The marketplace begins at the end of the nose and extends to the edge of the imagination.
This site is about an egg-elegant idea too simple to be wrong and too big to ignore.
“I am the author of 19 books…and…book marketing desperately needs some fresh thinking, and in all my years as an author, I have never met anyone with the range of crazy ideas, no few perfectly sensible, than has Peter.”
Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies
The art of biography, it could be argued, wants to entertainingly immix the autopsy’s gore with the eulogy’s goo. The ABOUT essay, autobiography’s karaoke, insists on seriousness despite its comic demands: How to reduce oneself to a nutshell while simultaneously self-aggrandizing? Tricky stuff. In the early days of storefront internet self-promotion, the tell-us-about-yourself thing was more fun. Now, rendered mandatory, a careening life must be sliced up just-so and sealed into easy-open squitter packets. The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker alike are scumbled by obligatory recourse to the same small gray word cloud.
Where to start? Aristotle says ethos, pathos, logos: tell who you are, tell why you want or need or must tell something—then tell the something you came to tell. This held sway for about two millennia until Stan Freberg’s 1953 Billboard chart-topping Dragnet spoof wherein Just-the-facts-ma’am became an instant classic. Nowadays things are even easier since TED Talks™ affords rhetors grand and lame the ease to outsource ethos and pathos via predigested: “Why You Should Listen” capsules.
First twenty-seven years in a single 140-word minute’s worth:
Born on the 20th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day in a room across the University of Vermont green where Lafayette, on his 50th anniversary victory tour, had laid the cornerstone for a new library.
First round of golf played at five, joined the club at six, got a job in the Pro Shop at fifteen, became the youngest golf instructor in the state at eighteen.
Sold electronic cash registers (before they talked to computers) to retailers, grocers, hotel/motel folks (front desk p.o.s.); sold mom & pop C-store scanning; sold the first floppy-drive-driven restaurant computer in the state.
Sold banking equipment, secure documents and forms management to financial and industrial concerns. Three months out of training, sold biggest bank in territory a million-dollar a year printing contract. For a minute, thought it was the biggest deal on Earth.
Next twenty-seven years in a single 140-word minute’s worth:
Moved to Hollywood, got married. Collaborated on a script about the birth of the Atomic Age with Einstein’s protégé Leo Szilard’s biographer, William Lanouette—a senior atomic analyst with Congress’s investigative arm, the G.A.O.
Got an agent, got the play on its feet. The first public performance was in New York on the 50th anniversary of the H-bomb’s big bang birth in the Pacific.
Other collaborations: With the former general counsel of the erstwhile third largest American media empire, an insider’s axe-grinder on bankruptcy and tax dodging; with Inside Karate Magazine icon and Grammy winner Jerry Bell, a fable based on the ancient African roots of martial arts; with the academic author of the surreal history of the FBI’s KKK informant operation, a drama; with a sixty-year veteran of the television game show biz, an action-comedy about the depravity of “reality” TV.
Most recently, in a single 140-word minute’s worth:
Wrote several pieces for the 947-year-old Frankfurt Book Fair’s online daily news arm—Publishing Perspectives. One day, over coffee, got talking books and the Spread of Ideas with the website’s founder/editor. Was assigned to do a workaday survey of publishing CMOs to discover the latest next-big-thing-type thinking.
This piece was soon abandoned upon unearthing some numbers too simple to be wrong and too big to ignore that pointed to a series of seemingly trivial precepts that, taken together, could foment a renaissance in cultural goods marketing.
Assembled a Swiss Army knife of methodologies. Called it…
Wrote a letter to the chairman of the world’s largest retailer of books and music, got an appointment to present REACH. Began immediately collaborating with C-suite officers.
Within months, unrelatedly, the company was sold and the C-suite gutted of all contacts.
Back to Square One.
Onward ho we go…
Three introductory essays under What’s the Idea?