Feburary 137

This post is dedicated to my parents who today have been married for 31 years.  To the two people most important to my development I wish a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Thirty-one years of marriage is, sadly, not the norm these days, especially among black families.  And I’ve been fortunate enough to have two outstanding role models for what, someday, I hope to have for myself.

I found this William Penn poem, titled Never Marry But For Love, that adequately expresses my sentiments:

Never marry but for love; but see that thou lovest what is lovely. He that minds a body and not a soul has not the better part of that relationship, and will consequently lack the noblest comfort of a married life.

Between a man and his wife nothing ought rule but love. As love ought to bring them together, so it is the best way to keep them well together.

A husband and wife that love one another show their children that they should do so too. Others visibly lose their authority in their families by their contempt of one another, and teach their children to be unnatural by their own examples.

Let not enjoyment lessen, but augment, affection; it being the basest of passions to like when we have not, what we slight when we possess.

Here it is we ought to search out our pleasure, where the field is large and full of variety, and of an enduring nature; sickness, poverty or disgrace being not able to shake it because it is not under the moving influences of worldly contingencies.

Nothing can be more entire and without reserve; nothing more zealous, affectionate and sincere; nothing more contented than such a couple, nor greater temporal felicity than to be one of them.

Congratulations Al and Toni!


Drake ft Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem-Forever Music Video

The instrumental alone is epic!

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Erza Pound: Fill Your Days.

blades of grass by Z'Brox.

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life
slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass.

Ezra Pound

Pound’s words convey the ease by which our lives can drift by with no impact on the world.  By “world” I don’t mean the expanse of the globe, but what is within your reach daily, starting with your family, and on out.  By “impact” I don’t mean coming up with the next big product or hottest company.  More often than not, it is the little things, and sometimes the big things, that have the biggest impact.  Affecting lives in ways we can’t yet contemplate or see in the present.

Fill your days!


Photo Credit

Lesson Learned from Nintendo’s Power Glove.


I was playing Wii Tennis with a friend last week, and randomly thought of the Power Glove from the 1980’s.  For those not familiar, the Power Glove, built for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Mattel, was supposed to be all the Nintendo Wii is today.  A revolutionary control interface, a game changer.

However, outside of famous scene from “The Wizard” and pretty cool advertisements, it failed commercially (see here for a demo on why, may want to put in headphones if at the office).

Yet it was the development of the Power Glove, conceptually and technologically, that paved the way for the Wii which HAS been a commercial success.

On a human level, this was just a reminder that a failure today can bring success down the road.

Have a great weekend!


Brand Perspective: In Re Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy Store by Dickies Europe.

“The marketing is more important than the product.  People are followers.  They want to be attributed to a certain style.  Is not me making the rules, is reality.  Is the reality.” -Christian Audigier

This is part one of a series on perspective.

GQ arrives.

The latest issue of GQ magazine arrived yesterday.  While browsing I came across a profile article on Christian Audigier, the French designer responsible Von Dutch (website disabled, oops!) trucker hats and club and UFC favorite, Ed Hardy.

According to the running list on stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, “Hating People Who Wear Ed Hardy” ranked 124th.  A thorough 20 minute search of the Internets yielded no other official tally’s, but I assume there is as proportional level of animosity towards the brand across races, as there is diversity in my experience, amongst its wearers.

Back to the article.

Mr. Audigier came across like everything I’d expect the designer of high-priced, rhinestone studded skull and crossbones, and tigers (for starters) adorned t-shirts, to be.  He is unapologetic about the image his the brand promotes.  He revels in the fact that it all but ensures an Ed Hardy customer will not get into certain clubs (at least in L.A).  Like designers before him, Ed Hardy is more than just a brand, it’s a lifestyle.

And while some look down on Ed Hardy and related brands like Affliction, writing them off as attire of the tool inclined, both intentionally or not have developed strong brand culture, and in the case of Ed Hardy the backing of the Iconix Brand Group, owners of Jay-Z’s Rocawear brand, which invested $17 million for a 50% stake in the brand in May 2009.

Brand Perspective

My original interest in Ed Hardy on a substantive level stemmed from a discussion with a friend on how, with all the supposedly déclassé (from the GQ article) associations Ed Hardy appeared to have, was the brand continuing to be worn by a fair amount of party goers (at least down on 6th Street in Austin) and celebrities.  The answer is simple.  People LIKE being associated with that brand.  They like images of flash and excess.  It’s no different from minimalist purchasers of American Apparel.

Both are buying not just clothes but the identity that particular brand carries with it whether consciously or not.  While the clothes don’t make the person, what you wear certainly does go into your personal brand.

The Take Away.

Say what you want about Mr. Audigier and Ed Hardy, but he knows how to market his brand and turn that dollar.  And I’ll admit, I’ve contemplated adding an Ed Hardy shirt (just the a shirt) to my wardrobe from time to time.


Photo by Dickies Europe

Born to Do: It is Not Too Late

“[I]n nooks all over the earth sit men who are waiting, scarcely knowing in what way they are waiting, much less that they are waiting in vain.  Occasionally the call that awakens– that accident which gives the “permission to act — comes too late, when the best youth and strength for action has already been used up by sitting still; and many have found to their horror when they ‘leaped up’ that their limbs had gone to sleep and their spirit had become to heavy.  ‘It is too late,’ they said to themselves, having lost their faith in themselves and henceforth forever useless.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

This quote is from the newest Robert Greene book, The 50th Law, a collaboration with 50 Cent.  For those not familiar with Mr. Greene, he has written a series of books on Power, Seduction, and War.  He has also become a sort of modern-day Machiavelli with the rap set.  In each, he breaks down the nature of each subject through maxims derived from the greatest generals, philosophers, seducers, and also stories and fables, from multiple cultures.  At the very least for any history buff his previous three are great reads.

Coming back to the quote, I liked the sense of urgency it created.  It’s not about waiting for “the call that awakens,” but awaking whatever it is that you were born to do, not settled into, BORN TO DO, and do most excellently (thanks Bill & Ted).

Wasted human potential is a tragedy, not just personally, but globally.  While it is in our capacity to seek out greatest potential would should strive, in any measure, to reach it.

It is not too late.


Revisiting: Friendship is Valuable.

This is a re-post of post on networking I wrote in May titled Friendship is Valuable.  After reading a posting yesterday on the New York Law Journal’s blog titled Rainmaking: It’s Not Just for Old Guys Anymore (really the part about smart socializing) I felt compelled to share again.  Though the article is framed from the viewpoint of junior law firm associates, I think the concepts can be applied to any service related field.


“You’re not in law school to make friends.”

I, along with my future colleagues, were told this during a pre-law seminar the summer before we began our legal education.

Then, as now, I felt that “advice” was at the very least counter-productive and at most extremely harmful.  I’m a social guy in general so maybe that is why those words rubbed me the wrong way.  But as I progressed through Washburn Law (in lovely Topeka, KS) I came to understand that success in the legal profession (actual practice not academics), like the business world, relies in part on a degree of sociability.

In fact, I believe the practice of law requires a great deal of social skill, not only in working with clients, but developing clients and most importantly advancing in a firm.

Attorneys are selling their SERVICES.  That’s right, attorneys are salesmen, and a law firm is essentially Wal-Mart or Nordstroms, all depending on what the client’s willing to pay.  And it’s not enough to wait for clients to coming through your doors, firms rely on rainmakers to drive sales by engaging clients in the real world.  Hint, the gal or guy who’s brining in clients will most likely be able to justify partnership over the billable hour workhorse.  But I digress.

Networks and networking are the hot button topics today.  People are losing their jobs, or nervous about losing their jobs and turning to LinkedIn, Twitter, or whatever other social media they can to create a net for themselves.

And they are like the grasshoper that waited until Winter to begin gathering food.

People, please remember.  NETWORK BEFORE YOU NEED IT.  Coming back to what our speaker said, I understand what, I hope, she was trying to say.  Law school isn’t college, time to study and put down the beer bong.  I think though she could have been more specific.  Law school, or whatever program your in, is the BEST time to make friends.

During school you’re all students, no one is a “name” yet.  And believe that while you think you have people pegged in terms of  who will be “successful” you don’t.  You also never know where your practice or business will take you.  I’m not saying you have to be best buds with your entire class, but burying yourself away for three years (in the case of law school) is foolish.

I’m a pretty helpful person, but honestly if someone I barely knew asked me for assistance versus someone I knew decently (I’m saying a conversation here or there over THREE years), who do you think I’d be more apt to help out?  And I’m a friendly person, some folks won’t deal with you if they don’t know you, even if you went to the same school.

So maybe the speaker should have discussed making social friends versus professional friends.  Social friends would be those folks you hang with regardless of your job.  Professional friends, can be social, but more often they are people you are aligned with in your profession and

My point is this.  In ____  school, making (professional) friends is probably one of the most important activities you can engage in.


Would You Trade?

Reflection "I" by VisualAge.
Photo Credit

This ties in to an earlier post.  Did you ever play the game as a kid where, in a group, you would go around saying whose life you would want if you could trade with any person in the world?  Generally this game, what I call a  “wondering game” (Ex. What _____ would you like to have if any in the world), took place when there is some mundane activity to be done, or on long bus/car rides.

Anyway, while doing some outside work, one of my guys got this game started and asked me who I would trade with.  Off the top of my head I think I said the founder of Facebook (power and influence, but still generally anonymous to the general public) and maybe Diddy because I, along with most guys in their 20’s (if not older), harbor some sort of “party like a rockstar fantasy.”  However, after I got through those two and my reasoning, I realized honestly I wouldn’t want to trade with anyone.

It’s not that I wouldn’t mind being rich and famous, but where is the fun in jumping into another’s shoes?  For one thing I like challenge, striving for some sort of innovation, striving to move ahead in my profession, the drudgery, the triumph, and everything in between.  Also, and this comes maturity and prospective, but everyone, EVERYONE has problems.  Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.  It’s all relative.  While my life my not feel especially spectacular to me (saying that only as an example because my life is spectacular), to someone else it may be.

What it boils down to is this, I know my problems.  I’ve had my entire life to deal with them.  I know, generally, what I have to face on a given day and am comfortable with tackling those issues and those that pop up.

What about you?


“If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change”
– Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror