I’ve been a copywriter since 2008, focusing big time on digital. I’ve also dabbled in content strategy, UX, and email marketing. I care about simplicity, clarity, and usability. I don’t care about winning awards or being mentioned in Adweek or whatever.
I think everyone in this creative/marketing/ad/etc. business should set aside a little time to use their talent toward doing something that matters. For me, that’s tackling the climate crisis. In the past, I’ve volunteered with 350.org in their Brooklyn chapter, and with the fine folks at DJs for Climate Action on EARTH NIGHT.
At night I turn into a DJ.
Things I like
Some good books
- Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Hard truths about the world we’ve made for ourselves. Everyone, EVERYONE please read this book.
- Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. The moon blows up, and all of its itty bitty pieces are about to rain hellfire on the planet, and mankind has to figure out how to escape it and survive in space for 5000 years. 900 pages of mind-melting hard sci-fi that I blew through in a week.
- Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. An environmentalist’s plea subtly hidden inside an epic story about a starship traveling to colonize a distant star—narrated by an AI. An important reminder of why we shouldn’t fuck up the one planet we’ve got.
- Words That Work by Frank Luntz. Conservative mastermind twists language to help politicians and companies get away with bad things. Creepy and brilliant.
- Hidden in Plain Sight by Jan Chipchase. Design researcher pulls insights from people’s daily activities in near and far-flung places in the world to inform product strategy for his clients. Fascinating and humbling.
- Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. This book makes me want to leave it all behind and buy a one-way ticket to somewhere.
- Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. A classic on usability and empathy for users in web design.
- The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd. A college kid’s first year at design school. The only novel I’ve literally LOLed at while reading, and also finished in one sitting.
- Don’t Be Such a Scientist by Randy Olson. Scientist-turned-filmmaker on why science has such a hard time connecting with the public. Or, how not to be a boring, condescending know-it-all asshole, in science or otherwise.
- The Economist ads. Smarty ads for smarty pantses. An ad copy masterclass.
- Red Bull Music Academy. The best, most legit content marketing campaign ever conceived. Almost 20 years strong.
- It’s Nice That. Daily design inspiration for a wannabe designer.
- NYC Subway advertising. If it gets you talking, even if it’s because it sucks, then it’s working. See Thinx. Or Dr. Zizmor.
- Kurzgesagt. Cute and cuddly breakdowns of wild concepts in science, life, and the world.
- Anything by George Carlin. One of the filthiest, funniest truth tellers ever.
- Last Night a DJ Saved My Life by Bill Brewster. The history of DJing told by the DJs themselves. Best book on the subject, hands down.
- The Mizell Brothers. 70’s production duo who brought famous jazz artists like Donald Byrd and Bobbi Humphrey into the funk/fusion age.
- Fela Kuti. The father of Afrobeat. King of the genre-benders.
- Jamie Lidell. Brought Stevie Wonder-like soul to glitchy electronic music, and reinvented himself so many times over with a mind-melting one-man live show.
- Mr. Scruff, Francois K, Gilles Peterson, DJ Harvey. Legendary DJs who taught me that selection matters more than mixing.