Stop Looking Behind You (or Why Justin Timberlake Matters or Amanda Congdon’s Real Competition)

Nanjing Automobile, owner of what used to be MG of Birmingham, England, has decided to build a manufacturing plant in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Nanjing joins Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai with auto manufacturing plants all over the United States.

They say that high U.S. labor costs make manufacturing a losing business
in America.

But U.S. labor costs only seem to be a problem for U.S.companies.

Apparently, everyone can make money building cars in America -except Americans.

If you think you don’t have re-invent your product/service/self everyday you are doomed to become an Edsel.

And people still wonder why I think music is so important.

Here’s some brand new songs from old folks who seem to have no problem reinventing themselves…


(Complete new lineup except for Art)


(Financed upcoming album and video herself. Recorded album in 2 weeks)

Justin Timberlake

(No one who matters remembers N’Sync)

Stop looking behind you.

I hope Amanda Congdon is wise enough to know that she needs to reinvent herself, fast.

No one cares about a former anything.

Her competition is everywhere.

Take a look at LisaNova.

Smart. Funny. Talented.

This chick rocks.


I don’t care who you are.

If you keep doing things the same way you are destined to still be driving a Hummer when gas prices reach $3.50 a gallon.

Stop Looking Behind You.

Keep your eyes ahead.

And pay attention.

You just might avoid the train.

Explore posts in the same categories: Amanda Congdon, Automobiles, beyonce, Cars, Everclear, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Justin Timberlake, LisaNova, Madonna, manufacturing, Nanjing, Nissan, Toyota, Trains

34 Comments on “Stop Looking Behind You (or Why Justin Timberlake Matters or Amanda Congdon’s Real Competition)”

  1. Matt Says:

    “Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”

    -Dwight D. Eisenhower

  2. Scrivs Says:

    *cough* Beyone reinventing herself?*cough*

    Good one. Same ol same ol, but of course it will work because it is Beyonce. She isnt’ old enough to have to reinvent herself yet. Britney and Aguilera are at that stage, but not Beyonce. Timberlake is doing it because he is trying to be above what he can be (new single sucks) and he can come back with another album and be successful.

    This entry deserves:

    – Madonna
    – Cher
    – E-40
    – Snoop

    Those are the ones that understand once you become a tree it’s easier to grow a new branch instead of tryin got extend an existing one that can’t grow anymore. Let’s be honest, you were watching TRL and basically linked the videos of what’s hot now. And let’s not talk about Congdon for a while as she walked into a fruitful situation and apparently walked right out of it.

    Music has been around forever as a form of entertainment and the day entertainment stop becoming important to the public is the day we all stop collectively breathing.

    The blogosphere (or whatever you want to call it) builds up false egos faster than Pamela blowing up her breast size. Rocketboom (whether you like it or not) is unique, while Congdon doesn’t have the looks to make mistakes and I’m sure doesn’t have the talent to rise above any mistakes she might make. I hope she proves me wrong because I don’t like to see people fail, but I’ve come across too many people following the acting dream in NY and LA only to walk away wondering what they will do for the rest of their lives.

    I’m writing a whole new entry here so I apologize. When you are “married’ to the most powerful man in hip-hop do you think that financing your own album is an accomplishment considering how long she has been in the business and how successful she has been?

    I’ve done the same thing on Whitespace and now Wisdump for almost 3 years now and I know the impact of being static causes. It will be interesting Char to see if you evolve because we all know Flick photos and YouTube videos can only go so far.

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here Char and say you aren’t follwoing your own advice. Instead of slowly reinventing yourself you are quickly recycling the same ideas over and over again mixed with new images and videos. I fall into the same trap and as geeks I think there is a time where we have to understand if we are so far ahead of the curve we have to wait for the rest to catch up or are we so behind it that we feel we are always going to be ahead of it because we are the only ones lagging behind?

  3. chartreuse Says:

    I love it when you decide to show up here Scrivs because you always try to challenge me.

    Fucking kids πŸ™‚

    Here’s the deal.

    There are many ways and reasons to reinvent yourself.

    Beyonce, though she is rich and successful is at a crossroads in her career. She has had disputes with her father/manager and this self produced project is actually (IMHO) her first steps tward estabiling herself a true artist. Contrary to popular belief it’s harder sometimes to take chances like that when you are rich and successful, you have much more to lose.

    As far as me not following my own advice, of course I don’t. Most of the stuff I write are to keep me on track, the audience is just fortunate enough to sometimes come along for the ride. Plus you’ve been coming here long enough to see this site evolve. From the topics I chose, the way I steal, er, remix Flickr photos and video to my level of participation in this site are all constantly evolving. I even changed the template of this site and that’s been in the past 6 months. Plus, like you 9rules folks, I never show all my cards. The next few weeks may surprise you.

    Amanda’s talent and beauty will have little to do with her short term future success. On the chessboard of life thing she has placed herself in an enviable position. But she has to have some idea where she wants to end up or she’ll end up fucked.

    And one last thing. I don’t watch TRL (not that there is anything wrong with that!) I prefer muchmusic because they once played ‘Beyond The Pale’ by Big Audio Dynomite. The best song ever by a really mediocre 80’s band!

    Nice insights though,dude. Appreciate you dropping by.

  4. Glad to see Art is back. Motherfucker looks great. LisaNova rocks. I’m in the process of reinventing myself. I’m slowly growing big cans, a big booty, and a beautiful carmel complexion. Then I can lose this shit gig in security, and become an ex-wife.

  5. chartreuse Says:

    I was wondering what happened to my security guy. I assumed your videos had made you too big for this low rent gig.

    Glad you’re back. Keep an eye on that Scrivs kid, he’s a smartass!

    And if you’re fortunate enough to become an ex-wife try to drain that “cheap, skirt-chasing ass motherfucker” for everthing he has!

    I know a few who give you some tips. πŸ™‚

  6. Too big? Small is the new big, you taught me that boss. Sorry I’ve been slacking. Don’t you worry, I have a complete dossier on that Scrivs. Also been keeping a very close eye on Strauss. Vaspers as well. We might have to move you to the safe house. We’ll see.

    Site Security Level: Yellow

  7. chartreuse Says:

    Thanks, I’ll watch my back!

  8. Andy H Says:

    Americans can’t make money in America making cars because of ancient unfavorable union contracts. Those other companies were latecomers so got to avoid that mess /nitpicking

    This post reminds me that I need to be a better CEO

  9. howard Says:

    Same thingin the stock market char and venture market and why I love it so and think it is in need of CNBC 2.0

    Cisci, Microsoft etc is everybody looking behind them,

    Google, Garmin, Medical uses for software and internet services and tools for bloggers adnd video is where the smart money has flowed since the bubble

  10. range Says:

    LisaNova is cool.

  11. […] STOP IT! Just reading a great post over at Chartreuse about Stop looking Behind You. It is very relevant to trend following and how I approach the stock market part of my portfolio. […]

  12. howard Says:

    Site security kills me. Classic stuff LF

  13. Scrivs Says:

    Amazing the words that come out of my mouth when I get back from the club. Internally maybe Beyonce has to reinvent herself, but externally she has been trained so well over the years and has been singing the same song since age 14 I’m not seeing any reinvention there because basically it isn’t needed. She’s won X number of Grammys and sold Y number of albums and now she is just becoming a true artist? Now that’s interesting. In any case the album will sell. I’m more interested in seeing how Timberlake does, especially if all the rest of his songs are like his current single.

    And let’s be honest, in the hiphop/R&B world its much easier to stay successful.

    – Tight beat
    – Rap intro/outro
    – Great hook
    – Make sure you can dance to it in the club

    Rinse. Repeat. Recycle.

    That’s what fucked Jagged Edge over. First joint always has to be that club banger then you can do the sappy stuff. But R&B groups have the hardest time reinventing themselves (let alone staying together) which is a shame because Boyz II Men will go down as my favorite group of all time.

    Congdon: She has given herself a better opportunity than most and it will be interesting to see what she does now. The world won’t wait around forever though.

    Oh another one to add to my list: Missy Elliot. Now excuse me as I must be getting back to looking at the Vida Guerra and Stacey Dash Playboy pics.

  14. Mark Says:

    What about Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen? Annoying as they were (are) as little starlets, they’ve made quite a success, and billions of dollars, as merchandising moguls with their own brand.

    According to this article, seems others are following in their footsteps — breaking completely away from what they’re famous for and doing something else.

    That’s what I call moving ahead and not looking back. Justin Timberlake? C’mon, that’s like polishing up and repainting a garbage can and then calling it refuse container — nothing’s changed, only the name and the image.

  15. Liz Strauss Says:

    I guess that’s where being weird from the start works out well once you get out of high school. There was no point in watching your back then — you knew what was happening and it wasn’t pretty. The good view is always up ahead. That’s where you can change things. Who needs luck when you can make things happen.

    I love the car thing. It’s not just the unions. It’s the fact that they don’t do stupid stuff — like tell people to move a box here one day and move it back were it was the next for ten days straight because no one planned out what was going one.

    Famous words in publishing, “Project’s over. Time to start the prototype.”

  16. Liz Strauss Says:

    Almost forgot, I like the way Site’s looking at me. πŸ™‚

  17. Jason Boog Says:

    I’ll stay out of the Cher vs. Beyonce debate, but the AnaNova link was pretty good–funny, amazingly paced, and new. I’ve never seen anything quite like it on those bitty screens in YouTube. Thanks.

  18. chartreuse Says:

    I won’t get into what makes a true artists. “I know it when I see it” just isn’t the answer you deserve so I’ll save it for a post on another day.

    Mark, the Olsen twins are a perfect example of what Brian Clark told me today. But I’ll remix his thoughts into my own post and go from there.

    Liz, I’m also taking ‘who needs luck when you can make things happen’ from you. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    And Jason. About LisaNova. An example of “I know it when I see it.”

  19. range Says:

    I looked at LisaNova since the bus episode. Better than today’s RB episode. However, JoCo’s casual Friday’s episode with TikiBar was pretty funny. But LisaNova’s was tighter. I’m not getting into the BeyoncΓ© debate here. Just to say that I like TigerBeat.

  20. Rich Says:

    Andy is right. The reason the Asian car manufacturers are taking our market share is about a lot more than ‘reinventing yourself’, its about the pro-labor movement and about how too much of a good thing (unions which helped create an American middle class) eventually helped destroy it.

    I appreciate the message that dynamism in a modern service economy is vital, but I think using the auto industry as an example doesn’t fit very well. I think a more appropriate example, if you wanted to use a big competitive industry, is to look at someone like Apple, who has redefined who they were in a pretty radical way, and in so doing they have staved off what appeared to be a certain demise…plus they have a youthy slickness that seems to be a recurring theme in a lot of your posts.

  21. chartreuse Says:

    Rich, Of course you think Andy is right.

    Cars sales have very little to do with unions. Car sales have to do with anticipating the needs of your customers and giving them the type of vehicles which excite them.


    Americans, we are told, do not want to clean toilet bowls, or do hard labor of any sort, and this is why the illegal immigrants are taking our jobs. This is of course a total lie. Americans do not have a problem getting their hands dirty-They have a problem being exploited.
    The death of Unions is another example of the ‘Race To The Bottom’ which is destroying the middle class in this country. But that’s just my opinion.

    What’s good for WalMart is good for America, right?

  22. Rich Says:

    I agree that because the American companies are rolling out new cars at a pace which is roughly two years slower than their asian counter-parts we are losing in part due to the ‘excitement’ factor. But the real reason those companies are failing today is that the cost of building a car includes not only the American labor costs (which as you correctly pointed out the Asian companies are often paying as well) but in addition the legacy costs which have built up over decades.

    Because Americans, like all developed nations, live longer today than ever before, require more medicine than ever before, etc. what seemed like an innocuous promise of benefits which were offered as a ‘throw in’ during WWII because of price fixing, actually turned out to bite our manufacturing sector in the ass.

    In a modern economy with mobile people and mobile capital, a union is increasingly difficult to maintain, and the artificial wages they support are increasingly detrimental to our country because they kill industries in the long-term. I am not saying that they are undesireable, I agree that they created the middle class, but their time is largely done, and asking companies like Ford to continue to try to compete with the weight of legacy costs on their back is impossible. Innovation is important, but its not everything. But that’s just my opinion.

    What’s good for protectionism is good for America, right? πŸ™‚

  23. chartreuse Says:

    The idea that people don’t buy American cars because they are too expensive is a joke. We will pay whatever the cost if you create something we want.

    If we had listened to Hillary Clinton years ago and followed the example of every other industrialized nation the health care problem would be under some type of control.

    The point of government is to protect it’s citizens. If that means a small measure of protectionism so be it. I’m a big free market guy but I’m a bigger people guy. Our government uses protectionism all the time to help industries. So what’s wrong with using it to help it’s citizens.

    We need to get together and do a podcast on this stuff. My blog isn’t really the forum. I’m sure most of my readers are waiting for a link to some chicks and some fucking curse words!

  24. Matt Says:

    The last thing I want is the government running my insurance program. Argh.

    I want less government please.


  25. chartreuse Says:

    Everyone wants less government until it’s them with their back against the wall.

    There is a reason every industrilized nation has automatic health care for it’s citizens. It works.

    I see nothing wrong with steall– remixing ideas that work. πŸ™‚

  26. Matt Says:

    I disagree. It doesn’t work.

    I don’t want it – I don’t want it at all actually. In fact, I want less government involvement and regulation in just about everything.


  27. candice Says:

    And you think health insurance does? Do you want all schools to be private as well?

    It is really horribly fucking broken.

  28. Matt Says:

    The public schools work so well too, don’t they?

    I’ll take health insurance that I pay for over a government controlled system anyday.

  29. Rich Says:

    Sorry Char, didn’t mean to restart this hackneyed debate over the role of govt…

  30. VampireFeet Says:

    Wrong Beyonce.

  31. candice Says:

    Matt, I wouldn’t, and I do work in that field.

    Would you rather exclude the poor from schools, then? Put us in the position of Africa where only children with money are allowed to get an education?

  32. Did you guys see Justin’s new video with Scarlett Johansson?

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