Archive for category PurplePeople.

100 Years in 10 Minutes.


Sit back, and watch history.

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Remembering George Carlin.

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

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Attention to every detail.

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Mix Master Mike.

Scratching that itch.


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Vintage Jobs.

Steve Jobs and his team building their startup NeXT, captured on PBS.  Brilliant.

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Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed.

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David Ogilvy.

When Patricia Sellers, a reporter for Fortune Magazine, asked David Oglivy for advice on building and running a business, the 80 year old advertising legend gave her this timeless advice…

Remember that Abraham Lincoln spoke of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He left out the pursuit of profit.

Remember the old Scottish motto: “Be happy while you’re living, for you are a long time dead.”

If you have to reduce your company’s payroll, don’t fire your people until you have cut your compensation and the compensation of your big-shots.

Define your corporate culture and your principles of management in writing. Don’t delegate this to a committee. Search all the parks in all your cities. You’ll find no statues of committees.

Stop cutting the quality of your products in search of bigger margins. The consumer always notices — and punishes you.

Never spend money on advertising which does not sell.

Bear in mind that the consumer is not a moron. She is your wife. Do not insult her intelligence.

David Ogilvy


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Tim Cook: The Apple doctrine.

Apple COO Tim Cook, quoted during the Q3 2008 results call, when asked if Apple would be OK without Steve Jobs:

“Ben, let me add something to that and backup just a bit. There is extraordinary breadth and depth and tenure among the Apple executive team, and they lead 35,000 employees that I would call wicked smart – and that’s in all areas of the company from engineering to marketing to operations and sales and all the rest. And the values of our company are extremely well entrenched.

We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.

And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well. And I would just reiterate a point Peter made in his opening comments that I strongly believe that Apple is doing the best work in its history.”

This explains so much, on so many levels.

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Think different.

The best of the Apple “Think Different” campaign.  Not just advertising, rather a corporate statement of belief in itself and its culture.  Years on, it is still this culture that inspires the wonderful products we see today.

For fun and interests sake, I’ve added their most recent campaign “Our Signature” (2013):


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The Pale Blue Dot.

Carl Sagan on humanity and our place in the universe.  Absolutely spellbinding.

Michael Marantz produces a wonderful adaptation.

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Dalai Lama in response to question: “What about humanity surprises you the most?”

Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

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Far from complete, below is a small collection of my current favorite PurpleSites on the net:

TED: Ideas worth spreading.


Arcade Fire + Google = Insane music video browser thing.

How big really?  BBC Dimensions.

Emotions on the internet.  WeFeelFine.

Banksy Gallery.

The Cool Hunter Gallery.

Seth’s Blog.

John Grubers Daring Fireball.

Tom Fishburnes Marketoonist.

Brand Tags.



Google Trends.


The Khan Academy.


Horace Dediu:  Asymco.


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Seth’s in session.

For those that know my marketing side, they know we can’t discuss much for long without Seth Godin popping up: either in quote, in principal or in practice.

I just came across this piece from Dan Martell that nicely summarizes some of the many lessons that fall out of his works (Godin in quotes):

Strive to be remarkable.

“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”

It’s all about the stories.

The only asset to get built online is permission.”

Let your product speak for itself.

“The product is the marketing. You can’t out spend.”

You cannot hide from customers.

“Are you going to bet on secrets, or are you going to be open?”

Your plan isn’t enough.

“Successful people rarely confuse a can-do attitude with a smart plan. But they realize that one without the other is unlikely to get you very far.”

Be humble.

“No one cares about you, not even your mother-in-law. No ones eagerly waiting your press release.”

Create meaning.

“Connect, create meaning, make a difference, matter, be missed.”

There is a hierarchy to success:

“Attitude, Approach, Goals, Strategy, Tactics, Execution”

Listen to your customers.

“Listen instead to your real customers, to your vision and make something for the long haul.”

Flex your expertise.

“Everybody is an expert about something”

Implement quickly.

“Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death.”

Choose your words carefully.

“Why waste a sentence saying nothing?”

Focus on great customer service.

“The best time to do great customer service is when a customer is upset.”

Don’t be afraid of being edgy.

“Playing safe is very risky.”

Find your precise market.

“Don’t try to please everyone. There are countless people who don’t want one, haven’t heard of one or actively hate it. So what?”

Push limits in your industry.

“You can raise the bar or you can wait for others to raise it, but it’s getting raised regardless.”

Create desire.

“People rarely buy what they need. They buy what they want”

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Good design…

Dieter Rams 10 principles of good design:

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design makes a product understandable.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is long-lasting.
Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
Good design is environmentally friendly.
Good design is as little design as possible.

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Leo Burnett.

An ad industry legend, Leo Burnett’s genius can be seen in some of his most famous quotes…

“Advertising is the ability to sense, interpret… to put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper and ink.”

“Anyone who thinks that people can be fooled or pushed around has an inaccurate and pretty low estimate of people – and he won’t do very well in advertising.”

“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”

“If you can’t turn yourself into your customer, you probably shouldn’t be in the ad writing business at all.”

“Regardless of the moral issue, dishonesty in advertising has proved very unprofitable. “

“The greatest thing to be achieved in advertising, in my opinion, is believability, and nothing is more believable than the product itself. “

“The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships. “

“The secret of all effective originality in advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships. “

“The sole purpose of business is service. The sole purpose of advertising is explaining the service which business renders. “

“The work of an advertising agency is warmly and immediately human. It deals with human needs, wants, dreams and hopes. Its ‘product’ cannot be turned out on an assembly line. “

“To swear off making mistakes is very easy. All you have to do is swear off having ideas. “

“Too many ads that try not to go over the reader’s head end up beneath his notice. “

“We want consumers to say, ‘That’s a hell of a product’ instead of, ‘That’s a hell of an ad.”

“When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either. “

~ Leo Burnett  (1891 – 1971)

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