Ian Schrager, Marcus Aurelius, Supreme, Kith, Rick Rubin, Kanye West, SoulCycle, Sweetgreen, the Wu-Tang Clan, Danny Meyer, Tracy Chapman, Warren Buffett, Walt Disney, Jack’s Wife Freda, Starbucks, A24, Picasso, Banksy, In-N-Out Burger, Intel, Tom Brady, Mission Chinese, Nike, Masayoshi Takayama, Oprah, the Baal Shem Tov.What do they all have in common? They have discovered their purpose and unlocked their creative potential. We have been born into a time when the tools to make our dreams a reality are available and, for the most part, affordable. We have the freedom to manifest our truth, pursue our own path, and along the way discover our best selves. Whether as individuals or as part of a group, we can’t be held back by anything except lack of knowledge. The Age of Ideas provides that knowledge. It takes the listener on an incredible journey into a world of self-discovery, personal fulfillment, and modern entrepreneurship. The podcast starts by explaining how the world has shifted into this new paradigm and then outlines a step-by-step framework to turn your inner purpose and ideas into an empowered existence. Your ideas have more power than ever before, and when you understand how to manifest and share them, you will be on the road to making an impact in ways you never before imagined. Welcome to the Age of Ideas.
Season Finale: The End (of Season One) & Your New Beginning
Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.
We have more freedom than at any time in human history. But the majority of us do nothing with this freedom.
Instead, we impose constraints on ourselves, despite fighting so hard to remove these constraints.
We decide what’s possible and enforce artificial limits on our lives.
We do this because it makes us comfortable; it feels manageable, it’s just easier.
But as Abraham Maslow explained, the pinnacle of life is the enjoyment of “peak experiences.”
Today, these “rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences” are within your grasp.
All you have to do is be open and available to where the universe wants to take you.
Put away your fears and go.
After all, you’re free.
But what do you do when you have infinite possibilities?
How do you proceed?
The primary goal of freedom is a fulfilled existence.
And while it’s exciting to have an endless variety of hot dogs, work- out programs, and luxury automobiles, these material elements of life have little or no bearing on your true happiness and fulfillment.
Our powers lie within.
The mysteries of life, the true might of the human experience, exist in life’s emotional aspects. How do we feel about who we are? How do we feel about our loved ones? What do we create and share? How do we make others feel? Our emotional worldview determines what we’re able to manifest and, most importantly, how we feel about our life experience. Therefore, the understanding of your emotions and the emotions of the people with whom you surround yourself is paramount to a meaningful life.
While we all desire happiness and fulfillment, popular culture gives us all the wrong directions on how to reach these goals. The fulfillment we all seek only comes from being creative in our daily life and sharing that creativity with others. This doesn’t mean you need to be a painter and live the life of an artist. It means acting on your creative impulses, pursuing your purpose, whether as an accountant, entrepreneur, or guitarist, engaging in a skill you find challenging and enjoyable.
The result of this approach will be your best work.
From here, your success and fulfillment will ensue.
The Age of Ideas has arrived.
Today, applying your creativity will not only bring you fulfillment, it is the primary skill you need to create value.
It’s time for you to be truly free.
It’s time to spend your brief time on earth doing the things you love, surrounded by the people you care about the most.
It’s time to share what makes you special and serve the needs of others through a purpose greater than your selfish desires.
Now is the time to realize the gift you’ve been given.
Today is when you make it happen.
Do it for all of us. We can’t wait to see the magic you make.
The Story of A24. Why Trust is Critical to Building a Modern Brand.
How A24 build a great modern brand through trust, storytelling, and consistency.
Influence, Collaboration, & Storytelling with Conde Nast, Louis Vuitton and Steve Jobs
How to build influence through collaboration and storytelling.
Sharing vs. Advertising, the Marketers Winning Hand
Sharing puts the audience first, while advertising or marketing in the classic sense of the word is selfish—it puts the needs of the indi- vidual or organization first. To be a great creator, to share yourself or your ideas effectively, you must share them without selfish inten- tions; you must put the audience first. Consider the current retail conundrum. For years, stores had seasonal mega-sales. Instead of improving their product, building bonds with their customers, and creating value, they chose to manipulate customers into action with discounts.
Customers only shop when there are massive sales, profits are eroded, loyalty becomes nonexistent, and, eventually, businesses close. While this applies to the many, a select few have discovered the antidote to this apathy.
In a world where most consumers value meaning over money, experiences over material goods, and crave meaningful connec- tions, the only way to break through is to share, not sell; to be selfless, not selfish.
The components of an effective sharing toolkit—our package of marketing tactics—have changed. For instance, traditional public relations efforts have lost significant influence over consumer behav- ior with the introduction of social media. As we explained, what used to be a controlled, one-way message, like a restaurant review or gossip column placement, has turned into an active dialogue between brand and consumer: your Instagram or LinkedIn feed. And that dialogue happens primarily through the three critical elements of modern marketing—creative, distribution, and experiential—and you’ll need to master them to effectively share your ideas.
“Creative” (as a noun) encompasses everything from your logo to your social media photos to all the content you produce—vid- eos, photos, blog posts, email newsletters, printed flyers, business cards—and even the way in which you communicate your message. Creative is expressed through content, which is directed toward specific audiences via any form of media, from television to the Internet, smartphones, books, e-books, magazines, and live events. Creative is the product of transforming your idea into sharable forms of messaging people can interact with, relate to, and use, whether on Netflix, Instagram, Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, or any of the other modern platforms.
What does this mean for you?
Consumers, especially those under the age of forty, don’t pay attention when they’re being sold to directly, especially when the source isn’t a trusted one, so your only way in is to entertain and creatively engage them. Your brand must be a wellspring of inspiring, beneficial, and interesting content that reinforces your core value propositions and beliefs—and once you have that, you have to amplify your creative and get it in front of the right eyes.
This brings us to distribution.
Sharing is good, and with digital technology, sharing is easy.
—Richard Stallman, Internet activist
Distribution refers to how you share your creative with the con- sumer. How do you get the word out? Think of your creative as a tree falling in the woods. You can have the best content ever made, but if you can’t get eyeballs on it, no one will ever know. In the mod- ern world, digital is the primary way for you to get that message to the most people at the least expense. It is highly efficient, requires minimal investment, and provides instant feedback.
Kith, Nike, & Jack's Wife Freda, The Making of a Modern Brand
In the Jewish religion, a bar mitzvah is the ritual induction of a boy into manhood at the age of thirteen. It’s recognized as the time when he, not his parents, becomes responsible for his actions.
Ronnie Fieg took this transition quite seriously.
Fieg’s first cousin is David Z, a legendary sneaker and sports- wear retailer in New York City. Ronnie’s parents were paying off his bar mitzvah celebration with the gifts from the guests, and as is customary, David came to the celebration with his gift in hand: an envelope of cash. Ronnie saw this as an opportunity and said to David, “Thanks, but no thanks; I’d rather have a job working for you instead.” The next day, Ronnie started as a stock boy at David Z.
In the late 1990s, David Z was located on Eighth Street in Greenwich Village, one of the most influential blocks in the country for street culture. All the big hip-hop artists spent their weekends hanging on the block. They would start on the corner with a Gray’s Papaya hot dog, maybe grab a pair of Parasuco Jeans in one of the lesser-known shops, and end up in David Z’s buying a pair of GORE-TEX boots.
This was where Ronnie learned the business of sneakers and streetwear. As he tells it, “When Lauryn Hill spits ‘In some Gore- Tex and sweats I make treks like I’m homeless,’ the week that she recorded that album, I sold her the boots. And when you see Ma$e and Diddy in the ‘Been Around the World’ video and they’re wearing Dolomites, I sold them their boots. Anytime you’d see Wu-Tang with custom Wallabies, I used to get them custom-made for them. Jay-Z was there every weekend. ‘Cruising down Eighth Street’—when he spits that on the [‘Empire State of Mind’] track, that was him every Saturday, cruising down Eighth Street. I used to help him with his Timberlands every Saturday.” For Ronnie, working at David Z was like going to the Harvard of street style.
Ronnie worked his way up from stock boy to sales clerk to assistant manager to manager to assistant buyer and, eventually, buyer for multiple David Z stores around the age of twenty-five. As the head buyer, Ronnie had direct exposure to the brands, and luckily for him, David Z moved volume, which gave him influence. He formed a relationship with ASICS at a Vegas trade show, and the brand performed well in the stores, so ASICS decided to give him the opportunity to design his own silhouette.
This was propitious; back in the day, his mom had bought him a pair of ASICS Gel-Lyte IIIs at Tennis Junction in Great Neck instead of the more popular Reebok Pumps he wanted. At first, Ronnie hated them, but eventually he grew to love them, wearing them until they had “holes in the soles.” He wanted to replace them, but they’d been discontinued. When ASICS gave him the chance to design his own, the Gel-Lyte III was his obvious choice. He pulled them out of the archive and created three versions, of which a total of 756 pairs were manufactured. He called in some favors from a few friends, and they threw an event at David Z. The next day, they sold a few pairs, and he shared the story of the shoes with one of the buyers. The day after that, Ronnie’s mother called him, exclaiming, “Your shoe is on the cover of the Wall Street Journal!” The guy Ronnie had told the story to was an editor at the WSJ, and he wrote a story about limited-run sneakers. The next day, there was a line around the block. That same day, the president of Adidas America showed up and, as Ronnie tells it, “I told him the story, and that’s how we started talking about working on a shoe called the Black Tie.” Ronnie had begun to build his following.
Some Days will Suck & Free to Fail with Michael Jordan, Ted Williams, & Ed Catmull of Pixar
Being Free to Fail and Accepting that Some Days will Suck