Gary Vaynerchuk – Online Man of the Year 2008?

December 24, 2008

Question:  Who inspired you this year?

My answer:  Gary Vaynerchuk

I’m a wine neophite, yet I find myself watching Gary’s online reviews obessesively.  I like to think of myself as a positive, motivated, focused guy yet Gary’s online activity (endless tweets on twitter), and non stop production of killer content makes me question my own  work ethic (this is a good thing).  When everyone in our industry is freaking out about layoffs, and who they’re going to point the finger at Gary’s message never wanes  “love, hustle, family”….

This guy is what the online industry should all aspire to be.   How can you not love a guy that decided to proclaim a “Good People Day”.…awesomegary-masthead

When I saw Gary deliver this keynote at Web 2.0Expo it changed my life.  Seriously.  Watch it.  Then watch it again.  I even made my parents watch it.  I made my colleagues watch it.

I nominate Gary Vaynerchuk as Online Man of the Year 2008

Six Senses

December 8, 2008

In a recent post regarding Daniel Pink’s new book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the FutureI committed to reading the book.  I lied. Sort of.  I downloaded the audiobook  

I’ve been enjoying everything about this book. Daniel Pinkis certainly capturing the essence of something that I feel is changing the world we live in.  Not only are some of his ideas fresh and new, but he’s presented them in a manner that will silence critics.  I’m encouraged that a movement toward giving right brained thinkers more respect and accolades indicates that our culture is growing as a collective. 

Here are the list of 6 senses that describes as being key differentiators for our future leaders.  I’ve already touched on these in past posts, but after hearing the audiobook, I feel they’re worth reiterating;

1. Design – A Movement beyond function

2. Story –Those that will succeed need to not only present an argument, but they must add persuasive narrative

3. Symphony – I love the sound of this one – Putting all of these pieces together and seeing the big picture

4. Empathy – Extending beyond just logic

5. Play Pink regards play with as much esteem as other traits – indicating that games and humor must play a role in our lives.

6. Meaning – Pink references research of college students who instead of articulating an interest to make boat loads of money when asked what they want to do – they speak of making a difference – having purpose – and contributing to the greater good. 

I’m sure I’ll provide more from Pink’s book
I’m fascinated, and encouraged at the same time. 

Facebook Notification

December 7, 2008

Yesterday I received an email from Facebook indicating that a video I’d posted to my profile was being removed due to Alleged Copywright Violations.  A few years ago I received a similar notification from Youtube regarding a video I posted of Prince performing during the halftime show at the Super Bowl in Miami.  I wholly understood Youtube’s request, and happily removed the video.  But this is different.

Facebook seems to have implemented some sort of automated system to determine if there may be copywrite violations occurring – because the video in question is footage of my wife Laura, my daughter Talia, and myself pumpkin picking.  Odd.

I’ll certainly push to have the video placed back on my profile page again as soon as possible, but in the interim I’ll post the video here.  You decide – copywrite infringement or fun family video caught in a crawling algorithm incorrectly by the facebook team?

Facebook receives one big bad review from me on this one.  I’m sure they’ll fix it – but thought I’d share and see if anyone else experience the same thing?

Here’s the email they sent to my attention:


We have removed your video entitled “Talia goes Apple/Pumpkin picking” uploaded at 8:46pm October 16th, 2008. We did this because we learned that your video might include copyrighted material owned by a third party, such as a video clip or background audio.

If you are the copyright owner, or have permission from the rights holder to upload and distribute this material on Facebook, you may file a counter notice of alleged infringement by following the link below. 

Please note that if you re-upload this video without filing a counter notice, or if you upload another video that infringes on the rights of a third party, our system will again remove the content. This could cause your access to the Facebook Video application to be disabled, or your Facebook account to be disabled.

To file a counter notice:
File a Counter Notification

For any other questions, view our Help page.

The Facebook Team

New York Giants Plaxico Burress

December 1, 2008

Ok, this is a first for me on this blog, but since the man Gary Vaynerchuk gets away with jawwing about his Jets, then I think it’s time I talk about my Giants.  At least this isn’t some horrible post about how I feel Eli Manning is the second coming. Nor is it a discussion about how terrified I am that the Giant’s will pull a New England style choke in the post season.  Nope – just really want to ask Plaxico WTF?

Plaxico is facing charges frm an incident at a nightclub Friday night with another Giants’ player Antonio Pierce.  After being confronted about having a handgun at the club by security, Plaxico attempted to unload the gun, and you guessed it folks, shot himself in the right thigh.

The bullet went through the skin and muscle tissue of his right thigh and did not hit any major arteries, and there were no broken bones.  Plaxico was kept in the hospital overnight and was released on Saturday.  He is expected to make a full recovery. 

This story couldn’t be more perfect for SNL’s “Really” sketch.  You just won a superbowl, your team is about to have the best regular season in franchise history, and you feel it’s necessary to hit the clubs with an unlicensed gun?  REALLY Plaxico?  REALLY?  I mean, really.



December 1, 2008

Last night I was able to redeem a credit I had accumulated as a member at  I’ve been thinking about cancelling my membership, but I recently read a review for the book Outliers: The Story of Success.  Although I’m also in the middle of reading another book, I think Outliers may have my attention for now.  Malcolm Gladwell raises some amazing questions about what makes people huge successes. 

Although I’ve only listened to about 1/4 of the book, there are already some fascinating insights. 

1. If your child is older than his or her classmates may indicate their success in athletics.

2. That once you reach a certain IQ score, there really is no difference in how successful you’ll become – ie, over 120 is “good enough”.  The rest is up to the individual.

Some of these points may be counter intuitive to you, or they may seem so obvious, but most people just don’t really acknowledge them as being huge factors in determining their own success. Either way, the audio book is fascinating.

Keys to the Kingdom

November 20, 2008

I have a confession: 

Among the mix of hardcore business books, and Harvard Business Review Podcasts I so ravenously devour, I sometimes pick up a podcast from Oprah (stop laughing please).  I feel she’s a thought leader in spirituality and becoming ones true self.  Since I’m all about self actualization, and self improvement – you can see the tie-in.

Last night I listed to her podcast when she interviewed Daniel Pink, author of a book called  A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Apparently Oprah liked the book so much, she decided to share this book with the entire graduating class at Stanford this Spring when giving their commencement address. I haven’t read the book yet, but I felt like I needed to offer a post for

2 reasons:

1. I’m certainly going to read it (or listen to the audio book)

2. It seems to be the perfect marriage of spirituality or self actualization and business converging.  Nice.

Some key elements:

The new world we’re living in is being taken over by right brained individuals. Over the past few decades the world has been run by a certain type of person (mostly left brained) Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants.   Pink uses words to describe these people like have the ability of “symphony”  – aggregating disparate ideas and being able to articulate them in a manner that’s comprehensible to lay-men.  He also mentions the ability to tell stories that evoke emotion, play, and experience empathy. Right brained, right brained, right brained.  You get the idea.

He argues that while logical and linear brained thinking is great, and effective, it’s not enough.  The world is coming around to the right brain.  Pink comes to this conclusion by evaluating the facts (he’s a self assessed left brainer himself).

Years ago we were in the agricultural age, then industrial, information, and now conceptual. Left brain activity is activity that can be replicated by computers (anyone can look up the capital of Yemen on Google).  Right brained activity cannot (at least not yet). 

The paradox of prosperity contributes to this phenomenon as well.  The more prosperous we are, the more laborious things are automated, and the more time we have to sit around and ponder – why am I here? (cool, right?).  So as the world becomes more prosperous (baby boomers in particular), the more evolved the world is becoming.  Right brained people are no longer being viewed as new-agey  individuals because the efficacy of spirituality/meditation etc is being measured by science. 

I’ll talk more about the book after I’ve read it of course, but I felt it was worth sharing.  Let me know what you think?

Right brainer’s UNITE! Here’s a link: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

Top Audiobooks I’m listening to now

November 12, 2008

Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

This may be a bit too “touchy feely” for some people, but Wayne Dyer is a bright guy, and  I love the way he applies the teachings of the Tao to everyday life.  I’ve read the Tao in a few different translations – the teachings are open to interpretation, and therefore mean different things to different people – but the Dr. adds his own (practical) spin to each. There’s great truth in his writing – so I give it a strong thumbs up.

Harvard Business Review on Leadership (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)

I can never get enough of HBR. The quality of content is unsurpassed. I also recommend the HBR podcast (see below).  There’s nothing wrong with a daily dose of HBR.


Jack Welch’s book.  The most practical business book I’ve ever read (or listened to).  Jack’s no BS attitude can be abrasive, but he give some great insight on how to get things done, and how to produce results.  If you’re listening to the Audio book – take notes.  He offers some serious gems that you can apply to your work life today.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61)

I recommend this book so strongly that I’ve given it as a gift to numerous friends and family.  I listened to it numerous times since the first listen about 6 months ago. It’s powerful on a few different levels, and will make you view the world in a new light. If you liked the Secret – you’ll love this.  Sort of the natural progression for anyone that felt a chord was struck in the Secret.   Strong recommendation.


Best of YouTube 

Great to break up any monotonous commuting.  Careful though – you may find yourself laughing out loud while staring at your ipod.  Funny when you’re sitting with friends. Not so funny when you’re on the subway.  Although I’m sure a good conversation starter…

Harvard Business ideaCast

Part of my morning routine/toolbox.  Another one to take notes on.  Interviews with thought leaders in business.  The format is entertaining and informative. This is a must listen to….save the $$ on the HBR, and listen to this podcast daily. You won’t regret it.

Meditation Oasis

Guided Meditation. Helps if you feel like you need a helping hand to decompress.