Featured Content

The Marketer as Philosopher: by Flint McGlaughlin

"Asking 'how' leads to information; asking 'why' leads to wisdom." This is the essence of Dr. Flint McGlaughlin's book, The Marketer as Philosopher.

After twenty five years of asking "why" to a single question and testing his hypotheses using the web as a living laboratory, McGlaughlin has released a collection of his findings. These 40 brief reflections unfold in a series of layers that suggest a new framework and theory of messaging.

For more information, you can visit www.meclabs.com/mapbook

Latest Observations

On the Balance Between Craftsmanship and Art

Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:Mar 23, 2017
Method:Dictation

The artist must understand how to weight craftsmanship against art. Craftsmanship is necessary, but not sufficient. Art without craftsmanship is undisciplined, misshapen, and lacks impact. One the other hand, craftsmanship without art is sterile, technical, and lacks beauty. The artist must respect craftsmanship, but love art. 

On Leadership and the Danger of “Doing it all”

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Mar 22, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The number one lie that talented young leaders tell themselves is this, “I can do it all.” This lie is insidious because, on face value, it seems so true and yet it is among the greatest of deceptions. Indeed, no matter what we tell ourselves, at best, we only vacillate between priorities and, at worst, we dilute our impact. We need to replace the, “I can do it all” mindset with the, “all I can do” mindset. The “all I can do” mindset focuses on “the one thing” that truly matters. 

On Leadership and the Difference Between Form and Substance

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Mar 21, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The leader must beware of a person who confuses form with substance, such people reduce the world to “templates”, and in doing so they judge the contents by the container.  

On Philosophy and Satisfaction as the End

Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:Mar 16, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

I wonder how many philosophers found satisfaction while pursuing their quest. Most of these, if not all of these, were grasping for something. Their writing had some purpose. Some embarked on a grand scheme to build up cosmic systems; others set out to solve a particular problem. There were many forms of motivation, but there was always a reason (even if it wasn’t fully understood). I wonder how many philosophers viewed their work itself as a means of satisfaction. I wonder if the value of their philosophy could be weighed by the satisfaction it gave them. If so, how many were “short-changed” in their efforts? If they were buying satisfaction, and if that satisfaction was too expensive, then perhaps they could have purchased the same with less effort. Worse, how many of them paid a horrific price but never acquired their end (satisfaction)? 

On Leadership and Expectations

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Mar 15, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The leader must beware of expectations. Expectation is a chain that you put around your neck. Be careful that you don’t let anyone else put it there without permission.

On Leadership and Ultimate Motivation

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Mar 14, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

Which one of these leader’s life aims is most powerful? 1) The one who finds pleasure in her own interests, then acknowledges so and pursues it. 2) The one who finds pleasure in her own interests, but chooses to serve the interests of others. 3) The one who finds pleasure in her own interests, and determines that these interests are best served by serving others. These three modes of existence are not new in the thinking of philosophers (some would argue point 2 is not possible). But somehow, I find seeing the three, side-by-side, in stark relief, helps one confront their own approach to life. You can predict a leader’s performance by their focus, but you can determine their values by their “because(s)”. 

On Leadership and the Appearance of Humility

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Mar 13, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

Leaders sometimes reduce humility to a series of humble actions (“humble techniques”).  These efforts do not represent authentic humility. They often represent the appearance, the attempt to appear humble; one must discern the difference. True humility is not an action; it is a condition.

On the Complex Being of “I”

Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:Mar 8, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

Elsewhere I have questioned the nature of “I” when predicated with “I am”. I have asked whether or not “I” is a plural, a compound, or a set. The reasons that motivate my questions are more empirical at their foundation then logical at their conclusion. I perceive that my mind is clustering as it references itself, that the multiplicity of my being is being oversimplified with a single word, moreover with a single letter "I"

On Combining Simplicity with Complexity

Posted on:Mar 7, 2017

The best strategy is a "complication" of simplicity and complexity. Simplicity of vision is different than complexity of execution. This calls for a shift in thinking. A simple vision often requires a (especially) complex execution. This complexity can become a significant competitive barrier. It also serves as a trap wherein those competitors seduced by the idea’s simplicity underestimate its complexity.

On Leadership and Cutting Through Self-deception

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Mar 6, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

It may be possible to for one to cut through self-deception and understand themselves better, it may be easier for one to determine their life’s aim, by posing a series of simple questions structured in a three-part framework: To be, to build, to win. I think this thought experiment could be more powerful if one were particular in framing the questions with items of interest, but for the purposes of this observation, I will only suggest this approach: Would you rather be the greatest ‘X’, or build the greatest ‘Y’ (and someone else get the credit), or win the greatest ‘Z’ (but no one would know)?