Technology

The End of Stuff Envy

The End of Stuff Envy

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] “Shop till you drop.” “He who dies with the most toys wins.” “Greed is good.” Those credos seem as dated now as leg warmers and John Hughes films. They seem like relics not just from the ‘80s but also from an ancient civilization. It’s hard to believe that people said them [...]


Crash the Gates: The New Route to Success for Graduates and Everyone Else

Crash the Gates: The New Route to Success for Graduates and Everyone Else

[Originally posted on PRWeek.com.] The career path many of us grew up with—find a big company, get your foot in the door, play by the rules, work long and hard, climb patiently up the ladders, and make nice with all the gatekeepers—is crumbling. So why should graduates, or anyone else, waste time and energy following [...]


Can Capitalism Afford a Conscience?

Can Capitalism Afford a Conscience?

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] At first glance, capitalism circa 2014 looks like a pretty soulless endeavor: massive piles of fast money, no wider context of conscience involved. Just look at how Hollywood’s depictions of finance guys have evolved. In 1946, in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the softhearted banker wins out. In 1987, we [...]


Crash the Gate: What the Class of 2014 Needs to Know About the New Route to Success

Crash the Gate: What the Class of 2014 Needs to Know About the New Route to Success

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] It’s 2014, and yet moldy old formulas for career success are lingering well past their expiration dates. But as I’m planning to elaborate on in a commencement speech I’ll be giving later this year, I finally see an end to that antiquated career path (find a big company, get [...]


What Will Branding Look Like In 2014?

What Will Branding Look Like In 2014?

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Among the trends that will reshape the U.S. and the world in 2014 and beyond—including guilt money, secession, hacking, even gut bacteria—one thread tying them all together is their strong implication for branding. Whether it’s personal, product, company or country branding, it all comes down to stories, those that marketers tell [...]


We’ll All Be Having a Hacking New Year

We’ll All Be Having a Hacking New Year

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] Even after two decades of successfully forecasting spot-on international trends for consumers and corporations, I didn’t see coming what I refer to as the Year of the Everyday Trendspotter (aka 2013). It’s so easy to do up-to-the-minute searches and publish in real time online that everybody from daddy bloggers [...]


Snapchat: What It Can Do for Your Brand

Snapchat: What It Can Do for Your Brand

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] What started as a way to send funny, sexy or other silly quick pictures or videos to friends has turned into the next big thing for marketing teams. Snapchat, the multimedia messaging app where content can be viewed for up to 10 seconds before it is deleted, is prime [...]



Why We Created a Startup with Two 22-Year-Olds

Why We Created a Startup with Two 22-Year-Olds

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] I’ve been working in trendspotting, advertising and PR for about as many years as my new business associates have been walking the earth, and I couldn’t be more excited about working with them. As the CEO of Havas PR and a veteran of other big agencies, including JWT and [...]


How Words Paint the Trends: New Words of 2013

How Words Paint the Trends: New Words of 2013

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Last week’s announcement of the newest additions to Oxford Dictionaries Online (the esteemed Oxford University Press’s free online dictionary) set media commentators and the social Web on fire. People smiled at their favorites, made fun of others, and began debating what it all says about our culture and the collective intelligence [...]


Mr. Bezos Goes to Washington

Mr. Bezos Goes to Washington

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] What would you do if you had a billion dollars? David Geffen invests in fine art. Larry Ellison races yachts. Sergey Brin develops synthetic meat. Richard Branson buys anything that qualifies as an absurd purchase. And Walt Disney is rumored to have underwritten his own cryogenic eternity. The rule of thumb [...]


Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Video Redefining the Rules

Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Video Redefining the Rules

This is the fourth in a five-part series about how the news is being redefined by today’s real-time creative culture. I’ve been exploring the ways in which news and infotainment have been undergoing a massive reboot, with all their contours, definitions and formats changing. There’s no clearer example than video. It takes a lot less [...]



Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Radical Transparency, Constant Broadcasting and Blurring Genres

Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Radical Transparency, Constant Broadcasting and Blurring Genres

This is the second in a five-part series about how the news is being redefined by today’s real-time creative culture. As I wrote in my last post, we’re in the midst of a radical reboot of what news actually is. What constitutes news? Purely objective fact or something messier and more ambiguous? Is it a [...]


Introducing @havaspr’s Social Startup

At our new SocialProvidence venture, we don’t incubate ideas, we conceive them. Working as part of Venture for America, a program for future entrepreneurs modeled after Teach for America, SocialProvidence is what’s next in social. It’s not about just acquiring Facebook fans or gathering Twitter followers. Social is the manifestation of all things possible in [...]


Havas PR North America: We’re A-Listers

PR News’ new Agency A-List Awards showcase the top PR agencies in the United States by practice area, and we have been named a finalist in three areas: Cause/CSR (earlier this year we were also honored, for the second year in a row, with one of 10 spots on PR News’ CSR A-List), Training/Education Program [...]


Austin Envy

Austin Envy

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] I’ve written a lot about how places make us and we make places—cities like San Antonio, Providence and Pittsburgh reinventing themselves and becoming newly trendy. But then there are those places that have been trendy for decades. Or rather, are just so plain cool that they transcend trendy. I’m thinking about [...]


How Using My Brain Has Helped It Heal

How Using My Brain Has Helped It Heal

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] As we approached Brain Tumor Awareness Month (it’s every May), I had coincidentally been posting about my own repeated misadventures in and recent return visit to brain tumor land. Some of what I wrote or tweeted about might have sounded a bit crotchety (the stress of having to negotiate [...]


What CEOs Can Learn from Social Media About Building Their Brands

What CEOs Can Learn from Social Media About Building Their Brands

Now that social media is clearly a permanent disruption (i.e., here to stay, and making organizations and individuals reinvent themselves if they don’t want to get left behind), it’s worth paying attention to the various ways its precepts can inform professional development, organizational leadership and personal branding. Business “best practices” that have been in use [...]


Why the Brands of Some of Today’s Weather and Traffic Personalities Are No Accident

Why the Brands of Some of Today’s Weather and Traffic Personalities Are No Accident

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] It used to be that the people who presented weather and traffic segments on the news were as dry as the topics they covered. They didn’t have the fatherly gravitas of the anchorman, the dashing charisma of the foreign correspondents, or the warmth and relatability of the lifestyle reporters. They just [...]


The Deal Is Off: What to Learn from the Fall of Groupon CEO Andrew Mason

The Deal Is Off: What to Learn from the Fall of Groupon CEO Andrew Mason

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Andrew Mason’s unsurprising ouster from Groupon last week wasn’t entirely about his personal brand. As anyone who has been paying attention knows, the group-discount company has been performing spectacularly badly. Its fourth-quarter earnings report was awful, with a GAAP loss of 12 cents per share—that’s 10 cents more (or six times [...]


Havas PR Is Going Places

Our headquarters office is about to undergo massive renovations, and all the Havas agencies in New York seem to be moving to new spaces. But for now, spring cleaning rules as we get ready to huddle together for 90 days while our new workspace is finished. As part of this move, we are all embracing [...]


The Connectivity Conundrum

The Connectivity Conundrum

Now that all the college kids in my neighborhood are back at school after the year-end holidays and January terms, I’ve been thinking about parent-child connectivity. (My children are still small, but in our always-on world, I know I’ll have to address this sooner than I might think.) I heard a story not too long [...]


Predictions for Thriving in the Near Future

Predictions for Thriving in the Near Future

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] This is the final post in a series of 14 expanding on Salzman’s forecasts for 2013 in her annual trends report, a program of global communications group Havas Worldwide. This year’s book, What’s Next? What to Expect in 2013, was published on 12/12/12 and is available at 120MBooks.com. Salzman [...]