It Smells Branded in Here

Things go in cycles. I know this, and yet I’m always a little surprised when the entrepreneurial cycle comes around to me again. Yesterday, I was at a St. Patrick’s Day party as my genius wife’s plus one, and I wound up having several conversations with people who are working hard on their new projects. I love that people are building things, are working out new solutions to problems, and are excited about getting their solutions out into the world. I especially love that some of these people are in my area code. And then…

Then today I got an email introducing me to a local entrepreneur. The fellow making the introduction is familiar with me via TechRaising, and he remembered that I have experience with high performance and highly scalable middle-tier and back-end systems, but he didn’t go beyond that in making the introduction. I thought I’d point the other fellow at my LinkedIn profile to let him see more of my resume before taking the conversation further, but when I went over there to get the link I got distracted by this post. Suddenly, I felt catapulted back in time to the early 90s.

Branding an entire generation is a pointless exercise. Or rather, it’s pointless unless you’re selling something. I’m feeling very Lloyd Dobler about the whole buying, selling, and processing exercise.

When I go shopping at Safeway, I often hear pop hits from the late 70s and the 80s on the in-store sound system. “Heart of Glass,” “London Calling,” I mean, is there nothing from my teen years a retailer won’t use to convince me that I should stay in the store and spend a little more money there?

The last thing I want is to be lumped into a demographic package and sold to whoever’s buying. I know, it’s kind of too late and it’s already happened (see above) but that’s just the same realization that every generation has made. Still, what kind of crazy person wants to be boxed up and sold like that? Resist!


My brilliant and lovely wife offered this insight while reading my rant, and I think it’s important to share:

But this started with the Baby Boomers. That’s why all the music we hear at Christmas is the Christmas music from when they were little. The first big wave of nostalgia TV was in the 70s, when we were all idolizing the fifties, and that’s when they figured out they could repackage everyone’s past and sell it back to them and make a mint. But you know what? Fuck that. Fonzie has moved on.

Published by pirateguillermo

I play the bagpipes. I program computers. I support my family in their various endeavors, and I enjoy my wonderful life.

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