The Hub Cool News

Boxing Diva

Keisher McLeod-Wells may be "New York’s best hope of hatching a crossover female boxing star," reports Alex Williams in the New York Times (3/24/11). With four amateur titles already under her belt, and a 4-1 pro record, Keisher (aka "Fire") isn’t a likely pug. Indeed, she "seems better suited for the tents of the Tuileries than the ring at Madison Square Garden." She’s "a fighter who will teeter into Gleason’s on Prada platform heels, wearing a Tony Burch top and Bulgari eyeglasses that she converted from sunglasses."

But Lou DiBella, a boxing promoter, thinks Keisher is "the total package." As he explains, "Keisher is a pretty girl, she’s very bright, personable, she’s well known in the boxing family in New York, and she’s a married lady with a normal, stable life … And she can fight." Keisher suggests that her looks and her soft-spoken ways give her an edge. "There are many talented female boxers, but a lot of times, you need a gimmick," she says. "The route that I chose is being fashionable and colorful."

Originally hoping to be an actress and model, Keisher discovered boxing after being turned down for a part in Terminator 3 because she wasn’t sufficiently muscular. She "immediately fell in love with the training," especially because it involved jump rope. However, even if she wins a title, Keisher doesn’t expect to make a lot of money like the men do, but she says that’s not the point, because, she says, it’s not about testosterone. "With men, it’s all slugging and no technique," she says. "They get hit, go wild and lose control. Women, we’re kind of like pop, pow, pow, pow … We do want to be pretty and feminine, after all … especially me."

Prettier Pits

Unilever is out with a new deodorant it says makes women’s underarms more attractive, reports Ellen Byron in the Wall Street Journal (3/30/11). Dove Ultimate Go Sleeveless claims "its formula of specialized moisturizers will give women better looking underarms in five days." The concept is based on a Unilever survey "that found 93 percent of women consider their armpits unattractive … One in three, meanwhile, said they feel more confident when their armpits are in good condition."

Sixty-two percent "said they suffer underarm skin problems such as breakouts, discoloration or itchiness … Nearly half said they have been embarrassed enough by the condition of their underarms that they have changed clothes to cover up." For Unilever, this spells opportunity to persuade shoppers to try something new. According to a survey by Mintel International, "50 percent of deodorant buyers reported using the same brand in the past 12 months, and 29 percent said they tried a new product but didn’t switch to it."

Of course, there’s no shortage of options: "Shoppers are typically choosing from among 300 distinct deodorant products spanning 25 brands or sub-brands, according to data from Spire LLC." Jonathan Asher of Perception Research Services says pointing out problems for which consumers didn’t previously seek solutions "be it dandruff, bad breath or body odor" can be effective. However, he adds: "Any marketer has to be careful of appearing to create a problem that doesn’t really exist." Dove’s ads feature actress Jessica Szohr, and the caption: "With Dove, Jessica’s ready to bare those beautiful underarms."

Fundamental Focus

Don’t let the basics get lost in the shuffle at retail. By Will Minton. Are you as transfixed as I am by the sequences of zeros and ones that make up today’s digital shopper-marketing space? I find myself salivating at the thought of soon being able to scan UPC codes with my smart phone to complete a purchase without ever having to wait in line.

However, many of these advances in shopper-facing retail technology have not exactly been transformative. In fact, new technologies were rated as having the least impact on the customer experience in a recent survey of industry executives by RetailWire and Dechert-Hampe. The editors’ interpretation was that these enhancements are not transforming the shopper experience as much as they are refashioning aspects that were already there … read >>

Little Sparrow

People loved Edith Piaf because they "knew that her drama wasn’t mere acting," writes James Gavin in a New York Times review of No Regrets by Carolyn Burke (3/25/11). When she "sang her theme, ‘Non Je Ne Regrette Rien,’ (known in English as ‘No Regrets’), Piaf defied anyone to pity her. She embraced life passionately, even at its cruelest; so long as she could use it in her songs, she felt, the suffering was worth it." And yet, "the image persists of a pathetic waif, too frail for this world."

In No Regrets, Carolyn centers on Edith Piaf’s strength as "the chanteuse who reached across social, linguistic and national divides to voice the emotions of ordinary people." Her own story certainly gave her credibility. Edith "grew up being cast aside: by her father, a traveling circus acrobat and contortionist; by her mother, a singer whose drug habit kept landing her in jail; and her grandmother, who ran a brothel where Edith was sent to live." After she almost went blind from a childhood illness, "her father took her to a cafe and had her sing for tips."

The lowlife types she sang to "felt like family to her, and she to them." From this she "began formulating a repertory of chansons realistes, a popular tradition of story-songs about the downtrodden and the desperate." Her career was guided by "several father figures who helped mold her into the Piaf of legend." The first of these, Louis Leplee, bought Edith her first black dress "and christened her Piaf (French slang for Sparrow). By the 1930’s, Piaf had "risen to the top of France’s musical elite," becoming famous as "a singer who lives her songs," before succumbing to a bleeding ulcer and liver damage in 1963, at age 47.

Novo Fado

Long dismissed as "hidebound and resistant to change," fado music is enjoying a revival via "an explosion of new voices, most of them female," reports Larry Rohter in the New York Times (3/25/11). Popularized in Portugal by the late Amalia Rodrigues over her 60-year-career, fado is "Portugal’s soulful, guitar-based national song style." It fell into disfavor after Portugal’s fascist regime fell in 1974, abandoned by a younger generation that "saw fado as a symbol of the country’s backwardness and repression."

There was also the legend of Amalia to live up to. "Any time a new singer appears, there’s always a comparison with Amalia, since she is the great goddess of fado," says Yolanda Soares, who is among the singers taking fado in new directions on her latest record, Metamorphosis. Ana Moura is also part of the "novo fado" movement, and catapulting "the genre into the 21st century, opening a space for bold experiments with repertory, instrumentation and ways of singing." For Ana, this includes a fado cover of a Rolling Stones song, No Expectations.

The genre actually dates back to the 1820s, "as the music of a port," explains fado singer Mariza, "a place where mixtures take place, with sailors bringing influences" from around the world. Its essence is in a Portuguese word, saudade, "which basically translates into "longing, yearning, nostalgia or melancholy." Some singers are updating with different instrumentation, like electric guitar and drums, while others are challenging "the traditional fado uniform of severe black dress and shawl," which some see as conveying "the image of a victim." The one thing that hasn’t changed, however, "is fado’s image as a genre in which women dominate."

The Atavist

A pair of writers is making the web safe for long-form journalism, reports David Carr in the New York Times (3/28/11). Evan Ratliff and Nicholas Thompson, who worked together at Wired, are fans of the kind of "deeply reported journalism" that is not necessarily compatible with the sound-bite nature of digital media. But together with Jefferson Rabb, a programmer and web designer, they’ve come up with an app for the iPad, iPhone, Kindle and Nook that makes "the web a friend, not an enemy of the articles they like to work on and read."

The result of their collaboration is The Atavist, a publishing venture that brings "all the richness of the web — links to more information, video … in an app displaying an article, but with a swipe of the finger, the presentation reverts to clean text that can be scrolled by merely tilting the device." The app also lets readers "toggle to an audio version" so they can listen to the piece while driving to work, for example. And there’s "a place for comments that mimics the notes that people put in the margins of complicated, interesting pieces."

Evan wrote one of the first pieces, a 13,000-word story about "an immense heist at a Swedish cash repository." It opens with "an actual video taken by the security cameras," followed by the text. Other pieces feature photography or audio, all of which is uploaded by the writer via a content-management system. Writers are paid a fee to cover their writing expenses, and then they split revenues with the Atavist. So far, the app has attracted 40,000 downloads at $2.99 each for the iPad/iPhone and $1.99 for Kindle or Nook. Various publishers are now negotiating with the Atavist to use the app for books.

The Home Reporter

The late Frank Griffin didn’t use e-mail or a computer, but his newspaper defined "hyperlocal" before it was "a journalism buzzword," reports Liz Robbins in the New York Times (3/28/11). Frank was publisher of The Home Reporter and Sunset News, covering Brooklyn, which he founded in 1952 (The Sunset News merger followed in 1962). Before that, he earned a journalism degree at Fordham University, and worked for both The World Telegram and The New York Enquirer, which is now the National Enquirer.

By most accounts, Frank was quiet, dignified guy, who was almost never seen without a dress shirt and tie. But his editorial style clearly owed something to his days at the Enquirer. When a car crashed into a bar, his headline was, "Another Wallbanger, Please!" And when a local man tripped on a sidewalk, it was front-page news: "Man Hurt in Fall From Curb." The Home Reporter "mixed murder and mayhem with wedding anniversaries and political gossip." It was also packed with classified ads.

Sara Otey, his companion and managing editor, says Frank was "unorthodox" as a publisher, but that he was also "involved … and instinctive, and he was old-fashioned in his ideas of a weekly newspaper." And for Frank, this meant repeatedly declining opportunities to put the Home Reporter and Sunset News online. However, this past January, while on a Caribbean cruise, Frank "matter-of-factly" told Sara he had sold the paper to the Queens Courier chain. After returning from the cruise, Frank fell ill, and six days after being diagnosed with lymphoma, he died, at 83.

Retail Males

Without male shoppers, brands are missing their Marks (and Jeffs and Phils). By Ken Featherston. For the past century, men have been a marketing afterthought. The old mantra of “he makes, she buys,” has made women the automatic target of countless campaigns, regardless of the brand or service being offered. This is a big miss if you look at the important role that men play in today’s household tasks, decision-making and routine shopping.

The male shopper has evolved with changing societal roles and perceptions. “Metrosexuals” made their entrance into the traditionally female retail space with an increased interest in personal care and grooming. This brought men into the marketer’s consciousness, but also built a narrow and inaccurate picture of male shoppers that lingered for more than a decade. Then came the backlash of the “retrosexual,” who shunned his feminine side and would never be caught wearing pink … read >>

Dante’s Topolino

Dante Giacosa‘s fingerprints are all over the design of the latest Fiat 500, reports Phil Patton in the New York Times (3/27/11). Dante’s original Fiat 500 design, in 1936, was known as Il Topolino, the Italian nickname for Mickey Mouse.” He “set the engine over the front axle and tucked the radiator behind it. The big, crusader-shield grille leaned backward, making the car appear, despite its tiny dimensions, speedy and modern.” It sold for the equivalent of about $500 (image).

Il Topolino was meant to please Il Duce “around the same time Hitler was promising a people’s car priced at 1,000 marks.” Dante went on to supervise “three improved versions of the original 500, the last of these in 1948.” In 1955, he created a four-seater, the Fiat 600, and then two years later designed the Cinquecento, or Nuova 500, “a true people’s car that captured the spirit of its 1930’s ancestor.” The Cinquecento became “as much a symbol of Italian life as the Vespa scooter or Bialetti espresso maker.

Pixar Studios “used it as a model for Luigi, in Cars — basically “a 500 with a little mustache and a heavy accent.” But the genius of Dante’s designs, according to Fiat’s current design chief, Roberto Giolito, was because of his background as an engineer who “understood both structure and aesthetics.” Roberto found inspiration in this as he re-designed the newest 500, a version of which is “now being built in Mexico for the American market.” He also “reached for a more recent inspiration in the form of a globally recognized product: an iPod.” You can join a waiting list to buy a new Fiat 500 here.

Pike Cars

With names like S-Cargo, Be-1, Figaro and Pao, Nissan once hoped to create a new approach to car design, reports Phil Patton in the New York Times (3/20/11). This was in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and the idea was to borrow "design and marketing strategies from other industries like personal electronics. At the time, Japanese companies like Sony and Panasonic — along with automakers like Toyota, Honda and Nissan — were the envy of the world." Known as Pike Cars, they "were as cute as Hello Kitty, radiating a cartoonish insouciance that spoke of Japanese confidence before a decade of stasis set in."

The designs "represented the height of postmodernism. Unabashedly retro, they were inspired by French and Italian designs of the ’50s," combining elements of Citroen, Renault, Fiat and the Trabant. "They were designed to be polarizing and build a buzz," says Bryan Thompson, a former Nissan designer, who owns a 1990 Nissan Pao. "They are concept cars come to life."

Each of the cars was a limited edition — Bryan’s Pao is only one of 10,000 built — and none of which was sold in America. With a canvas roof and ribbed sides, "The Pao was designed for drives through the countryside, and picnics," says Bryan. Then there was the Figaro, "whose expressive face is worthy of Pixar Studios." The S-Cargo, meanwhile, "whose name was a pun on small cargo and escargot," featured a "rear cargo area, curved like a snail’s shell." Even though Nissan didn’t promote these cars — "customers had to discover them, like an unmarked club — they exceeded expectations." Nissan actually held lotteries for the right to buy one.

Cricket Radio

Why crickets and katydids sing their songs is the subject of Cricket Radio, by John Himmelman, reports Hugh Raffles in the Wall Street Journal (3/15/11). As book subjects go, this one dates back to at least 1910, and Jean-Henri Fabre’s Social Life in the Insect World. Jean-Henri got into insect songs because the cicadas outside his house were so noisy. Suspecting the bugs were actually deaf, he detonated a cannon under the trees and, sure enough, the cicadas didn’t miss a beat.

His conclusion was that the cicadas sing for the joy of it, “for the pleasure of feeling themselves alive.” However, his view is not shared by John Himmelman, based on his own cicada observations. “There was no joy in their song,” he writes. “There were no celebrations; nor was there sadness or sorrow. These players were throwing everything into propagating their species, and not by choice. They are hardwired to do so.” Cricket Radio is actually a companion to “a field guide of the singing insects of northeastern North America” he published a couple of years ago.

The new book is meant to get at why these insects sing, and John says it’s to attract mates, alert against predators and stake out turf — not exactly a news flash. He doesn’t get into the question of why they seem to sing more than they need to, but does recount his collecting trips and offer “instructions on how to locate, capture and keep many species at home.” Fun. He also has a website, cricketradiobroadcast, featuring his “recordings of 52 species of North American insects singing their hearts out.”

Siren Song

Joe Bader was getting nowhere with reinventing the police siren until he tried setting a pair of tones apart by two octaves, reports Ariel Kaminer in the New York Times (2/25/11). The result is The Rumbler, a siren so unsettling that it even gets the attentions of New Yorkers (demo). It’s an effect achieved by using "a low-frequency tone, in the range of 180 to 360 hertz (between the 33rd and 46th key on a standard piano keyboard), which penetrates hard surfaces like car doors and windows better than a high tone does."

The low frequency creates a vibration, which, when "paired with the wail of a standard siren … is hard to ignore — like the combination of a bagpipe’s high chanter and low drone." Joe developed The Rumbler as vice president of Federal Signal Corporation, and the first time he tested it "outside the Florida Highway Patrol headquarters in Tallahassee, the effect was so attention-grabbing that people came streaming out of the building to see what the strange sound, with its unfamiliar vibrations, could possibly be."

The New York Police Department has been testing the Rumbler since 2007 and now plans to implement it in "about 5,000 of the department’s more than 8,000 vehicles." Interestingly, the Rumbler is actually only about half as loud as a standard siren. Because "low-frequency sound waves penetrate cars better than those at a higher pitch, drivers experience the Rumbler as much louder than a standard siren." Some complain that the "low-frequency vibration could be injurious to their health," but the NYPD says that’s not so, and swears by the street-clearing results. "It’s like the Red Sea parting," says Capt. Christopher Ikone.

Mendel Goldberg Fabrics

Mendel Goldberg Fabrics “is a junglelike collection of fabric-filled shelves covering entire walls,” reports Alex Vadukul in the New York Times (3/13/11). “There are woolens in every color, beaded laces that sell for as much as $1,600 a yard, and uncommon fabrics that the store’s four staff members can identify with a quick glance.” Small, and the last of its kind, Mendel Goldberg Fabrics in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, bears little resemblance to the store Mendel Goldberg opened in 1890, now run by Alice Goldberg Wildes, his great-granddaughter.

In fact, the store has changed its focus with each change of four generations. The original store specialized in tailoring supplies, and then Mendel’s son, Alexander, began selling fabric. Alexander’s son, Samuel, “turned the store into a major supplier for department stores around the country.” And now, under Alice, Mendel’s is known for rare, fine, imported fabrics. “When my father asked me to start running the store, I didn’t know what to do,” says Alice. “I’m an Upper East Side girl, so I just did what I knew. I bought for the store like I bought for my closet.”

This means specializing “solely in fine imported European textiles,” which Alice buys herself on trips to Europe. “You cannot buy what I have anywhere else in the city,” she says. Her customers include rabbis and socialites, and they all understand one thing about Alice: She’s always right. If Alice doesn’t like the way a fabric looks on a customer, she flatly tells them “no,” and they appreciate it. “I have made very few mistakes here,” a customer says. “Very few.” She also never buys for price. “I like everything to be classy, but it has to have a kick,” says Alice. “I buy what I like.”

American Shirtwaist

Few fashions "have so nimbly walked the line between function and frivolity" as the American shirtwaist, reports Ruth La Ferla in the New York Times (3/23/11). "Designed for utility, the style was embraced at the turn of the century by legions of young women who preferred its hiked hemline and unfettered curves to the confining, street-sweeping dresses that hobbled their mothers and aunts." The look, with its "cinched waists, roomy skirts and mannishly tailored placket fronts," has adapted "through the decades to all sorts of shifting conditions and sociopolitical landscapes."

Originally designed as "shirts and separate skirts," the American shirtwaist’s popularity coincided "with a huge urbanization that saw women rushing about the streets, demanding the vote and, ultimately, flooding the workforce." In the early 1900s, the shirtwaist was "a badge of confidence and athletic femininity," later attaining "a touch of worldliness in the late 1940s when Christian Dior introduced a version." Then along came Donna Reed, and by the 1950s, "the trend had extended its reach to every level of the marketplace, from Saks Fifth Avenue to Sears."

In the ’70s, Halston came out with a best-selling shirtwaist "in machine-washable UltraSuede" (image). These days, the American shirtwaist is enjoying "a wave of nostalgic revival on American fashion runways" thanks to Mad Men. But in its heyday, nearly every young woman wore the style — including those stitching together shirtwaist blouses at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on March 25, 1911, when the place caught fire, killing 143 people, "all but 23 of them young women." One hundred years later, the American shirtwaist remains "the fashion equivalent of comfort food" that favors "reliable standards over the showy and new."

Tier-Two Retailers

Smaller, regional chains offer strong opportunities for sales growth. By Terry Mangano. As more consumer packaged-goods companies focus shopper-marketing resources against the top 6-8 national, “tier one” customers, there has been a sudden resurgence to find opportunistic volume among “tier two” customers.

Regional grocery chains such as Stater Brothers, Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Wakefern/ShopRite, Harris Teeter, Giant Eagle, and Roundy’s suddenly are emerging as the new darlings of shopper marketing. It is not difficult to understand why; results consistently exceed expectations for sales dollars, units moved, and feature/display … read >>

Owsley Acid

Before there was Steve Jobs and Apple, there was the late Owsley Stanley and Acid, suggests Michael Walker in the New York Times (3/18/11). Michael finds some similarities between The Sixties and today, “the catalyst being not rock ‘n’ roll and its accompaniments … but the communications and information revolution made possible by the web.” Those accompaniments would, of course, be drugs and that other “thang,” and Owsley — or Bear as he was called — actually branded the former as Owsley Acid, which “became the gold standard of psychedelics.”

He accomplished this out of an “astute feel for the culture and the marketplace.” After dropping some acid in 1964, Bear figured out how to make it himself, and “started cranking out his superlative LSD at a rate that by 1967 topped one million doses.” LSD wasn’t illegal yet, and so Bear “singlehandedly created a market where none had existed.” He made millions. Michael finds a similarity to Steve Jobs in that “both were fanatical about quality control.” Bear wouldn’t “put his LSD on paper,” for example, because he believed “it degraded the potency.”

At a time when “the formulation and provenance of most street drugs was unknowable, Owsley Acid was curated like a varietal wine and branded as evocatively as an iPod — ‘Monterey Purple‘ for a batch made expressly for the 1967 Monterey Pop festival.” Like Steve Jobs, “his perfectionism had the effect of raising standards across an industry — or in this case, a culture.” His other contribution was a sound system for the Grateful Dead that “prefigured the immense sound systems at stadium shows today.” But, remember, while Bear’s first product was perfectly legal, Apple’s — a “blue box” that hacked the phone system — was not. Inspired, perhaps, by Bear’s “unhinged originality and anarchical spirit.”

Fab Collab

In "Come Together," George Cassidy and Richard Courtney offer 100 lessons businesspeople might learn from the Beatles, reports Amy Wallace in the New York Times (3/20/11). The authors admit that the premise is a bit gimmicky, but serve up some interesting anecdotes. For instance, when Paul was writing Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, he couldn’t come up with an intro. John didn’t like the song anyway and "stormed out of the studio. When he returned, he strode to the piano and banged out several chords, then added petulantly, ‘Here’s your intro!’"

Well, Paul liked it (although odds are John thought the intro was just as awful as the rest of the song). The lesson is this: "The underlying disagreement about whether the song had merit in the broader scheme of things did not disappear … but resolving the conflict informed the work and made it stronger, rather than destroying it." In another case, the authors recall how the Beatles, when starting out, traveled to gigs in "a van missing its windshield" and piled on top of each other to survive the ride.

The lesson: "Although frostbite is generally a bad idea, avoid relying heavily on debt to finance your daily operations or growth." The problem, of course, is that the Beatles really weren’t exactly known for their business acumen (i.e., the disaster otherwise known as Apple Corps). But the authors say they are looking "at a longer trend line, a bigger set of facts" and note that "this thing has been ticking upwards for almost 50 years now." They are now thinking about writing a similar book about the Rolling Stones, whose business success is enviable and their strategies very different. Possible working title: Gimme (Tax) Shelter.

Local Growth

"Britain is far ahead of the US in selling local foods in supermarkets," reports Cecilie Rohwedder in the Wall Street Journal (3/17/11). UK retailers generally are more innovative than others, “partly because the industry is so concentrated and competitive, with five chains controlling 80 percent of the market.” Tesco is pursuing partnership with more local farmers for the simple reason that 44 percent of their customers are buying more of it than they were five years ago. This trend has continued through the recession, even though locally-grown food tends to be more expensive than imports.

It has also endured the reality that the path from local farm to local store can be a bit circuitous. For example, Tesco sells garlic from a local farm that carpools with a local carrot farmer to a Tesco depot about 100 miles away. Some of the goods are then shipped back to stores that are much closer to the farms. But proponents insist that the "system is more environmentally friendly than farmers driving — sometimes half-empty — trucks to stores." The deal certainly works out well for farmers, such as Glen and Gilli Allingham of the Really Garlicky Company.

The Allinghams’ “sweet and subtle” porcelain garlic has been sold through 69 Tesco stores in Scotland since 2005. The Allinghams were skeptical at first — both because of how their smaller customers would feel about their doing business with Tesco and whether they could meet the demand. The margins are indeed lower than selling to smaller customers, but of course the sales volume more than compensates. Today, they are line-extending into garlic mayonnaise and garlic bread, and everything seems great. However, as Glen Allingham notes, there are no guarantees: “They could quite easily remove it at the drop of a hat,” he admits.

BK Swappers

The lingering recession, combined with Brooklyn’s artisanal culture, is raising the art of bartering to new heights, reports Debbie Koenig in the New York Times (3/13/11). The idea of swapping food isn’t new, of course — "ancient Babylonian homemakers probably traded olive oil for beans." But about 40 cooks, known as BK Swappers are meeting every other month to swap their creations. They’ve been at it since last March, "when Kate Payne, a writer and canner who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, e-mailed Megan Paska, founder of Brooklyn Honey, offering jars of her triple-citrus marmalade for some of Ms. Paska’s honey."

This gave them the idea of inviting others to do the same. As Megan explains, "We came to the conclusion that it would be really fun to get all of our food-centric friends together and do a swap on a larger scale … When you make a batch of pickles, jam, or the like, you often end up with excess that you’d feel comfortable letting go of for the sake of keeping your pantry interesting. For a few of those excess jars, you end up getting fresh, handcrafted foods for virtually no cost."

And you get to try new things: "Here, I can get things I don’t have the chance to make," says swapper Lisa Guido. The swappers are mostly amateur cooks, and women, and the point is to bring something different every time. "It’s uncool to repeat yourself," says Jane Lerner, an organizer. Lisa says she got into it after learning how to make guanciale (pig’s jowl), and wanting "to show it off." The idea has now spread to Austin, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., Minneapolis, and — coming soon — London. Swaps are announced via Twitter and Facebook.

Retail Renegades

Blazing the retail trail toward deeper shopper connections. By Leslie Clifford and Laura Moser. What comes to mind when you hear the term “renegade?” Do you think deserter? Outlaw? While the dictionary definition has a negative connotation — “an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior” — renegades often have a positive impact on culture. Many are rejected by society during their lifetimes only to be admired later as innovators.

From Mark Zuckerberg (father of Facebook) to the Grateful Dead (who believed music was becoming too commercialized and encouraged fans to tape their live concerts), renegades have significantly enhanced our lives. Put another way, renegades often provide a glimpse into the future … read >>