An Old Man In A Dry Month Being Spoken To By A Young Tattooed Redhead Waiting for The Rain

March 16, 2012

Sometimes I think that I'm getting older. Other times I know it.

ForbesVideo recently posted a piece that appears to be about how to best brand and market a new company.  The interview is conducted with Erika Napoletano, the Author of "The Power of Unpopular" and Redhead Writing Blog and takes place during SXSW (South By Southwest)  in Austin, TX.  By way of introduction, Redhead Writing describes itself as a   

a Denver, Colorado-based online strategies consulting firm. Always irreverent but never insincere, engaging with Erika ensures one thing: tuning in to unfiltered content, blunt advice and unpopular thoughts designed to shake you up and move you forward.  

Sadly . . . incredibly . . . amazingly, I just turned 60. 

Sixty as in I still have my framed original three-day Woodstock tickets and I recall being in Haight-Ashbury in 1967 and going to a Moby Grape concert. 

Sixty as in I still play my Les Paul and G&L electric guitars.  

Sixty as in I have nearly 2,000 tracks on my iTunes, including an eclectic array of Adele, Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Sam Cooke, Bonnie Raitt, and far too many others to name. And of course there's that minority interest I have in an indie Rock label.

Sixty as in what looks back at me from the mirror isn't how I feel inside.

So, sure, I speak at lots of seminars -- giving advice and speaking my warped mind on all sorts of lawyerly crap involving Wall Street.  Similarly, I've sat through far too many speeches given by bored men and women, reading from yellowed pages of tired notes, as I listened to the cutlery scrape against the lunch plates.  

Listening to Erika Napoletano give a new generation of entrepreneurs branding advice was a blast.  While somewhat startling and shocking at first, I realized that it was the same-old-same-old spiced up, sliced, diced, and repackaged for a new generation trying to build a company and develop a brand.  The art of marketing for the new millenium. Ultimately, the song's the same but the band looks different -- you know what I'm sayin'? I mean, geez, when was the last time you attended a marketing conference and the speaker referred to someone as a "D bag?" I love it!

Consider these nuggets of advice from Erika's interview:

The biggest brand disaster is probably taking off your company t-shirt with your logo on it and running around topless . . .

There's nothing epic that happens over free keg beer . . .

Find people and solve their problem, it's not all about you . . .

The other big disaster that you can probably make is being unkind because business to me is about being kind to other people and asking how you can help, and there's a huge D bag quotient at SXSW . . .