Saturday, January 31, 2015

Upload Shakespeare Into Your Brain



Nanobots in Your Brain Could Be the Future of Learning

In the future, "the best way to interact with the brain will be from the inside, from the bloodstream."

Because if you inject tiny robots into the bloodstream they can get very close to all the cells and nerves and things in your brain, really close. So if you want to input information or read information, you do it through the bloodstream. 

You could in theory load Shakespeare into your bloodstream and as the little robots get to the various parts of the brain they deposit little pieces of Shakespeare or little pieces of French if you want to learn how to speak French. 

So in theory you can ingest information...


I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.

I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.


If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mardi Gras at Randa New York City - 2015

At Randa, the good times roll... 



Randa Accessories celebrates Mardi Gras in New York City.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Behind The Brand: Berluti


There are two types of footwear whose brand names become nouns.

There are those that are name-checked in rap lyrics (see "My Adidas") and those whose craftsmanship is nonpareil (see My Berluti). Berluti's workmanship is painstaking, but it is the patina of the leathers that have made the brand into something of a cult.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wellness is the New Black: How Health Became a Status Symbol

Looking Like Money: How Wellness Became the New Luxury Status Symbol


Art by Marites Algones
Wellness, as any SoulCycle devotee will tell you, doesn’t come cheap these days. There are the weekly classes at $30 a pop, the $180-a-month gym membership, the daily $10 cold-pressed green juice, the pricey all-natural and organic skincare products, and the piles of fresh produce and hard-to-find supplements from Whole Foods…not to mention some of the more extravagant options out there ($500-an-hour trainers, $750 facials) and the sporty designer duds to complete the look. For most people, spending so much on staying fit and healthy would be a preposterous indulgence, but for a growing percentage of individuals with high discretionary income, wellness has become an important part of the luxury lifestyle.
Wellness has become an important part of the luxury lifestyle.

​So Few Great Ads

Countess Mara National Ad Campaign
Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger campaigns are classics—still visually powerful but hardly innovative. Kenneth Cole still scores points for some clever copy lines. Countess Mara generated buzz with their recent tailgating ad, part of a series of photos (of real guys, by real guys) that’s running in The New York Times Magazine. Joe Boxer for Kmart gets points for featuring four guys in pajama bottoms with exposed beer bellies: realistic, somewhat amusing and certainly memorable.
But let’s face it: most menswear ads these days are strictly aspirational, featuring beautiful but boring-looking guys (often with facial hair, a lame attempt to appear cool) in boring-looking suits. Why so few ads with wit or humor? An image from a recent Isaia print campaign showing a baby peeing on his well-dressed young dad was actually censored by U.S. retailers for showing the infant’s private parts. (The revised version hid the offending parts.) If we can’t get beyond this puritanical nonsense, how will we ever create ads that are compelling, or at the very least, memorable? With all the talent in our industry, we can do better!

Sit Still and Read This. Actually, Don't.



Maybe those of us who sit for long hours in meetings, on phone calls, and tapping away at keyboards should be getting hazard pay. New research that distills the findings of 47 studies concludes that those of us who sit for long hours raise our average risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and early death.

Even for those of us who meet recommended daily levels of exercise, sitting for long periods of time boosts our likelihood of declining health. (In fact, I just worked out intensively for 90 minutes, and am now risking life and limb to bring you this news. You're welcome.)

To be sure, the latest research -- published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine -- finds that the risk of poor health "is more pronounced at lower levels of physical activity than at higher levels."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Leaders Chase Tennis Balls



"The happiest and most successful people I know don’t just love what they do, they’re obsessed with solving an important problem, something that matters to them. … They go bounding off, plowing through anything that gets in their way.”
- Drew Houston, the founder of Dropbox, in his MIT commencement speech.
They remind me of a dog chasing a tennis ball…. find your tennis ball—the thing that pulls you.”

3 Secrets for Smarter Teams: #1, Add More Women


It takes more than smart people to make smart teams.

It has been a good week to discover "best practices" for smart and successful teams, at least in the press. This weekend I read no fewer than six separate, yet related, pieces on this topic. Unsurprising, as each article and blog entry catalyzes others in our omni-connected world.
Here's the theme:
“Groups of smart people can make horrible decisions — or great ones. Psychologists have known for a century that individuals vary in their cognitive ability. But are some groups, like some people, reliably smarter than others?”
In a nutshell the answer is "yes." Groups with specific characteristics consistently behave "smarter" than others - “collective” or “group” intelligence and team productivity are distinguished by 3 shared attributes:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

20 Ideas Worth Stealing

The customer is always right. When that phrase was first uttered, it would have been unfathomable to perceive how contemporary consumers would define what was “right” on such an individual basis — or what unique strategies retailers would employ to keep up.


Each year around this time, STORES magazine highlights the industry’s top “ideas worth stealing.” The crop for 2015 largely focuses on innovative ways to meet highly personalized consumer demands. From merging the store and e-commerces experiences to delivering on-the-spot goods and services, these retailers are helping redefine the art of buying and selling.  

Great thought starters for 2015: so, go ahead, steal them. - DJK

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Look Smarter


In today’s Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger writes about, “How to Look Smarter.”  I think of this as a form of artificial intelligence.
“While trying to look intelligent, a lot of people do things that make them look dumb.
Shellenbarger continues...
The cues people look for in assessing each other’s intelligence are simple. But they aren’t always easy to pull off under pressure. They include showing self-confidence, speaking clearly and smoothly, and responding thoughtfully to what others are saying...”

It is better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Positive first impressions may be shattered, however, as soon as pretentious language starts interfering with others’ ability to understand and communicate with you…” 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Zombie Shopping Malls & 8 Ways to Survive Them


Does the combined aroma of Cinnabons paired with Chicken Teriyaki have a scent if no one is there to smell it?

Wanted: Shoppers.

American shopping malls may elect to echo Mark Twain’s famous quip, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” However, they may wish to reserve the word, “greatly.”
Green Street Advisors, a real estate analysis firm, forecasts that 10 percent of the largest 1,000 malls in the U.S. will fail within the next 10 years. That forecast may be conservative. According to CoStar Group, another real estate advisor, only 80 percent of America’s large malls are “healthy,” with vacancy rates of 10 percent or less, and the rate of decline is increasing, rapidly. CoStar also reports 200 malls with vacancy rates of 35 percent, or higher.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

23 Things You Must STOP Doing in 2015


Authenticity, multitasking, positive energy, constantly leveraging strengths. Just stop it. Seriously.
I love this year-end compilation from the Harvard Business Review from Sarah Green & Gretchen Gavett. Instead of resolving what you should do in 2015, they have pulled together a great “stop doing” list. I’ve annotated their list and added a few bullets of my own.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Be a Gentleman, or be a Jerk - Choose Wisely

On New Year’s Eve, Ryan Seacrest raised the bar for men everywhere.
At Times Square last week, huddled masses, one million strong, yearned to be warm. They rubbed glove-laden hands and stamped their feet in the 29-degree (wind chill in the teens) tundra of mid-town Manhattan.
As midnight approached, featured performer, Taylor Swift, shivered on the outdoor stage in a halter top, “I’m absolutely freezing, this is the wrong choice.” Ryan Seacrest took off his coat, detached his mic and transmitter, and draped his coat around Ms. Swift.
Admittedly the bar, that of being a gentleman, has lowered to the point where it is now easier to trip over it, than to go under it.
Gentlemanly behaviors should not be confined to men. I am not espousing a form of “benevolent sexism,” wherein women are a “weaker” gender needing protection. Rather, being a gentleman is an umbrella term for a code of conduct inclusive of respect and kindness, civility and generosity, equally appropriate for both sexes.

I believe that a gentleman…

  • Holds a door open, certainly for a woman.
  • Gives up his seat to those who need, or deserve it more than he.
  • Is respectful in word and deed.
  • Is on time; he understands that his time is not more valuable than that of others.
  • Is well groomed.
  • Shows patience.
  • Gets up when a woman sits or rises from a table.
  • Controls aggression.
  • Is a good listener.
A gentleman has a code. [More about about personal codes, “Resolution: Leave the Gun. Take the Cannoli.”]
A gentleman dresses well. [More about dressing well, “You Need a Signature Style.”]
(It's never too soon to get started)

Let us resolve to make 2015 the year to reestablish men as gentlemen.

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Do you have examples? Please share.
(c) David J. Katz - New York City - January 4, 2015

Friday, January 2, 2015

Randa Joins National "Toys for Tots" Program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New York, NY (December 2, 2014) – Randa Accessories is pleased to partner with the esteemed U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program as a national corporate donor.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

12 Quotes You Will Use in 2015


I like collecting quotes. Many of you do, too.
I like quotations that stimulate, provoke, inspire and motivate me.
I like to write… and to be read.
I like to measure results.
So, the second half of this post is a challenge. 

Pay It Forward - 2015



"You don't pay love back; you pay it forward.” 
— Lily Hardy Hammond, in her book The Garden of Delight (1916). 
Although the concept dates back to the Old Testament and ancient Greece, Hammond’s is the first known usage of the term “Pay it forward.”