Want do you want?

"It isn't normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement." -- Abraham Maslow

I am not sure I have ever known what I want.

I have set goals.

I have mapped road trips.

I have pursued achievements.

But knowing what I want, not so much.

Laissez-faire is for me.

There are so many choices and so many opportunities. Many of us are blessed with abundance and expansion.

I am easily distracted, tempted, fascinated, and interested.

Earth is an endless playground of adventure and shenanigans.

Frankly, it's a relief to know this is not an abnormal condition. Plus, I am not sure it really matters to know precisely want I want.

I have always performed better in short time frames. For me, a season is an ideal format.

When I was coaching elite soccer players I loved looking at the schedule. The schedule set the practices, the flow, the periods of intensity, and the periods of rest.

Today working with global policy experts I use a similar system. Using inflections points like dropping a white paper, hosting a press conference, speaking at Davos, grinding on the campaign trail helps to set the work, the flow, the periods of intensity, and the periods of rest.

At the halfway point of 2019, it is a good time to take inventory and decide what I want for the next six months or say the next 100 working days give or take.

- Commit to executing simple, high-touch marketing each day

- Learn something new, challenging, and valuable

- Cut fewer corners

- Think deeper and write more

- Generate more bad ideas

- Listen to more music and spend less time on social

- Say thank you more and randomly

- Create content that tickles, tantalizes, and thrills

- Say no more, curate better, and simplify

- Embrace custom-made and bespoke

Just putting this out there feels like I am making a difficult psychological achievement.


Marc A. Ross is an advisor and connector working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics. Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and thought leaders make better connections and better communications. He is the founder of Brigadoon and Caracal Global.

1,000 songs in your pocket


No mention of the engineering.

No mention of the unprecedented memory.

No mention of the fashionable design.

No mention of the price.

Just these six words.

"iPod. 1,000 songs in your pocket."

This is how Steve Jobs introduced this new device on October 23, 2001. A device the would go on to change music, entertainment, and computers forever.

A device up until that point no consumer knew they wanted or even needed.

A device that held the equivalent of 100 CDs in your pocket.

A device that would change our relationship with music and our relationship with entertainment forever.

A device that would change our relationship with hardware and our relationship with companies forever.

The future is psychology and not technology.

The future is experience and not evidence.

Consumers want demeanor, not data.


Marc A. Ross specializes in communications for thought leaders working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Ross Rant: My 2019 NFL Mock Draft


First Round

1. Arizona Cardinals - Scottsdale is cool in your 60s, not so much in your 20s.

2. San Francisco 49ers - You'll have a chance to invest in the next Theranos.

3. New York Jets - "No, we are the Jets. Not the Giants."

4. Oakland Raiders - "It's actually crazier in the locker room."

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ybor City looks fun.

6. New York Giants - The fourth most valuable franchise in the NFL.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - "Jacksonville, do you believe in miracles?" - that was 23 years ago.

8. Detroit Lions - At least "The Captain" Steve Yzerman is back in town.

9. Buffalo Bills - You'll love Toronto.

10. Denver Broncos - It's the Vic Fangio era. Enough said.

11. Cincinnati Bengals - Love that WKRP and chili on spaghetti. Amazing.

12. Green Bay Packers - "No way. Aaron Rodgers is not a diva. No way."

13. Miami Dolphins - You'll wish you worked at a Hard Rock.

14. Atlanta Falcons - "One of our players married a Real Housewife of Atlanta!"

15. Washington Redskins - Only the White House is more poorly managed in this town.

16. Carolina Panthers - The floppy hair and khakis capital.

17. New York Giants - The ninth most valuable professional sports franchise in the world.

18. Minnesota Vikings - Still a spectacular stadium.

19. Tennessee Titans - "Did we tell you Vince Young appeared on the cover art for the Madden NFL 08?"

20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Playoff appearances = 1947, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

21. Seattle Seahawks - Seahawk is another name for Osprey.

22. Baltimore Ravens - Have you had a crab cake sandwich?

23. Houston Texans - Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly are fans.

24. Oakland Raiders - Peaking for Las Vegas!

25. Philadelphia Eagles - "Yes, Gritty is more horrifying in person."

26. Indianapolis Colts - The owner just bought the piano used by John Lennon for 'Sgt. Pepper' album.

27. Oakland Raiders - Three picks in the first round, still won't matter.

28. Los Angeles Chargers - High schools in Texas have more fans in the stands.

29. Seattle Seahawks - Some QBs give watches, Russell Wilson gives linemen Amazon stock.

30. Green Bay Packers - "Seriously. Aaron Rodgers is not a diva."

31. Los Angeles Rams - Headquartered in Agoura Hills, California. You know the place where the filming of the M.A.S.H TV series took place.

32. New England Patriots - Denting the Vince Lombardi Trophy?!? Did Gronk just put a curse on the team?!?


Marc A. Ross specializes in thought leader strategy for executives and entrepreneurs working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Ross Rant: Being counted doesn't always count.


"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." -- Albert Einstein

The world is inundated with data.

But yet Hollywood can't guarantee a hit.

The outcome of the Stanley Cup can't be confirmed.

The future UK PM officeholder can't be verified.

And the next chef to beat Bobby Flay can't be affirmed.

Still, we love data.

"Do a survey. Do a focus group. Do a study."

Do more data.

I don't think the magic is in more data.

Data should not be about trying to use the information to prove a theory, but to see what the numbers are actually telling us and to inform us what we might be missing - especially since the mind likes to trick us.

You see, our brains are wired to remember and overvalue the vivid and the shocking. Our brains are wired to remember events that actually happened and not events that could happen.

So often we comfort ourselves in data to gain a better understanding and some guidance, but the data often falls short.

In their book, Why Everything You Know About Soccer is Wrong, authors Chris Anderson and David Sally concluded that soccer is basically a 50/50 game. Half is luck, and half is skill.

With this conclusion, the authors determined there are two routes to soccer glory. One is being good. The other is being lucky. You need both to win a championship. But you only need one to win a game.

Disney CEO Bob Iger used a similar conclusion this week.

With the announcement of his company's over the top Disney+ streaming service, Iger is going where his customers are going. One where customers can customize their viewing experience and seamlessly view Mickey and Minnie on numerous devices.

No survey, no focus group, and no study needed to know this is a good move for Disney.

Disney has a customer experience that is visceral and multigenerational. A customer experience that is deep and broad. A customer experience forged with skill.

But Iger knows Disney needs more than skill to win the future.

As Iger told CNBC, if you measure the future against the present, the present doesn't stay the present for very long. Today's marketplace has never been more dynamic.

You can't measure what is happening today. You need to measure what you think will happen in the future - that and harness a little luck.

The reasons many of us don't innovate is the data and the information being used is shaped by a current business model and what has gotten us to our current status.

Data which is based on the present and data which is not of the future.

So be mindful of having too much data as a means to confirm what you want the outcome to be.

Plus don't be afraid of harnessing a little bit of luck.

- Marc

Marc A. Ross specializes in thought leader strategy for executives and entrepreneurs working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.