustain you through the darkest days of the struggle, when every bone in your body begs you to quit. They do it because they absolutely can’t bear the idea of NOT creating and stewarding something that matters to them.
  2. Love for tinkering, experimenting. You need to always be creating. We’re looking for persistence, a willingness to fail, and a willingness to try new things. There is a curiosity at the heart of this.
  3. Willingness to tolerate uncertainty. This means making decisions with imperfect information. It’s scary. (It doesn’t mean taking blind risks, though. Common misconception. Entrepreneurs seek to manage and minimize risk.)
  4. Willingness to tolerate volatility and unpredictability. You will have to manage your own health, well-being, etc, but you won’t really get to operate on a fixed schedule. Some people just aren’t cut out for this.
  5. Ability to prioritize and focus on the most important thing. Much easier said than done–the most important thing is usually messy, ugly, painful, unglamorous.
  6. Willingness to sacrifice. This can sometimes include personal relationships, familarity, comfort zones. You may need to fire people. You’ll be seen as the bad guy (or gal). You have to bear that.
  7. Knack + taste for debugging systems–especially your own head. You need to know what you’re wrong about, and how to systematically, consistently improve your odds. How do you reduce your margin of error? How do you reduce your odds of error? How do you protect against downside?
  8. A feel for numbers. You don’t necessarily need complicated math skills, but you need to be able to at least handle your budget. And you need to understand compound interest. And rate of change. Play some video games.
  9. People skills. Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers. If you’re going to solve big problems, you’re going to have to work with people. You might not necessarily get along with everybody, you might not necessarily be the most loved person around, but you need to be able to motivate people, to challenge and inspire them.
  10. Appetite for learning. I think this might be the most important one of all, because it influences almost everything else. A common trait among entrepreneurs? They read a lot. They talk to smarter people. They never stop learning. As Jobs would say, creativity is just connecting things. The more you know, in a thoughtful, self-directed way, the more opportunities you see.

Internet Fads

Once upon a time I thought it would be fun to compile Internet fads. I’m not sure why. I still have my notes from them, so here they are:

charlie the unicorn
snakes on a plane
crush on obama
miss teen south carolina
don’t tase me bro
my little pony
blue waffle
JK Wedding Dance/Chris Brown Forever
ryan gosling/hey girl
nyan cat
skyrim/ i took an arrow in the knee
rebecca black’s friday
bad luck brian
gangnam style
McKayla is not impressed
dumb ways to die video
ain’t nobody got time for that
kony 2012
michelle jenneke
text from hilary
harlem shake
flappy bird
cookie clicker
what does the fox say
Hadfield/Space Oddity
ice bucket challenge
apparently kid
IKEA bookbook
Obama/ Zach Galifianakis
Frozen/Let It Go
Ellen’s oscar selfie
the dress/dressgate
cinnamon challenge

Hitler’s Downfall
Where the hell is matt

david after dentist
numa numa
honey badger
grumpy cat
resting bitch face
overattached girlfriend
diet coke/mentos
Kim Kardashian’s butt
Candy Crush


Yoga started out as something that was a mystical, full-body way of breathing and being. Yoga today is amusingly different. There are yoga pants, yoga instructors. People like the exotic words like “asanas” and “namaste”, making them feel all spiritual and continental. Yoga pants was a great innovation. Very comfortable and very sexy without being explicit/overt about it. You could think of yoga as an excuse for inventing yoga pants.

The rest of the boho-gypsy-mystic aesthetic, with the robes, bindis, saffron, incense. Somehow especially popular with white girls. Both the hippie-festival goer types and corporate climbing types can do yoga.

Yoga vs crossfit, yoga vs zumba. Yoga vs aerobics.

Bikram yoga. Hot yoga. Lululemon.

You don’t need anything to do it, just a mat maybe. Yoga paws.

“We associate yoga with being skinny, white, and even upper class.” –

Yoga instructors can make quite a bit of money.

Identity performance. Yoga poses look hard to do, and look impressive on Facebook or Instagram. Signals health, strength, patience, calm.

Success stories of weight loss, emotional regulation. Communities that are welcoming, inclusive, slowed down. Eat Pray Love.

> Yoga is the only system that has lived for over 15,000 years without any papacy or enforcement. Nowhere in the history of humanity has it happened that somebody put a sword to someone’s neck and said, “You must do yoga.” – Why Is Yoga Becoming So Popular?

Yoga after Karate (Bruce Lee). Who is the face of yoga? Beatles and India, Steve Jobs, ashrams, LSD, trips, shrooms, bhang

(More) Reasons Why Your Yoga Class is So White

Yoga and the exclusion of people of color




I love Tesla. It’s a brand that gets me really excited about the future. I’ve written about it several times for the ReferralCandy blog:

I love their press releases. I love what they do in response to fires. I love their policies. It’s just all marketing genius, and it’s something that deserves great marketing. I’m happy and excited to give Tesla all the free marketing I can.

What it’s like to own a Tesla Model S


Pixar knows how to tell a goddamn story. I’ve read some criticisms and suggestions that they might be losing their edge, but damn son, they’ve had a hell of a run.

I’m a big fan of their Braintrust.

I’m a big fan of the 22 storytelling principles, by Emma Coats.

I’m a big fan of Andrew Stanton’s TEDtalk: