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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Advice to CMOs: Creativity only happens in a "state of play"


The hardest bit of advice for any CMO to take these days is the most critical to your success: "Creativity only happens in a state of play." Whether I'm working on my current novel or creating another scurrilous piece of guerrilla warfare for a client, I always start my mornings with some playful mental calisthenics. Today, I was remembering my stand-up comic act for the 2016 America's Got Talent auditions. Maybe the world wasn't ready for Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff jokes. But someday, somewhere, boy do I have a rip-roaring funny after-dinner routine.

In the meantime, find a way to enter into a STATE OF PLAY before you attempt to solve today's problems.

#cmoadvice #stateofplay #larryellison #marcbenioff

Monday, March 30, 2020

Guerrilla Warfare: Turning a client's $25K into over $625K with Peter Max


Here's a little-known fact about the IRS and art. If you hold a piece of artwork for one year and then give it away to a non-profit (like a library or a museum), you can deduct the appraised value of that art as a donation on your 1040 income tax form. Back about 1979, my literary agent also worked with famous artist Peter Max, and I came up with an idea.

My client needed a gift for 250 salespeople at their million-dollar club event. We paid Peter Max $25,000 to create an original piece of art for my client, along with 250 signed and numbered prints of that art. The client got the origiinal to hang in their lobby, and the salespeople each got a print. Later that year, I had an art appraiser issue certificates that each print was worth $2500, and encouraged the sales people donate their print to a non-profit one year and one day after they got their prints, and to take the $2500 tax deduction. That amounted to $625,000 in deductions. In addition, the original art appraised at quite a bit more, and the client home office took a gigantic donation deduction.

Now a caveat for you artists. The artist himself cannot donate his or her work and have the same kind of tax treatment. But if you know an up-and-coming artist and need a gift for your salesforce, you can win on multiple fronts:

  1. You can put some serious food on the artist's table.
  2. You can give your salesforce a gift for which you pay $100, but which your giftee can use to obtain a much larger tax deduction the following year.
Win-win, eh?

Oh, yeah. This went over so well that the client did another Peter Max deal for the following year.

BTW, notice my watch. It was an HP-1 calculator watch. Quite an advanced piece of technology in 1979.

#guerrillawarfare #petermax #artforfunandprofit

Saturday, March 28, 2020

When I refused to sell my invention to Stirling Moss, the most famous race car driver in the world



Back in the late 1970s when I was a mathematician-turned-inventor, I got a call from my idol, possibly the greatest race car driver to have ever lived: Stirling Moss. He wanted to buy my HAGOTH VOICE STRESS ANALYZER. I refused to sell him one, and he got a little upset with me. That is, until I told him that I'd almost destroyed my dad's car on the S-curve on the way to our country club as I tried to imitate him. I'd be pleased to give him one of my units if he was ever in the USA.

Surprise surprise! He was racing a classic birdcage Maserati in Sebring, Florida and offered to let me advertise on him and the car. So I met him in Sebring and, as you can see, he has my HAGOTH logo on his fire suit. My magnetic HAGOTH signs were THE ONLY ADVERTISING on the car (much to the chagrin of the car owner). No STP stickers. No Penzoil sign. Just my HAGOTH on each door of the car.

He won that race. Here he is crossing the finish line.


Somewhere in my piles of negatives I have a side view of the car, but for the life of me I can't find it.

I'm still waiting for Woody Harrelson to call me and ask about my screenplay The Devil and Woody Harrelson. Ya gotta dream big, and I always go for that brass ring.

My voice stress analyzer made the front page of every major newspaper in the country, and I appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today and Tomorrow with Tom Snyder shows, the Mike Douglas Show, and on the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour. I'm still waiting to become the Tom Clancy of my little mountain community in Draper, Utah.

#stirlingmoss #invention #voicestressanalyzer #sebring #birdcagemasarati #ABCGMA #NBCToday #mikedouglas #mcneillehrer #woodyharrelson

Friday, March 27, 2020

My First Home Computer: circa 1976


Okay, I'm bragging now. On the left is my first home computer. I got it in 1976. It was a PDP-11/34 with 32 KB of RAM memory, and the two washing-machine-size disk drives (the Darth Vader helmet that Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz gave me sits on them) were 5MB each. It was a 16-user RSTS time sharing system, and required me to install 220V power and a special air conditioner in my den. This is the system I used to run my electronics company and, later, my run for the U.S. Congress in 1978.

Interestingly, the two leather chairs in the foreground are the same chairs that sit in the Pirate Cottage today (see the photo above). Gosh, leather lasts a long time.

You know, back in the day, I wrote a realtime operating syystem in just 700-bytes of assembly language code. Those were the days my friends, those were the days.

#piratecottage #myfirstcomputer #starwars #garykurtz

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The day I refused to sell actor Robert Conrad my invention


Back in the late 1970s, I proved that a mathematician could become an electronic engineer by learning Ohm's Law: V=IR. I invented the Hagoth voice stress analizer. One day I got a call from Robert Conrad, star of the TV show Black Sheep Squadron. He wanted to buy one, but I refused to sell it to him. He was a feisty guy, former Golden Gloves boxing champion, and got a little hot under the collar. Then I explained that his first TV show, Wild Wild West, inspired my invention. All those cool things he pulled out the heel of his cowboy boot intrigued me. So I told him that since he was the inspiration for my invention, I'd be delighted to give him one. I'd even fly down to the Black Sheep Squadron set and show him how to use it.

What a guy! He said, "Thank you. What can I do for you?" To which I replied that I'd love him to narrate the introduction cassette tape I sent out with each unit. He quickly agreed and I flew to California.

He'd shoot a scene and then come into his on-set motor home and narrate a few paragraphs. Then he'd go shoot another scene. After about half a day of this, he stopped in the middle of our recording session and said, "Do you know how much Eveready batery paid me to shoot their commercial, daring someone to knock that battery off my shoulder?" I said I didn't know, and he exclaimed, $560,000! They payid me $560,000 for that commercial, and I've spent half a day working for you and all I'm getting is this $1600 gadget!"

I laughed and said, "Cool, huh?"

He laughed, too. And finished the recording.

#robertconrad #blacksheepsquadron #wildwildwest

Thursday, March 19, 2020

NIH hiding effects of malaria drug in treating COVID-19


The National Institute of Health website itself (click here if you don't believe me), has a chilling statement about the so-called "miracle drug" used for years to treat malaria. Just click on their website and search for the word "paranoia" before running out and buying more ammunition for your assault weapon. Oh wait, you can't find ammo in stores any more. Turns out this sentence is buried:
"However, there are a growing number of clinical reports that show these drugs may also have neurological side effects, including paranoia, anxiety and depression."
Okay DestroyingAngel, you say, big deal! Right? Ou contraire mon petit chu chu (my nod to France, where they breathlessly report a 100% cure rate for COVID-19 with the drug chloroquine). Say "No big deal" to the U.S. military when soldiers at Ft. Bragg came back, killed their wives, and committed suicide. And then there was the boat in the Persian Gulf.

The above data was sent to me by a brilliant lady whose former husband went on the malaria meds and became psychotic, to the point he tried to kill her. Yep, he's her former husband.

So with our president and Fox News excitedly reporting a possible "cure" for COVID-19, get set for a real kind of Zombieland. While the NIH doesn't quantify the "neurological effects" of chloroquine, my mathematician's brain suggests that if tens of millions of Americans get the drug, there will be some serious weirdness that requires us to protect ourselves from…real zombies.

Uh, remember to DOUBLE TAP.

Taman Shud

#covid-19 #coronavirus #zombieland #zombies #malaria #chloroquine