Going Backwards

I understand that one way that brands extend their reach in the marketplace is to create additional products that are connected to their flagship products. This can be a problem when a flagship product solves a problem, yet this extension product is the source of the problem itself.

M&Ms solved the problem of getting melted chocolate on your hands by coating the chocolate in a candy shell. Sure, if the weather was hot or your hands were wet, the candy shell melted in your hands, but the chocolate didn’t. Now M&Ms makes branded chocolate bars. The thing that makes them M&M chocolate bars is that they contain mini M&Ms in them, but that doesn’t get around the point that the chocolate will still melt in your hands.

There’s Always a Line

While eating breakfast at a restaurant, I overhead someone talking behind me. He was expounding on topics large and small to his dining companion. He was clearly someone who has amassed a great amount of knowledge and remembered much of it. I could completely relate to this. The challenge for someone like this – or me – is that you are often dancing back and forth across the line between interesting and arrogant.

Reading Challenge

Last year I read 22 books, so I figured that 24 books in 2018 was a manageable goal. I track my books on Goodreads, but it also gives me a place to save books that I want to read. About halfway through the year, as I was approaching 20 books, I upped my goal to 36 books. I was reading a mix of fiction, non-fiction, even a few business books thrown in. I ended the year having read 40 books.

Penny for Your Thoughts

I rarely carry or spend cash, and when I do spend it, I pay almost no attention to the coins I receive as change. They immediately go into a tip jar, the console in my car or my change collection.

I used to collect coins, but in the way kids did it. I had a penny album in the 1970s and I was looking for a penny from every year. The hardest one to find was the 1943 one made of steel, since copper had other uses during World War II. It may have been the last one needed to complete the book, but I found one. I think I still have this penny album in a box somewhere.

These two things combined made it not surprising and very surprising that I noticed a 2018 penny at the very end of the year. I had never seen one before. In fact, I don’t even remember the last time I even noticed the date on a penny.