Trump is out of office. Hooray!
It felt like the day would never come, and yet here we are. Back to the days of boring Presidential controversies (data security issues with Biden’s Peloton) and an administration that cares about climate change.
It will take years to make sense of what happened over the past four years. A lot has been written about Trump, but this is the first time we’ve had any space from him, and space is required in order to think clearly.
Reflection is easier with the advantage of hindsight.
I’d like to share a short story that…
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet…
Let’s face it: social distancing sucks. We all benefit from being around other people. Long term isolation is difficult for the vast majority of people
We’re only four months into this Pandemic with no end in sight, and people are getting exhausted. We miss our coffee shops, restaurants, and gyms. We miss our parties and social events. We miss being able to travel to foreign countries.
But alas, here we are. The virus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and we being forced to live very differently lives.
It is normal to complain and feel annoyed. …
Companies that are looking to get ahead in the marketplace understand that they need to identify unfair advantages. They need to find ways to meet the needs of customers in unique ways.
Consumer brands can’t just sell to customers. They can’t just transact. They need to build relationships with the market.
If you are the CMO at a health foods brand, you know that a single purchase is mostly meaningless. Margins are tight. If you want to make money, you need a series of recurring purchases from your customers. Ideally, they never stop shopping with you.
This means two things:
How well do you know American history?
I mean REALLY know. Not just what we read in the textbooks back in high school and college. Not only the stories, events, and battles that have been officially memorialized by the Federal Government.
The stuff we learned in school was only a portion of what happened. And the narratives and facts in textbooks are often manipulated and distorted to meet a political or ideological end.
Similarly, the conventional curriculums of American history are almost always created by White academics, which means that even the most well-meaning accounts are biased towards a caucasian…
We live in unprecedented times.
We are only at the beginning of the first global Pandemic of the century, brought about by recent human geographic expansion and interconnectedness. During the Spanish Flu (1918), there were no airplanes to transport the sickness across the World. The damage was extreme, distributed, but limited by the constraints of transport.
Globalization led to the spread of ideas, goods, and culture over the past fifty years. Still, it also left us vulnerable to all kinds of viral effects, starting with infectious viruses, but also information viruses like fake news on social media. …
In December 2012, I boarded a bulletproof bus in Jerusalem and rode directly into the West Bank.
I was on an Israel trip with a program called Meor, an organization working to revitalize Jewish engagement on college campuses. I participated in their programs since my sophomore year at the University of Maryland, and this senior year trip was the culmination of the experience: studying in an Orthodox Jewish Yeshiva (school) and traveling around Israel.
Our bus passed through a military checkpoint of the border wall that separates Israel-proper from the West Bank. …
You are already a risk-taker.
Whether or not you see yourself this way, chances are that it’s true.
Because you have engaged in risky behaviors your entire life, and you will continue to do so after the Pandemic ends.
I’m going to focus on one specific behavior: driving.
Unless you live under a rock, you have traveled in cars since you were very young. Driving is astoundingly risky; almost 40,000 people were killed in the US in 2019 from traffic fatalities, and 4.4 million were injured enough to require medical attention.
The vast majority of us continue to drive…
When you think about housing in America, “tiny” usually isn’t the first word that comes to mind.
On the contrary, American homes have nearly doubled in size over the past fifty years, from an average of 1500 sq Ft in 1970 to over 2500 in 2017.
At the same time, the average number of household members decreased from 3.67 in 1948 to 2.55 in 2012.
As our economy grew over time, Americans continuously operated with a “bigger is better” mindset. The size of our homes, cars, and yes, portion sizes have increased dramatically on average. …
I have celebrated Passover many times over the years, but never have I ever celebrated Passover during a pandemic.
This is uncharted territory for every living Jew today, but it is not new for the religion as a whole. After all, Jewish history spans thousands of years and survived countless brutally infectious diseases, from the Black Plague of 1347 to the Spanish flu of 1918.
Albeit, they did not have digital technology in previous pandemics, so we are still breaking ground with the Zoom Passover Seder.*
As the Coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, I am retreating into the ritual, security…