This time of year LA feels like another country. Usually it just seems like a different planet.
I left Chicago about a week ago. The temperature was in the single digits. The wind chill was even lower. There was about eight inches of snow on the ground. I was so cold I got on the plane wearing lined snow pants, a turleneck, a sweatshirt and a polar fleece jacket.
Four hours later, I got off the plane and there were flowers blooming. People were wearing shorts. The wind chill was 70 degrees. Soon, I was having a chat on the veranda of The Georgian Hotel watching palm trees sway in the breeze overlooking the ocean.
For the last few days I've been doing the focus group thing in Marina del Rey. This means sitting in dark rooms for hours and hours watching a moderator present dozens of concepts for new products that I've written, while paid respondents give their feedback. Second only to brain surgery in importance.
When you consider the power that six people you don't know can have on the success or failure of your new product idea, be afraid. Be very afraid.
One of the things that particpants are asked to do is rank each new product concept we present to them with a score between one and five. Today some guy said he gave one idea a score of three instead of just a one because he felt sorry for it.
I don't want to put too fine a point on how hard we work, since no one I know has ever lost their life in the defense of marketing or advertising, but one of our team members got so sick last night he had to go to the hospital today.
Afterward, I went to a friend's house out near Pepperdine for some much needed R and R. Four days of M and M Peanuts, chocolate chip cookies, Thai food, Chinese food, Sushi, and beverages with a high incidence of caffeine can take their toll.
It's been so long since I've done an entry I'm getting blisters on my fingers. Next time I'll fill you in on the two weeks I spent with the kitty cats. Did you know they've got cat litter that turns cat pee pee into little round hockey pucks for easy disposal?