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Bill Van Loan
Los Angeles, United States
Communications Strategist with a Photographic Memory
Interests: helping others, art, comedy, plays, pilates, exercise, promoting creative people, win-win relationships, piano concerts, humanitarian work and promoting women in leadership is a passion of mine...
Recent Activity
Be delighted to eat dog food. It makes no sense to disdain the choices your customers make. If you can't figure out how to empathize and eagerly embrace the things they embrace, you are letting everyone down with your choice. Sure, someone needs to make this, but it doesn't have to be you. via Continue reading
Here are two stories about musicians doing well that could be described as social media success stories. But Ryn Weaver's claim that "Tinder got me a record deal" is a bit misleading. And, while it's conceivable that Shannon Hurley could make money via activities on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, YouTube enabled her success by being so much more than a social network. In fact, both tales are almost simply updated versions of old stories from a time before the web existed. via Continue reading
Great marketers have empathy. They're able to imagine what it might be like to have a mustache or wear pantyhose. They work hard to imagine life in someone else's shoes. Bullies are tone deaf. They don't always set out to be brutal and selfish, but their near-total lack of empathy amplifies their self involvement. "What's it like to be you?" is an impossible question to answer. But people who aren't tone deaf manage to ask it. via Continue reading
Gravity, for example. I can't do a thing about gravity. Even if I wanted to move to Jupiter or the moon for a change in gravity, it's inconceivable that I could. On the other hand, there are lots of things I can do to control my reaction to gravity. I can take Alexander classes or get in better shape. I can avoid situations where gravity makes me uncomfortable (the trapeze, for example). I can choose to not whine about gravity and its effects. via Continue reading
This is far from a new phenomenon. Hundreds of years ago there were holier-than-thou people standing in the village square, wringing their hands, ringing their bells and talking about how urgent a problem was. They did little more than wring their hands, even then. In our connected world, though, there are two sides to social media's power in spreading the word about a charitable cause. According to recent data about the ice bucket challenge making the rounds, more than 90% of the people mentioning it (posting themselves being doused or passing on the word) didn't make a donation to support... Continue reading
We did. It's not a silly question. It has a lot to do with culture and crowds and the way we decide, as a group, what's right and what's not. A quick look at some colors�confirms that there is no algorithm, no accepted pattern for color names. They range from short and obscure (puce) to long and obvious references, like cotton candy. via Continue reading
Life is not about control or making things happen in the ways we think they should happen.� In fact, it's rather arrogant for us to be on this planet that's been here for so long and expect to be able to control life on it.� If we want to see changes, then our task is to set things in motion, not to micromanage and make them happen in the ways we think they should.� If we have something that is possessing us, such as alcohol or our television sets or our cell phones, then it could be time to let... Continue reading
Escalators make people happy. They're ready when you are, there is almost never a line, and you can see progress happening the entire time. Elevators are faster, particularly for long distances, but we get frustrated when we just miss one, and we often wonder when the next one is coming, even after a few seconds. (That's why lobbies have mirrors, to give you something to do when you're waiting). The ferry schedule, invented by Cornelius Vanderbilt, is a third way to deal with transport. Instead of having each boat turn around the minute it arrived, he guaranteed when it would... Continue reading
Happiness is a choice you make, an attitude you step into, a state of being that runs deeper than conditions. It is more available than impossible. Can you and I find a way to be at peace with ourselves and our lives right now, even before the mortgage is paid, we resolve our differences with our ex, or global warming is offset? I have wanted many things in my life, and I still do. It had always seemed that I would be happier if I found my soul mate, lived in a bigger house, saw my book on the bestseller... Continue reading
James Bamford in Wired: The message arrives on my “clean machine,” a MacBook Air loaded only with a sophisticated encryption package. “Change in plans,” my contact says. “Be in the lobby of the Hotel ______ by 1 pm. Bring a book and wait for ES to find you.” ES is Edward Snowden, the most wanted man in the world. For almost nine months, I have been trying to set up an interview with him—traveling to Berlin, Rio de Janeiro twice, and New York multiple times to talk with the handful of his confidants who can arrange a meeting. Among other... Continue reading
On the first 100 pages of the new, thick issue of Vanity Fair, there are about 95 full page ads. Those ads feature, best I can count, 108 people. Of these, 24 of the people are some combination of not-sad and not-ghostly and not-skinny. The other 84 send precisely the same signal: Brands like ours feature people like this. Here's the thing: green lights aren't green because there's something inherently go-ful about the color green. A long time ago, green got assigned to go, red to stop, and that's the semiotics of traffic. The same is true for this class... Continue reading
Every once in a while there is a fashion trend that goes beyond a current style to invoke a statement by the wearer. Personal style and fashion sense - beyond trends - are an expression on the outside of who we are on the inside. via Continue reading
If you're engaging in a neck and neck battle for supremacy, it's entirely possible you've lost track of the purpose of the work you set out to do in the first place. Consider recent stats about college sports: A coach who makes $6.9 million dollars a yearA weight training coach who makes more than $6,000 a weekA dozen non-profit universities spending more than $100,000,000 a year (each) on their athletic programs via Continue reading
A D.C. fan has succeeded in his fundraising campaign to stage a private Kenny Loggins concert in his living room.�According to WJLA, Erick Sanchez reached his Kickstarter goal of $30,000 to lure the soft rock star for the performance. Loggins has said that he'd perform if the money was raised. via Continue reading actually not the same as, "doing everything I can." When we tell people we're doing the best we can, we're actually saying, "I'm doing the best I'm comfortable doing." As you've probably discovered, great work makes us uncomfortable. via Continue reading
I need a sales rep (or ten) to do the selling so I can do my work. And investors to put up the money so I can do my work. And an accounting staff so I won't have to think about inflows and outflows so I can do my work. via Continue reading
PonoMusic, the company led by Neil Young that raised over $6 million on Kickstarter to fund the PonoPlayer, is now turning to equity crowdfunding to raise an additional $2.5 million. This offer is limited to accredited investors with a minimum invesment of $5000 of which they currently have at least $1.43 million in commitments. The fundraising campaign ends September 1. via Continue reading
and How will we know if it worked? Answer these two questions first, please. If it's worth doing, it's worth knowing before you do it. A hammer is for getting nails into wood, and it's pretty easy to tell if it does the job well. That's one reason why we have so many good hammers available to us--real clarity about what it's for, and whether it works or not. via Continue reading
This is a pretty long post, and I know that you could easily substitute another round of Angry Birds instead of reading it. I hope you’ll find it useful. One of the key elements of pricing is realizing that people have choices, and that substitutes are available. This is more nuanced than it sounds, though, and I want to highlight key things to keep in mind when you think about how much to charge and how people might react. Marketers make two mistakes over and over. They create average, commodity products and expect that people will pay extra for them.... Continue reading
Intermarriage has always been a problem, all the way back to Romeo and Juliet (and West Side Story, of course). Intermarriage de-demonizes the ‘other’, and the insecure tribe member sees this as an existential threat, the beginning of the end of tribal cohesion. Gangs in LA view high school as a threat. A kid who graduates from high school has options, can see a way up, which decreases the power of the gang and its leaders. Public school is seen as a threat by some tribes, a secular indoctrination and an exposure to other cultures and points of view that... Continue reading
What's the point of being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, especially if you get zero calls between 3 am and 4 am? Why take the risk of offering a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee when you know that a few people are going to show up with ridiculous requests for refunds? Do you really want to offer an all-you-can-eat buffet? What about the trolls that eat too much? Shouldn't you have limits? Simple. Because you've just eliminated a reason for people to wonder. They don't have to wonder about your rules or your hours or your fine print,... Continue reading
Source "Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes,and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world." "Into the Wild" — LP"Out of Mind"�— Magic Man"No Home" — Nico Vega"Repeat Pleasure" — How to Dress Well"Looking Too Closely"�— Fink"From Finner" — Of Monsters and Men"Dear In Your Headlights"�— Blondfire"Problem (Cover)"�— Madilyn Bailey"Lifespan" — Vaults"Same Emotions" — Strand of Oaks"Believe"�— Ted Zed"Rather Be (Cover)" — Jasmine Thompson"Break Free"�— Ariana Grande feat. Zedd� via Continue reading
"I don't like it" "I don't understand it" Those are the only responses your new idea can possibly generate from many around you if your new idea is actually a great idea, something ownable, something you can build work around. via Continue reading
That's the perfect advice, and the advice that spreads, the advice we seek. Of course, advice that's simple, guaranteed, easy and free isn't worth very much, because if it worked, we would have done it already. No, the advice worth seeking out is really difficult to execute. It costs time or money (or both), and it just might not work. Hey, if it's worth asking for advice, it's worth doing the hard stuff once we get it, right? PS check out this new video with Michael and Al. Al's now-classic book on meetings is simple, but not easy. via Continue reading