Insights from Nebo

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December 18, 2015

Guess Who's in Town? It's Your Crazy Uncle!

Regardless of religion, for many of us the holidays mean time with family. If your family is like mine...actually, no. Scratch that. If your family is real, not pretend and not a Norman Rockwell painting, you probably have a few personalities. Or eccentrics. Or weirdos. Lord knows I got ‘em.

These are the uncles who take family gatherings as an opportunity to pitch their newest, most exciting business idea. “It’s like Uber but for air conditioning repair. Get it? It’s an app. Boom! Right?” Or it’s the cousin who’s been working the campaign of a Republican presidential candidate no one has heard of. “CNN won’t let us debate—not even the undercard. You know why, right? You know why? (You don’t ever answer because you don’t want to encourage him.) They’re scared of the truth telling. It’s a revolution, man.” Maybe it’s not your side. Maybe it’s your partner’s aunt. The one who shows up to every family gathering sporting a new husband (“He’s your uncle now!”) and a smattering of children between the ages of four and 16.

December 8, 2015

Physical Therapy Taught Me I'm Terrible at Solving Problems

Nerve damage is a recurring story in my life. I injured my lower back playing baseball in high school, coped with nerve pain on and off throughout my running career and, more recently, temporarily paralyzed my foot after what I’ll pretend was an epic and daring feat (it wasn't).

So when this past July rolled around and I found out about another case of nerve damage, the news wasn’t too hard to stomach. I’d been in the situation before. I knew the best- and worst-case scenarios. What was hard to stomach, however, was how it all began.

I took a nap.

December 4, 2015

The Blurred Lines of Plagiarism

I recently heard an interview with blues legend Buddy Guy where he talked about the first time he listened to Cream’s psychedelic blues song “Strange Brew.” Guy complemented Cream’s guitarist Eric Clapton on the main riff in the song.

“That’s your lick,” Clapton responded. He’d pulled the riff from Guy’s 1965 collaboration with Junior Wells on the song “Hey Lawdy Mama.”

Buddy laughed and said, “OK.”

This is the blues. It’s tradition to borrow and imitate the greats. Even the composition rights for “Hey Lawdy Mama” are typically given to blues pioneer Buddy Moss. Also in 1967, when “Strange Brew” was released, musicians didn’t beef much over who wrote what and who inspired who. It wasn’t considered stealing. No love was lost between Guy and Clapton.

But things have changed.

November 24, 2015

What Your Favorite Thanksgiving Pie Says about You

A coworker of mine, Cassie Kaye, said something last week that really disappointed me. We were in the Nebo kitchen talking jive and getting jazzed for Thanksgiving when someone brought up pies. Naturally, I got excited because I love pie. Then Cassie spoke up.

According to Cassie, the best Thanksgiving pie is apple. Apple? What the shit? How is apple a Thanksgiving pie?

When it comes to Thanksgiving, the pie in my eye is pumpkin. To me, pumpkin pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. I was surprised to find my fellow Neboers did not feel the same.

November 19, 2015

Confessions of a Recovering Business Owner

Hello. My name is Stacy and I’m a recovering business owner.

Hi, Stacy!

I owned a digital marketing agency for nearly 15 years, starting in early 2001. It was a search marketing agency called Prominent Placement, until we rebranded last year and became the B2B conversion agency Big Drum.

A little over three months ago, Big Drum joined the Nebo family, and I transitioned from being the CEO of a boutique agency to an employee at a 70-person company.

Everyone’s eager to hear how it’s going, and I understand their curiosity. The statistics are surely not on our side. The Harvard Business Review reports mergers and acquisitions fail between 70 percent and 90 percent of the time. Culture clashes, unmet expectations, personality differences…the mind boggles at all the possible ways the meshing of two separate companies can come undone.

But not in this case. Sure, there have been bumps along the way, but overall, it has been a positive experience for me and a smart strategic move for both companies. I am happier here at Nebo than most people would probably expect. Let’s take a closer look at what it’s like moving from being a business owner to an employee.