Reflections While on a Glacier in the Canadian Rockies

Earlier this month, I spent some time hiking in the Canadian Rockies with my wife, and reflected on my last eight years at HPA and how much the business has changed over that time.

When I started at HPA in early 2009, we were in the throes of a major market correction and business slowdown that many had not experienced in our lifetimes. Today the concerns we most often hear from clients are how to best position themselves in a rapidly changing world.

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

The full quote — “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics” — has been attributed to Mark Twain, who himself attributed it to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who might never have said it in the first place. Regardless of the origin of the phrase, it is one that I hold near and dear. I’m a numbers geek. Love numbers and statistics. Always have, always will.

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Taking News at Face(book) Value

I attended the 20th Annual Milken Institute Global Conference. The “Davos of the West” brings together speakers from the worlds of politics, finance, entertainment, and technology to discuss issues facing the world. This year’s theme was “Building Meaningful Lives,” and many of the discussions took on this area, with panels on healthcare in the developing world, aligning endowment investments with non-profits’ philanthropic missions, and improving public education.

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Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting: Woodstock or Mecca?

What was different this year is that it came right on the heels of my attendance at the 20th Annual Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills. The more I thought about both conferences, the more I wondered if the “Woodstock of Capitalism” nickname really held true. I began to wonder if maybe the Milken Global Conference was actually more like Woodstock and the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting was something more akin to Mecca.

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The Power of Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that can make or break your business. As I’m sure you’re aware, United Airlines recently learned this lesson the hard way. What this incident illustrated was the speed with which a brand’s reputation can be impacted. In the age of smart phones and social media, companies can no longer ignore incidents or sweep them under the rug.

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Bouncing Back

Once again, much of the talk leading up to this year’s Super Bowl was about the ads and the record billions spent dazzling TV’s biggest audience of the year. Despite our advice from last year, ad revenues spiked a new high, exceeding last year’s $15.5 billion, with each 30-second spot costing $5 million or an astounding $166,667 per second.

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When Did Boomers Lose Their Cool?

When Disney starts bailing on the Boomers, is it the end of the ride for the generation that used to set the trend for just about everything?

Ditching “The Twilight Zone” for a new “Guardians of the Galaxy” theme on its popular Tower of Terror ride, Disney might not be the first to throw Boomers aside in pursuit of younger, hipper Millennials.

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