Trend School – Austin, Nov 3


Archrival – our compadres who got the world searching for Red Bull Stashes, mess with high speed cameras, and have Honey Badger on their after-hours answering machine – are partnering with experts from the Intelligence Group to bring Trend School to Austin on November 3rd.

If you need to keep up with the latest in emerging entertainment, technology, fashion, lifestyle, and marketing trends – and want a good excuse to visit Austin – you can get more information and register here: Trend School Austin.

A little too familiar?

Do these gates look familiar? They’re the entrance to a popular store you’ve see in almost every suburban shopping mall, just a bit different in this particular outlet.

Abercrombie & Fitch Champs-Élysées

Destinations have changed. The proliferation of global brands make this difference ironically apparent, making foreign cities both comfortingly familiar and unfortunately similar. Almost everywhere you go, you can have a Coke or Starbucks coffee, buy an Apple product, or get outfitted in Nike gear. Whether this is good or bad depends on your personal preferences.

“In countries where protests against globalization were common a decade ago, American retailers are being welcomed by screaming fans and their credit cards.”

– American Retailers Try Again in Europe, New York Times

Bonjour Paris

I’m heading to Paris next week.

It’s been four years since my last trip there and my kids are older, so it will be an interesting contrast in activities.

Musee d'Orsay

Here’s what we’ve done and has been suggested in the past:

  • Seine boat tour
  • France miniature
  • Notre Dame
  • Parc Asterix
  • Disneyland
  • Playmobil Fun Park
  • Le Bois de Boulogne (e.g. jardin d acclimatation)
  • Le Relais de l’Entrecote
  • Louvre
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Musee d’Orsay
  • Versailles
  • Cite des Sciences

Any new ideas? 

Warning signs of social media brainwashing

Hey, so guess what. No end of the world as we know it over the weekend.


I’ve studied cults in the past and it’s likely that the believers who were predicting rapture are patting themselves on the back today for saving the earth. That’s right, lack of apocalypse for a cult believer doesn’t mean utter failure – they’re brainwashed to believe things beyond natural cause and effect.

Kind of reminds me of how fervently people once believed in the power of social media. And speaking of brainwashing, it’s been a while since I studied cults, so I turned to a bonafide expert for a refresher: Dr. Phil. He’s got some advice on mind control warning signs that I’ll adapt here.

Warning Signs of a Social Media Brainwashing: 

  1. Obsessive. Extreme obsessiveness regarding social media resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration (e.g. statistical significance, return on investment, business strategy).
  2. Dependency: Dependency upon social media gurus for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought, a seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without involving someone with an 80+ Klout score. 
  3. Agrees with group. Any Empire Avenue valuation can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful. 
  4. Loss of spontaneity. A dramatic loss of spontaneity, e.g. eating at the same restaurant multiple times a week to maintain a Foursquare mayorship. 
  5. Isolation. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in plowing their Farmville gardens. 

If you have seen these in a colleague, seek professional help immediately.