It’s not as iconic, big, or as juicy as Shoe Dog, but Authentic: A Memoir of Vans by Paul Van Doren is a straightforward, if not understated, perspective on business success. Just like the shoes themselves. I enjoyed this quick read and threw it in the growing pile of inspiring American success stories.
Rating: ★★★☆☆. These were some of my favorite passages:
- Hard work, honesty, and caring for people are what yield success. The beauty lies in simplicity, so don’t overcomplicate things.
- My belief is that you can always teach people how to do things. What you cannot teach people is how to understand other people.
- My experiment proved that we did indeed have a serious quality control problem: the people in charge of quality control had no idea what they were looking at.
- When I started interviewing people for jobs with us, the first thing I would do after someone handed me his or her résumé was toss it in the trash. They would be horrified, of course, and get nervous, but when I proceeded to ask questions and have them tell me about themselves in their own words, they relaxed. How else could I find out who they really were?
- We can all recognize that we need one another. I said it at the outset of this book, and I’ll say it again: no one gets anywhere alone.
- Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
The story first published to blakesnow.com in the fall of 2012
With the help of two babysitting grandmas, a good job, and lots of decisiveness, Lindsey and I vacationed in Paris this year for her birthday. It was our first time to Yurp. (And I thought Boston was old!)
Travel bragging aside, I learned several things on the trip, including a few reoccurring generalizations. They are as follows: Continue reading…
I admire Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Both are big thinkers and deserve to be imitated by any who hope to follow their success.
But unless you’re already a celebrity (or otherwise top 10) executive, you probably shouldn’t follow their tacky example of wearing the same casual uniform everyday. Here’s why: Continue reading…
Bonus points to Russ for saying “scuzzed out.” And I love how tiny his head looks when he walks onto the street in new looks.
If you like learning about things like shoulder stripes, face guard colors, and all things football fashion, this is a must-read. There’s even a little trivia. Case in point: of the 120 top divisional schools, only two teams wear white at home: LSU and Georgia Tech (Go, Jackets!).
Robert Bradford/USA Soccer Stud
NEW YORK—When you picture Brazil at the World Cup, you expect them in yellow. When you envision Italy, you know they’ll be wearing royal blue. England wears red. Argentina wears baby blue stripes. And Holland dons solid orange.
The United States? They don’t have a signature look, something U.S. Soccer and Nike are hoping to change with the release of new home and away “sash” jerseys. Yes, they look like something a beauty pageant contestant might wear. But there’s a meaningful reason behind the diagonal stripe.
If these ominous clouds clear up, I’m scheduled to play my first game of old man’s baseball tonight. I play right field for the 26 and older Cubs.
Last year, our team made the switch to pinstripes, identical to the ones you see an angry Lou Piniella wearing above. I hate pinstripes. Their outdated. And they make you look like a husky douche. Two years ago, we wore gray pants and blue tops. I wish we still did.
Can I get a witness?
See all: Baseball-related posts
After seven long years, I have finally retired spiky (aka disheveled) hair, some three to four years since it went out of style. In recent years, I would periodically rock the faux hawk for fun, but my decade mainstay was usually spiky — until now.
Before the spike, it was an outdated Caesar cut. Before that it was a naturally curly shag and sometimes Afro cut while in high school. Before that it was a bowl cut in middle school. And before that it was a clean-cut part in elementary school — no funny business.
I’m not sure what to call my new do, but I’ve started “swirling” it from my non-parted side to my parted side, thereby disguising any part whatsoever. I guess you could technically call it a “Reverse Cowlick.” Some hipsters I see when traveling to San Francisco or New York display a variation of this cut, but much more delicately than me.
Whatever it is, I’m happy to be spike free. It was time.
“That not look good, daddy,” my clever, almost 3-year old girl said in broken but piercing English on Monday, upon seeing my newly purchased white leather belt around my waist. “That looks better,” she assured me, after I switched to a brown belt.
My confidence in fashion judgment is at an all time low right now. To make matters worse, Sadie told me I was “stinky” over the weekend. Great — out of style and stinky. Just what I need.
In speaking with a 14 year-old boy at church a few weeks back, this was the reply given when I asked how he was doing:
My mom grounded me because I came home past my curfew last week. It sucks — she took away my PS2 and all my girl jeans.
The grounding and PS2 parts I can relate to. I was a boy not long ago (and still am to an extent). But the confiscated girl jeans as punishment? I just don’t get it, even if that’s what budding hipsters are wearing now.
Blake, I’d like you to meet Behind The Times. Behind The Times, say hello to Blake.