Today I Am Just Pissed Off

What does it take to hit our country over the head to see the deep equity divide that has bubbled to the top through COVID-19? Let’s break down who is suffering and who is not.  Data, please.  Here is one fact.  There is a shitload of cash flowing through the private markets and the stock market is booming yet there is 20% unemployment.  Enough said.

Obviously there are many in our country who don’t give a shit about this and only care about their checkbook hence the current GOP and unfortunately, if you look at history it will never change.  The only key is to make a big shift in November and get a lot of stuff done that helps us take a new path until the cycle begins again.  Racism, entitlement, conservatism, and selfishness. That is a part of America that I will never understand.

Perhaps it is age.  Perhaps it is anger and fear what we are leaving our children.  At the end of the day, it’s time for a massive shift.  This crescendo has hit its peak and the apex is really ugly.

Cracks

When cracks start to appear in broad daylight it’s time to repair them. That applies to everything. Many industries are waking up.  They are realizing those cracks that they believed could be ignored are now too exposed.  

Meatpacking companies, the underbelly of the gig economy, and hourly labor are showing those signs.  Jeff Bezos, who is going to spend $4b, essentially an entire quarter of profit to make Amazons’ work areas safe although questionable how long it took and the anger that is starting to bubble over there. It’s about time and perhaps this pandemic forced his hand but it’s happening without unions. 

The meat industry and the food supply, in general, have shown some ugly stuff.  It’s time to fix this and have safe working people in positive environments, period.

Then there are the individuals who have been part of the gig economy before there was a gig economy. Trainers, cleaning people, dog walkers, hair dressers, cosmeticians, nannies, taxi drivers (pre-Uber), furniture delivery people, gardeners, construction workers. The list is long. The majority of these people are living almost hand to mouth. They should all have access to universal healthcare and the opportunity to continue in these professions.

Teaching has finally been given its due. Parents are realizing how difficult a job it is.

There are also the industries that have realized that they need to get on technology platforms that they have ignored for so long. More on that later this week.

If we can come out of this with more respect for people working in these industries well then those are the silver linings.  

Back East

We made the big move back to the East Coast where our kids are. Just being here has relieved our anxiety tremendously.

It’s calm and eerie in Amagansett too.  The chances of getting Covid-19 here vs Venice are a tad lower because it is not city life. Although everyone we know behaves by the rules.  It is actually quite impressive. 

Except for the idiots protesting for their right to get exposed just because they believe that we should live like the Wild West and get to carry guns into State houses and not have any Government in our life but most level headed people stay home.


We go out with masks and gloves and purell on hand.  We are smart.  We stay six feet away.  We call our order in and show up with a mask and glove to pick it up.  We get groceries delivered.  Sometimes we go ourselves fully equipped with the right gear. The risk factor goes down significantly if you follow pragmatic rules to stay safe.


I’m not one for following rules but I do like being healthy.  It works for me.  I am thrilled to be back on the east coast but the rules still apply.  The feeling out here is the same.  It’s just a different walk (socially distanced) and a new view.

We were ready for a new view.

Fashion Defines the Times

Who has worn the same pair of pants for the last week? Or maybe you have worn the same t-shirt? I remember when I was pregnant with Jessica pretty much wearing the same pants so often that the guy I was working with asked me to burn them before I returned after maternity leave. Now I am considering what to do with my pandemic pants when this ends.

Fashion has always defined the times. When Carol Burnett started in 1967 she wore a long sometimes sparkly dress to kick off the show with her monologue. Fast forward decades when she did a reunion show, she came out in a casual sweat pants outfit. Fashion has always defined the times.

I keep thinking about next-generation retail and next-generation brands. Walking around in workout attire in LA is much more acceptable than NYC and certainly Paris and London. What will designers be creating in the post pandemic world? Less or more color? Fancier or more casual? More direct to consumer and less selling to department stores? What will the marketing campaigns look like? Who will brands want to connect with? How does commerce return? Will the crazy world of fashion shows and new capsules coming out every season that ship months before the actual season cease?

Fashion is a huge industry and touches every one of us whether you think so or not. We all wear clothes, shoes and sometimes a coat. What will be driving fashion in the months to come and what will it look like?

What Do We Keep When This Ends?

I was on a call talking about the future with some super-smart women. All in different spaces from fashion to food to philanthropy in the medical space. The last question of the night was “what do you want to keep when this ends?”

Each of us is experiencing different anxieties from life being interrupted. How can you not? For some, it is the small victories that create daily joy for others it is finding yourself comfortable in your own space or even figuring out how to be uncomfortable and learning from that.

This pandemic is traumatic for everyone in their own way. No one can predict what life will look like on the other side except there will be a different way of life on the otherwise. We will all have a bit of PTSD when it comes to seeing people and getting too close. More than likely a need to document that we are free of the virus before going to certain places such as restaurants or stores or getting on a plane. It might become the new world just as the TSA at the airport has become business as usual. Who remembers a time when you just walked into the airport and up to the gate to meet someone flying in?

Being able to be present on one thing at a time has changed my game. Multi-tasking has been my middle name as it has for many. For some, sitting down every night with your family and kids for dinner vs endless business travel has been a revelation. Others have taken up drawing. I started crocheting again. Many have started baking bread.

There is a silver lining to everything. What has your silver lining been and how can you continue to incorporate that into your life post-pandemic?

Miso Pasta

I made this and keep thinking about it. It is beyond easy and great for leftovers too. Honestly the NYTimes Cooking App is a must for anyone cooking or baking.

We always keep red miso and white miso in the fridge. Ingredients here are simple.

  • 16 ounces linguini or spaghetti
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp white or red miso ( I used white)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan

Boil up the water and add the pasta. When it is done, strain the pasta but keep 1 1/2 cups pasta water.

Add butter, miso and a little over a cup of the pasta water to the pot and whisk until smooth. Add the pasta and parm and mix vigorously with tones until completely mixed. Think Japanese cacio e pepe.

Serve. It is almost decadent. Served some pan fried greens on the side.

Next Generation Brands?

We just witnessed a serious amount of cash go to building brands at all costs until they figured out how to get customer acquisition costs down to the point where the business could be profitable. Not the smartest business model but it seemed to be working.

Now we are witnessing some brands now explode without little or any advertising. The cost of customer acquisition has imploded but business has ramped up depending on the product.

What are we going to learn from that? Is the massive cost of in your face Instagram and Facebook still worthy? Will people go back to that after the pandemic is behind us? Or will the costs go down to advertise because so many brands will have failed? Will there be many mergers of brands? Certainly lessons will be learned all the way around.

Will the next generation of brands need more authenticity? Will celebrities still drive product? Does anyone care about a celebrity anymore after witnessing them on lockdown in their posh lives?

What have we learned and where are we going? The mood of this country will be very different when we on the other side of this pandemic. Time will tell.

Stress Management & Mindfulness: Will Lessons Learned from Covid-19 Change Startup Culture for Good?


This week, I got together with Kathleen Stetson, CEO, and coach, to talk over Zoom about stress. Stress is a big part of every entrepreneur’s life, and even more so since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us. Kathleen and I chatted about her history with a failed startup, and how that informed her current views on work, entrepreneurship, and mindfulness.

You can listen to this on iTunes here.

Always follow the money

The life of control, entitlement, and elitism need to stop.  Trump is giving money to the coal industry?  Many industries should have ceased to exist a long time ago and now is the opportunity to shift to the future not hold on to the past.

I want to see more leaders rise who are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.  They are going to be living on this planet longer than me.  They know how to use technology to turn everything upside down.  They also know how to organize online.  It’s time for a massive pivot.

Why are banks saving their wealthiest customers with Government loan opportunities instead of small businesses?  McConnell wants states to go bankrupt when his state is one of the worst takers?  The people in Washington are so uncreative that they are just writing checks to companies through the banks instead of coming up with smart ways to create growth through new industries and jobs.  

A massive transportation bill would be a start.  Rebuild the roads, the subways, above ground rail, high speed trains, and shift laborers who have lost their jobs forever to new jobs.  They then make money which in turn pays taxes and buys goods.  I fear for our bond markets after this money has just gone to paying bills instead of putting some of it to work.  

The banks are going to have to be willing to take the losses for mortgages and more.  Take the write off or more to the point just write them down as venture does.  They had no problem taking a bailout in 2008 that put so much cash into the economy that we created this atmosphere of froth.

No doubt that the world will be a different place when we are all let out of our homes and can all be tested (please more testing) everywhere.  It is time for new voices leading us up a new economy with equality and fairness.  Entitlement of the old school must cease.  

When the markets are doing great and there are huge unemployment numbers that screams disconnect. This is not like the depression although the unemployment numbers are similar. This is more like life interrupted. Many jobs will return, although will take time to ramp up it will still be different and many industries will never return to what they were because they should have changed long ago.

We have a serious problem and leadership from the private sector and definitely the Federal Government is in order.

Our World is on Fire

Greta Thunberg’s organization put out this ad for Earth Day. She is the voice of a generation that will save our planet. I am looking forward to more Greta’s, of her age, that will save our economy. I know that they are out there. We need more of Greta’s generation to rise up because the future is in their hands.