They’re called “people”

Saw this quote in a business story in the Cincinnati Enquirer and had to laugh to keep from crying:

Chad Summe, Quotient’s central region vice president, will lead the Sycamore Township office. The company’s Greater Cincinnati office launched with three senior executives in 2012 and now has 60 full-time employees.

“We took a hard look at where we wanted to do expansion,” said Summe, who is also a member of the Kenton County Airport Board. “The result we’ve seen in Cincinnati has been phenomenal. (There’s) access to great human capital and I think you can see the momentum of the city overall translating to that. We’re just partaking in it. After looking across the country, we decided to double down here.”

“Human capital”? Gimme a break. Human beings yes, but human capital, no thanks.

Of course, it is a reality check… that’s how most execs at most companies see their employees – as “human capital” to be depleted, bartered, traded and degraded.


My favorite desktop background

At my workplace, every employee had a standard desktop background – one that was “on brand” for our company. But recently the powers that be decided that it would be okay for us to “personalize” our desktop. Here’s the background I chose:


The stars look very different today

It’s good to know that David Bowie had a soft spot in his heart for Cincinnati.


(Good) content is king

If you don’t subscribe to the “Daily Cartoon” email from Hugh MacLeod, perhaps yesterday’s post will convince you to:

gaping void

There’s a lot of content out there.

There’s fun content: Hey, look at this dumb cat acting goofy.

There’s info-tainment content: Hey, look at this dumb politician acting goofy.

There’s personal content: Hey look at me and my friends, hanging out on Christmas Eve.

There’s “social proof” content: Hey, look at fabulous me at the gym/fancy restaurant/corporate boardroom, hanging out with rockstars/billionaires/celebrities etc.

There’s pundit content: Why Donald Trump is evil. Why handgun ownership is evil. Why Hillary Clinton is evil. Why USA/France/China/Norway/Mozambique/Paraguay is evil.

There’s expert content: Ten things every lawyer/dentist/CEO needs to know. Why house prices are going to tank net year. Why house prices are not going to tank net year. The future of this, the future of that.

There’s news content: What happened over in Russia. What happened over at Google. What happened over at Fenway Park.  What happened during the Oscars.

There’s lifestyle content: The best restaurants in Miami, the best shoe stores in New York, the best vacation spots in India.

And then there’s what I call “Transformative Content“. The stuff that actually inspires people, the stuff that actually changes lives.

The stuff that moves us, the stuff that pushes humanity forward. 

The stuff that actually matters.

It could be a blog post, sure. But it could just as easily be a song, a book, a drawing, a film, a poem, an idea. It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is what it does. What matters is that it changes lives, somehow. What matters is that it rocks your world.

i.e. There’s “Transformative” content and there’s “Everything Else” content. The former is what people have an infinite need for, what. The latter is merely clutter that most sane people are looking to remove from their lives at the earliest convenient moment.

And what is true for content, is also true for business. There are the businesses that change the world, and there are businesses that are just there for the metaphorical paycheck. I know which one I want to be working for.

Not so Big on Ben

I’m a sports fan, but ESPN, the self-anointed”worldwide leader in sports” is a bit much for me to stomach sometimes. They love to create a story where no story exists, just to fill their 24-hour newshole. And they’re big fans of shameless self-promotion, cross-promotion and over-promotion.

Case in point for turning the hype machine volume up to 11 is Ben Simmons, a talented freshman basketball player for LSU. He’s very good, one of the best players in the nation, but if you watch more than an hour of ESPN (hey, I spend a lot of time at the gym and it’s on there) you’ll probably hear his name several times. Today they had a promo (of course) for this evening’s doubleheader of college hoops games. For the nightcap, they showed a photo of Mr. Simmons and said “See Ben Simmons and his LSU Tigers take on Texas A&M.” It’s worth noting that Texas A&M is ranked as the 10th best team in the country right now, whereas LSU is 11-6 and unranked. So why not tout the Aggies team instead of an individual player? Because ESPN is in the business of building idols. Ben Simmons is this year’s “next LeBron”… show more Ben highlights, put him in the daily “Top 10” (which unfailingly celebrates individual accomplishments over team play – the showier the better)… make him more marketable by marketing him 24/7.

That way, when LeBen declares for the NBA draft after a single season at LSU, ESPN will be there with round-the-clock NBA draft prognostications, then draft coverage, then Ben will be on a crappy NBA team that will sometimes be featured on ESPN’s NBA games. They’re investing more airtime in Ben now in hopes that it will pay dividends down the line.

It’s all a bit too much B.S. for me to take.



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