Self Portrait As Your Traitor by Moe Abdou


Like great artists, the brands we love always seem to have a deep emotional resonance that goes way beyond the products they sell.  They often tell a story that impacts our frame of mind and celebrates our uniqueness.  They invite meaningful dialogue because they genuinely value our perspective.  And above all, they never seem to stop evolving with us.  As a sports fanatic, Nike is that quintessential example - that simple swoosh ignites “inspiration and innovation for every athlete in the world.”

The combination of story and art is smart business; and it reminds us why Andy Warhol believed that “making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”  Debbie Millman has been at the intersection of art, design and branding for nearly 20 years now, but her latest book, Self-Portrait as Your Traitor, isn’t as much about building a corporate brand as it about cultivating a personal identity.  Here’s what that means for your personal brand.



Further Reading
  • eero Designs Wi-Fi for the Smart Home Era — Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Principal at Shasta Ventures, recently distinguished exceptional founders by their ability to prioritize. “It all comes back to prioritization, speed, paranoia, and knowing that if you don’t iterate, even after finding product market fit, you can be disrupted by the next product,” he says.
  • How Marketers Can Adapt to the Attention Economy — When LiveIntent CMO Suneet Bhatt described email as our digital passports, it clicked. “Our emails have gone from a place where we receive messages online to the way we identify ourselves,” he explained. In thinking about my own inbox, I completely agree. Whether it’s the First Round Review emails or a newsletter from one of the brands I follow, like Lunya or Parachute, I await my weekly updates.
  • Eight Tactics to Brainstorm, Plan, and Execute Your Next Content Strategy — Whenever I think of exceptional content, First Round Review is always first to come to mind. Whether I’m learning hiring strategies from Mike Curtis, VP of Engineering at Airbnb, or gaining insight into product management from Jack Krawczyk, Pandora’s VP of Product, reading the Review is an essential part of my week.


back to the blog