Entries by Mark Smith


Well, I managed to survive “Move In Day” at Elon University in North Carolina.  My daughter is a newly-minted member of the Freshman Class.  Her graduation in 2023 seems a long way off.  Until it seems like it’s almost here.  Welcome to the life of a College Dad. Elon gave every new College Parent an interesting task to do […]


In what sounds like the opening line of a joke, one has to ask: “Which is harder to accomplish – flying to the moon and back, or putting on a Woodstock 50thAnniversary concert? Incredibly, while The Eaglelanded on the moon, “Woodstock 50” failed to get off the ground. Plenty of finger-pointing and paperwork filed in court, […]

Graduation and Innovation

Last week, my daughter graduated from Cincinnati Country Day High Schooland began a new chapter.  Which means I’m beginning a new chapter as well, becoming the father of a college student. As the Chief Creative Officer (and Chief Storyteller) at Upstream 360, I feel like I’m prepared, because embracing change and being nimble and agile enough to […]


Most digital venues are walking around with their heads down these days.  And for good reason. Make that plural. Reasons. Offensive videos, inaccurate measures of audience, less-than-transparent standards around the use of influencers, bots, and social-media accounts, to name a few. P&G’s Chief Brand Officer made headlines recently for urging advertisers to demand better quality of content and […]


When it comes to things people fear most, surveys continue to show “fear of public speaking” at the top of the list.  Incredibly, our fear of standing up in front of a group and talking is so great, that (in surveys at least), we fear it even more than death! Does that mean if you go […]


Confession time. This past week-end, I watched Glengarry Glen Ross (the 1992 film adaptation of David Mamet’s devastatingly scorching Pulitzer prize winning play), for the 20th time. Known mostly today for Alec Baldwin’s classic “coffee is for closers” speech, there is so much more to it. I’ve long admired the astonishing logic and cadence to […]

Promises. Promises.

Welcome to February, and the cooling ashes of New Years Resolutions that often go along with it. I recently overheard someone say “Why set a goal for yourself when you can make a promise, instead?” This is kind of a kissin’-cousin to the old bromide: “Goals are particulars, but promises are proclamations.” When you consider […]

The Resolution Will Not Be Televised.

I begin the year with an apology. Gil Scott-Heron famously wrote in a 1970 poem that the revolution will not be televised, and here I am shamelessly paraphrasing him to make a point about resolutions. Did anyone really think I could go 365 days without making a pun? But Scott-Heron also wrote about looking for […]

Hearing Is Believing

Turn back now before it’s too late. Don’t read another word. If you prefer uninterrupted thought, the ability to maintain coherent conversations while preserving your sanity, trust me, go no further. Otherwise, suffer the fate of the dreaded earworm . . . meticulously wending its way, inexorably deeper and deeper into your brain. Wait. Halloween’s […]

Playwright. Work Righter.

If you’re like me, you spend late nights browsing through quotes from German Playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Show of hands? Perhaps this will persuade you to at least give it a try. Von Goethe once famously said: “There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight.” Some things true in the early 19th Century […]