The Elegance of Nothing

April 15, 2019

I always enjoy Seth Godin‘s posts, but this one especially resonated:

And what is a brand? It’s not the logo, certainly. I have no idea what Everlane’s logo is. The brand is our shorthand for the feelings that an experience creates, the promises that a product or service brings with it.

If Nike announced that they were opening a hotel, you’d have a pretty good guess about what it would be like. But if Hyatt announced that they were going to start making shoes, you would have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER what those shoes would be like. That’s because Nike owns a brand and Hyatt simply owns real estate.

But the brands that matter are voices that choose to matter. Voices that make assertions on behalf of their users. Who market with people, and for them, not to them or at them.

Work that matters for people who care.

Tipping Simplified

April 11, 2019

Via Daring Fireball,  GrubStreet gets it right.

Do I have to tip?

It’s so complicated.
It’s not. When you eat and drink at a restaurant or bar or café or whatever, where servers accept tips, you will leave a tip, and that tip will be 20 percent of the total bill, including tax and whatever you’ve spent on alcohol.

You can read the rest, but there’s no need to. I understand that some people grew up tipping 15% (I did), but in 2019 when servers might be making as little as $2.13 an hour, 20% is appropriate.

What the $%!#$@ is a Grawlix?

February 25, 2019


Me Cookie Monster

February 8, 2019

Cookie Monster was my favorite Sesame Street character growing up. Cookie Monster doing a Reddit AMA made me literally laugh out loud.

Reddit is a bit hard to embed, but some examples:



Just read the whole  thing, it’s hilarious…

Gather Together the Full Gamut of Redundancy

February 7, 2019

I love this article by the vice president, executive managing editor and copy chief of Random House, listing commonly used phrases with redundant words that should be removed from your writing…

  • hollow tube
    Bet you hadn’t thought of that one, had you.
  • hourly (or daily or weekly or monthly or yearly) basis
  • integrate with each other
  • interdependent upon each other
  • join together
  • kneel down
  • knots per hour 
    One knot = one nautical mile per hour.
  • last of all
  • lesbian woman
    Come on, folks. Think.


January 16, 2019

Via SMBC, of course…

Bonus: Every 'but is it art' conversation maps to this one.

Juul May Be Evil

December 18, 2018

Honestly, let’s just wipe out 20 years of progress. Per a University of Michigan study:

Among 10th grade students nicotine vaping also increased at a record rate as it doubled and rose eight percentage points, from 8% to 16%. This is the largest percentage point increase ever recorded by the survey for any past 30-day substance use outcome in this grade.

For secondary students in grades 9 through 12 the increases in nicotine vaping translate into at least 1.3 million additional nicotine vapers in 2018 as compared to 2017.

“Vaping is reversing hard-fought declines in the number of adolescents who use nicotine,” said Richard Miech, the lead author and principal investigator of the study. “These results suggest that vaping is leading youth into nicotine use and nicotine addiction, not away from it.”

Or as Kevin Drum prefers, in handy chart format:


Honestly, this is bad.

Vaping in general, and Juul in particular, have wiped out years of hard work to get teens off of cigarettes. And since most of the increase is in vaping nicotine, it means we’re raising yet another generation of addicts, sucked in by the same kind of marketing that was originally used to suck them into cigarette smoking. What a crime this is.