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Monday, May 19, 2014

STRANGE WORLD


We live in a strange world where sleep deprived and stressed out people commute long hours to get in prison-like offices to work on meaningless jobs that will create no real value in the real world. They don't have true friends but a network of loose ties based on short term mutual use. They are looking for true love but never find it because their conception of love is a joke, a myth propagated by TV shows. They are looking for a princess or a prince but they never work on themselves to become a prince or a princess. Meanwhile, their kids are spending more time with strangers than with their own parents. In their world, the farmers producing their food and the teachers raising their kids earn (a lot) less than movie celebrities, professional athletes and stock traders. They live longer but sadder lives in weak bodies wrecked by refined foods, lack of physical activity, stress and bad posture - not to mention substance abuse. They want to save the animals of the worlds while eating factory produced meat. They give to charities helping foreign people on distant lands while their fellow citizens are living in the streets a few blocks away. They want to save the planet while being part of a consumer society doing the exact opposite. They burn tons of fuel to spend a week on the beach in exotic places they will never take the time to truly understand or appreciate. Every morning, they drink coffee from disposable cups going straight to already full landfills. They are against slave labour with their mouths, but their wallets buy products made by slaves: smartphones, sneakers, t-shirts. They pay ridiculous prices for worthless goods that they were told are desirable: small rocks (diamonds) and rags (designer clothing). They dream of a better life but don’t go after it. They sit idle in front of the TV, watching the latest show or sports game. They are afraid of terrorists, plane crashes, lurking thieves and dangerous animals even though these dangers are statistically insignificant. At the same time, they embrace what will surely kill them: fast food, idle lifestyle, obesity, stress and driving to work. The internet gave them access instantly and effortlessly to the whole breadth of human knowledge but they use it to gossip on social networks, share cat pictures and watch porn. They have no internal values to guide them and thus are walking in between lines that were drawn for them by laws, social norms and religion. Their education clipped their wings therefore they go after what objective was sold to them as desirable. They have lost the ability to question things, to doubt. They are fed edulcored news engineered by the ruling class. They have no idea as to why they are here and what they should do with their lives. And while they aimlessly slave away, their stupidity is killing the only habitat they will ever have. And then one day, after a meaningless life, their time and life energy forever wasted, they will die an unoriginal death. And the only thing that will be left is their trash in some landfill. This will be their legacy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

UNFUCK The World

Yesterday, I saw this picture on Facebook.



It made me think: Wow, people are starting to realize that no one is going to take us out of the mess we're in. Not the government, not the church, not any association. The only way out is individual action. We have to take the matter into our own hands and act.

By the way, if you'd like to order an Unfuck The World t-shirt (and help a charity at the same time): Change The World T-shirts

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The RFP Delusion

You can bet there are a couple of RFPs behind our problem of a stadium


I guess the question I'm asked the most often is: "When you were sitting in that capsule listening to the count-down, how did you feel?" Well, the answer to that one is easy. I felt exactly how you would feel if you were getting ready to launch and knew you were sitting on top of two million parts -- all built by the lowest bidder on a government contract. - John Glenn, american astronaut

I already wrote about my hate of the RFP process in The worst way to choose a digital agency.

If you're buying a commodity product, a Requests For Proposal (RFP) might make sense because it is easy to compare vendors on a few, easily isolated variables like quality, price, speed, etc.

But when choosing a digital agency or for any kind of complex service, it is guaranteed to fail miserably.

To believe otherwise, you need to be either:

1. Retarded: You have no clue.

2. Be an accountant: You believe that anything worth measuring is easily measured.

3. Working in a purchasing department: Keeping your jobs requires you to not understand.

4. Employed by the the government or a multinational: You're not rewarded for results, you don't care and it's not your money.

Not only are RFPs inefficient in finding the right service provider, but you don't need to be a genius to figure out how easy it is to manipulate this kind of process. Humans are clever and imaginative and there are many many ways to work around the system. To believe otherwise would be foolish.

Marketing directors have the hassle to constantly deal with legal and IT and you think that they can't run circles around the purchasing guys? C'mon.

I can't recount how many times competitors have called me to play dummy on a RFP they wanted to participate in. Or how many marketing directors I have seen warp the process to favor the agency they wanted.

And I'm not the only one ranting against the RFP process.

How to Hire a Marketing Agency (if even Mr Nice Guy Mitch Joel is against it, there is a reason)
Why RFPs Don't Work (for the client OR the agency)
RFPs sucks - don't take my word for it
RFPs Sucks
Why Finding a Marketing Agency by RFP Sucks

Wake up and smell the coffee Ms Bueller. 

If you know someone who still believes in RFPs, please forward him this post. Who knows, they might wake up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Psychological Obesity



In a previous post (The Great Divide), I stated the importance of feeding your mind. 

I am presently reading The Filter Bubble, an amazing book by Eli Pariser about how the Internet is filtering and shaping the information that is presented to you (thanks @fredericg for this one).

This paragraph stuck with me and I'm sharing it with you:


Our bodies are programmed to consume fat an sugars because they’re rare in nature… In the same way, we’re biologically programmed to be attentive to things that stimulate: content that is gross, violent, or sexual and that gossip which is humiliating, embarrassing, or offensive. If we’re not careful, we’re going to develop the psychological equivalent of obesity. We’ll find ourselves consuming content that is least beneficial for ourselves or society as a whole. – Danah Boyd

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You Started a Company...



You’ve either started a company or you haven’t.  ”Started” doesn’t mean joining as an early employee, or investing or advising or helping out.  It means starting with no money, no help, no one who believes in you (except perhaps your closest friends and family), and building an organization from a borrowed cubicle with credit card debt and nowhere to sleep except the office. 

It almost invariably means being dismissed by arrogant investors who show up a half hour late, totally unprepared and then instead of saying “no” give you non-committal rejections like “we invest at later stage companies.” 

It means looking prospective employees in the eyes and convincing them to leave safe jobs, quit everything and throw their lot in with you.  

It means having pundits in the press and blogs who’ve never built anything criticize you and armchair quarterback your every mistake. 

It means lying awake at night worrying about running out of cash and having a constant knot in your stomach during the day fearing you’ll disappoint the few people who believed in you and validate your smug doubters.

I don’t care if you succeed or fail, if you are Bill Gates or an unknown entrepreneur who gave everything to make it work but didn’t manage to pull through. 

The important distinction is whether you risked everything, put your life on the line, made commitments to investors, employees, customers and friends, and tried – against all the forces in the world that try to keep new ideas down – to make something new. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Walk the Other Way



How many people you know are really happy and enjoy life to the fullest? Probably not that much. 

Do these same not so happy and quite boring people give you advice? All the time. 

And why would you listen? If you apply the same recipe, you'll end up with the same meal.

Each time someone gives you a piece of advice, always ask yourself how great is that person really doing in that specific field and in her life in general; especially if you didn't ask for her opinion in the first place. 

Common knowledge and social norms are worth challenging and never, ever do something because "everybody is doing it" - that's the lamest excuse and an insult to your own sound judgment. It has been used to justify anything from genocides to looting and riots - even bureaucracy. 

Do something because you believe it is right; not because everyone else is doing it. 

Always be wary of crowd movements. When a herd moves, it generally is toward the slaughterhouse. 

Blaze your own path. Walk the other way. 

***

 The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Chose one or the other with great care.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cocaine Culture



There’s no question in my mind that the dangers of cocaine have been wildly exaggerated by the antidrug lobby. Oh, I’m sure it’s not good for you, but you can certainly enjoy it recreationally, assuming you have disposable income and you hate yourself. 

Unlike pot or mushrooms or liquid Vicodin, it doesn’t shift reality; it just makes reality louder, brighter, and more interested in the availability of fashionable footwear. It makes you feel like you’re walking down the street – minding your own business- and the smartest, most attractive person you’ve ever met  suddently jumps out from behind a bush and gives you a compliment. This sensation lasts between 16 and 21 minutes, after which you become singularly obsessed with finding more cocaine. 

That desire  forces you to enter “cocaine culture” (at least for one night). Cocaine culture contains the worst of everything: the worst conversations, the worst friendships, and the worst kind of unspeakable joy. But the instant you’ve received a powdery compliment from this imaginary stranger, entering cocaine culture becomes the goal of your entire evening. 

People who want cocaine will lie about anything; people will surrender integrity they never had to begin with. To get free cocaine, women will have sex with men they normally wouldn’t dance with. Cocaine makes you more popular, but also less likable; cocaine makes you feel guilty in advance. 

When you snort cocaine, you consciously allow yourself to become foolish in the hope of seeming cool, and that’s the worst choice any smart person can make. This is why I am not a Cocaine Person, and this is why I will (probably) never become a Cocaine Person.