Minority Media vs. Minority Success

In the last thread, we talked about Donald Sterling and his racist comments. I don’t like the racist statements he made in his secretly recorded private conversation, but I found interesting the following statement from his Anderson Cooper interview:

“That’s one problem I have. Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people. And some of the African-Americans, maybe I’ll get in trouble again, they don’t want to help anybody,” said Sterling, who is Jewish. 

The P.F. Chang’s story

Philip Chiang of P.F. Chang's, Photo by John Heckathorn

Philip Chiang of P.F. Chang’s, Photo by John Heckathorn

In case anyone is interested, P.F. Chang’s actually did originate with a Chinese guy. It came about as a partnership between him and an acquaintance who owned a Ruth’s Chris franchise. I’ve only eaten at P.F. Chang’s twice, both times for business reasons. The food was decent, but the dishes were a bit too small and high-class for me. I’m more of a hole-in-the-wall guy.

Go make your own movie


Pic from Amazon.com, see below for order link, if you want to make your own movie

Often when minorities complain about portrayals in the media, some people will advise those minorities to become rugged individuals and to “go make your own movie.”

They will:

1. Dismiss the racial concerns by saying that companies make production decisions based only on the pure market, saying “Well, if Asian actors were a bigger draw, then Hollywood would definitely hire them. It’s just the market!”

2. Tell the minorities that if it bothers them so much, that they should go ahead and make their own movie. “Go make your own movie!”

China’s lack of branding (or Universalism Pt. 2)

Chinese Brands

Great article (as usual) by David Brooks right here: The Romantic Advantage. In the article, Brooks talks about how China manufactures a lot, but they have yet to build many well-known brands. 94% of Americans, according to Brooks, can’t name a single Chinese brand. According to his research, it’s because the Chinese treat business as transactional rather than based in relationships.

Brand managers who’ve worked in China say their executives tend to see business deals in transactional, not in relationship terms. As you’d expect in a country that has recently emerged from poverty, where competition is fierce, where margins are thin, where corruption is prevalent and trust is low, the executives there are more likely to take a short-term view of their exchanges.

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (Review)


I’ve known of Bonfire for a long time, but I finally sat down and read it. 659 pages. It is a LOOONG book. But amazingly, not once is the text ever boring or irrelevant to the storyline–it’s a fast-paced thriller/allegory for our time. Tom Wolfe is a “chronicler,” and he used Bonfire of the Vanities to “chronicle” the heady 1980’s as the rich grew much, much richer, and the underclass grew much, much louder. Any literature fans who enjoy thinking about race and class will love this book.

Kon Leong on business success

Oi, what happened here? I meant to post this: Kon Leong of ZL Technologies, on encouraging creativity. I liked what he had to say about sales, and I liked what he had to say for his advice to people in school. This is what he says about sales:

You have to present your story in their context, not yours. They don’t really care if you’re standing on top of a robot and quoting equations. If they’re in the deep part of the forest, you’ve got to talk the language of the deep forest. Salesmanship is more like a language unto itself. There is no right or wrong. It’s what you make of it, and what’s black can be gray, and what’s gray can be white. It depends on your framework. The challenge is to share the same framework so that you’re seeing the same page in the same way.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (Review)

Part of the difficulty of reviewing books on a format like bigWOWO’s is that I can’t recommend them until after I’ve read them–and by then, it’s too late for readers to comment on the blog posts! The Power of Habit was the kind of book that I wish readers could chime in on. It was relevant not just to life and business, but the whole of activism. If you’re an activist or a business person or someone just looking to make changes in life, I recommend picking up this book right now!

The awesomeness of rejection

Gil sent this one: Sweet Krispy Kreme worker surprises man on quest for rejection. A Chinese guy in Texas named Jia Jiang asked a Krispy Kreme worker if he could buy donuts linked like the Olympics rings, and she surprises him by saying yes. Check out the video above.

I clicked on some links, and it looks like Jia Jiang is working on a project called 100 Days of Rejection Therapy. He got turned down by a prospective investor in his company, and to recuperate, he’s decided to take a personal journey and to blog about it. He writes:

The new marketing

I know that a number of you own your own businesses, and the rest of you…well, even if you don’t own your own business, you eventually will be your own business. We live in the branding age, where every person has become a brand, and every work effort seems to be about promotion.

Anyway, I saw this hilarious article by Lori Gottlieb about how she is struggling to build her psychotherapy business: What Brand Is Your Therapist? As she explains in her essay, it’s not enough to simply be a psychotherapist anymore. To succeed in the business, you have to brand yourself. You have to turn yourself into a “coach” or a “specialist.” The psychotherapist is also no longer in a position of leadership. It’s all about the client.

The Stanford-Silicon Valley Connection

Long post ahead. I got this article from J.S.: Is Stanford Too Close to Silicon Valley? In the article, the author writes about how Stanford takes a leadership role in the cultivation of business, how the line is often blurred between professors, students, investors, and mentors, and how Stanford has always been committed to making its students useful. Professors often introduce student-entrepreneurs to business leaders and then wind up investing money themselves. As a result, lots of professors sit on Silicon Valley boards and are filthy rich. Indeed, this is unique among most top schools. While most top schools embrace learning for the sake of learning, Stanford has always been practical. From the article: