So. Apple is buying Beats…

I’m confused. Apple is the biggest, smartest, most strategic tech company ever, right?  Apple is, arguably, the most valuable brand on the planet. Why then, I ask, are they  buying a brand (for 3.2 BILLION)? And let’s be honest…that’s what Beats is. A brand…not a tech company, not a proprietary  tech solution of any kind…it’s a brand.

I thought about this for a minute…maybe two…and the more I did the more confused I was. Beats’ headphones, if you ask anyone other than the NBA and/or the teenager on his school bus, are not great. This is confirmed by yours truly. I tried them – all of them. I was intrigued by the brand, the style, the look, the feel…but the performance stunk. Sorry – that’s the truth. Try those cool looking Beats head phones vs. any Bose pair and you’ll see (or should I say hear?) just how inferior those suckers are. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine branded the crap out of Beats, got amazing spokespeople, get FREE advertising from high profile athletes and musicians…they’ve crushed the branding aspect and win the marketing game – They’ve done so well in that area that people don’t seem to care that the product is  just not that awesome. That alone should be a red flag for the best hardware/product company  on the planet, right? Apparently not.

Anyway…Beats also owns a streaming music service! Is that it Apple? Is that what you want? You want to get into the Music game? Oh wait…You have that covered too. There is a little thing call Itunes that, last time I checked, was the biggest music retailer online – in the world. If anyone thinks because Beats Music is a streaming service and that brings something new to the table – they are wrong. Itunes could click a button and stream tomorrow…They’ve actually been working on this for a long time. It was just a matter of time before they released that new product and crushed Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody and the rest of em’. And, just saying, Beats Music has about 12 subscribers and is pretty insignificant when you think about the others in the space. It’s just a shell, a skeleton – it’s not a business or a real product yet.

So Apple – Why? What problem does this massive acquisition solve? How does this add value to your shareholders? What does this do for your users? I’m still stumped…

Maybe Apple and Tim Cook got bored. They were like “we are sitting on 150 BILLION dollars cash…maybe we should spend some of that. So…let’s get crazy!” Perhaps they thought it was time to make some noise? Get out there and have people talk about them (see- me!)? That’s fair – I mean you got to keep things interesting right? Not everything makes sense and Apple sure has earned the right to do what they want.

While I may be confused – What is crystal. freaking. clear. is…Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre and Ian Rogers WIN. Bunch of rich geniuses over there. Well done fellas…. One day – I’d love to hear about how those conversations went w/ Tim Cook and Eddy Cue because how you guys convinced the biggest, most valuable, brand and tech product company ever to shell out 3.2B for a brand is nothing short of incredible.

 

The Donald Sterling conundrum – the slipperiest slope.

Ok – let me FIRST say a few things. Donald Sterling is a crazy old man. He is a racist and seemingly cruel individual who obviously needs some help. The guy has caused great harm to his family and damaged any legacy he might have had as an NBA owner. Would I want to work for him? NO. Do I think he should be ashamed of his mentality and general ignorance? YES. BUT…I have a problem with this whole entire thing.

The problem I have is simple – If we start to persecute people based on their opinions and for what they say during private conversations…we’re going to have a major problem. Chances are the very vast majority of people, both in positions of power and otherwise, have said SOMETHING privately to another individual that would upset a lot of folks. Should we ban those people for life and fine them $2.5m? I don’t think so.

Donald Sterling, like the rest of the free world, is entitled to his opinion – however misguided and offensive it might be. It’s not like the dude went to a rally and or stood on-top of a rooftop and tried to rally people around his ignorant views. He had a private conversation that was taped, super shadily by some girlfriend who is out for fame and fortune, and now the guy has a serious problem on his hands and is basically being forced to sell something he owns. Something is not right about that. If you disagree – think really hard about every single private conversation you ever had and I’d bet that you can remember a statement, joke, story or tale that might just offend some people – AND imagine because of that conversation some governing body comes to you and BANS YOU FOR LIFE and effectively black lists you from your profession, slandering you along the way. Again – it’s just not right.

Let me say, again, I 100% disagreed with his views…I am with the general public regarding the sentiment that there is no room for that kind of racism (private or not) in society…BUT I feel sorry for this old man. Not TOO sorry though…because reports say he’s going to pocket about half a billion dollars when he decided to sell the team….BUT sorry enough because his family has been forced to take a public stance against him and he is being ridiculed publicly for statements he made privately.

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My 6th grade physics would be so proud (Momentum and Inertia)

You guys remember hearing and learning about the fact that “Objects that are in motion…stay in motion.”, right? I do. I actually explicitly remember sitting in my middle school class and hearing that statement. Learning about inertia and momentum was very a-typical for me when compared to 95% of all other topics taught at that level – Why, you ask? Because it totally made sense the first time I heard it and was something that I felt was completely, 100% applicable to real life outside the classroom. If something is headed in one direction…it takes some kind of force to knock it off course and/or stop it all together. Interesting Mr Physics teacher…interesting.

This was all so interesting to me not because of the actual physics involved or because I was so dialed into learning that specific day – it was interesting to me because it spoke to LIFE and how to live it. See to me –  it’s all about momentum and life inertia…I believe if you are working towards something, staying in-motion, creating positive momentum and strong life inertia – it takes something very significant to throw you off course AND the more momentum you have built up the harder it is to sway you. Obviously the opposite is true as well.

There is good inertia and bad inertia – I 100% think that there is good momentum/inertia and bad. In life if you can keep on a positive path, with good momentum…your inertia will carry you to good things and ultimately where you want to go.  This applies to family, work, friends, sports and overall other LIFE stuff.  Even the phrase, albeit corny, “if you’re not moving forward, you’re taking steps back” seems to resonate with me because it makes sense. Think about it with me…

If you are sitting on the couch, moping around, feeling sorry for yourself and your position in life – is it going to get better or worse? If you are some lazy, complainer, looking out only for yourself – will people shower you will attention and support? OR…If you’re busting your butt, working hard, doing and saying the right things…are good things going to happen and will you find your self faced with more and more opportunity as your positive momentum gains strength? The answer is clear to me.

All this doesn’t mean you won’t be faced with forces, even if on the right path, that knock you off course (one way or another) but it means that dealing with those forces is crucially important to getting back on and maintaining your path and general direction in life.

Life is simple (I figured it out!)- it’s about creating positive momentum and maintaining it. Too often I see people with amazing momentum get thrown off course and not be able to get back to where they were or… I see people will zero momentum get frustrated at the lack of opportunity or good things presented to them. Forces are all around us people –  If you let that force knock you off course and/or stop you in your tracks…it’s even harder to get started and get back to that place of positive movement and inertia and where you want to be.

Did you know that I was capable of such deep thinking? Should I write a book one day? Become a motivational speaker? I don’t know…up to the reader in this case. I just wanted to share what I think is a core philosophy, based in physics that I try to keep in mind every single day. And….You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

best,

Chris

Well, hello there!

Holy shit. It’s been too long. I’m sorry…I really am!

I promised myself, when I started this blog, that I wouldn’t do it for a few months and then disappear. I was committed to blogging and wanted to be consistent…Welp. That went right to hell as soon as I became a father. Makes sense, right? Sure it does! But I am not making excuses. I’m BACK and promise to pound the keyboard as much as humanly possible for the enjoyment of others and myself. Fact is – between insane work schedules, commuting, traveling, baby stuff, watching the golf channel and spending time w/ the wife – life can sometimes move too fast…Blogging helps slow that down for me – almost like verbal mediation. It’s good for me and hopefully it’s good for you too.

I would now like to share some of the random thoughts that I’ve had over the last few months of going blog-less. Get excited! Some of these thoughts may turn into full fledged blogs…some might not…but either way…enjoy here and now while I dust off the cobwebs from the ol’ electronic typewriter and flex my internets.

- 12 Years a Slave was INTENSE.

- The finale to HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER was….completely underwhelming and expected.

- The large majority of people in the professional world are un-professional.

- I hate Southern Charm…but love it at the same time.

- I’m off Walking Dead.

-  Shameless is ridiculously awesome.

- Taxes are fun.

- I may have to buy all custom clothes for the rest of my life.

- It’s BASEBALL SEASON!

- I was totally right about GoogleGlass!

- How is Justin Bieber NOT in jail?

- That thing on 60 Minutes re: how the stock market is rigged blew my mind.

- The AD TECH world is completely and utterly out of freaking control. In a good way…

There ya have it! Some random thought nuggets from my brain. Stay tuned for more goodness

It’s good to be back.

Ps – how freaking cute is my son?!?

Yours Truly, Chris

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It hurts so good.

Well Hello there Blog Followers and other random Blog Finders – it’s been a minute!

Life has happened. Literally. My wife and I welcomed Dominic Christopher Signore to the world on October 9th 2013 @ 6:31am. The future world class athlete and all around good guy weighed in at 7 lbs 10 ounces. We are truly blessed. The little guy is quite the looker and already has the ladies swooning.
My wife had I have been super busy changing diapers, getting peed on, swaddling, doing laundry, cleaning dishes, making bottles and staying up all night…So my blogging time has been seriously cut into. Sorry…Dominic requires a lot of attention and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But that’s ok! Cause he is cute and brings me joy deep down in my soul.
Anyways…. You know what I realized in the midst of my insomnia? Somethings stink… but while stinking can provide some completely surprising yet amazing feelings of joy that you never thought possible. Let me me explain…
Changing diapers stinks. Literally. I mean who wants to do that 10 times a day if they had the choice? I rather not have to deal with human waste ever if I didn’t have to…but guess what?! I have to…and that’s alright with me because Dominic needs me to. It stinks, I do it, and as crazy it might sound…I like it. Dude is 4 weeks old. I am his father…If I can do something (anything) that makes him a little more comfortable so that he can grow up and be a happy little baby person that I am happy to do it. Who knew!?
You know what else stinks? Not getting any sleep. I’m a sleeper…always have been. I need at least 8 hours to feel rested and function at a high level as a human being member of society. Welp, I haven’t had anything close to 8 hours since the little guy joined our family. I’ve been irritable…red eyed…over eating…and in a general haze for almost a month now. Stinks right? But…you guessed it…I’m happy to do what I need to do no mater what time it is. I’m exponentially happier working off 4 hours sleep with my little guy in this world than I was with 8-10 hours under my belt without him. You deal with it and you make sure your baby is taken care of. Doesn’t matter if it’s 4am…if he’s hungry…he’s going to eat. If he needs a fresh onesie and some socks…he’s going to get it. Being “tired” is so not an issue when you are taking care of a human being that is your flesh and blood. I never thought I’d say it…but sleep can be overrated. Would I love some uninterrupted zzzzzz right about now? Sure. But would I rather sit and rock with my guy and make funny faces at him while he stares at me for a few hours? Yup. That’s what caffeine is for.
It’s like “Chris – we get it, ok? Everyone says the same thing…”You never really know what it’s like to have a baby until you have one”.” YES…truer a statement has never been muttered – there really is no science to being prepared BUT I’m here to tell you, and other parents can attest, it’s much more than that. What it is, and what you can try to be prepared for, is the doing of things that straight up stink…and finding joy in said stinky things because you are doing it for your child. That’s something, right? When, where, how else can you ever imagine dealing with disgusting grossness while being totally sleep deprived and be 100%, unequivocally happy to do it all?
We have a lot more to do and learn (and I promise to not make this a Daddy blog btw) but I’m sure looking forward to what else parenthood brings our way. Even the stinky stuff.

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You Don’t Mess around on the quiet car!

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I sit in the quiet car sometimes on the way home and to be perfectly honest…the “quiet” car i.e. – the place that is supposed to be quiet and relaxing as a train car could be on a commute home ….STRESSES. ME. OUT. Bro!

Every single time, without fail, there are people who don’t abide by the rules of the quiet car. Whether these people honestly don’t care to be quiet or they just aren’t aware of the rules of the first and last car  of the train during rush hour… there are always people not following the rules. The rules are simple. BE FREAKING QUIET. But again, all the time, there are people who just aren’t.

Now…when someone is breaking the rules I brace for impact. I think “T-minus….5….4….3….” and the countdown continues until someone YELLS at the rule breaker, “QUIET CAR, THANK YOU!”. Consider this your warning shot rule breaker and I advise you to kindly shut the f up because the next time it’s not going to be so pretty. Mother of 3, business man trying to finish up a call, tourist lost in transit land…Doesn’t matter.

Sometimes the offender laughs it off and other times he/she/they try their luck and continue the bad behavior. Oh boy…in-coming……… “Excuse me!!!! QUIET CAR!!!!!! THIS IS THE QUIET CAR!!!!!” Yells at least one other person in addition to the original person who fired the warning shot. Everyone roles their eyes and now…it’s on.

People get mad at the people who are yelling for the people to get quiet. Imagine that!? A crazy chain reaction to it all. People yelling at the people yelling at the people to be quiet leads to even more ridiculous noise and now everyone is angry and there is crazy tension because everyone almost got in a fist fight because someone’s cell phone rang. Sheesh! So much for my nice quiet ride home.

Frankly the non-quiet cars end up to be more relaxing. There, in the “non-quiet” cars, if someone happens to be chatting on their cell phone for a few minutes you don’t have to ride in fear of the violent backlash from those nasty quiet car militants and can avoid intense tension while getting home to your family after a busy, stressful day. Mind you…I believe in the rules and hope they can be followed. However do we need make matters worse when someone first steps ever-so-slightly out of line by erupting and compiling the problems while causing a big ol’ scene? I think not. The quiet car is really a microcosm of LIFE and can teach us a lot about society if you let it. I say…Look to the quiet car!!! There are lessons everywhere  – even on a stinky commute home on NJ Transit.

Life Lessons brought to you by Chris….you’re welcome.

May your commutes be quiet, friendly and tension-less.

Talkers (Strategy) vs. Doers (Execution)

Adweek

It’s Ad Week here in NYC. You know what that means….lots of panels! Sweet, right!? I love a good panel. I love sitting back and watching really smart executives talk. It’s awesome to see how certain people conduct themselves and interact with other super smart people and answer well thought-out questions provided by an entertaining moderator. It’s great. Get your popcorn people…let’s talk about some industry issues and innovative approaches to solving them!

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I saw some awesome panels with great participants from leading companies. Over the course of listening to these folks…some impressed me and other disappointed me greatly. Specific to those that impressed me, I wondered….Are these folks spewing a bunch of hot air while dressing nicely, speaking intelligently and carrying themselves with an overall sense of supreme confidence and just fooling this entire room full of people? Is it a classic executive smoke and mirror show or do they really have the goods? I’ve learned that, in business and life, there are really 3 types of people….1) Talkers 2) Doers and 3) Talkers who do.

At every job I’ve had over the course of my career I’ve noticed “the talkers”…if they are really good they can almost build a career, and a successful one, by just talking and providing very little executional support at all. For some organizations that’s OK and for others it’s a big problem. These panel talkers were good but I took it all with a grain of salt because I didn’t know what their actions were in the day-to-day business comings and goings. They sure sounded good…but were they just talking or actually making it happen?

I wonder if this issue dates back to the beginning of time. Like do you think back in the Cave Man Era that there was one dude who sat in the village meeting and explained to the group how exactly the food for survival would be found, hunted and gathered? I imagine dude is saying something like this “The need for food is abundantly important for survival. In order to meet our nutritional needs and ensure that our race continues to thrive we need to consume food. Right? In order to solve for the issue at hand, we must make sure that food is our focus and that we can find it. Food is all around us…Over the hill there, I picture a buffalo! This buffalo will eventually provide food and energy for many of our people for a long time…we need this buffalo! Our strategic approach will be to allocate enough man power to surround this buffalo while armed with spears to strike down the large animal. After which…the deceased animal will serve our people and our vision will become an actuality.”

This dude sounds like he knows what he is talking about! He has a plan..a vision…and he can articulate that vision clearly. BUT…what about the dude who is actually picking up his spear, running out to the field and killing the buffalo?! Is the speaker man, the very strategic, big thinker actually out there making it happen? Or is he sitting in his cave, warming by the fire, smoking a tobacco leaf, admiring his mighty strategy to save lives? The vision is important but the doers are the one making it happen and taking words and making them into real actions that provide value in one way or another.

For me…I rather see the visionaries be involved with the execution and really actually be part of the action. Otherwise the talkers will get more and more detached from reality and their visions because unattainable. Talk really is cheap…and while you need strategic visionaries in certain circumstances a really awesome, no joke, value providing executive leader will both set the strategy and be part of making that solution a reality.