Thursday, July 04, 2013

hooray for independence.

today we celebrate...our independence.

my politics may be particularly cynical of what goes on in/by my country, but believe it or not, i'm pretty damn patriotic. there are many reasons why i think we've got something pretty special going on in these United States. much of it stems from underlying currents we possess more than most other nations...

we are all immigrants.
after a NY-visit, a friend said of his experience, "the diversity kind of punches you in the face." so true. if you look hard enough, that's America. we are a melting pot of huddled masses. it's not just the story of my family (or my wife's, sister's, or brothers'), it's that of yours - whether it be one, two, three or more generations back. we are all immigrants. well except maybe the Native Americans (sorry!) but even they crossed a land-bridge. when we focus on what we share in common - and what we each uniquely bring to the table - we are capable of great things. in my experience/observation, where we self-select away from those different from us (remember where i grew up), we unfortunately tend to slide back to the weaknesses of the old world, and lose what keeps us so special.

the fearless class. 
people come here for something better. it's that hunger, not just for themselves, but for their children, that drives certain values, that supports us all and drives us forward. this hunger and drive leads to a sort of attitude (swagger?) that makes us think we can do anything. it includes, but is not limited to the recent innovation and entrepreneurism from the Silicon Valley. the likes of the Wrights, Tesla, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Einstein, Page, Brin, Musk, etc have brought world-changing ideas to bear, from which we all reap the benefits. you're welcome.

we (eventually) figure it out. 
even though we we may first stumble and sometimes fall. while many recently political/judicial decisions ('Voting Rights' + 'Citizens United') continue to give me pause, others (DOMA) give me some faith and optimism. there's a great Frank Herbert quote that says something to the effect of how we should elect leaders that are uncomfortable with power, and once elected, we should continue to make them uncomfortable with that power. but i digress, as it's most certainly not just about our governance. it's not even our system of democracy (see India/Mexico) or controlled capitalism (see Brazil/China).

it's our people. it's something uniquely...American about them us.

enough serious talk, let's get the flag-waving and fireworks. enjoy an "honest trailer" from an appropriate, long-past summer blockbuster we all enjoyed in our younger days...

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

startup life

time for another life update (not kids!). 

after ~10 years of doing tech/media stuff for big marketing companies (most recent of which was selling yogurt), i've decided to flip the career equation on it's head and start doing marketing stuff for a tech company.

tomorrow is my first day @ PINGAGE - a Pinterest marketing company co-founded by a friend + mentor (some recent press below). the company is Cincinnati-based, but I'll continue to be in NY, building out our presence here (a key job perk being more frequent trips back to Cincinnati =). unlike my previous companies, we have <10 employees, so there's definitely a more startup vibe, and the ability for me to make a HUGE impact using all the skills I've learned along the way (and learning a few new ones). 

a wise friend of mine often says, "the only risk in life is not taking one" - so I've decided to bet on myself and give it a shot. I didn't make this decision lightly. as many of you know, I've been approaching a career plateau - or worse, a point of diminishing returns on my personal learning/growth curve. a change was necessary. 

along the way I considered many things - but this felt like the best fit. 

over the past few months, I've gotten a chance to know my startup's team better - looking under the hood, kicking the tires - and I genuinely feel this company has not just a chance of business success, but of making a positive dent in the marketing universe. 

so stay tuned. more to come (much, much more...)

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