Embracing Change After 244 Years

Posted by John Park on Mar 14th, 2012
Mar 14
Encyclopedia Britannica announced today that they will no longer publish the printed edition.
About a month ago, my Mother asked me “What should I do with the encyclopedia set?  Should I send them to you so your kids can use it?”
The books were precious to her because she had purchased them for me when I was in high school.  It was quite an investment at the time.
I recall answering “No, that’s okay.  Just leave them there.  My kids will never use them.”
First published in 1768, the title of their early advertisements read “All Questions Answered.”
Where do we go to get all questions answered today?
Change is not coming.  It’s already here.

Why Do So Many Americans Hate Their Leaders?

Posted by John Park on Feb 3rd, 2012
Feb 3


If you pay attention to the national polls this election season, you probably have a pretty good idea of what Americans think of their leaders.  The approval rating for Congress is at an all time low of 11% (Gallup).  And there isn’t much better news for President Obama or the potential nominee for the Republicans.
Why is this?  Why is the election theme “throw the bums out” or “change” the prevalent outcry every time we hold an election?  In essence, why do so many Americans hate their leaders?
I don’t have the million dollar answer but I do have a theory.  As you read this, please keep in mind that I am not generalizing all our leaders.  There are certainly good ones in the crowd.
We lack leaders who hold fast and true to the theory that the best leaders throughout history have led by example.  It is the countless statements and acts of hypocrisy that we are most tired of.  These Harvard and Yale graduates aren’t getting it.  Don’t give a speech about the common people at a small diner in Ohio and be filmed a week or two later vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard.  Don’t tell us you understand the plight of small businesses when you’ve never employed anyone other than an illegal immigrant as your nanny or gardener.  Don’t lecture us about the fears of inflation when you don’t know what a grocery checkout scanner looks like.  And don’t lecture us about the value of public education as you send your own kids to the best and most expensive private schools in the country.  And finally, don’t speak of higher taxes for individuals when major corporations pay little to no corporate income taxes due to capital cronyism and taxpayer bailouts.
What about family values?  Don’t get me started on that.


Many don’t know this fact but George Washington first entered into the minds of Americans as a young Colonel fighting for the Virginian army.  At the time, he was actually fighting with the British against the French and the Indians.  Ironically, it was during a devastating defeat in Pennsylvania where he became an instant folk hero and subject of many fireside chats.  This did not happen because he touted his accomplishments or because he had publicists spin the outcome.  On the contrary, it was because his soldiers witnessed first-hand what this man did to lead in the worst of conditions.  During the battle, his own men and the men he was fighting witnessed in awe as two horses were shot and killed underneath him and as he continually charged forward while his own men and the British were running from the fury of the French and the ruthless Indians.  And later that night when the battle had ended in defeat, his men witnessed the young Washington as he inspected his coat and hat in silence, only to find two bullet holes in his coat and another in his hat.  Supposedly as the story goes, one of his soldiers said to him “Who are you?” knowing full well the Colonel’s name.


In a land of over 300 million people, there must be more George Washingtons amongst us.


Americans don’t want to hate.  On the contrary, they want to be inspired and led by example during the worst of times.





Words cannot describe this man’s achievements.

Posted by John Park on Oct 5th, 2011
Oct 5

Steve Jobs died today.

I did not know him. I’ve never met him.

And yet, I find myself profoundly sad about his death. It’s hard to find the words. There’s too much to say. I know many will try.

I am just one of billions he has made an impression on through his innovation and technology.

He changed my life for the better. As a businessman, I can’t thank him enough.

Rest in peace Mr. Jobs. You did well in your short 56 years.

Thank you!

It’s Dying. Accept it.

Posted by John Park on Oct 2nd, 2011
Oct 2
I just received a Groupon email letting me know that I could subscribe to Vogue for $8.  If I took advantage of this offer, I would receive in the mail 12 beautiful, full color issues of Vogue for just $8.  After Groupon takes their 50%, Vogue gets $4.
A few months back, I visited the web site of a notable advertising industry publication.  To subscribe, I would have to pay over $50 a year.  I passed.  Instead, I just decided to opt in to their email newsletter.  About a week ago, I started to receive the physical copy of the publication in the mail for free.  I didn’t pay a cent but they decided to start mailing them to me.
The magazine publishers are up against the wall.  The above scenarios are two small examples of a desperate industry.  If their content is so valuable, why I am I receiving them for free or practically for free?  Not only did I get it for free, I am receiving them at their cost.
The answer is simple.
It is more valuable for them to tout a larger subscriber base than to actually care about what their publications are being bought for.  It all funnels down to how many subscribers they can tout or claim to their potential advertisers.
This is not a new occurrence.  It has been happening for years but true desperation is rearing its ugly head for the first time.
Ladies and gentlemen.  PRINT IS DYING.
Don’t advertise in it.  Don’t pay for it.  Don’t invest in it.
If you are a magazine publisher, place ALL your resources towards digitization.  Accept reality.  Do you really believe that my 5 year old boy will buy a magazine for entertainment and information when he turns 18?

Should we prevent failure at any cost?

Posted by John Park on Oct 1st, 2011
Oct 1

During my life, I have learned quite a bit from failure.  I consider these invaluable life lessons that have made me better.

Is society working too hard to prevent failure?

Corporate bailouts.

Trophies for every kid at the end of a losing season.

Countries borrowing to save entitlements.

Living with Mom and Dad forever…

What lessons are to be learned if we prevent failure at any cost?

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