Jon Snow Just Ruined The Best Thing About Game of Thrones

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Spoiler Alert: If you ‘re not caught up on Game of Thrones you should stop reading now because it will spoil things for you. And if you don’t watch Thrones at all you should stop reading because you’re going to be really bored by it.

There’s a lot to love about Game of Thrones, but right at the top of that list has been the show’s willingness to kill off any character at any time for any reason.

From its first season and the surprise killing of Ned Stark, the show repeatedly delivered major shocks by eliminating major characters. In doing so, it established a tension that serves every scene in every episode – a suspense that hangs over each interaction because you know any given line could be a character’s last.

Then, they killed Jon Snow and nobody quite believed it.

And last week, they resurrected him (At least I assume that’s what happened – it’s possible I’m wrong because like most people I only understand 50% of what I see on that show).

Jon Snow’s resurrection may be the most entertaining resurrection story I’ve seen since watching Sam Kinison explain what happened to Jesus, but it’s still troubling. Not because I care about the impact it will have north of the wall or on the 8,635 other ongoing Thrones storylines, but because I worry the show’s producers just undercut their own super power.

Suddenly, we know any character who gets killed has the potential to return. Death is no longer final – it now might just be a minor distraction from a character’s normal, miserable, Thrones existence.

That drastically changes the game (no pun intended) and may suck a lot of suspense out of future scenes. It’s kind of a bummer.

By not killing off Jon Snow, Thrones may have damaged the best weapon in its dramatic arsenal.

“All men must die” doesn’t have the same oomph to it when it comes with an asterisk.

(NOTE: If Jon Snow somehow turns into a dragon next week, I take back everything I said.)

Spring Broke

You ever think about how Spring Break came to be?

Me neither.

Turns out, it’s an interesting story that includes as much business, marketing, and politics as it does partying.

I watched a new Showtime documentary this weekend called Spring Broke that chronicles the history of Spring Break and how it’s evolved over the years and I highly recommend you check it out.

It’s packed with interesting stuff such as the fact that cigarette companies fueled the growth of the Daytona Beach Spring Break scene because it was a cheap (and semi-legal) way for them to market to college kids. And once it was made illegal for them to do so, alcohol brands stepped in and picked up the torch.

It was also interesting to see the impact MTV’s Spring Break coverage had and tons of behind-the-scenes stuff like how MTV always made it seem a lot more wild and warm than it actually was.

While I never went to Daytona Beach for Spring Break, watching the documentary made me think back to my own Spring Break adventures.

Most of my memories of them are appropriately foggy, but here’s a few things I remembered.

I remember my first real Spring Break experience happening when I was a senior in high school.

A bunch of my friends piled into a couple cars and drove down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. None of us had much money, but one of my friends who had a particularly low bankroll decided to spend almost all of it on fireworks at a weird/infamous truck stop called South of the Border on our drive down.

By day two of our trip, he was out of money, but fully stocked with an artillery of fireworks we had no real use for.

I also remember that on one of our first days there, we met a group of girls from Indiana of all places who we hung out with for the duration of the trip. We went on to meet back up with them multiple times in multiple other locations over the next few years.

It didn’t seem particularly odd at the time, but considering this all happened in a pre-Internet, pre-cell phone era, it actually seems like an amazing accomplishment in retrospect.

I have no idea how those friendships were maintained or how those reunion trips were coordinated, but I’m going to guess beepers were involved since that was pretty much the extent of our technology back then.

In college, I found myself in Miami for Spring Break, where I turned 21 and rented a car that I put on my first credit card and am probably still paying off.

Then, my senior year of college I spent my final Spring Break flying to Los Angeles with my Mom. It was the first time I saw the city that would become my home for the next (almost) 20 years and it was the week I decided to make the move.

I even interviewed with a company that week that wound up hiring me a few months later and was my first post-college job.

Based on that, I might have to say the highlight of my Spring Break experiences was a trip with my Mom. It certainly wasn’t my most fun Spring Break experience, but it definitely had the biggest long-term impact.

This is all a long-winded way of saying you should check out Spring Broke – here’s the trailer:


This Weekly Wrapup Was 75 Days In The Making

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This pic has nothing to do with this post, but had something to do with my week. Good luck solving that mystery!

Here’s a look at some of the things I found interesting this week…

75 People, 75 Days

When I featured branding expert Martin Lindstrom on A Person You Should Know a couple days ago, it marked the 75th person I’ve profiled on the site.

It’s been an amazing experience bringing this idea I had back in June to life and I’ve profiled a new person every weekday since launching in July.

The site has attracted more than 1,300 subscribers – each of whom get sent each day’s person by email every morning (you can join here) – and I’m thrilled with the comments I’ve heard back from subscribers about the value they’re getting from the people I profile.

It’s still very early, but I think A Person You Should Know has a real chance to become a project I’m even more proud of than what I’ve done with Connected Comedy over the years.

And in case you missed last week’s people, in addition to Lindstrom I featured Brazilian entrepreneur Bel Pesce who shared her inspirational story, the head of the Cornell Food Lab Brian Wansink who had some amazing insights about eating habits, letterer Jessica Hische whose wisdom applies to much more than designing pretty things, and Gary Vaynerchuk who’s one of my personal favorites and has been a huge inspiration on my own career path.

This Will Make You Want To Watch An Old Monty Python Movie

Our newest Academy Originals video featured a look back at Monty Python and the Holy Grail and I guarantee it makes you laugh and want to rewatch the classic comedy. I know it did for me.

This Is Worth A Listen

This recent episode of the James Altucher podcast features an interview with Ev Williams, who was a founder of Blogger, Twitter, an early podcasting company and now Medium.

It’s two smart guys talking about smart stuff and well worth your time.

Here’s a slightly paraphrased Ev Williams quote that stuck with me:

“There’s no reason you need a website. You need an audience. There was a time when everybody thought they needed to own their own land, but then they moved to cities.”

On a completely separate note, another thing worth putting in your headphones is this Roots song from a couple years ago.

Larry David Killed It This Week

In case you forgot, Larry David is one of the funniest people on the planet and he sent a reminder with his SNL appearance as Bernie Sanders in this sketch that opened the show this week:

In other Larry David is hilarious news, I came across this Instagram post from his daughter that made me laugh.


Two Quick Opinions

Maybe at some point I’ll expand on these, but for the moment here’s a couple quick things that have been on my mind.


Can we stop saying the Internet posed a “challenge” to the newspaper industry? It didn’t (and doesn’t) post a challenge – it presented an opportunity that the industry chose to ignore and is now suffering as a result.

(PS: That thought was inspired by this article about newspaper reporter being one of the world’s most endangered jobs.”)


Good advertising provides as much value to the audience as the advertiser. But the sad truth is most brands would rather do easy advertising than good advertising. And most brands judge their advertising by the wrong metrics – awareness is overrated.

Three Other Things You Should Read

This Derek Sivers post about why you should probably relax.

This Jeff Jarvis post that includes his creative plan for Entertainment Weekly magazine.

This Robert Scoble list of 22 tips for making your Facebook experience better.

That’s it for this week – thanks for reading all the way to the bottom of this post. Here’s your reward.