George McCareful Doesn't Do Brave, Big, Or Bold

Happy Halloween!

I moved my newsletter from MailChimp’s platform to Substack. At least for this edition. Substack is easier to use, and I hope that this newsletter arrives in your inbox, not in your spam box. If you don’t want this email, I understand, please unsubscribe (it won’t hurt my feelings).

I do want the writing here to matter to you. In my estimation this newsletter will matter when it helps you:

  1. Do your job more effectively and with more joy

  2. Learn new things about work, yourself, and the world around you

  3. Take creative leaps of faith, a.k.a. chances

Regarding number three above, I’d like to share a great quote from the legendary art director (and quintessential New Yorker), George Lois.

This Loisism flies in the face of the passive-aggressive Portland-based “Fail Harder” motif that Wieden + Kennedy favors. Maybe that’s why I love it.

I also love it because George McCareful will never be a brand builder. George McCareful is a nay-saying ninny destined for the bean-counting room.

Please don’t be that person, not if you want to move people to believe you and to buy from you.

Brand Messaging in the Time of Rapid Thumb Movement

Digital behavior means scrolling, which explains the power of platforms.

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the rest are all built on the need for next. The need for next diminishes the now and obliterates the past. Ergo, the need for next is a vexing problem for marketers and western culture.

How is a single-player—a well-heeled brand, a struggling media company, or anyone else—going to slow down the scrolling (which means altering the deeply ingrained behaviors of millions of people), so people can focus on the content offering?

Not the next content offering. The one in front of you now.

The Full Marky

Mark wants to live the unfiltered life on Facebook.

Mark doesn’t want to be the owner of The New York Times or Washington Post. Mark’s so much bigger than that. Mark is a new Vanderbilt—an infrastructure man. Mark makes today’s “paper,” the stuff that all media companies need to convey their stories.

Mark owns the platform and the platform, like the dead trees that newspapers, magazines, and books are printed on, is neutral.

Mark wishes.

Click It Good:

  1. “Tea for Texas” is a playlist I made on iTunes. #JamOn

  2. Rio Grande Vallet Rapid Response is a new pro-bono client. This is the group’s Act Blue page.

  3. I’m a writer. Who sometimes writes ad copy.

  4. 5 effective exercises to help you stop believing your unwanted automatic thoughts

  5. It’s okay, “Everyone Hides.”

  6. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, said no to all political advertising on the platform.

Define “Neoliberalism”

I wish terms like neoliberalism were easy to comprehend. It sounds like a new kind of freedom, but that's not at all what the term means.

According to Investopedia, "Neoliberalism is a policy model that seeks to transfer control of economic factors to the private sector. It tends towards free-market capitalism and away from government spending, regulation, and public ownership." The implicit liberty in neoliberalism is freedom from taxation and regulation. It's a deeply conservative argument.

Talk To Me:

I am @davidburn on Twitter.

My email is

My business line is (512) 806-0228‬.

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I offer writing and design services, skill-building workshops, plus strategic discovery and mapping.

Inspiration: “I know that the earth absorbs perfume and urine with the same indifference.” –Zora Neale Hurston

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