My Dad was a cowboy.
To my knowledge, he never owned a horse, except, perhaps, when he was a young boy growing up in Nebraska. He didn’t have a ranch, nor any cattle, and he hadn’t lived on more than a half acre of land for more than a half century. And yet, this is what I think of. In many ways, it even feels as if he rode slowly and quietly into the sunset.
I remembered many forgotten things over the last few weeks, most of them good things. I heard from some of my boyhood friends as they told me about his godly influence on their lives. I thought about our conflicts and resolutions, successes, mistakes, and failures.
One of my earliest memories is when I watched him trying to get a can of spray paint to work. I remember the nail…the hammer…and the plume of spray paint blowing up into his face. I am fairly certain I thought it was funny—at first.
I remember long drives to Canada, various vehicle and trailer breakdowns, cowboy hats, and Louis L’Amour westerns. I know everyone in my hometown knew when I got onto the field for a football game because of the hollering from the stands. The referees certainly knew during basketball games—I don’t think I need to tell you why.
We worked together: on the yard, on the swimming pool, on businesses. He seemed to have this thing for mixing and pouring concrete. I think he used it like weed killer in our back yard and patio.
He was always trying something new, without leaving his westerns and cowboy hats very far behind. He made things out of wood, leather, the ubiquitous cure-all Garna-Flex, and, of course, concrete. He always had another, better, new business idea; and some were better than others. But, he always had this faith that all of them would succeed.
The drive to win was a curious complexity. He was a fierce competitor, but at the same time, he wanted everyone to win. He was quick to encourage anyone that if they believed something firmly enough, passionately enough, they could win, too. And if that was true, there were no limits to what someone could do.
He often asked when I was going to run for a political office. And, if not that, when I was going to start coaching football at Kansas State—unless, of course, he had the next multi-million dollar business idea to talk about.
Although I know he didn’t always have faith, that faith is the most important thing he passed on to me. He led me to Jesus, and for that, I will, quite literally, be eternally grateful. Some of his heritage and his reward is sitting in this room, and I am certain even he is more aware of that now than ever before.
He was by no means perfect, as if any of us could ever approach that designation. But every one of us must recognize that we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.
I can only hope to move his heritage farther and deeper in faith. As he wrestled with his character, may I wrestle with and advance mine. May my son, and my daughters, excel far beyond me in love, righteousness, justice, and faith.
Of all the comforting thoughts, I can see him now with the strivings ended, the questions answered, and his great, unseen Friend by his side. Strangely enough, I can’t quite picture him with a cowboy hat on—so I’m not sure how that works. As for horses, that will be for someone else to decide.
For him it will just be a moment before he sees everyone again. We, however, will have to wait a bit longer.
And that is just as it should be.
Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery.
Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774.
"There is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid. The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But _being paid_-- what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvelous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!"
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
And a bit more, in addition to speculating on Apple's upcoming press conference regarding the problem:
Traditionally Apple is a company that likes to arrogantly bury its head in the sand when it comes to any problems with its products, and isn’t shy about trying to bury everyone else’s head in the sand right next to it. And thus far, the firm has done an exemplary job of this head burying when it comes to the iPhone 4 antenna problem.
For all of the stat's and predictions geeks, there is a lot more information in this Research Brief and at PricwaterhouseCoopers.
Suffice it to say that the rate of change in media being driven by digital services is still big news.
"... the digital pace of change has proven to be even quicker than anticipated with consumers embracing new media... and digital downloads at often-unexpected speeds..."
When people are given a choice between more control or less control over their media consumption, they always opt for more control. Even if it means a little less quality, a little less "flash" and polish. This should not be surprising.
A few more key points from the article:
- Multi-function, mobile devices will continue to dominate growth rates - 96+ million Americans will be mobile Internet subscribers by 2014.
- Consumers will expect all forms of media to embed the interactivity of the Internet.
- Local relevance, flexible use, and personalization will drive consumer willingness to pay for content.
All of these taken together should motivate companies to re-evaluate, test, and deploy new business models, immediately, to stay ahead of these rapidly changing consumer expectations.
In the words of Major League's Harry Doyle, the inaugural Foursquare-Starbucks campaign was "Juuust a bit outside..."
Brand marketers take note: The mobile-digital paradigm requires more integration, relevance and consistency than ever before. It is not about repurposing the same old campaigns through a different channel like you were flipping between TV networks.
You will have to work harder, do more research, and "connect the dots" between technological capabilities and consumer expectations. This ain't easy...and blowing it is also much more difficult to hide.
This is a good review and reminder from MediaPost as they disect the recent Foursquare/Starbucks campaign.
"...the companies may want to consider lessons learned from this initial rewards offer, which ends June 28, before jumping into the next one. The Frappuccino promotion has come under criticism on various counts, laid out in a recent post by Forrester analyst Augie Ray.
"For one thing, he points out that becoming mayor of a Starbucks location isn't so easy -- he estimates it may take 30 check-ins or more during a two-month period to gain that honor just to get $1 off a $4 Frappuccino. Woohoo. That's not even on par with an old-fashioned punch card offering a free java after 10 trips."
"[Foursquare and Starbucks] would be wise to heed such suggestions to provide more diverse and worthwhile offers. "If Foursquare and other geo-location platforms (are you listening Facebook and Yelp?) want to build long-term success, it's going to take unique, customized and relevant offers, and not the same 'Please check in here a lot and we'll give you 100 pennies' offer," wrote Ray."
Video capture of Facebook's presentation at GSMA's Mobile World Conference.
Text summary and key slide/screen shots on TechCrunch.
I always hated that phrase...and set of ad messages. But, I guess it was effective enough to stick in my brain.
More importantly, I was just invited to speak at the "Industry Coupon Conference" being hosted by the Association of Coupon Professionals in, of course, Las Vegas (April 27-29, 2010). I will update them on the latest things happening with the mobile Internet - mobile shopping phenomenon, and how digital incentives are shifting the marketing promotions landscape.
The press release and more info is over at the diji site.
In what will likely otherwise be an unremarkable year for media ad spending, mobile marketing is expected to surge in 2010 as the number of portals, such as iPhone apps, multiply, an industry analyst said Monday.
"We believe that this will finally be the breakout year after all the other the other breakout years we heard about in the past," said Kip Cassino, Borrell Associates VP of research and development.
Speaking at Borrell's 2010 Local Online Advertising Conference in New York, Cassino said he expects mobile marketing to double this year, rising from 4% to 8% of all online marketing. By 2013, about half of all online ad dollars will be spent on mobile, he said.
"By the next decade, we think mobile devices are going to replace computers, " said Cassino, explaining that the number of iPhone apps alone — which give advertisers opportunities to target consumers — has grown from 30,000 to 150,000 in just one year. "You won't buy a laptop anymore. Online will be moving."
15 minute video from the guy behind the production of the ad. Includes clips and quotes from multiple media sources.
"Celebrate family, celebrate life."