Eclectic Thought Samples From Larry Burns

Why Start Now? Why Me?

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“The time has come to talk of many things….”

After many unsatisfying attempts to dive in before today, now seems to be a particularly opportune moment.  We are all in the throes of having both the art and science of marketing undergo massive shifts in what we once thought we knew.  There are myriad new ways for people to connect with brands and vice versa, and it’s often quite confusing.  My particular expertise lies in product sampling and marketing research.

I have an opinion on many topics, but  in this outlet no one is forcing your attention; you may stay, you may go, and I still get to ramble, a truly ideal situation for someone like me.

Why me?   I assume that almostnothing is entirely original, that everything builds on what came before.   Hence, we create by taking existing pieces of inspiration, knowledge, skill, and insight that we gather over the course of time and recombine them into new creations, different opinions, and new ideas.   Today’s ideas, spawned at any given moment, are really the sum of all one has consumed until that point.

Hence, I am by definition unique; no one else has my genes, coupled with my brain, my senses, and my experiences.  Therefore, whatever I may write has “value,” perhaps only to me, but it might be of use to others, and this is why I write.

You should know there is a favorite proverb I freely admit to living by: “well stolen if half done.”   I shall endeavor to give credit where it is due, linking to things that sparked the thought.  When a wholesale copy of someone’s ideas makes my thoughts transmit better, I will cite him and thank him for his contribution.

For instance, if you are not yet aware of the book and/or project known as “End Malaria,” I suggest you learn about it, and contribute here.  This is a project that at its heart has new ideas about how to create change and that alone is worthy of attention.   Even more, as I’ve read it, so many thoughts are triggered by very short pieces by a wide spectrum of humans.

So, why insert that here?  Contained within the pages is a piece by Les Mckeown entitled “The Power of the Mundane.”  It beings with the eloquent quotation below which spoke to me that it was time to “start writing the damn posts already!”

“No one ever complained that Picasso failed to invent new colors” @lesmckeown

“In the world of information engineers (which we all are these days), our raw materials are blocks of raw information that we need to somehow transform into something great—a plan, a proposal, a report, a blueprint, a book, a product, a speech, a presentation, a conversation… whatever it is that you do each day. And it’s in how we interpret those blocks of raw data—and even more important, how we communicate our interpretation—that greatness lies.”

(Excerpt from essay in “End Malaria”)

Since I am constantly seeking input to find answers and equally important, to ask better questions, I will share some of what I’ve learned.   I will share these samples because of the wonder they conjure within me, or because I think they offer a perspective that challenges my existing worldview, or because they simply make me laugh, or just for the hell of it.  I am certain I will rarely, if ever, completely agree with everything I might share.  However, if it caused me to pause, to consider, to laugh or to feel, then it was of value for me and hopefully will be for you too.   The greatest tool humans have lies in the mystery of their unconsciousness.  Since well more than 80% of our decisions come from there, having different thoughts, ideas, and perspectives seep in can only better engage this remarkable gift that defines us.

Another quote that has stayed with me since I first heard it, which I believe was from an editor of Wired magazine at the end of the 20th century said, “In the information age the greatest luxury is meaning and context”*.  My goals and intentions are varied.  I want to provide context regarding what is flying at us all so quickly.  Hopefully, a modest ability to curate and weave together themes is observed.  I want to remind those of us engaged in the marketing/marketing research worlds that in our craft we are really not talking about numbers; we are talking about humans and their reactions and perceptions.  We humans are infinitely more challenging than mere algorithms. Our species remains nearly impossible to fully explain no matter how sophisticated “science” becomes, and it is the necessary art of attempting comprehension that keeps it all constantly entertaining.

*Caveat – if I “Google” this quote I can find no reference.  So I am attempting to offer due credit – my memory is only so good – and if it’s totally wrong I still like the way I recall it!



Categorised as: Media

  • conniefindley

    I look forward to further “curations”. Love to read your voice!

  • wepallone

    I will look forward to each of your posts. Anything written by people with honesty and integrity is valuable to us all.

    • @wepallone Thanks Bill – as you well know I will have trouble steering clear of politics (at least sometimes) so I’m sure our spirited and civil debates when we try to understand each other’s position and seek common ground will continue. Thanks for commenting …..