Eclectic Thought Samples From Larry Burns

About Me

Though I am east coast born and bred today I live a relatively contented life in the suburbs of Chicago with my lovely bride Cathy, our 4 kids (when they are home), a dog, a cats & truly remarkable gardens thanks in every respect to Cathy’s miraculous green thumb …

I ran StartSampling, Inc., a sampling company that helped create the on-line sample request promotions market in 1999, until 2015 when the company ceased operations.  I am still passionate about product sampling as it remains a unique tool in the marketing arsenal, one that really helps connect people and brands in a very direct way which inherently lets people decide for themselves if they like what they try.

I am endless fascinated by the pace and depth of the changes we are living through, wondering what life will be like for my 4 kids as they each go about creating their own lives … I still marvel at many things … I do believe:

  • … ultimately time is the only “resource” that is the same for all of us
  • … it is impossible to ‘keep up’ with everything, which is a very freeing realization
  • … education ought to be about learning, not testing
  • … those who curate information help humanity
  • … “the arts” are not a luxury, rather they are an essential part of being human
  • … in laughing, often and loudly
  • … you should not ask me about soccer if you intend to leave soon
  • … in the power of love and that my generation when young got many things right in concept, however our execution has been far, far less than flawless
  • … “Oh the jealousy, the greed is the unraveling. It’s the unraveling. And it undoes all the joy that could be“ *

I speak about business and marketing based on more than 35 years of experience in the packaged goods world – my early career spent in the marketing research discipline on both client side (General Foods (remember when?), Pepperidge Farm, Cadbury Beverage, Heinz USA); supplier side (PRS and as Product Manager for InfoScan™(94-99) ; and most recently through my  15  years in the “digital marketing” space.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life:  it goes on. ”

-Robert Frost


*Joni Mitchell (1971)