Before anyone can begin posting stuff for people to read and comment on, or roll their eyes at and be critical of, I think it's necessary to lay down some core beliefs. Afterall, every reader should know a bit about the author.
The first thing to know is, I believe that WE SEE WHAT WE WANT TO SEE. If deep down you think a certain group of people are heros or fools, then everything they do will re-inforce that belief to you. Or, more practically, if you think your ad agency sucks, you will find things to prove your view almost everyday. A note to all: Please open the mind and keep emotions at bay. When we think like this society moves forward, when we don't we stall or even move backwards.
The second thing to know is I belive EVERYTHING IS RELATED. Yes, it's a bit Taoist, but I believe it's true in business and in life. Because of this, I think we can learn from everything and that those things become relevant at the weirdest times.... I once did a presentation that combined "The Art of War" with Tillamook Cheese and another that tied skateboarding culture in to home buying.
Lastly, I think that Seth Godin is really onto something when he talks about worldviews. My adaptation of that is: SUCCESSFUL ADVERTISING REINFORCES WORLDVIEWS. Brooks Brothers is not for me. Neither is Subaru, Toms of Maine, Mont Blanc or "Life is Good." This is fine because those things are important to others. Brands should be focused, obvious and opinionated about their reason for existing and never be scared about that. Johnnie Walker, Apple, Carl's Jr., Oprah, Nike and American Express are the best examples I can think of right now of large brands who consistently understand this. Wendy's, Ford, Gateway, Miller and Dr. Pepper are examples of brands who don't reinforce any worldviews.
There it is... my basic John Wooden Pyramid from which my thoughts are consciously (and unconciously) based upon.