A Good Job in the City

A Big Life (in Advertising)
Mary Wells Lawrence

big-lifeFall, it seems, exists so I can renew myself. I know, the light is dying, the sky is more likely to be gray than blue and the nip in the air will soon turn to unwelcome arctic blasts. Why that seems to turn me back to the literature of my trade will have to remain a mystery.

Enough about me, let’s talk about Mary. Continue reading

It’s a Gas Gas Gas

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
Michael Lewis

flash_boys

In a perfect storm of coincidence the subject of this book was legitimized the week I finished reading it. Legitimacy is welcome since this is a tale, in part, about selling the immeasurable as the irreplaceable even though what it may really be about is behavior that is irredeemable.

That’s a lot of  words starting with im- and ir-. If I were you I’d be wondering just what had gotten  ahold of me.

The subject, once again, is Wall Street. Most of the time I Continue reading

Food for the Thinkers

Young_A-TECHNIQUEA Technique for Producing Ideas
James Webb Young

Like everyone, okay, like many people I know, there are days when I doubt the choices I’ve made. I’m talking about the big choices and among the biggest is what I’ve chosen to do to earn my bread.

On the best of days–and oh how I wish there were more of those–I’m pretty certain I could have made another choice. But I’m also pretty certain that the Continue reading

When the Sun Goes Down on Austin Town

whole-foods-market-logo-2008My cognitive dissonance meter started to peg about the time I reached the fish counter.

In Austin, Texas for a conference (working, not attending), and a retail marketer from way back, I had to visit the flagship store of Whole Foods, the behemoth ($14.2 BB in 2014 annual revenue) organic grocery chain that calls that burg home. I’m glad I did if only to have had an experience that Continue reading

Too Pat to Open and Too Cool to Bluff

Strategy in Poker, Business & War
John McDonald

strategyPop quiz:

1. Select the answer below that best completes the following sentence. Game Theory is _________.

a. a California band that worked during the 1980s
b. the subject of the bestselling book and hit film, A Beautiful Mind
c. an advanced branch of mathematics often found to result in migraines and other mental trauma
d. the secret weapon of CEOs in their endless quest to maximize shareholder value
e. all of the above Continue reading

Give the Devil His Due

All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis
Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera

Devils_HereCatholic schools do a good job of making sure you know about Catholic heroes. Like Junipero Sera. Perhaps you’ve heard of the good friar? Founder of California’s missions?

Whether you have or haven’t is irrelevant. I bring it up only because the flat accents of NPR‘s on-air staff led me to believe that there was a financial journalist I hadn’t heard Continue reading

Something’s Wild About Harry

No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller
Harry Markopolos

No_oneHarry Markopolos is a stand-up guy. And stand-up guys  finish seventh.

Surely you remember Harry? He’s the guy who got slightly more than his 15 minutes of fame when the Bernard Madoff financial fraud came to light. Harry, it seems, was early on the case and had been trying to get someone, anyone to listen to him on the Continue reading