Friday, February 24, 2017

Donutism

Friends,
Is  patriotism love of country or pride in country? True love is incompatible with fear and hate. Pride, on the other hand, is not. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins -the opposite of humility. Pride also comes before a fall. So, does your patriotism include the fear (and potentially hatred) of other countries? If so, there’s a better word for it: Nationalism, patriotism’s ugly sibling. Nationalism leads to isolation, stagnation and, ultimately, war. When it comes down to brass tacks, it’s really a form of populism (the manipulative circus of “us vs. them”). Since the suffix “ism” can be good or bad –depending on how it’s used—this morning I thought I’d conduct an experiment. I have mixed things up and brought-in a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts to find-out how you define Donutism. I’d like to see whether you embrace these new Donuts, or whether you discriminate against them for not being Holy Donuts.
Happy Friday! 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Valentine's Donuts

Friends,
With Valentine’s day just behind us, this morning I thought I’d attempt to write a love poem. Here goes nothing:

My eyes have gazed and seen perfection
Your curves so tight
Your aroma fills me with intoxication
My impulses, I can’t fight

When I can’t see you, I long for the day
Your absence is torture
Yet fate has decided that only Friday
The day of good fortune

Though my thoughts may wander a plenty
When writing about thee
Without you my words would ring empty
You’re fulfillment to me

You’re here and I feel the elation
So comely and sweet
Your sugar will increase my elevation
My donuts, my treat!

Alright, I’ll keep the day job.

Happy Friday!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Consistently Consistent Donuts

Friends,
Consistency is important. I’m not talking about how soggy oatmeal or crunchy bacon feel in your mouth. It’s more the relationship between the white dress and the bride at a wedding or the questions that inevitably come-up when you see that advertisement for a $5,000 2016 Cadillac Escalade. We expect consistency and when it’s not there, we wonder why. For instance, when I was commuting between the Detroit and the Dallas NetEx sales kick-offs this week I stopped for dinner at a place in the Houston airport called The Local. As you might expect from the name, they boast all-natural, local, farm-grown, sustainable products whenever possible. Consistent. However, front-and-center at every table you see a bottle of Icelandic glacial water. Can you guess where it comes from? –hint, it’s not Houston. You guessed it, Iceland! You’d think if anything can be sourced locally, that would be water. Or, take the Supreme car wash. My car was extra dirty this week. So dirty, in fact that someone had scribbled a strong suggestion on the rear bumper. You can imagine my disappointment when, after splurging on the most expensive wash on the menu the words “wash meee!!” were still legible. Fortunately this morning, expectations should align with reality. There’s a dozen Holy Donuts sitting in their usual spot, so come grab a sweet treat. They all have the consistency you’d expect.

Happy Friday!

Friday, February 3, 2017

It's the end of the world, have a donut!

Friends,
Looking back at the news this week, a couple of two-word phrases stand-out. Artificial Intelligence and Nuclear Option. Ignore, if you would, the context in which these catchy monikers were used –winner at Texas hold ‘em tournament and senate rules for supreme court confirmation, respectively. Just put them together and what do you get? You got it! The stage is set for the dystopian events that form the foundation for the movie Terminator. Skynet becomes self-aware (AI) and launches a literal preemptive Nuclear Option against humanity. Just add time travel. As it happens, yesterday was groundhog day… and in that movie, Bill Murray gets stuck in a time loop, forced to relive February 2nd - a form of time travel. Eerie! Also eerie, is the fact that, like last week, we have Holy Donuts this morning. Alright, that may be a tad of a stretch. In any event come enjoy a sweet treat (I would have brought Nachos Supreme and bacon-wrapped bacon, but with no team to root or in the Super Bowl, I completely forgot the big game was on this weekend).  

Happy Friday!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Win-Win WIN

Friends,
One of the more memorable books I read in business school was Getting to Yes. Its pages contained many insights about the art of negotiation. Some of the recent headlines call to mind the chapter on “Soviet-style negotiations” -the notion that negotiations are zero-sum games. If you win, I lose. I’ve been wondering what would happen if we applied some of the rhetoric we’re seeing at the international level to a smaller scale (all tongue in cheek, of course)
  • Californians have been migrating to Colorado for some time now, driving-up the cost of housing and, with it, the overall cost of living. Should our governor build a wall at the border to keep all those unsavory characters out?
  • What about the People’s Republic of Boulder? They think they’re so evolved and cultured. But all the worthwhile cultural venues are in Denver. Might it be a good idea to impose a tax on Subarus coming into Denver (we all know where those come from) to help pay for what those freeloader hippies are consuming?
  • Let’s not mention the city of Aurora. Their values are different than ours. Should we impose a moratorium on letting folks from Aurora into Denver until we can figure-out exactly what’s going-on over there?

As with the larger arguments that inspired these questions, the logic above is over-simplified and flawed. Win-lose negotiations are short-sighted and outdated. They may reap short-term benefits, but are harmful in the long-run. For instance, while it may be tempting to think the donuts I bring every Friday are a win for you (free donuts) and a loss for me (less money), the reality is I enjoy doing it and I believe the benefit I get in terms of goodwill and morale far outweigh the costs. As with NATO, we ALL win. So come partake in this win-win arrangement we have going here at WIN!
Happy Friday!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Unpredictable Donuts

Friends,
Words, the basic building block of communication. The English language has over 170,000 words in current use, so it’s not surprising that some of them might not mean what you think they might -or should. For instance, if you look-up the word “dite” in the dictionary, you find it means “bit” (most commonly used in the British expression “I don’t care a dite”). So, when one hears El Chapo Guzm├ín is being “extradited” to the U.S. one might be forgiven for thinking they were giving him a bonus (he was being given an “extra dite”, if you will). Also prompted by the news, this morning I was thinking of the word “Inauguration”. If you break it down, the core particle of the word would be “augur” (i.e. to predict), preceded by the prefix “in” (a negative or privative force -e.g. inorganic, indefensible). So, in-augur-ation should mean “an unpredictable activity”. Which is an odd name for something that has every activity scripted down to the minute. Then again, come to think about it, this morning my new definition may well prove adequate after all. You know what I mean. Of course, something that is somewhat predictable by now is the arrival of donuts on Friday morning (granted, last week I may have disappointed the handful of folks who were not in Austin). So come grab a sweet treat from Holy Donuts –the same predictable treat at the same predictable location. 

Happy Friday!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Donuts Are Here - What A Bargain!

Friends,
This morning’s two hour version of my usual thirty minute commute got me thinking about bargains and whether there is an antonym to the word (apparently the closest is ”rip-off”). Getting less for more is not pleasant (for instance less time to write this note on account of having more time on the road). I figured there were going to be less people in the office today, however, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of you decided to brave the roads and close-out the week strong -quite the bargain! (chalk it up to better living through lower expectations). Unfortunately, that means you get the same number of donuts for the same number of people (is there a word for that? -value?)

Happy New Year!