The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

some lights always burn bright in San Francisco

December20

this post isn’t meant to be news. just some thinking about my Dad whom was neither a football player, nor citizen of San Francisco. just my Dad.

last night the San Francisco 49ers beat the Pittsburg Steelers in unique fashion. a lot of the details are being reported elsewhere, and are in fact, unimportant to me.

but, the 49ers were, improbably, very important to my Dad. he grew up, literally, dirt poor in South Dakota and Nebraska. his path from poverty to that of an elite military officer through the Army Air Corps that became the the Air Force, somehow equated with his views of San Francisco as the epitome of advantage, opportunity and example. I don’t know a lot of the reasoning around that, but I do know that Dad was happy whenever I saw him, there.

and, when Dad was happy his laugh was genuine, and his smile could light up an entire room, and one evening in particular, an entire stadium.

last night the power kept going out at Candlestick Park, and that was bigger news than the 49ers victory even though it’s certainly been too long since they found the play-off’s.

“The Stick” powered-up in 1960, the year I was born, and the 49ers played their first game in that place in 1971. Dad and I were there. he was just back from another tour in Viet Nam.

it should be noted that The Beatles gave their final full concert at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. and, inexplicably Dad was there, as well. Dad was something of an enigma, to many. amongst Dad’s favorite songs he firmly counted John Lennon’s Imagine. of course, by way of karma, that song found it’s own light by Lennon’s hand in 1971. I think dad may have viewed himself as a world citizen (a significant part of the songs message). that may explain why he fought so hard for his country and relished the air of San Francisco.

in any event, I spent most of that day nestled under my Dad’s arm while he roared with the crowd. the details of the game were meaningless to me, as were the hot dogs. there was a moment when Dad looked at me and said, “I love this town and this team. Good things are possible here. I sure do love you, son”. although I can’t immediately recall who actually won that particular contest, I can tell you that the 49ers won their second straight divisional title in 1971 with a 9-5 record. they also won their divisional playoff game against the Washington Redskins by a 24-20 final score. I know that because Dad talked about it. and I always listened to my Dad. Dad also loved the Redskins, but mostly, and evidently, because they were associated with Washington, DC. and, Dad was a patriot, albeit not a New England fan.

so… whenever I see the 49ers play, especially at Candlestick Park, I immediately think of Dad and his electric smile.

I love you Dad. I miss you so much. I coach a lot of other guys’ sons in Lacrosse now. it’s all bitter sweet. I try to be a beacon in my own right. I really do. but, thanks for showing me the way and lighting my path. and, you know I’m listening to, Imagine, by John Lennon (for Dad). but, check this out… while I share that particular Lennon’s effort with you all, consider the Imagine cover by Taio Cruz. Dad would have appreciated it. in fact, I would have called him to talk about it. so, I’ll share it with you.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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it’s okay for Apple to make great products and Profits

October20

thanks for reading my blog post today.

to keep things interesting I’m sharing a recent exchange I’ve had with an “Google evangelist” that tends to resent Apple.

Nicholas sometimes comes across like he viewed Steve Jobs as “the man” in a seemingly counter-cultural sort of way. if Nicholas actually understood Jobs and his views around innovation and choice that creates, for us all, you’ll appreciate this irony-drenched exchange all the more.

under any circumstances it certainly makes for good sport.

NOTE: I think Nicholas is a good bloke.

read the entire exchange beginning with Nicholas’s email to me (at the bottom), first. do it!

“Hey Nicholas.

The iPhone 4S is, in fact a very much upgraded device from the iPhone 4. The processing chip, camera, and general interface driven by the iOS5 track to the Apple Product Road Map (i.e. iPhone, iPhone 3, iPhone 3S, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S – and, before too long, the iPhone 5) that most outsiders have a difficult time grasping. Its not really a debatable matter. anyone can make it subjective. but, why bother? And, there is a reason why more iPhone 4S’s were sold in record time (for Apple) than the prior versions of the device.

Google’s Android driven voice service is well established. Its just not as robust, today, or in terms of it’s potential as [Apple’s] Siri. Google had an opportunity to acquire the [Siri] software but missed it. The Android effort is admirable. But, it’s not on-par with Google’s own search capability. The great thing about Siri (certainly it’s awesome potential), for example, is that is, in fact, comparable to Google’s search prowess in scope and scale. Google may have been first with the voice service, but Apple out-paced and has surpassed with it’s Siri. Until you actually use it you can’t comprehend what a game-changer it is.

I appreciate your reading my prior posts. But, I believe you were doing so using a lens looking for something that I was not doing. My own objectives have been very consistent. I use Google as a comparison to Apple using wealth-building and industry innovation as particular credibility markers. You generally are not a stock buyer (yet), or have access to multiple technology platforms. So, your perspective is limited. I don’t see an “end of an era” for Apple. If you understand what is happening in China, for example, you must needs comprehend that the bigger market, or “unreached”, remains untapped. And, Sprint’s recent commitment to purchase over thirty million (30m) iPhones is only a sliver of what Apple is forecasting in terms of growing their market, as opposed to everyone else’s mere perspective of a market. There is nuance at work here, Nicholas, that you might consider being open-minded to.

Referring to me as an “Apple fanboy” is not playful or in-line with teasing. It’s disrespectful. I am an Apple shareholder, and I firmly believe in the companies operating philosophy and the worthiness of it’s products, which happen to reflect positively in it’s growing value by share price.

I don’t use “hate speech”. I relay facts, and information a I see it. I offer insight and perspective most people don’t have, or have access to. This unique ability is why blogging, for example, is interesting to, and for, me.

You can say things like Apples mobile device “…market growth is anemic”. But, you can’t say that for it’s share price, nor it’s profound innovation. And, for discerning people that make more world-changing decisions, that remains a vital baring-point. And, the bottom-line remains that Apple has never tried to serve “everyone” like Google might desire. Apple only wants to serve a very sophisticated market. That has long been part of it’s appeal and why the wealthy and influential choose Apple products over what everyone else can afford. If, as you state, Apple products are “stale, even passe”, why is there such an insatiable demand for them globally and outside of the markets (again Sprint and China as a small example) that your information tables are cherry-picked around. Oh… I do my research. But, I have to question whether you actually understand the information you have. The sophomore only see’s what he is looking for, eh. I’ve tried to teach you to look beyond what you read on the internet. But, only you can decide if you choose to follow that guidance, or not.

Yes… Your Nexus One had “Siri-like” capabilities. But, a dumb phone can make calls just like a Nexus One, right? Being “Siri-like” is not the same as being on-par with Siri, eh.

You say Apple will “…have to figure out some way of making their smartphone device sexy again”. But, I question your qualifications as a marketing thought leader.

I think it’s great that you would choose to use a Mac to run Windows. It’s no surprise that an Apple product makes a poor Operating System like Windows that was forged in piracy, run better. I both love and value irony.

You say: 

“It always will, and as we both know, it is hard to compete with 125+ bad ass devices, when you only have 5 of your own to offer.”

I love that! It puts all of my thinking and efforts around blogging about apple and Google right into context and perspective. Under your logic it takes 125+ Google(y) products to compete with five of Apple’s. And yet, even with all that effort, Google, as large a company as it is as defined by head-count, capital expenditure, etc., can’t match Apple’s value by share or brand (I know you read the news and stories about Apple now being the most valuable brand on the planet). I think that says a lot about market-share, or what might be vitally important under best-practices, Nicholas. There is nothing “silly” about any of that.

brian patrick cork

– sent from my iPhone 4.8″

this began (well… this most recent exchange, any way) with:

On Oct 5, 2011, at 4:48 PM, nicholas taylor johnson wrote:

Hey Brian – Hope all is well.

I was emailed your blog post today by a former friend of ours, and I must say, I couldn’t help but chuckle and reminisce about the old days debating Apple v Google.  Did you forget to do your research again??  That next to the last paragraph – “almost entirely new and very much upgraded”?!?!?!?  No reputable hardware review, other than Apple’s own review of their hardware, would classify this as “almost entirely new and very much upgraded”!  That’s silly!  (SIRI – similar service on Android for over a year [and the AppStore for over year, as well], 8MP – multiple Android devices have had this for a while, dual core processor – several Android devices have this, as well).  Oh, okay, I see the “upgraded” point – you mean over the iPhone 4, which is 12 months behind Android devices in terms of functionality, whereas the 4S is only about 6 months behind Android.  Got it!  lol

And, I see you’ve resorted to name calling us Android-toters as “losers”.  I remember the days when you used logic instead of rhetoric!!

I’m only teasing, but it is funny to see how your posts regarding Apple v Google have changed over time.  I went back and read some of the old ones, and your tone is totally different.  Like a lot of Apple fanboys, I’m sure you’re seeing the end of an era on the horizon, so I don’t blame you for pulling out the hate speech.  With such anemic (nearly non-existent, really) market share growth in a year and half, you have to wonder how soon it will be before Android starts taking bigger and bigger bites out of Apple’s market share, as they’ve done to RIM, Microsoft, Palm and Symbian.  Here are a couple tables that show what I mean – from March 2010: http://goo.gl/fVbT and from October 2011: http://goo.gl/SLpPx.  A 36% increase for Android and a 2% increase for Apple.  The numbers don’t lie.  Apple is stale, passe even.  And, why not?, when you consistently release smartphone technology that Androids have already had for six months or more, eventually the sheeple will revolt.  Hell, my Nexus ONE had Siri-like capabilities.

That said, I continue to love my iMac and my MacBook (despite the fact that all I do is run Windows inside of my Mac, it does look pretty), but in order for their smartphone to stay near the top, they’ll have to figure out some way of making their smartphone device sexy again.  In the end, though, freedom of choice wins.  It always will, and as we both know, it is hard to compete with 125+ bad ass devices, when you only have 5 of your own to offer.  Oh, sorry for using the number 5 there, I know that is a touchy subject with the Apple evangelists – that number probably evokes thoughts of disappointment.

And, DON’T come back saying, “well, look at Apple stock, they’re obviously doing something right”, or some such nonsense.  lol  My beef isn’t with their other devices – I love their computers and tablets.  I’m only talking about smartphones here.  They’re fading, and fast.

Cheers,

nicholas taylor johnson

gPhone – ###.###.###

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life and Stuff with perspective

October7

today marks an interesting perspective driven milestone for myself and role on this planet.

I’m forty nine years away from being one hundred years old.

yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of my earthly Father’s suicide, whom I idolized because he was a great Dad, loving husband, by example, and leader of men (I’m still left with the question: “why didn’t he call me?”).

two days ago I lost a pretty good friend that helped me form a view of life, and philosophy in business. I fielded phone calls from local papers for “unique quotes”. in a way, that helped make feel a little better, about Steve.

my business is solid; and, I make a positive difference in people’s lives, and daily. I know it; so do they. that feels good. relevant.

so… today I’m hanging out with Joanne thinking, if I died today do I want to be in business meetings or be with her? Happy Friday everyone. I love you all. Lift me up.

with all that, I’m listening to: All I Do Is Win, by T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dog and Rick Ross (never mind the bits about making money – that just comes with using my Super Powers for good). also, Dear Mr. President by 4 Non Blondes, just because it’s completely different from All I Do Is Win – and, that is it’s own perspective. and, Knockin’ on Heavens Door, the Bob Dylan version, mind you. it’s not commonly known that Dylan was a favorite of Steve’s (and, my Dad).go find it on iTunes. you’ll be better for the effort. Do it!

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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the distortion field of social media and marketing and it’s impact on networking

September16

I’m trying something new today by provocatively dropping a bon mot from the end of the post here at the beginning.

“wouldn’t it be interesting if future history books tell us that we ultimately discovered that “social platforms” were implemented by Al Qaeda as Weapons of Mass Destruction?”

meanwhile, the title of this blog post reads like a thesis.

it was fun to come up with. but, it’s as, intentionally, misleading as todays belief systems around the invocative buzz words laced through it.

mine is likely the voice of reason.

that belief fuels a passion that realizes itself on platforms that make this blog, ironically, in light of the message behind this post, an example.

I understand that my voice, and the vision and images it incites creates drives, are not always, often popular. but, I know they are relevant. and, so do you.

but, like half the audience that attempts to watch Phineas and Ferb (sheer genius, literally), many people might not get it; but, probably because of the self-reflective pain required in being part of unpopular change.

I am not, necessarily, talking about revolution, here. but, certainly an evolution of thought.

so… you’ll be reading and hearing my views as they emerge around all things related to social networking and marketing. for example, the way I see it, the “networking” and “marketing” elements are blending, merging, morphing, and losing their distinctiveness, and usefulness.

I’ll also assign the phrase: “easy button” to help set the stage, and signal ahead of my thinking.

setting the stage…

a wealthy investor that finds themselves sitting on a Board of a company they’ve funded, and frustrated by the activity of it’s (questionable) leadership has placed the young CEO in my hands for coaching. when I first met the fellow I asked him:

“what type of leader would you describe yourself as?”

he managed to look up from his Android device long enough to take about two breaths and reply with:

“I spend at least three hours a day on Facebook and Twitter being a thought leader. I am an expert at social media and I want to speak publicly about content.”

I kept a straight face and asked him if he understood the word “sophomoric”, and also the difference between thought leadership and “subject matter expert”. we’ll be discussing principles of “time management” and revenues, to be sure.

more on that exchange, and others like it, later. this is an opportunity to teach, after all. and, although this example sets the stage nicely, in my opinion, let’s turn the tide of discourse towards the conflicting notions around social media and networking in our collective favor.

while more and more, and more, decision-makers are coming to the belief that information is best served to them and directions to others offers via mobility platforms, they are falling prey to an age-old trap thinking that: “if it’s in writing, it must be true”, and that includes the internet in its various forms. social networking, and the media and content in-and-around it like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter are quickly becoming more part of the problem, and less so the solution.

think, “easy button”.

add, Laws of Natural Selection.

now ponder how much time you spend on those exampled services. and, what do you actually mine from them? the average Twitter follows over one hundred other Twitters. let’s be candid. we all believe followers follow just to get other people to follow them.

*dramatic point opportunity*

so, the mental picture is a bunch of rabbits hopping around trying to hump one another without reason other than to make a mess of something uncertain.

however, it’s doubtful they actually read them all, and engage the messaging or messenger. if they are, they are surrendering productivity (time management), elsewhere. hell… Al Gore does not even craft his own Tweets. what does that tell you? on Linkedin, you’ve stopped engaging the messaging on the Home page because it’s always the same people lobbing useless information at everyone else because they are bored, unemployed, or both (sometimes you get topics about bunnies). I’m possibly part of the problem in that respect because my staff has my messages linked to my blog. so, the process is automated.

so… it’s all becoming background noise at best, and likely a distraction under growing circumstance.

that means it’s becoming less of a tool, providing a “tool” is defined as:

“Anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose: 

Education is a tool for success.”

…which it is.

I had another CEO gleefully advise me he was recruiting his whole new management and sales teams using Linkedin. I asked him how that was going. he used a lot of words, but the import was that he was spending most of his day “…communicating with people in his network”, and going over resumes.

sales are off, and the company is losing money. but, he is apparently having fun on his investors dime – oh, and he is a member of Vistage.

you ignore most of the Tweets you subscribe to, disregard the messages you receive on Linkedin, even though they are form people you are connected to (although you probably don’t really know them), and your neighbors are getting divorced because the wife is “chatting” with her High School sweetheart. but, at least she is being “social”, so maybe the movement is not a total loss (at least for Mark Zuckerberg, anyway). NOTE: have you noticed that most photographs have him staring soullessly into the camera?

wouldn’t it be interesting if future history books tell us that we ultimately discovered that “social platforms” were implemented by Al Qaeda as Weapons of Mass Destruction?

by the way… I used that bon mot early as part of my Twitter feed to catch your attention, and it worked, for me.

more later.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork 

 

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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