Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Ever since I was a little kid I've always debated who are the dumbest business owners in America?

Back in the 1970s and 80s, I gave the dubious distinction to the people who owned supermarket chains. As a nation, we had undergone a huge jump of women in the workforce, but supermarkets changed not at all.

There was virtually no prepared food to go. And at 5:30 or 6:00 PM, most supermarkets would employ no more than one or two cashiers. Lines would be all the way down to the creamed corn.

Next, in the 80s and 90s, I landed on movie theater owners. At a time when large-screen TVs were coming in and VCRs and DVDs, what did theater owners do? They made their screens smaller and they showed dumber movies.

They did nothing to accommodate working parents, like letting you reserve seats, etc. No wonder people stayed away in droves.

Today, I think the dumbest business owners in America are those people who run our broadcast networks. At a time when people are paying all sorts of fees to avoid watching commercials, they're piling more and more commercials into a pod. Sometimes these pods are broken up by a blip of programming, but more often than not we have a good five to 10 minutes of unadulterated commercial drivel.

In other words, give people more of what they hate and less of what they like.

Then wonder why your business sucks.

Unfortunately, I often see the advertising industry following that same precept. We give clients more protocol, more process, more jargon. Faster. And, naturally, fewer ideas, fewer breakthroughs, fewer successes.


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