Don't Get Angry, Get an Original Idea

I enjoyed Rob Walker's article about Blackspot founder Kalle Lasn and his mission to take on Phil Knight ["Going After Nike," October]. Recently, there has been a new wave of entrepreneurs like Lasn who are building their businesses on "antibrands." Great branding is not about million-dollar ad campaigns or corporate greed, it's about being passionate, being creative, and standing for something. That said, I think Kalle Lasn, instead of getting mad at everyone else, should come up with an original idea and learn how to market it himself.

W. Vito Montone, Co-founder, BrandU, Venice, Calif.

It's obvious to me that Kalle Lasn's anger keeps him from seeing the big picture. If he had worked with No Sweat's president, Lasn would have had a chance to fight the good fight against those "greedy corporations," and he could also have helped workers here in America. As it is, his anticorporation, if successful, will become the very creature it was created to destroy.

Tom Martine, Training Consultant, Aetna, New York City

Once again my favorite magazine has run an "anticapitalist" article about some groovy professional agitator who doesn't know what he stands for except that it is against something else. I doubt your readers are antibranding. My little HVAC company is trying to build a brand based on higher quality. I don't need to worry about the "mental pollution" of marketing. I need to worry about how to increase sales during the coolest summer in decades.

Richard D. Goulet, Salesman, Midwest Mechanical, Naperville, Ill.

The Better Businessman

John Kerry's business record "compares favorably" to George W. Bush's? ["The Kerry Pitch," October] To say the least. Bush has failed in almost every business venture he was a part of, many of which were bankrolled by others. He sold his entire stake in Harken Oil just before the release of terrible financial news. The fact that the SEC investigation ended without charges being filed (while his father was President) does not negate charges of incompetence and fiduciary neglect, given his position on the board and the audit committee.

John Seiffer, Owner,, Brookfield, Conn.

Sasha Issenberg's description of John Kerry as an advocate of small business makes me question the author's motives. He says Kerry's an entrepreneur, but Kerry's partner actually ran the firm. Kerry is no friend of business. He'll raise taxes and increase spending.

Richard Hauley, Dentist, Salt Lake City


Oh, the irony: Readers detected two errors in "How to Spot Trouble in Your Financials," on page 96 of the October issue. Shareholders' Equity for 2002 and 2001 should have read $1,997,500 and $1,425,400, respectively. Total Assets and Total Liabilities & Shareholders' Equity should have been $2,799,500 for 2002 and $2,057,900 for 2001.

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