Jonathan Salem Baskin

Bright Lights Project: MSI

Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry ("MSI") had a great idea last year: let someone from outside the institution literally "live" there for a month, and let the public see the place through her or his eyes. Sour grapes alert: I applied for the job, but found myself among a few thousand others who lost out to a plucky twentysomething who went on to be utterly boring and forgettable.

Continue Reading

Steve Jobs, The Builder

I knew Steve, though by no means well. I ran the Apple PR account for Paul Bergevin in Edelman's Palo Alto office in the late 90s. Those were the days of the first iMac, a novel tool to search for files and things on the web called Sherlock (pre-loaded in OS 8.5), and the Think Different ad campaign.

Continue Reading

Just Sell the Damn Cars

Fiat has utterly botched the intro of its quirky but very drivable 500 -- sales are under 50% of plan -- and it's about to fire people and hold a huge group-grope agency review to  come up with a new strategy. I have a simpler solution, which I hereby offer up for free: copy VW's Beetle and BMW’s Mini Cooper American launches.

Continue Reading

Bright Lights Project: Boeing

On Monday, Boeing celebrated delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner to a paying client (just think of the sweetheart deal All Nippon Airways got). At a development cost of more than $32 billion spread out over almost a decade, the model encountered every conceivable delay (and many that nobody had imagined), and it might not make any money until the 2020s, if ever.

Continue Reading

Don't Bogart That Einstein

The possible discovery of neutrinos that travel faster than the speed of light could not only change a hundred years of physics dogma, but it could make time travel possible...though one scientist comforted the world last week with the qualifier that "...it does not mean we'll be building time-machines anytime soon."

Continue Reading

Fickle

Download Fickle

For every argument that brand value matters (or that brands even exist as logical constructs of any kind whatsoever), there's a simple, stunningly shocking riposte: people don't remember much, and what they do remember doesn’t necessarily affect their behaviors as consumers.

Continue Reading

Bright Lights Project: Stock Markets

When I came up with the idea of writing a Bright Lights essay about stock markets, I was really thinking about brainstorming how retail financial services brands could better address the current gaping void between what's happening in the markets, and the needs of individual investors for meaningful and reliable information about it.

Continue Reading

CRM Did It, Eventually

Customer Relationship Management, or "CRM," is a broad idea that was successfully marketed starting at the turn of the century...and then fell far short of everyone's expectations. It’s useful now, but not in the ways any of its evangelists had hoped, and I wonder if business use of social media technologies will follow a somewhat similar path.

Continue Reading

Bright Lights Project: Apple

(Full disclosure: I worked for Apple on the original iMac launch, I have friends there whom I like and respect, and I am a customer. My observations aren't based on any insider knowledge, but rather constitute the musings of an old friend).

Continue Reading

More than 140 Characters

Twitter is expanding its staff and its efforts to communicate with the world, and in doing so is turning to a lot of the tried-and-true structures and approaches that its 140-character service helped destroy. The changes beg a few questions, most notably why?

 

Continue Reading
Subscribe to RSS - Jonathan Salem Baskin