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The Agony of Almost

I love the story of Molly Seidel running her first marathon and finishing second to earn a spot on the U.S. women’s team for the Olympics. “What is happening?”

But I also love this story in the NY Times on finishing fourth (, 3.1.20).

It is better to have competed at the highest level and come in a close second – or in this case fourth, or in the case for most of us somewhere near the bottom.

Product Failures

Cue Cat, Google+ and ummm…. Zima.


These are the products that I’ve experienced from this list of the biggest product failures of all time.

Admit it, you tried Zima, too.

When Corporate Innovation Goes Bad – The 132 Biggest Product Failures of All Time (CBInsights, 6.25.18)


Great write up of how the Got Milk campaign came to be. It still hasn’t gotten through to me (I detest milk pretty much), but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the message.

Got Milk? How the iconic campaign came to be, 25 years ago (Fast Company, 6.13.18)

Corporate Profanity

I am loving CB Insights lately. That and Axios and TicToc by Bloomberg.

Sh*t Talkers: Corporate America’s Dirtiest Mouths On Earnings Calls

CB Insights, March 29, 2018

What would you do with a client who couldn’t keep the bleepity-bleep in check?

Retail Bankrupties

I love this kind of list/timeline – does that make me evil?


Credit to CBInsights who has been doing excellent analysis with the right amount of snark.

The Batman Effect

Researchers from the University of Minnesota and Hamilton College studied work perseverance in four and six year olds and found that those kids pretending to be superheroes (loosely defined as Batman, Bob the Builder, Rapunzel and Dora the Explorer) worked more than those who were asked to think of themselves in the first person or those who were just being “me” (World Economic Forum, 12.4.17).

Makes sense. I’d be a much better librarian if I could imagine myself to be Bunny Watson in Desk Set or Sydney Bristow in Alias or yes, even and especially, Wonder Woman.

The Cancer Post

Not so bad, this one.

Just saw this article, er comic, on Vox – “I had cancer. This comic shows how much pressure I felt to be a hero.” It’s about pervasive cancer culture and how it makes it even tougher to fit in and to fight the disease. Even that word “fight” becomes laden with misconceptions. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I do like the use of the word “survivor.”

This week, too, NPR tells us, “Cancer Is Partly Caused By Bad Luck, Study Finds.” I can’t help but be drawn to these headlines even though I’m not sure exactly what to do with them.

All in a week’s work of surviving.

Hanging Around

“I think journalists could learn a lot from hanging around with successful librarians.”

Youth Sports Injuries

Interesting article, “Soccer-related ER visits soaring among U.S. youth players” (The Washington Post, 9.12.16). Statistics comparing sports and trends are included.

The article also makes the point that some of the injuries are due to so many more kids at so many different skill levels and development stages trying the sport. So as tough as it is to see so many levels from recreation to uber-competitive traveling teams, it makes sense to have kids play with and against other kids at their skill level.

I will try to keep that in mind when my kids go through evaluations and try-outs for their sports of choice.



Really interesting article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal about brands reacting right away to Prince’s passing.

Brands mark Prince’s death with tweets, and hit a few sour notes.


I don’t know that I am bothered by any of these, especially those included here from MN brands, but those companies with an even deeper connection are getting – as the article states – a warmer reception.

One that really works – Chevy’s “Little Red Corvette.” Check out Adweek’s take here.