Archive for 'Book Reviews'



How I got myself unceremoniously fired on Basecamp by my self-publisher

I need some help with self-publishing. And apparently at communicating. I was working with a local group to publish my new book, Story Built. But they terminated me. That's not the half of it. I was fired on Basecamp. Basecamp! Now I know what you're thinking: "Basecamp is for project management, not a platform for meaningful creative conversation about how to best publish the blood, sweat and tears one puts into writing a book. And especially not a place to fire someone." Right? You're also ...

What fictitious stories are your customers making up about your brand?

Our brains are suckers for story. They'll take the most benign stimuli (like most powerpoints, car dealership commercials, and mission statements) and attempt to knit narratives from them in an exhaustive effort to make sense of the world. Here's a brilliant example: watch this one-minute film, created in 1944, and scribble down what you see. Show it to others and see what stories they create. Of the 114 test subjects in the Heider/Simmel study who saw this rudimentary film of crude geometric ...

What marketers can learn from the freaks, cheats and familiars at Burning Man

Have you ever been to Burning Man: this 55,000+ burner event in Black Rock City, Nevada? If not, have you ever wanted to go? Or do you think like some folks do that it's just a self-indulgent orgy of hipsters parading around the Playa? I hear it's actually a model of sustainability in that every Burner must bring in all of their provisions, and take out all of their trash after the roughly week-long gathering. They literally build a city, and ...

How NOT to become an MBA zombie

I teach storytelling workshops to business executives and sustainability professionals around the country, and I'm always gratified to see how people from every imaginable endeavor naturally embrace story. But some audience members get frustrated when they can't quickly grasp and apply the basic structure of story in business. Therefore, I've been searching for a tool or technique to make storytelling easier. I found it last week. The new book, Connection: Hollywood Storytelling meets Critical Thinking, and its storymaker app are just what ...

Purpose-driven marketing made easier through new book: Good Works!

When people find out that I own an ad agency, they always ask, "What's your specialty?" "Are you an automotive agency? A health care marketing firm? Consumer products? B2B?" My answer often puzzles them. "We ignite the growth of people, products, companies and causes that dare to make the world a better place." We help companies dramatically grow their brands and bottom line by focusing on their higher purpose. A good example is our work with Lowe's and the Water - Use It ...