Category Archives: Videos

Want Success? Don’t Make This Marketing Mistake!

Ultimately, the two basic messages you can convey in your marketing is either “avoid this” (don’t get this disease, don’t get arrested, don’t make this mistake, etc.) or “seek that” (more money, more dates, more clients, more notoriety, etc.). Avoiding something (“fear”) is a great short-term message, but studies show it doesn’t convert people into long-term behavioral changes. However, getting more of something isn’t a great short-term motivator. Is there a way of crafting your marketing message to span both the “avoid” and “more” messages?

This video showcases an idea of how to get people to not go faster than the speed limit – using a speed camera and a lottery system. The camera takes pictures of cars that are speeding (“avoid this”) and issues tickets through the normal police system. The camera also takes pictures of cars that aren’t speeding (“seek this”), creating a lottery, with the winner sharing in the fines that the speeders had to pay. Whether you like the specific solution to the speeding problem or not, the message beautifully incorporates both “avoid” and “seek”.

Making an avoid+seek message isn’t easy. We’re naturally wired for one of these responses, so it’s hard to think of what motivates others.

Let’s take another example – fitness. We all know we should exercise more, yet few people make the effort to make time. Why? In general, exercise is seen as “work” and it feels good only after you’re done or have been doing it awhile (“a runner’s high”).  The seek messages “look good” or “feel better about yourself” aren’t sufficient to motivate most people.  The avoid message “don’t get heart disease” or “don’t get fat” create a lot of New Year’s resolutions, but low follow-through. One way to create an avoid+seek message would be to show a group of happy/fit people surrounding a sick/unfit person and ask the question, “Who do you look like?”. It allows the person to see both sides of in/action and make their own choices.

What other ways can you combine avoid+seek into your marketing message?

Business With Passion: 11 Cartoonists


Episode theme: 11 people who make a living drawing cartoons were interviewed at the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center Sketch-a-Thon.

Brent Anderson’s professional career began in 1979. Ka-zar the Savage, written by Bruce Jones, was his first regular monthly series. The X-Men graphic novel “God Loves, Man Kills” followed. (This story inspired the second X-men movie.) Since then he has created or co-created an impressive list of notable series, including the innovative cinematic comic, Somerset Holmes, the heroic space-opera, Strikeforce Morituri, the award-winning look at superheroes Astro City, and the futuristic spy adventure Spinworld: The Spacing Dutchman. Visit his work online at: Brent Anderson

Alexis Fajardo is a student of the classics—whether Daffy Duck or Damocles—and has created a unique blend of the two in his all-ages, graphic novel series Kid Beowulf. Alexis has taught cartooning throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and currently resides in Santa Rosa, where, when not penning Kid Beowulf, he works for Peanuts at the Charles M. Schulz Studio. See his work online at: Kid Beowulf and Facebook. Contact him via email at:

Brian Fies is a writer and cartoonist whose widely acclaimed first graphic novel, Mom’s Cancer won the 2005 Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic (the first webcomic to win the award in this new category), among other awards and recognition. His second book, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?, was nominated for several Eisner and Harvey Awards, and won the American Astronautical Society’s 2009 Eugene M. Emme Award for Best Astronautical Literature for Young Adults. His work is online at The Fies Files.

Shaenon K. Garrity is a writer and cartoonist best known for her daily online comic strips Narbonic and Skin Horse. She has also written for Marvel Comics, The Comics Journal and She works as a manga editor for VIZ Media. Garrity lives in Berkeley with her husband, Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago. See her work online at Shaenon’s webiste and on Facebook. Contact her at:

Debbie Huey is the artist and writer of the all-ages comic book series, Bumperboy, which includes the Xeric Award winning book, “Bumperboy Loses His Marbles,” and “Bumperboy and the Loud, Loud Mountain,” which was named to Booklist’s Top Ten Graphic Novels for Youth in 2007. Her graphic novels and minicomics have captured the hearts of both kids and adults with their whimsical characters and clever plot lines. But her creativity doesn’t stop there. When she’s not writing, Debbie is creating new Bumperboy merchandise inspired by the stories, as well as handcrafting unique goods, such as needlefelted characters and collapsible purse hooks. You can find her online at: Bumperboy and Bumperfriend and on Facebook. Contact her at:

Greg Knight is a science fiction and fantasy illustrator that has specialized in concept art for film and game production.  A love for art, storytelling and collaboration had led Greg from an art education at The College of Arts and Crafts to working with companies such as LucasArts and ImageMovers Digital. Greg has contributed to short films, comics, book illustration and notable projects such as Star Wars: the Clone Wars, The Force Unleashed, A Christmas Carol and Mars Needs Moms. Greg is currently working on The Yellow Submarine and two animated shorts. To see more of Greg’s work, view his portfolio and Blog. Contact him at:

Paul Madonna produces two weekly strips, All Over Coffee in the San Francisco Chronicle and on, and Small Potatoes on, where he is also comics editor. Paul regularly travels internationally to draw and his work is shown in museums, galleries, restaurants and cafes, and is published in various book collections and publications, including his international newspaper coverage of the U.S. 2009 Presidential Inauguration. In 2007 the first collection of All Over Coffee was published by City Lights Books, and the second collection is scheduled for release March 2011. In 1994 Paul received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and that same year he was the first (ever!) Art Intern at MAD Magazine, for which he proudly received no money. Paul currently lives with his wife in San Francisco. Learn more about Paul’s work at his website and on Facebook

Thien Pham is an artist, cartoonist, print maker,and high school teacher living in the East bay. He has done several mini comics, has illustrated a weekly food review comic for the East Bay Express, and recently released his long graphic novel SUMO will be out this summer. Visit him online at His Fan Club and on Facebook

Lark Pien is a cartoonist and painter from the San Francisco Bay Area. Pien drew her first comic Stories from the Ward in 1997. She has since produced several titles a year, specializing in handmade mini-comics with silkscreened covers. Long Tail Kitty is her first full color, comic-formatted children’s book. Mr. Elephanter is her first traditional hardcover Children’s Book. Pien’s stories range from the cute and endearing to the horrific and ill-fated. See her work online: Portfolio and Blog and Photos

Dan Piraro’s Bizarro was first syndicated in 1985 and since then has built a steady and loyal following in the United States and Canada, as well as parts of Europe, Asia and South America. Bizarro has won an unprecedented three consecutive “Best Cartoon Panel of the Year” awards from the National Cartoonists Society, and in 2010, Piraro was given their highest award, “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.” Visit his work online at: Bizarro and on Facebook.

Frank Roberson has been drawing cartoons since he was a little kid and has always dreamed of producing a syndicated strip. He lives in Sacramento, CA with his teenager and a bloodhound named Gracie. Maximus is about a clumsy, fearless do-gooder who creates the costumed superhero exterior of Maximus to help keep his small suburban elementary school safe. Not from pop quizzes, tough grading teachers or bad cafeteria food but Kirby McKnuckles, the vicious school bully. Maximus uses crazy technology and gadgetry along with an 8-year old’s stamina and questionable coordination to keep students and the neighborhood Girl, Matilda K. Reilly safe. See his work online at: Maximus and on Facebook. To contact him:

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Business With Passion: Puppetry & Clowning


Episode theme: How performing with marionettes or as clowns can lead to a successful business.

The Fratello Marionettes have been showcasing the ancient art of marionettes to audiences around the world since 1989. Shows feature their intricately handcrafted marionettes, which range from one-foot to three-feet tall. Kevin Menegus began performing with puppets as a young boy, and since has gone one to study with famous puppeteers Tony Urbano, Bob Baker, Randall Metz and Lewis Mahlmann.  After discovering puppetry in high school, Fred C. Riley III has studied hand puppets with Yang Feng and then as resident puppeteer with Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts.

Website: Fratello Marionettes
Phone: (925) 984-3401

For the last 30 years, Jeff Raz has performed nationally and internationally with circuses and theaters including Cirque du Soleil, The Pickle Circus, Song Circus, Lincoln Center Theater, Vaudeville Nouveau, Dell’Arte Players, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Marin and S.F. Shakespeare Festivals, TheatreWorks and Marin Theater Company. He has written 11 plays, directed many others and is the founder and director of the Clown Conservatory, a program that has trained some of the top young clowns who are currently performing around the world.


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Business With Passion: The Inventors


Episode theme: People who earn a living licensing new products and technologies to corporations.

Howard Arneson has been issued over 45 patents. His best known patent was for the Pool Sweep, which launched the automatic swimming pool cleaning industry. Since then, he revolutionized offshore power-boating with the development of the Arneson Surface Drive, twice winning the Open Offshore World championships, and setting (in 1990) the still-unbeaten Mississippi River record (from New Orleans to St. Louis). At 90 years young, he continues improve his powerboat’s performance, a 46-foot Skater powered by a 4,500-horsepower helicopter engine, to over 170 m.p.h.

Website: Howard Arneson
Phone: (415) 485-0788

Joe Grand (aka Kingpin) is an electrical engineer, hardware hacker, and president of Grand Idea Studio, Inc., where he specializes in the invention, design, and licensing of consumer products, video game accessories, and modules for electronics hobbyists. He has also spent many years finding security flaws in hardware devices and educating engineers on how to increase security of their designs.

Website: Grand Idea Studio
Email: Contact Form

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Where Good Ideas Come From

Where Good Ideas Come From CoverSteven Johnson examines a wide number of inventions that have arisen over a large period of time and attempts to determine (where possible) how exactly did the invention arise. His findings show that good ideas seldom arose from the workbench of a solitary thinker/inventor but more likely from a person who actively networks with a wide variety of peers.

In short, first: actively look to solve a problem. You need to understand the domain of the problem, and attempt the simple solutions first.

Next, give your brain time to ruminate on the problem. During this phase, your brain is trying to match the problem to similar things that isn’t immediately obvious. Ideally, record all your thinking (withholding judgment from your thoughts). In the thinking are often the seeds for your solution.

Then, make sure to immerse yourself with other interesting people. Share your problem with them to get their different perspectives and spur on new observations for your problem. Often, your problem has already been solved in some way in a different domain. By exposing yourself to diverse peers, you get more brains seeing your problem’s similarities.

The book ends with these wise words:

“…Go for a walk, cultivate hunches, write everything down, but keep your folder messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle, reinvent. Build a tangled bank.”

Bonus: Steven Johnson’s TED presentation:

Second bonus: Steven Johnson’s presentation as an animated movie:

Aside: This book is a great companion to the book The Power Of Pull (John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison).

John Cleese: The Importance of Creativity

In 2008, John Cleese gave a keynote at the Creativity World Forum. Here are a summary of his points:

  • Sleeping on a problem “works”.
  • Your unconscious keeps working on problems even after you’ve completed the task.
  • Avoid interruptions during creative thinking. Interruptions cause you to lose track of thoughts which take the slower creative mind a lot of time to regain.
  • Get in the mood to be creative. Make an oasis from normal life.
  • Most people who have no idea of what they’re doing, have absolutely no idea that they have no idea what they’re doing.” Blind spots prevent us from improving ourselves.

Business With Passion: Find, Grow, and Magnify

Part 1

Part 2


Episode theme: People who help others to find, grow, and magnify their passionate businesses.

Nancy Anderson is a career and life consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area and the author of the best selling career guide, Work with Passion, How To Do What You Love For a Living, based on her own and her clients’ experiences. In the years following publication, Nancy continued to refine the intuitive, practical approach that helps her clients to create the life they were born to live.

Website: Work With Passion

Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster’s (SMBC) mission is to create high value jobs in the North Bay by enabling and accelerating the success of technology startups within a dynamic sustainable and synergistic environment. They serve fledgling companies that have identified innovative solutions to a significant problem or under-served market opportunity, helping them succeed in developing, marketing and selling a unique, proprietary product or service. SMBC provides business expertise through its mentor program, in addition to hosting networking events, educational events, access to capital, and business services (legal, accounting, and business development). Their state-of-the-art facility offers plug-and-play office space, communications and support infrastructure at attractive rates. The SMBC community is an enthusiastic, collaborative and supportive environment.

Website: Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster
Address: 1300 Valley House Drive, Suite 100 / Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone: (707) 794-1240
Email: Michael Newell, Executive Director

John Hagel III is co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation, which conducts original research for new corporate growth. John has nearly 30 years’ experience as a management consultant, author, speaker, and entrepreneur and has helped companies improve their performance by effectively applying information technology to reshape business strategies. He recently co-authored the book The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things In Motion.

Website: Center for the Edge (Deloitte LLP)
Address: 225 West Santa Clara Street / San Jose, CA 95113-2303
Phone: (408) 704-4000
Email: John Hagel III

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Business With Passion: The Music Biz


Episode theme: People whose musical success enhances the lives of everyone that hear it.

For many years, Kenny White was a fixture in the NY studio scene, writing and producing literally hundreds of commercials for TV and radio. In this capacity, he worked with artists like Gladys Knight, Linda Ronstadt, Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Skaggs, Kim Carnes, Felix Cavaliere, Dobie Gray and Aaron Neville. After being hailed by reviewers from the NY Times to the SF Chronicle for his thrilling and unique piano playing, White chose to devote himself to making his first album and subsequently, “hitting the road.” Since 2001, he has released six albums and toured worldwide.

Website: Kenny White

Marco d’Ambrosio has scored numerous award winning films, documentaries, and live theatre projects. Marco is also responsible for creating much of the dynamic sound and music heard in the acclaimed Lucasfilm THX trailers.  In 2005, he was one of six accomplished composers awarded a fellowship from the Sundance Institute.

Address: 701 De Long Avenue / Suite D / Novato, CA 94945
Phone: (415) 898-3403
Email: Marco d’Ambrosio

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Business With Passion: Feeding The Community


Episode theme: People whose businesses help feed the local community.

Andrew Brait is one of 4 partners of Full Belly Farm, a highly diversified 300 acre organic farm in the Capay Valley. Prior to arriving at Full Belly Farm in 1990, Andrew came from Vermont where he had worked for 5 yrs on an organic farm. As a first generation farmer, he comes to agriculture with an appreciation for redefining the roles of stewardship, production and marketing. With a background in education, environmentalism and small business, Andrew believes successful farming must look at a “triple bottom line” – ensuring fiscal solvency, ecological sustainability, and social profit. Andrew and his wife Anna live in a quieter corner of a very busy farm with their two sons, Ellis and Jonas.

Website: Full Belly Farm
Address: End of County Road 43 / Guinda, CA 95637
Phone: 530-796-2214

Carola Detrick, inspired by volunteering for Project Open Hand (a non-profit that delivers meals &  groceries to people living with HIV/AIDS) in 1993 started the non-profit organization Meals of Marin in her home kitchen. Since then, she and her staff of volunteers have cooked for and home-delivered over 900,000 appetizing, healthy, home-cooked meals to people with life threatening illnesses living in Marin County, California.

Phone: (415) 246-8024

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Business With Passion: The Family Business


Episode theme: People whose businesses are a family tradition.

Loren Poncia‘s family has lived and farmed on the same ranch site in Tomales, California since 1902, when his great-grandfather Angelo, first immigrated to the United States and started working there.  His family-owned Stemple Creek Ranch raises 100% Angus beef and lamb.  Their animals eat organic clover and grass and are never subjected to artificial hormones, growth promotants, or antibiotics. Stemple Creek Ranch is environmentally conscious and values biodiversity in their pastures and riparian areas. They strive to work with mother nature to keep the land abundant and the animals healthy and happy.

Website: Stemple Creek Ranch
Address: P.O. Box 85 Tomales, CA 94971
Phone: (415) 883-8253
Email: Loren Poncia

Tripp Carpenter runs Espenet Furniture (in Bolinas, CA). He has worked with wood since he was six years old. His father, Art Carpenter (the creator of West Coast style of sculptural furniture), passed on his self-taught knowledge to his son. In addition to dreaming up his own functional and artistic woodworking pieces, Tripp continues to produce editions of his father’s famous designs, including the “Wishbone Chair”.

Website: Espenet Furniture
Address: 1100 Olema-Bolinas Road / Bolinas, CA / 94942
Phone: (415) 868-1542
Email: Tripp Carpenter

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