Shelley Cowan logo

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.  ..

read more


Another Polar Vortex? Time to reread The Tempest.


Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 by Shelley Cowan

It’s been quite a year: Record cold, snow and ice throughout the eastern U.S. California faces catastrophic drought; southern England was battered by wind and rain; volcanoes devastated Indonesia. And high above the earth, clear air turbulence played havoc with jet planes.  ..

read more


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.  ..

read more


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. ..

read more