My cultural advisory board

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For the past 4 years, I’ve branded my consulting services mobile/social as CRUCES and have consistently played with the idea of starting my own business with employees, an office, lunch breaks and overpriced chairs. I’ve also played with the idea of creating an advisory board and this is where the fun begins. Business today is about niches, which you can think of as cultures. Cultures have their own specialized language. People in that culture have a passion for the same thing(s). For marketers, these things can be thought of as social objects; any reason for two people to be talking. So . . . there are cultures (niches) around going to concerts, riding Ducati motorcycles, snowboarding, surfing, SCUBA diving, international travel and Apple’s products. The key to getting to a culture is social objects.

I started thinking about creating a cultural dream team. A group of people that I have a profound respect for. A team with diverse perspectives that I could tap into to help businesses “do the right thing” when it came to their customers. The group listed below has a rare mix of wisdom, perspective, passion, transparency and they just plain kick ass. And now for the board.

Iggy Pop, Chairman of the Board – For those of you unfamiliar with Iggy, he’s the Godfather of Punk Rock. (Image to the right.) He’s spent many years suffering with self inflicted pain from poor decisions (mainly drug addiction) and because of these numerous mistakes, which make  you wiser if they don’t kill you, he’s my selection for chairman of the board. That and his agression. He’s also made some amazing music. If you’re a fan of Behind the Music, you can go to Youtube and they have Iggy’s story in 3 sections.

Anthony Bourdain, Director – I’ve posted a couple of times about Mr. Bourdain and my affinity for his show, No Reservations. For those of you that haven’t watched the show (you really should) @bourdain goes out of his way to find the food that fuels the cultures he visits. What I’ve enjoyed most about the show is watching a self-described snarky bastard evolve into a seemingly decent human being. A real transformation. He’s also an established author and I’d argue that his real skill lies here. I would look to him for his perspective of a craftsman when it comes to business. He’s not a chef with Michelin stars.

Henry Rollins, DirectorHenry Rollins is the former lead singer of the punk band, Black Flag and is currently known for his spoken word performances. (No, I wasn’t into punk when I was young. You didn’t get that in suburban Denver. You got mullets, Camaros and Van Halen!) Mr. Rollins is a painfully transparent individual and is aware of numerous cultures due to his extensive, almost obsessive, travel. He is also an established writer; primarily poetry and I’d like to have him on my board due to his apparent ability to see through situations for what they really are.

Shepard Fairey, Director – I’ve been a fan of Shepard Fairey for many years and appreciate his ability to convey a message through art. Stylistically, his artwork touches on the Soviet era propaganda and he, more than anyone understands what it means to create finished product. Sometimes without legal consent!

Dhani Jones, Director@dhanijones also has a show on The Travel Channel called Dhani Tackles the Globe. (Yep. I like some of the shows on the Travel Channel, but don’t spend much time in front of the TV. I’m apart of TV’s declining demographic.) Jones experiences culture through the sports of that culture by training and then competing in that sport. He’s just written a book called The Sportsman and again, I believe he’d provide a unique perspective. (He also plays for the Cincinnati Bengals, but I’m not sure he’d want anyone to know that.)

Peter Lik, Director – I’ve posted about Peter Lik and his ability to capture the texture of landscape like no other. One of the things that makes a culture is the natural surroundings of that culture. The people of Peru are the way they are because of the landscape. Just as New Yorkers are. I believe that @peterlik would be able to add a unique perspective on any culture.

Lebbeus Woods, Director – One of the other key parts of culture is architecture. You want to know a niche/culture – look at what they’ve built; virtual or physical. One of my favorite theoretical architects is Lebbeus Woods and it would be great to have him on the board. His past focus on architecture as a political act didn’t really stick with me since I’m more focused on personal politics than macro politics, but his designs are agressive, organic and invasive. They’re amazing. I’d look to Mr. Woods to map out the uncharted political waters at a micro and macro level.

Now, I’m the first to acknowledge that this group could be considered somewhat less than in support of the corporate mentality and that’s the point. Business is entering a new (old) phase. It’s personal and it should be. More than anything, this group would be great to work with. It would be amazing to watch them work together. I’d have to film it!

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I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, biking, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive and/or surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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