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The longstanding -and I mean longstanding- debate over whether or not the stock market is “efficient” or “right” always strikes me as odd and, ironically, highly inefficient. Who would have thought that your high-school science teacher taught you everything you need to know to resolve it, once and for all?

The market is a machine. Machines are never 100% efficient.

A machine is just a system of moving parts. No machine -biological, mechanical, financial or otherwise- is 100% efficient. …


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The dietary supplement industry needs a paradigm shift. Here’s how your brand can lead it.

Borne out of an obsession with building muscle, my career in the dietary supplement industry began in the early 1990s. (For a trip down memory lane read this.) I was naive and idealistic, yet I managed to work my way up to become one of the top brand and product development consultants thanks to an insatiable hunger for knowledge and by taking on every challenge I possibly could.

While working with over 30 companies, I learned how to add value to almost every facet of the business: brand and product ideation and positioning, product formulation, marketing, creative direction, copywriting, manufacturing, scientific studies, legal, regulatory, sales, distribution and more. I enjoyed some outsized successes, made plenty of mistakes and developed a unique ability to see opportunity — so-called “white space” — that others missed. …


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NOTE: For the purposes of this article, we’ll define misinformation as false or inaccurate information and lying as intentionally sharing misinformation while implying otherwise. In other words, if you’re misinforming someone and you know it, you’re a liar. (Sounds harsh, I know.)

Lying is easy. The truth is hard.

Lying is considered a lazy act, and for good reason. Lies aren’t bound by reality or facts. When you’re lying, you’ve got options — lots of them. Lies are also messier and less organized than the truth. All of which explains why lying takes less energy, at least in the short term.

In contrast, because the truth is bound by reality, it can only be certain things, a.k.a. “the facts.” Think of a safe. There’s only one combination of numbers that will unlock it and countless combinations that won’t. …


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After spending decades in branding and product development, I started tweeting in May and writing on Medium not long after in an effort to share my thoughts with the world. Because my audience on both platforms is still very small, a lot of my ideas go sight unseen. They fall into the Twitter “abyss.” I’ve retrieved a collection of them and assembled it here so they can enjoy new life.

If you like, please clap and share. :)

More to come.

Tribalism

You can take the man out of the tribe but you can’t take the tribe out of the man.

Tribalism is in our DNA. …


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That’s my lovely wife, Myra. I proof-read all of my Medium articles to her. (Captive audience. :))

Who is this article for?

Answer: Anyone who wants some no-nonsense tips that will make managing their body weight — specifically, body fat — easier.

A Bit About Me

My obsession with understanding how diet and exercise affect the body began when I was 16. A few years later, I was reading scientific studies, corresponding with scientists around the world and writing for fitness magazines. Little did I know it would lead to a career in the sports nutrition industry. Beginning in the early 1990s, I climbed my way up to become one of the top brand and product development consultants. …


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We need to drop “Climate Change.”

First things first. Words matter. They grease the wheels for action, for better and for worse. That’s why we should replace “climate change” with “climate crisis.” “Change” is far too passive and innocuous a term under the circumstances. Use what I call the “ACE” rule of messaging: Be accurate, concise and evocative.

We need to redefine “Profitability.”

Next, we need to drop the requirement that green technologies be “profitable” in the myopic financial sense of the word. Otherwise, we may never scale solutions to the climate crisis fast enough. Moving forward, the definition of profitability should be telescopically expanded; e.g., …


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Immediately following the news breaking about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and, subsequently, those of Moderna and AstraZeneca, I saw a lot of what I would call “uncautious optimism.” Below are 5 issues that I think many people may have overlooked.

  1. We don’t know how long they’ll protect us from Covid for. Up to 6 months of protection? Up to a year? Longer? Keep in mind that you can never really know for certain when a vaccine has worn off other than by testing positive for whatever illness it’s supposed to protect you from. …


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Why do civilizations collapse? Just ask the universe.

Over the years, I’ve come across numerous efforts to explain civilizational collapse. IMO, they overlook an explanation that’s as old as the universe and as inevitable as its directionality. Indeed, it’s part and parcel of the latter.

Essentially, it’s the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Ultimately, everything falls apart.

Writ large, the 2nd law of thermodynamics essentially tell us that the universe doesn’t like complexity. As your high-school physics teacher might have put it, all things proceed toward a state of maximum entropy, a.k.a. randomness and disorder. Or, more simply, everything ultimately falls apart.

The macromolecules (e.g. proteins) inside our cells degrade, paint peels off the wall, a grandfather clock winds down, and the social and physical infrastructures of our civilizations, from our languages to our financial systems to the internet to our roadways, decay. …


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I try to follow this Pythagoras quote: “Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.”

So here’s my few on this topic.

I think most of us would agree that Black Americans have endured horrific treatment in this country, going a long ways back. Black Americans were singled out. To say the least.

I think most of us would also agree that any reparation for the treatment of Black Americans should single them out. To say the least.

IMO, part of the reparations should be to cancel student debt for Black Americans. This will help us close the black-white wealth gap faster.

Bonus: Everyone wins. Indeed, the wealthier we all are, the wealthier all of us can become.


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There’s no such thing as a “no-stand” brand.

Everyone has a political leaning. (To be “apolitical” is a leaning.)

Every message has an agenda. (Without one, there’d be nothing to shape or mold it.)

And every brand takes a stand, whether it does so actively or passively.

To put it in Colin Kaepernick terms, if you decide not to kneel while others do so, then you’re taking a stand, literally and figuratively. Which is to say, there’s no such thing as a “no-stand” (or “standless”) brand.

The world needs your brand to take an active stand.

When it comes to solving the big problems like the climate crisis, racism, wealth inequality and pandemics, passive stands won’t cut it, whether it’s at the level of the individual, nation or brand. …

About

Rob Thoburn

Brand & Product Development Consultant. Creator of Multi-Million-Dollar Pre-Workout Drink Mix. Lover of Learning.

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