Marketing Thoughts

The future of marketing:

  1. Simpler language
  2. More visual, more photos and autoplaying (mute) videos
  3. More about inspiring, motivating people — aspirational marketing language.

Why does marketing matter?

We live in a capitalist society. Zen capitalism is my concept. My wonder—

Can we live and thrive in a capitalist and consumerist world, in a meaningfully productive way?

I think so.

The simple:

Subtract the superfluous, add the critical.

For example, if you live in LA, your life is made superior by owning a car. The nuance—

Simply having A car makes life better, you don’t need a certain type of car.

Note my 2009 Hyundai Sonata I got from my mom for free, and got it tuned up at Pacific Tire Autoworks in Redondo beach for only $2,000 and now the car runs like new. Essentially I got a brand new car for only $2,000 and she runs like a champ!

What do you want from life?

Do you want a fur coat, a rolls, or a Diamond chain?

Or do you want an iPhone Pro, a Tesla Plaid, a house, a Richard Mille, a Lamborghini (Urus Performante) or Aventador or Hurucan, etc?

My general thought after becoming the new GOAT at Golds Gym in Venice Beach —

Ultimately once you step into the arena… it don’t matter who you are, how rich you are, how famous you are, what you drive etc … the only thing which matters is your strength, courage, self audacity, self confidence, muscles, whether you have a good tan or not, and your health.

Without even knowing it, I went viral three times over.


Lamborghini is unimpressive

I saw an orange Lamborghini Aventador, drop top convertible coupe in the parking lot of the Golds gym in Venice beach parking lot, with the top down, and I was shocked —

In real life, up close and personal, it is actually very unimpressive.

First of all, it looks really small. Like smaller than a Honda Civic.

Then the understanding —

The Lamborghini is 100% marketing. Lamborghini more as a concept, an ideal towards masculinity, dominance, ego, daring, sexiness, valor, success.


So what should I do about this?

First, understand that everything is marketing. Also understand that marketing has a stronger impact on us than we would like to think.

Marketing works. It works on you, it works on nerds etc.

Do you want to buy it for the marketing or the thing itself?

I think it is okay to want to buy stuff for the marketing ideal of it. I’m also starting to think short Tesla

The concept of the Tesla is superior to the thing itself.

Spending a lot of time in the Tesla dealership — the cars themselves feel pretty cheap. The paint looks and feels pretty basic and cheap, the materials feel pretty cheap, etc. Personally speaking I would prefer having a Hyundai Genesis G90 over any Tesla.

But anyways — simply be hard and discerning.

Do I care for the physical materials of the thing, or the concept of the thing?

Need marketing suggestions?

Shoot an email to Eric [at] Erickim.com


The best marketing

  1. Rolls Royce Spectre
  2. BMW (BMW owns rolls Royce)— prepare for power.

EK CONQUERING

Boston // conquer creativity online // conquer South Korea


EK SHOP

HENRI NECK STRAP MARK IV: Become Invincible

Henri Shoulder Strap: Carry Heavier


Think more

Why?

Get constructive feedback on your photos

Arsbeta.com


Think more become more

Entrepreneurship by KIM

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EK NEWS


Things to read

  1. The Iliad by Homer
  2. Zero to One – Peter Thiel

How to Become More Creatively Confident

Some simple thoughts towards creative productivity:

MEDIA

  1. Video
  2. Audio
  3. Podcast

First of all, I think it is wise to be irrationally prideful of yourself, your artwork, what you do make and share. 

Why? Honestly speaking, there are no measures of what is “good“ or “bad“ art. Art is a social and sociological phenomenon in which notions of good and successful are predicated on the confidence in the marketing ability of the author. 

For example the genius of Picasso — his genius self marketing ability. 

No objective good or bad

A huge thing:

There is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ art.

Honestly, all ‘successful’ art work is predicated on some sort of sociological phenomenon. 

Whether you become ‘successful’ or not is based on how well you can sell yourself, a bit of randomness and chance, your audacity and chutzpah, and also, how well connected you are.

Your network is your net worth (via some random UC Berkeley Undergraduate student, told by my friend Peter Phan)


Why boost your creative confidence?

Honestly, it seems that in order to creatively innovate, you must have a stubborn creative vision.

Note Steve Jobs— the only reason he was able to make Apple so phenomenally great is because of how stubborn he was. But now, after he died and Jony Ive left, Apple has lost her creative way. Why?

Apple no longer has a stubborn creative/design vision. Rather, she only cares to maximize profits and share-holder value.

Lesson:

Become insanely stubborn in regards to your creative vision.


You don’t need approval

Ars Beta is a great place to get honest feedback on your photos and art work, yet ultimately, what you gotta care for is this:

What do YOU think about your own art work?

First step:

Like your own art work.

Then the second step:

Share that art work (in which you like yourself) with others.

What holds us back?

Social media. The reason why I am anti social media is because it ‘crowd sources‘ and externalizes your self esteem.

True art work is not predicated on the value of dollars, followers, likes or comments. The true measure of worth in art:

How long will it and the legacy and memory of you last?

The best way as an artist:

Become an anti social extrovert.


How to care less

“I used to give a fuck, now I give a fuck less, what do I care about success, sucks, too much stress.” – JAY Z

After having gone viral (several times) etc, ultimately the takeaway:

It doesn’t really matter that much.

Also, after making $250,000 in crypto:

It doesn’t matter that much.

What is more important and critical? 

Your own personal creative thriving and blossoming.

New creative directions for yourself

Create your own gallery, your own creative online calorie, via your website. bluehost.com and install wordpress.org. The future of artwork is digital, online, exhibit and publish and future your own work in your own self online. 

Simple thoughts include designing a website which your artwork and your photos can be featured as full resolution JPEG images, full screen, the full width of the screen. 

Produce yourself

Something I have learned about the entertainment business, Hollywood, LA, etc.: 

The real people who have power are the ones who are the producers. 

Not the actors, not even the directors. The producers. 

This is very interesting, because producers are smart, they are extremely low-key, and nobody knows who they are. But, this is their strength and privilege. Producers are intelligent enough to know that widespread fame is actually a bad thing; for example, if you were Brad Pitt, you can’t just walk around the block, or go to the gym and work out, without being harassed. Funny thought— could Brad Pitt just go to equinox and work out, without attracting insane amount of attention? 

Even myself, even though in someways I am an attention whore, I also like my privacy and being able to stay low-key. For example when I’m weightlifting at the gym, when I have too much attention drawn to me it actually disrupts my focus in a bad way. Apparently I went viral a few times when I was doing my atlas lift over seven plates. And now whenever I go to the gym, everyone stares at me and all, I kind of like it, but I also kind of don’t.

Even more recently, housesitting for a friend in Santa Monica, the last two weeks, I have been frequenting the golds gym in Venice Beach. Recently I attracted a lot of attention being able to atlas lift over eight plates, even this regular powerlifter at the gym who could easily deadlift over seven plates off the floor asked me with curiosity, “If you don’t mind me asking, what was the purpose of you lifting eight plates?” My thought:

In order to become stronger. 

Attention is fun and glamorized but if it gets in the way of your focus, it is bad. 

Why do you make photos?

Why do you make photos? Or why do you do … anything?

Once you get to the root of things and why you do them, how can you run out of motivation?

ERIC


Conquer confidence

Conquer it all:

  1. Conquer street photography in Boston March 25th
  2. New- Conquer Creative Confidence Online May 5th
  3. Conquer Zen: HADONG SOUTH KOREA June 19-23rd

Confidence exercises

  1. Start vlogging. Just buy a GoPro mini, record in 1080p, 24fps, and vlog yourself on any thoughts you have in life! And just upload it to YouTube, your own blog, or start your own podcast at anchor.fm. Why vlog yourself? It takes confidence to start ‘street vlogging‘, just walk around and have the confidence to vlog yourself talking to yourself.
  2. Whenever you see someone you like or are attracted to for any reason, start chatting with them and compliment them on why you find them so fascinating! Also, as a fun pro tip– ask them for their first and last name. There is no sweeter sound in the world than your own first and last name. Use your own first and last name as your own self branding mark!

Creativity exercises

  1. I talked with a guy at the Philz Coffee shop today, and he told me something amazing that South Park is able to produce a single show in only six days! This is impressive because a typical animation studio will take 6 to 9 months for a single episode! Therefore the simple take away is when it comes to your artwork, make it quickly, iterate quickly, and publish and promote it quickly and iteratively. Applied to your photography and art, just shoot extra small JPEG, and simply share and publish your things online to your own website, don’t think about it too much or over analyze it.
  2. Download Procreate on your iPhone or iPad, and start sketching your own images. The easiest and most fun way to do this is to just experiment and have fun like a child.
  3. Don’t take it too seriously, and when you create, do it in the spirit of fun.

Create more every day

Creative every day print editiondigital edition

Become the modern photographer

Think future. 

The best way to become a modern day photographer is to think digital, to think online, and also, to understand that the future of technology is on the Internet.

I also think what holds back a lot of people is that they are stuck in old analogies of the past, in the context of feeling like they need to become a successful artist through the traditional Parisian measures of success, which include having a solo exhibition gallery, selling expensive prints, publishing a solo book, a monograph, etc. But my personal thought is the future of photography and also the future of art is digital. Thinking online, google, Google images, making your artwork easily accessible, indexable by Google, and hopefully living forever.

One of my personal challenges being a website domain host is keeping an archive of my images on the Internet, which lasts. A big issue with a lot of things digital is that there is no longevity. Most websites come and go, and I think 80% of the links on the Internet are now broken. 

Think longevity. 

Do you want to be remembered, and if so, how long?

Our best friend Friedrich Nietzsche once said that the number one good on earth is longevity and durability. 

Personal question you must ask yourself is whether you care to be remembered or not. If you care to be remembered, perhaps it is a wise idea to structure your life in such a way which will allow that.

Conquer on! ERIC


That which does not destroy you only makes you stronger. – Nietzsche


EK TURBO NEWS

Never run out of motivation: EK TURBO NEWS

If this sparked even one ounce of motivation, feel free to forward this to a friend! 

Other random stuff on my mind

The other day at golds gym Venice, I saw an orange Lamborghini Aventador, roadster, convertible droptop, and truth be told, I was shocked of how small and unimpressive it looked. For us car guys, once we have killed the notion of even desiring a Lamborghini, or thinking that it is impressive, then what?

Currently speaking, the car I am most fascinated by is either the Hyundai genesis G90, the Rolls-Royce killer, or even a matte black Hyundai sonata. 

I think currently speaking, the most impressive cars, and car designs are all coming out of Hyundai. 


Random Fitness stuff on my mind

Apparently I’ve been going viral a lot, even at golds gym fitness for lifting the legendary 330 pound dumbbells. I’ve been very interested in strongman styled weightlifting, and strength building. 

Other ideas which I am interested in include the farmers carry, atlas stones, lifting and throwing heavy rocks, suitcase walk, etc. Anything that has to do with lifting up heavy weights, standing, or walking. 

EK FIT

If you cannot tell, diet health and fitness has been a new passion of mine, actually, an old passion of mine, which stems all the way back in the day from when I was a fat 12 year old kid. Stay tuned for more of this kind of stuff. 

For fitness consulting, shoot me an email at Eric [at] Erickim.com


Creative assignments

I am starting a new photography project, I call it “stuck in traffic.” I’ve been driving a lot in LA lately, been spending a lot of time stuck in traffic at stoplights. I’ve been just keeping my Ricoh GR 3X digital camera in my front right pocket, and snapping photos from my driver seat car window whenever possible. This is actually been a very productive way to make more photos, I recommend it. 

Upload some of your urban street photography, or your urban landscape street photography, or your own stuck in traffic photos to Arsbeta.com

New things to research

Really into stone lifting.

The development of physical power, Arthur Saxon.

Text book of weight lifting by Arthur Saxon

Also, the worlds strongest man competitions

More to come on EK BLOG.


Photo, Video, and the Future

Just spent the last two days in LA, at UCLA, and I’m feeling insanely inspired. Why? Some thoughts:

The first observation that I have made is that it looks like media, entertainment, shows, cinema film vlogs, are the future. Why? Let us just look at all of the advertising and the new products; all of the new interesting digital cameras are all centered around video and vlogging, and also making cinema. Think about the new compact canon cinema camera, and also the new Panasonic Lumix cameras which are phenomenal for vlogging and video. And cinema.

What do nerds and everybody share in common?

It doesn’t matter who you are, it looks like everybody loves media. For example, all nerds like to watch TV shows, cinema, films, entertainment etc.

Also if you think about all age groups, whether it be newborn kids, kids, toddlers, teenagers, adults, middle-age people, the elderly, etc.; everybody watches YouTube, and or Netflix or something like that.

What can you do about it?

Everyone has different life goals and different life pursuits. For myself, I am interested in directing our energies towards things that we can actually do ourselves, with no gate keepers, no restrictions, 100% freedom and control.

It seems that the most straightforward answer then is having the ability to record videos, and just upload them online, whether it be to YouTube or your own self hosted videopress.com account (linked with your WordPress.org Website Blog) via WordPress.com

Why self hosted video instead of YouTube?

First of all, the simplest and most straightforward way to build your own solo media empire is just making a website blog via bluehost.com and installing wordpress.org. Own your own domain. Ideally your first name last name .com, or you could just make it your first name last name photo .com, or your first name last name photography .com.

For example, I own Erickim.com, Erickimphotography.com, as well as Erickimphotography.com/blog.

In the very long term, your domain name, and your website name, and the .com domain will be critical.

Why .com? To me it is the only legitimate domain name, something that everyone can actually remember. Let us consider google.com, facebook.com, twitter.com, apple.com, amazon.com, etc.


What is the goal?

The reason why I am more interested in using smaller and lower resolutions, for example 720 P, 24 FPS or 30 FPS, smaller file sizes is this:

Your video files will upload and process 100 times faster than in higher video formats, even compared to 1080P, 4K, 5K, etc.

And the question is this; in the context of the video you create, are you creating it for the pleasure and entertainment of others, or, is it for your own benefit, to propagate your own thoughts?

I say the primary motive should be for your own benefit. The fact that others may watch it is just an added benefit. The number one critical factor is that you yourself enjoy publishing it.

The equipment

Currently speaking, the best equipment to have included the Ricoh GR 3X,

Scale

Something I’m thinking a lot about entrepreneurship:

Why scale?

Or in other words:

Why is scaling up seen as desirable?

And also– are there hidden downsides of having a really big scale?

When it is better to be a mouse than an elephant

Example from Nassim Taleb‘s “Antifragile” book:

A mouse is less likely to break its bones than an elephant.

This has to do with scale. A bigger elephant is more fragile to falling than a smaller organism.

And contrary to modern thinking– it seems that (in the long run), smaller companies tend to out-live really really big companies.

Furthermore, merging two companies almost never seems like a beneficial thing. When companies scale larger, things get more complex, and often the resulting chimera company is inferior.


Why I would prefer a Mazda Miata over a Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is a very cool car, but I would always choose a Mazda Miata over it.

Why? Smaller cars are generally more fun to drive! It is more fun to drive a go-kart than to drive a tank. You feel more responsiveness in a smaller car than a bigger car. A smaller car also handles better, turns better, and you can feel the acceleration better as well!

I think this has to do with scale. A smaller-scale car seems superior:

  1. Cheaper to produce
  2. Fewer materials
  3. More fun to drive
  4. Easier to park (no more need to loop around the block several times to find a big enough parking spot).

In theory it seems that ‘bigger is better’, but in real-life living, it seems that “smaller is better”.

When is bigger better?

If you’re in a street fight, and there was a 300-pound beast fighting a 120 pound person, I would vote on the 300-pound beast.

But then again, it gets tricky. A trained 120 pound person might be able to beat a 300 pound (goof).

Size is a quick heuristic (rule of thumb) to signal strength. But often smaller guys are stronger!

Who are the strongest guys at the gym?

This is something I find very fascinating:

The strongest guys at the gym (500+ pound deadlifters) are muscular, but they don’t look that “muscular” or “strong”.

In fact, most powerlifters are quite modest in size. And it seems that they can lift a lot more weight than body-builders (who have more impressive looking muscles).

In praise of smaller cameras

USC, 2019 #ricohgriii

I am currently shooting with a RICOH GR III, which is actually even SMALLER than a Ricoh GR II (already super small!). And it is great, because this is what I have discovered about photography:

The smaller your camera, the more likely you are to carry it with you everywhere you go, the less friction necessary to shoot photos.

Thus with smaller cameras, you shoot more! And the more you shoot, generally the happier and more creative we are!

Why I prefer AirPods over Massive over-ear headphones

Bigger headphones have more impressive bass and sound quality than smaller headphones (Apple AirPods). But I will always prefer the AirPods.

Why?

In everyday living, you can have the AirPods with you everywhere you go! There is far less friction to use them than to use a huge pair of headphones. Also the problem of storing the big headphones (it takes up half your backpack).

Bigger companies = more stress

If your life goal is to maximize the amount of stress and concern in your life, hire more employees.

This is the tricky thing with scale:

As you scale a company up, complexity increases at an exponential rate.

For example as any parent can attest:

Going from 1 child to 2 children isn’t twice as hard, it is probably 200x as hard.

I know for myself, I hate having to ‘manage’ anyone else. Why? I can barely manage myself, let alone manage another human being. Furthermore, we only have a limited amount of energy in a given day. I don’t want to waste any energy having to micro-manage people.

My ideal co-workers: independent and self-driven individuals with great passion. You don’t need to manage these type of people; they direct and manage themselves!

Why do we desire more numbers?

It seem as humans, our mental calculations are still too basic from an intuitive level.

For example imagine if we were still cavemen. Obviously 100 apples is superior to just 1 apple.

But in modern-day life, is 100 million really superior to 1 million dollars? Having 100 million might be 10000000x more stressful than owning just 1 million dollars. And the person who owns “only” 1 million dollars might actually have more personal freedom, happiness, and joy in their lives than the richer (but more enslaved) person.

Social proof

Of course there is this notion of ‘social proof’:

The more people who attracted to you, the more legitimate and powerful you seem.

But this isn’t accurate. If you have Bill Gates follow you and admire you, he outweighs 10 million “normal” people. But we humans aren’t good at judging this, we just get suckered by numbers.

Who do you desire to impress?

To me, I would rather impress 3 individuals who I venerate than 3 million “random” people.

It also does seem that from an entrepreneurial perspective, better to have 10 rich people in your business network than 100,000 “middle-class” people follow you.

Conclusion: Smaller is better

Strive to be small as possible. If you need to scale up and expand, that is fine. But to scale for the sake of scaling ain’t the goal.

The goal is to become more powerful, gain more influence, and to exert yourself more. And perhaps, better to have a few great individuals putting forth great effort than millions of “normal” people?

ERIC

Truthiness

There is no ultimate ‘truth’ — only varying degrees of “truthiness” (degrees of truth).


The basic notion is this:

The purpose of philosophy isn’t to discover an ultimate truth. The purpose of philosophy is to discover DEEPER LEVELS of truth, which I propose as “truthiness”.

Personal truth

Furthermore, it is a waste of time (vain effort) to strive to fully-understand the truth of others, society, etc. It seems the most practical use of our energy is to best understand ourselves. To understand our our personal ambitions, bias — to empower ourselves to strive for more!


Know yourself (deeper)

The Latin phrase: “Temet nosce” (know yourself) seems to be a very wise saying. I propose something more:

Strive to know yourself deeper.

In other words:

Strive to gain a deeper knowledge of ‘truthiness’ about yourself.

Furthermore– once you gain deeper self-knowledge, use it as a form of empowerment. To know yourself, to not desire to be any different. To know that your greatest virtues might be interpreted by others as your greatest vices.

BE BOLD, BRAZEN, and unabashedly you!

ERIC

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