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Connecting the dots.

Essays about how we communicate and why it matters.

Cultural Context and The Rise of Instant Brands


Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by Shelley Cowan

Baby Boomers first experienced the promise of instant delivery in the 60s, when Polaroid introduced its Swinger to the mass market. The notion of instant expanded from there, as one professional sport after another adopted instant replay to settle disputes and camera manufacturers offered digital images in place of film.  ..

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Leaving the Catbird's Seat


Posted on Friday, October 17, 2014 by Shelley Cowan

After 20 years of working with presidents, C-everything and a lot of other smart people, I began to wonder if I’d learned anything. So last year I stopped working as a consultant and started working in the family business.  ..

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Less Tech


Posted on Sunday, July 14, 2013 by Shelley Cowan

The three days of northern Michigan wet and chill were beautiful, but I spent most of them inside. Once the sun came out – which happened just after I posted my ode to technology – I didn’t think about my gadgets at all.  ..

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Technology on Vacation


Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 by Shelley Cowan

Our friends down the Peninsula reminded us that we left “some sort of speaker” at their Little Cottage last year. They thought we might want to take it to the cottage we’re renting this month.  ..

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Show Me Your Thinking


Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2013 by Shelley Cowan

1814. The United States is more than two years into a war we can’t afford. And can’t afford to lose. Albert Gallatin has left his post as Secretary of the Treasury to help John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay and a few other diplomats negotiate a peace treaty with the British. Everyone knows that peace is inevitable and will happen soon. Still, each side stalls, reengages and stalls - depending on who won the latest skirmish across the Atlantic and how the European powers seem to be realigning, now that they’ve driven Napoleon into exile. At least for now.  ..

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Speed to Market


Posted on Sunday, November 11, 2012 by Shelley Cowan

Speed to Market requires an idea that’s been vetted and an organization that is set up to deliver. The best companies employ a full regimen of tools and processes to make it happen – best practices for generating ideas, assessing competition, estimating sales, testing messages and managing the work, just to name a few. ..

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Gen Y? Explain Why.


Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 by Shelley Cowan

Gen Yers only read the subject line of an email. That is, if they read an email at all. ..

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A guy walks into a bar


Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2012 by Shelley Cowan

When we sat down, two men at the bar were talking about Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the Three-Fifths Compromise that made it possible for the U.S. Constitution to become ratified. I know this because I was right next to them and they were very loud. ..

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