Riding the cluetrain

July 1, 2019

The art of working with people is found in meeting them where they’re at, which means I must be willing to go where I am not. –Craig D. Lounsbrough Almost 20 years ago, Robert Putnam published “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.” He posited that the demise of bowling leagues was only one …

IFAI EXPO: past, present and future

June 1, 2019

Some weeks back, my book club was discussing the book “A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression,” which mostly details the government’s sometimes tortuous efforts to convince the U.S. public that they could eat less if they’d just eat more wisely. Results were mixed, but they did sprout 100 years of constantly …

The value proposition

May 1, 2019

Thirty years ago, I was working as a magazine editor in a small Minneapolis-based trade publishing company, and at the time we had no desktop publishing capability; we typed our copy and sent it to a local printer, who would typeset it and then deliver it to us in his battered green pickup. Sometimes he’d …

Industry issues in 2019

April 1, 2019

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” ~Carl Sagan   So it’s March now … and the end of six weeks of some of the most unpleasant weather Minnesota has had in decades. Snow, cold, snow, cold, snow, cold, snow and cold together for variety, and …

The parallax view

March 1, 2019

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” ~Isaac Asimov   Since March 2008, our cover has featured …

Meeting customer demand for custom printed fabrics

February 1, 2019

“I’d said to my partner Stedman, ‘What am I going to talk about for ten days and ten nights at Nelson Mandela’s house?’ And Stedman said, ‘Why don’t you try listening?’” ~Oprah Winfrey Over the years, those of you who are regular readers have probably had your fill of hearing me say things like: “I …

Communication and community

January 1, 2019

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” ~Dr. Seuss Pillsbury, known for dough, has been piping the smells of freshly baked cinnamon rolls into selected theaters across the country—a campaign designed to get movie-goers to purchase cinnamon rolls during the holidays. The scent …

Sustainability, industry trends, and rooftop revels

December 1, 2018

“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”  ~Ansel Adams Just in case you missed the recent announcement: IFAI’s offices in Roseville, Minn., have just installed solar energy panels on the (flat) roof to reduce energy usage, and possibly even sell some of it back to the grid. …

Mousetrap to market

November 1, 2018

“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” ~Charles Darwin We’ve reached my annual time-travel episode, at least in terms of my message to you this issue, which will be written before IFAI Expo but read after the show. Sometimes …

Royalty checks

October 1, 2018

“The question isn’t who is  going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?” ~Ayn Rand The first time Minnesota hosted a Super Bowl, it was January 26, 1992. The Washington Redskins met the Buffalo Bills at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for Super Bowl XXVI, with the Redskins on top 37–24. The …