Recent Posts

"Writer's Block I" photo by Drew Coffman
by Judy Bernstein, Guest Blogger and VP of Insights & Innovation at CBA; Writer’s Block I photo by Drew Coffman… Seinfeld fans fondly remember the Festivus episode: Frank Costanza, played by the legendary Jerry Stiller, creates a holiday in response to the misanthropy he encountered and inflicted at Christmas. From his desperate, wistful conviction that there had to be a better way, Festivus, a holiday “for the rest of us,” was born, featuring an airing of grievances and feats of strength. I think of Creative Problem Solving (CPS) as aRead More
CALEXIT Comic logo
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + American Happy To Be In Cali… Sometimes creative expression hits too close to home — and a nerve. That’s definitely the case with CALEXIT, a comic book series depicting a hypothetical California secession from these not-so-United States. The secession is precipitated, of course, by the election of a certain orange fascist… Written by Matteo Pizzolo and illustrated by Amancay Nahuelpan, the comic book comes from indie publisher Black Mask Studios, which is “bringing the punk rock ethic to comics.” CALEXIT’s pages expressRead More
No Exit Strategy
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Entrepreneurial Advisor; photo by Valentin Antonini on Unsplash… Too many entrepreneurs treat their startups like Hollywood relationships: the affair begins with a lot of passion, it’s great for gossip and headlines, and it might even lead to deals, but as soon as things get a little rocky — or something better comes along — the entrepreneur is outta there. These zero-commitment capitalists proudly call themselves “serial entrepreneurs,” which, in relationship terms, would make them philanderers. But hey, whatever consenting adults wantRead More
Parker Jotter in GoldenEye
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Believes The Pen Can Be Mightier Than The Sword… You know what product attribute doesn’t get enough hype? Tactility — how something feels to the touch. While today’s manufacturers obsess over size and weight, promising us larger and larger capacity and lower and lower weight, that’s fine for phones and planes — but not enough for us creative professionals. In fact, sometimes we want our tools to be heavier and less modern. Whether the instrument is a keyboard, camera,Read More
Retail Hell
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Will Miss Shopping In Stores; modified illustration from Weird Tales magazine 1941… Deep inside the HQ of Rapacious Retail Inc. — an office so sterilized and bathed in artificial light that live plants wilt within seconds — we find the head of marketing — Bob Boberts: Marketing Ninja. Uh, OK, Marketing Ninja — Bob: No, make that Marketing Visionary. Yes, that would look great in my Twitter bio… Marketing Visionary Bob Boberts, a generic male exec in his 40’s whoRead More
How To Fix Retail And What To Drink
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Talking Enthusiast… Move aside, Sriracha, there’s a new claimant to the spicy condiment crown: Tajin Clasico. In my latest podcast, I explain why I prefer Tajin, and how it’s a key ingredient in a killer summer barbecue beverage, the chelada. But first, I address one of the most talked-about topics in business right now: the implosion of retail stores in America. In my previous podcast, I noted that the dizzying decline has less to do with the Internet and more to doRead More
Marketing Plan For New Business
Q: Dear Freddy: I’m setting up my own business in India where I’ll be teaching meditation and techniques on “mind management.” I’ve gotten a certification from the appropriate agencies and I also teach well, per the feedback I’ve received across different countries. How should I prepare my marketing plan and conduct local research? — A.S. in India A: Dear A.S.: Regardless of the country, these basic steps toward creating a campaign should work: Define both THE PROBLEM your new company will solve (e.g., not enough meditation practices in the market) andRead More
Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Doesn’t Travel Nearly Enough… If a storm like this were to hit Los Angeles, the local news would cover it all day — make that all week — with sodden reporters stumbling around and calling it something like Mega Tempest 2017™. Here in Ireland’s aptly named Wild Atlantic Way, the locals refer to it as “a Tuesday.”Read More
Podcasting
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango, Long-Time Listener, First-Time Podcaster; Photo by Jonathan Velasquez on Unsplash… So I decided to take the audio plunge and launch my own podcast… Like this website, the Atomic Tango podcast explores marketing, media, and other mischief. This first episode features my thoughts on the infamous Pepsi Kendall Jenner commercial, the trouble with Twitter, and the challenges facing American retailers. So why podcast? Several reasons: Blog readership appears to be declining. I’m experiencing this and am hearing about it from other experienced bloggers. I blame FacebookRead More
Chris's Manhattan at Kendall's Brasserie
by Kim Tronic, Resident Cocktail Mistress… I usually avoid Downtown L.A. The one-way streets terrify me, and once I kept a friend waiting an hour when I got sucked into the Bermuda Triangle of 5th Street. Oh, and good luck with parking. But if you’re brave enough to maneuver the vortex of Downtown, be sure to catch a show at the L.A. Music Center. Home to renowned venues Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theater, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Music Center stages major musicals, plays, ballets, andRead More