I’m a retail architect that studies human behavior, perception, and decision-making. I’m fascinated with the intersection of where commerce and community meet.

What the train wanderers taught me about waiting for the right opportunity to arrive

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While it would be unheard of today, I walked to elementary school every day as a kid in the south. It was a long trek, about 25 minutes in total, through the old brick neighborhoods, then past the big steepled church, art deco post office, and the modern supermarket just beyond the edge of the main street.

The most exciting part of my journey was crossing the railroad tracks that split our town in half. If my pals and I got the timing right, we could catch the Northfolk Southern Railway freight train come roaring across our path.

The sheer heft of the million-pound freight train—huffing and puffing its way past us—was a mighty sight for a young boy to behold. I wasn’t sure what was in those train cars or where they were going with all that force, but whatever it was, it was important enough to put our busy little town on pause. …


To love your lover is to love their dreams.

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“I can’t wait for you to get this childish hobby out of your system!” Marie shouted as Harry laid on the floor, wrestling with one of his students.

And with that, she stormed out of the gym in a huff.

Harry looked embarrassed…as if his mother just told him he was too old to be still playing with GI Joe’s.

As students, we weren’t used to seeing our action-hero smacked down like this. There was an awkward silence for a few breathless seconds. …


The three fences couples must get over to “make it”.

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“So, what’d you think of my new girl?” Felix asked as if he were referring to a new convertible sports car he just leased.

“She seems like a wonderful human,” I said.

He was hoping for a more enthusiastic response from me. But I didn’t want to participate in this visual evaluation game with him like we were judges holding scorecards at a dog show.

Felix always had a new modelesque girl on his arm, but these relationships never went far beyond the first few dates.

My friend was a serial dater, and he had all the trappings of a professional player. But what Felix wanted most in his life was to settle down, get married and start a family. …


The secret to defining your company’s values and soul starts by figuring out what pisses you off

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Thirty percent of the brands in my life and cupboards, I don’t know. I mean, I know their names and what they look like — vaguely. But I know nothing more about what they believe in, care about, or what they’re willing to fight for in this world.

I wouldn’t call these brands family or even close friends. They’re more like acquaintances or relationships of convenience. But honestly, I could do with or without them in my life.

That’s a shame for these brands because it allows other alluring brands to slip into my shopping cart and onto my shelves. But these impersonal brands don’t make it easy for me to get to know them. …


How one movie made me ashamed to be a man.

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If you’re a male over 40, it’s hard not to feel some sense of embarrassment and guilt about how the male species has behaved over the last 30–40 years. And this past weekend’s film choice pushed that shame to new levels.

My wife and I rented the movie Promising Young Woman. Neither of us knew anything about the film. But the “Tomatometer” gave it a 91%.

At first, we thought the movie might be a dark comedy about a hopeless romantic woman that has given up on men and becoming a doctor. She keeps meeting the wrong men in the worst possible ways. …

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