Skip to content

181 My First Year As A Category Designer with Mike Bruno of Play Bigger

LOM_Episodes-181 Mike Bruno

On this episode, we welcome Mike Bruno, Senior Category Designer at Play Bigger. Today, we dig into what it takes to make Category Design your career, and how incredible it is working with some of the most advanced technology companies in the world on category design.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.


Mike Bruno and his first year as a Category Designer

Mike, who has been a category designer for about a year and a half, started his career working in agencies and social advertising. Transitioning into category design was a return to a beginner mindset for him, which he found interesting. In his previous role, he helped people solve problems and develop strategies based on business objectives and existing products. This experience translated well to category design, where the front door is identifying the problem that the category solves uniquely.

Mike also mentioned that category design involves many new concepts and a broader aperture, as it requires structuring not only the client’s business but also influencing the entire market. While it was a humbling experience trying to figure it all out, he also had a sense of familiarity, knowing how to approach problems and strategize effectively.

Overall, his first year as a category designer was challenging and exciting, with a mix of the familiar and the new, which kept him engaged and interested in the field.


The way people think about Category Design

Christopher and Mike discuss the challenges of transitioning from traditional marketing to category design. They emphasize that category design involves creating new markets rather than catching existing demand. Mike points out that realizing someone invented categories was a facepalm moment for him, but it made him realize the importance of solving unsolved problems.

Christopher and Mike also talked about the power of not doing anything, meaning finding a category that has already been solved, and how this is often underestimated in the business world. They use Apple’s example of launching a new category called “spatial computing” instead of just a new product like most marketers do. They compare it to Magic Leap, which failed to create a category despite having inspiring visions. Mike believes Apple succeeded because they could bridge the gap between their vision and the technology needed to achieve it.


Mike Bruno on the Difference between Category Design and Product Design

Christopher and Mike discuss the difference between launching a product and category designing a market category. They use the example of Magic Leap, which had a product but failed to category design the spatial computing market. Christopher explains that category design involves framing, naming, and claiming a new problem, creating an ecosystem of partners to solve that problem, and evangelizing the solution.

Mike shares his surprise about the comprehensive nature of category design, realizing that it’s not just about coming up with a new term but involves a rigorous process to make the category successful. They also mention Apple’s success in category designing the spatial computing market, positioning themselves for significant market cap growth while other players who only launched products may miss out on the opportunity.

To hear more from Mike Bruno and his experiences as a Category Designer, download and listen to this episode.



Mike Bruno

Mike is a Senior Category Designer with a background in psychology and communications strategy. He finds hidden problems and unspoken truths, and connects those with companies, brands and products to drive businesses and, importantly, the people they serve.

Mike’s style of Category Design is simple, straightforward and playful. His work is equally influenced by the behavioral sciences, business theory and imagination. Carl Jung on one shoulder, and Dav Pilkey on the other.

Mike’s work has been featured in Advertising Age’s “Book of Tens”, has been awarded numerous industry accolades and has driven double digit brand growth for dozens of clients. Outside of work, Mike is a frequent guest lecturer at NYU and The New School, a hockey coach to five-year-olds, and a father of two boys. He lives in Westchester, NY with his wife, kids and backyard ice rink.


Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:


We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

325 Finding Meaningful Work in a Post-Career World with Bruce Feiler, 7-time NYT Bestselling Author

FYD EPISODE 325 Bruce Feiler

The people who are happiest don’t chase someone else’s dreams; they chase their own. This is according to our guest, one of our favorite authors, thinkers, and people, Bruce Feiler. So we have a whole dialog on just that.

Bruce Feiler is the author of the landmark book, Life is in the Transitions. And now he’s back to address one of the seminal questions of our time: “How do we find or create meaningful work,” a subject he’s lived over and over again. His new book is out and it’s called The Search, finding meaningful work in a post career world.

Bruce is one of America’s most thoughtful voices on contemporary life. He’s a seven-time New York Times bestselling author, he’s lived many lives from circus clown to preeminent spirituality, author to winning three James Beard Awards and being the subject of a Jeopardy question. Bruce is an American treasure, who you’re going to love hanging out with.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

Bruce Feiler and his book’s effect

One of Bruce’s books is titled “Life is in the Transitions,” which explores the idea that nearly half of our lives are spent in various transitions. The book delves into personal experiences, including Bruce’s own life upheavals, such as battling cancer, facing financial troubles, and dealing with family crises. He explains how society tends to undervalue and stigmatize these transitional periods while glorifying stability.

Bruce’s mission is to normalize and understand the growth potential in these unsettled phases, encouraging people to embrace them as opportunities for renewal and transformation. The book has resonated with readers who recognize and appreciate the validation it provides for the complex emotions and experiences they encounter during life’s transitions.

Bruce Feiler on the notable lack of life transition books at 40

When asked why he thinks there’s not a lot of books like his on the shelves, Bruce shares that it was mainly because society has traditionally undervalued and stigmatized these periods. The focus has been on achieving stability and success, neglecting the importance of understanding and embracing life’s transitions.

However, Bruce says that recent societal changes, including the decline of organized religion and shifts in the workforce, have led to a growing interest in searching for meaning in life and work. People are no longer content with viewing work as a mere source of income but are seeking work with purpose and significance.

This shift in perspective has sparked a renewed interest in exploring life transitions and finding meaning in these transformative phases, especially for professionals who are still pursuing their careers in their 40s and beyond.

The power of work vs fame

The conversation then shifts to the power of work over fame, and the importance of focusing on the craft rather than seeking balance. Bruce praises the Christopher’s diverse and successful career and emphasizes that legendary individuals are not known for balance.

For Christopher, he finds Bruce’s commitment to the work quite amazing, and despite achieving fame and success, he remains grounded and humble. Bruce attributes his continued passion and joy to finding a path that aligns with his talents. They agree that the best work comes from dedicated effort and stepping away from distractions to focus on the creative process.

To hear more from Bruce Feiler and how to make the most out of yourself during your transitions, download and listen to this episode.


Bruce Feiler


Connect with Bruce Feiler!

Bruce’s Website | Twitter | LinkTree

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

324 Peak Performance Aging with Steven Kotler, NYTimes bestselling author of Gnar Country

FYD EPISODE 324 Steven Kotler

The story we’ve been told our entire lives is that as we get older, we decline physically. But what if we could become more legendary as we age? We discuss this and so much more with our legendary guest, Steven Kotler.

Science-based Human Performance Guru Steven Kotler is back in his fantastic new book Gnar Country: Growing old, Staying Rad. Steven lays out how cutting-edge discoveries in embodied cognition flow science, and network neuroscience have revolutionized how we think about peak performance aging.

In this radically different conversation, you’ll learn how to embrace peak performance aging in your life. This is a fun, fascinating and deeply insightful conversation with one of our favorite thinkers.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

Steven Kotler writes a book about me

The conversation starts off about the new book that Steven has written, called Gnar Country.  Christopher expresses his gratitude to Steven for writing the book and acknowledges his admiration and respect for him. However, Christopher also tells Steven that it has challenged his comfortable outlook on life.

The book centers around the idea of not being “dead before you’re dead,” encouraging readers to embrace mission-style challenges in the second half of their lives. Steven clarifies that he doesn’t mean Christopher has to go surf Mavericks, a famous surfing spot known for its enormous waves. But rather that engaging in difficult and fulfilling activities can be transformative. For Steven, the second half of life is presented as an opportunity for growth and exploration.

Getting back to Gnar Country

Christopher, who had been easing into a more relaxed lifestyle, confesses that he was getting used to being “dead” in a figurative sense – finding comfort in smoking at home, enjoying the garden, and taking leisurely walks. However, after reading Steven’s book, he feels inspired and reminded of the adventures he used to embark on with his friend Al Ramadan. Christopher mentions how he and Al would take annual trips for adrenaline-fueled activities like surfing, skiing, and scuba diving.

Coincidentally, as Christopher reads the book, he receives an email from Al Ramadan, proposing a future surf and dive trip for their group of friends. This timing strengthens Christopher’s belief that the universe, through Steven and Al, is nudging him to return to thrilling and challenging adventures in “Gnar country”.

Steven Kotler on Park Skiing in your 50s

The conversation then focuses on Steven Kotler’s experience of teaching himself park skiing at the age of 50. This is despite conventional beliefs that learning such skills becomes impossible after a certain age. Steven explains that there has been scientific research done in the past 20-25 years that challenges the traditional view of aging, which assumes a gradual decline in physical and mental abilities. He emphasizes the “use it or lose it” principle, stating that with continued training and practice, individuals can maintain their skills far longer than previously thought.

As a skier himself, Christopher initially finds it incredulous that Steven attempted to learn park skiing in his 50s. He recounts a personal experience of attempting a park maneuver in his early 40s and how risky it was as he continued. Christopher expresses his surprise at Steven’s determination and adventurous spirit, acknowledging the challenges and potential dangers associated with park skiing.

This further showcase Steven’s pursuit of pushing boundaries and defying age-related limitations by taking on the challenge of park skiing in his 50s, which is pretty rad, in our opinion.

To hear more from Steven Kotler and how to live in Gnar Country, download and listen to this episode.


Steven Kotler is a New York Times bestselling author, an award-winning journalist, and the Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective.

Steven is one of the world’s leading experts on human performance.

He is also the author of 11 bestsellers (out of fourteen books), including The Art of Impossible, The Future is Faster Than You Think, Stealing Fire, The Rise of Superman, Bold and Abundance.

His work has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes, translated into over 50 languages, and has appeared in over 100 publications, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, TIME, and the Harvard Business Review.


Check out Steven’s new book!

Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

180 How Important is Framing, Naming, & Claiming a Problem? | Pirates Perspective

On this episode, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates.

Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss why it’s crucial to frame, name, and claim a problem when designing a category and marketing it to customers. They also discuss why companies struggle to articulate their problems, and explain what happens if they fail to properly language it.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

The three most important things a company does at the highest levels

When asked about the problem that category design solves, Christopher emphasizes three key aspects. Firstly, it is important to believe that there are three crucial elements for a successful company: designing a legendary company/business model, offering legendary products/services, and creating a legendary category. These three aspects are considered the most important things a company does. If someone does not agree with this belief, he thinks that there is no basis for further discussion.

Secondly, it is necessary to acknowledge the significance of taking ownership and authorship of the category. If someone is willing to assume this responsibility, then assistance can be provided. However, if they are not interested in this aspect, there is no intention to convince or persuade them.

“That’s the difference between you walking in the dojo and us standing outside the dojo and dragging you into it.”

– Christopher Lochhead

Would you rather capture the 76% or compete for the 24%?

Eddie Yoon emphasizes the importance of category design in capturing the market. He argues that if one does not recognize the significance of category design, then other considerations become irrelevant. If it is agreed that category design is important, it must be acknowledged that it should be pursued wholeheartedly.

Eddie suggests that the question of why naming, framing, and claiming are important is essentially a question about the importance of category design itself. He states that if one does not understand the essence of category design, they cannot effectively address the first question.

He presents a scenario where capturing 76% of the category economics is compared to competing for the remaining 24% with a better or faster, cheaper version. Eddie suggests that many people are actually comfortable with the smaller percentage because it is familiar and known. However, if someone is content with competing for the smaller share, Eddie acknowledges their choice and states that traditional business strategies and teachings will suffice for that situation.

Ultimately, Eddie highlights the importance of understanding one’s preference for a larger or smaller market share and reframing the perspective accordingly.

Unlearning the 24% way

Eddie Yoon discusses the necessity of unlearning old and “comfortable” ways in order to capture the 76% of the market. He emphasizes that choosing to pursue the larger market share requires a significant amount of unlearning.

Part of this unlearning process involves freeing oneself to focus on understanding and articulating the problem at hand. Eddie compares it to Mark Twain’s quote about not having time to write a short letter, which highlights the importance of concise and effective communication. Framing, naming, and claiming the problem are essential because without the ability to express it clearly, important details can be lost in subsequent conversations with coworkers, investors, or customers. This loss of clarity can lead to a diluted understanding of the value proposition.

Eddie explains that without a clear understanding of the problem and its articulation, customers may not perceive the worth or premium of the product or service, investors may question the multiple premiums, and employees may not see the value of choosing the company over competitors focusing on the smaller market share.

Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

323 Being Different, Raising Different Kids with Kayla Taylor, Bestselling Author of Canaries Among Us

FYD EPISODE 323 Kayla Taylor

The most powerful thing you can be is 100% yourself, and specifically be the things that make you different, yet uniquely you. But we live in a world that values sameness that drives conformity, that lack of openness to different can cause significant problems for adults, and even more so for kids. We discuss all these and more with our guest, Kayla Taylor.

Kayla Taylor is the author of Canaries Among Us, a Mother’s quest to honor her child’s individuality in a culture determined to negate it. If you’re different, you love someone who’s different, or have a child in your life who’s different. You’re going to love this conversation with Kayla.

Pay special attention to the part of this dialogue about how we’re all grappling with being caring and sensitive to the needs of others and on the other hand, not being so overly careful that we can’t say anything to anybody about anything for fear of being criticized or canceled.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

Kayla Taylor on receiving appreciation for her work

Kayla expresses gratitude for when people give their time and validation of her work. She describes her book as a vulnerable endeavor and admits to considering not publishing it multiple times. She recalls expecting critical reviews, which almost led her to give up. However, a positive review convinced her to continue.

Kayla feels a sense of obligation to address the stigmatized issues covered in her book and support others who may be going through similar experiences. She acknowledges that while others have written about similar topics, they often reflect on childhood experiences or feel restricted by privacy concerns. She believes there is a lack of literature capturing the current challenges of raising children with learning differences who face bullying, and she wants to fill that gap and offer support to others in similar situations.

Kayla Taylor on writing under a pseudonym

When asked as to why she wrote under a pseudonym, Kayla explains that she couldn’t find a memoir from a parent in the midst of dealing with issues such as bullying, learning differences, and anxiety. She desired a book that captured the present moment and felt poignant.

However, she also wanted to respect her children’s privacy and avoid publicly shaming individuals, including the children who behaved poorly. She believed that all children should have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and grow without enduring public shaming. To protect people’s privacy, avoid shame, and honor her own principles, she chose to write under a pseudonym.

Additionally, through her research on different forms of victimization, Kayla discovered that society often fails to support and center those who have been victimized. She didn’t want to contradict her belief in prioritizing victims’ privacy and autonomy by publishing a book that would potentially expose everyone involved. Thus, she decided to use a pseudonym to maintain consistency.

Understanding Learning Differences

Kayla discusses her journey into understanding learning differences when her child faced bullying for being unique and different. Through research, she discovered that one in five people have diagnosable learning differences, including dyslexia and ADHD. However, this statistic doesn’t account for other factors such as sensory processing, mental health issues, and physical impairments that affect learning. She criticizes the education system for being designed during the Second Industrial Revolution, focusing on standardization and neglecting individual strengths.

Christopher shares his own experience of having multiple discernible learning differences and emphasizes that being radically different left him with no choice but to embrace his uniqueness. Despite not having a GED, he became the head of marketing at a publicly traded software company.

Kayla acknowledges that many successful individuals, including Albert Einstein, dropped out of school or struggled within the rigid system. She highlights famous scientists and CEOs who are believed to have learning differences, such as dyslexia and autism spectrum traits, to challenge the notion that such differences hinder capability. The conversation emphasizes the need to recognize and value individuals for who they are rather than conforming to a rigid educational system.

To hear more from Kayla Taylor and how being unique in a world of sameness is actually a good thing, download and listen to this episode.


About Kayla Taylor

Kayla Taylor writes to address important issues plaguing families, and she uses a pseudonym to protect the identities of minors and other vulnerable individuals.

She supports organizations that promote mental health, neurodiversity, and bullying prevention.


Connect with Kayla Taylor!

Kayla’s Wesbite

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

179 Why Do Some Companies Ship Products And Very Few Category Design Markets? | Pirates Perspective

LOM_Episodes-179 Pirates Perspective Category Design Markets

On this episode, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates.

Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss why some companies ship products, but very few companies category design markets. They explain this through the lens of Apple’s new Vision Pro spatial computing headset in talk about why Apple’s approach is different.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

Apple has always been Category First, Product Second

Katrina Kirsch starts off the conversation with how a lot of companies tend to put out products, and not focus on creating a category for them first. Apple seems to be the biggest contrary to this statement, as it has always been a category-driven company rather than product driven.

Eddie Yoon agrees with this, and adds that Apple has never been one to create a product first, or a first-mover. Even going as far as the first Mac, there have been personal computers before it, but Apple sold people to a whole new experience by creating a category around personal computers and having an interface that’s both intuitive and easy to get into.

Copying vs Innovating

Following up to this, there are those who say that Apple is just copying ideas from its competitors and adding their own quirk to it. But if you look at this deeper, Apple is just really good at finding different uses for existing products in the market, something that those who made it first didn’t even consider as a function.

Take for example what Apple is doing to the Vision Pro right now, which was discussed by Christopher in the previous Lochhead on Marketing episode (LOM 178). The main difference with how Google and other virtual headset devices marketed themselves versus the clear-cut presentation and demonstration by Apple is just miles apart. It doesn’t just look like a proof of concept that people can experiment on: Apple clearly tells you, “This is what you can do with it, and what other things you can add on later.”

Apple is attacking the “tyranny of the screen”

Christopher then explains that a lot of people misunderstood Apple’s point of attack in launching the Vision Pro. As product-centric companies and businesses, they think Apple is attacking other products like the Oculus and other VR headsets. When in reality, Apple is aiming for something else.

As Eddie Yoon puts it, Apple is attacking the tyranny of the screen. The concept that we have to get bigger screens when we want better entertainment value, or that we have to be tied down to a certain place when doing work because your display cannot move with you.

The other misconception is that people say Apple did not invent spatial computing. That it has been there this whole time in other products. And that’s true. But they are one of the first to adopt it to a question that only spatial computing can solve, and not just push out a product to see what people will do to it. This gives Apple app developers a range that they can work with; a clear scope and limitation so they don’t overshoot their promises, but at the same time push the boundaries of what can be done with it.

To hear more about these Pirates Perspectives, download and listen to this episode. And if you like to hear more Pirates Perspectives, you can find it and other buried treasures when you subscribe to our Category Pirates newsletter.

Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

322 How To Build A Legendary B2C Product, Company & Category with Matthew Bertulli Co-founder & CEO of Lomi

FYD EPISODE 322 Matthew Bertulli

In this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different, we learn how to build a legendary B2C category and company from one of the hottest founders in a brand new category space, Matthew Bertulli.

Matthew Bertulli is a true mission driven founder, and this is a masterclass on how to be a missionary category designer who evangelizes their category and believes entrepreneurs can do what governments can’t.

Lomi was introduced to the world with one of the most viral product launch videos in history, and Matt breaks down just how they did it. Trust me, you’re going to come back and listen to this episode multiple times.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

The Need for Lomi

The conversation starts off about Lomi, and the need for a product infrastructure for composting. Matthew sets up a bit of background by discussing their company, Pela Case, which produces compostable phone cases.

Later on, what they realized is that despite having the push to create compostable and earth-friendly products, there was a lack of compostable infrastructure globally.

They observed that even major companies like Pepsi, P&G, and Unilever were investing in transitioning from single-use plastics to compostable alternatives. However, government regulations banning single-use plastics were in conflict with the lack of compostable infrastructure.

For example, in California, companies offered compostable products, but there was no proper system to handle them. Compostable items were often mistaken for regular waste and ended up in landfills, rendering the whole effort futile.

Matthew Bertulli on going against the “safe”route

Matthew then shares their decision to go against the “safe”advice and pursue this idea for Lomi. Despite having a successful company with millions of customers, they chose to develop a complex product that would compost food in a short time.

The process was difficult and required significant investment. They faced numerous obstacles, particularly with factories initially rejecting the idea or lacking the technological capability to execute it.

However, they eventually found a toy factory willing to support the project. Matthew emphasizes that creating something new and innovative is met with resistance, as manufacturers prefer replicating existing products.

“The hard part with all of this is like, it’s making this kind of product or any kind of product like this. It’s hard tech, which makes it expensive. It makes it slow. It took years to develop.”

– Matthew Bertulli


Standing up against the Board

The conversation then moves toward the entrepreneurial mindset and the personal motivation behind pursuing a business idea. Matthew explains that having control over the board and ownership in the business allowed them to make bold decisions.

For them, their drive stemmed from a strong dislike for food waste, particularly due to personal experiences with inefficient waste disposal methods. They believed that finding a better solution would resonate with others who shared the inconvenience.

Matthew was highly convinced that the idea would work and could successfully sell it to the board and the team. They also highlighted the positive impact on climate change, which further motivated people to support the idea. Despite having some failed ideas in the past, the trust and confidence from the board and investors helped them move forward.

The result of their efforts was the successful introduction of Lomi, a new kitchen product that has experienced rapid growth and is considered one of the most significant additions to the kitchen product category in over a decade.

To hear more from Matthew Bertulli and the success story of Lomi, download and listen to this episode.


Matthew Bertulli

Co-founder and CEO of Pela Case & Lomi.

We are a certified B-corp, have Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Projects as a notable investor, were named Top 10 in the Canadian Business Growth 500 ranking and are #1 in Deloitte’s Fast 50 for cleantech businesses in Canada.


Connect with Matthew Bertulli!

Lomi | Matthew’s Website | LinkedIn

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

321 Mental Health with Morra Aarons-Mele, Bestselling Author of The Anxious Achiever

FYD EPISODE 321 Morra Aarons-Mele

We all face mental health challenges, and learning to navigate them is the difference between a super successful career and life or living a career and life of struggle. But the business world is not exactly the most welcoming place to talk about our mental well-being. One of the people leading the way to change that is our guest, Morra Aarons-Mele.

Morra Aarons-Mele the author of The Anxious Achiever: Turning your biggest fears into your leadership superpower. She is also the host of the popular The Anxious Achiever podcast, and is on a mission to normalize anxiety and leadership.

Morra says that anxiety is built into the very nature of leadership and can be harnessed into a force for good. So if you’ve ever experienced that feeling in your stomach that comes from being nervous, or if you’ve ever grappled with fear, you’re going to thank yourself for listening to this conversation.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

Morra Aarons-Mele on talking about Mental Health

The discussion opens up with the topic of mental health in the workplace. Christopher expresses his gratitude for a book on the subject and acknowledges the growing acceptance of talking about mental health.

Morra then reflects on her interactions with others while doing so, noting that the value is in providing a sense of normalcy and acceptance. She hopes to assist people in incorporating mental health considerations into their lives and encourages them to consider how this affects their performance. She also emphasizes the value of humor and a human approach in dealing with mental health issues.

The Shy Loud and the Introverted Extrovert

The next part explores the experiences of Christopher and Morra as introverts and extroverts in social situations. Morra describes herself as an extreme extrovert who enjoys being in the spotlight, engaging with media, and giving speeches, but finds herself quite introverted when it comes to casual conversations and one-on-ones. She emphasizes that introverts can also enjoy public speaking and have a humorous side, challenging common stereotypes.

Christopher, on the other hand, identifies as an extrovert but mentions being an “introverted extrovert.” He explains that while he is comfortable speaking or participating in events, he tends to avoid social gatherings without a clear purpose or role. Christopher shares his preference for meaningful interactions rather than superficial networking. He mentions that online platforms like TED Talks have allowed him to avoid uncomfortable socializing while still sharing his ideas.

Managing Mental Health is important

Morra emphasizes that managing mental health does not weaken a person’s ability to show up and be successful. She challenges the misconception that anxiety and depression make individuals weak and highlights that they are common human experiences and sometimes medical conditions.

Morra draws attention to the fact that stories of overcoming adversity are celebrated because they demonstrate resilience and personal growth. She argues that mental health should be viewed in the same light, as individuals who confront and integrate their mental health challenges can become stronger and more effective leaders.

Morra criticizes the tendency to deny or mask mental health issues, stating that it hinders our ability to be there for others. She ultimately suggests that managing and embracing mental health challenges can contribute to personal growth and leadership development.

To hear more from Morra Aarons-Mele and how to thrive as an Anxious Achiever, download and listen tot this episode.


Morra Aarons-Mele

Morra Aarons-Mele knows that taking your mental health seriously is a leadership strength.

She hosts The Anxious Achiever podcast for LinkedIn Presents, which won the 2023 Media Award from Mental Health America, was a 2020 Webby Awards Honoree, 2022 “Best Commute Podcast” Signal Award winner, and is frequently a top 10 management podcast and top 50 business podcast.

She’s passionate about helping people rethink the relationship between their mental health and their success.

Morra speaks to and consults frequently with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and U.S Government agencies. She is a LinkedIn “Top 10 Voice” in mental health.

Her new book, The Anxious Achiever: Turn Your Biggest Fears into Your Leadership Superpower, was published by Harvard Business Review Press in April 2023.

Harvard Business School Professor Amy Edmondson calls the book “a game changer, wise and practical,” and Andy Dunn, who co-founded and sold the popular men’s clothing brand Bonobos, says “Morra has written an astonishing book.

She moves from stories to data to advice in a page-turning way. This is not a book just for anxious achievers — it is a book for any human being who wants to transform their mental health.”

Morra Aarons-Mele is an entrepreneur and communications executive. In addition to her work in workplace mental health, Aarons-Mele founded the award-winning social impact agency Women Online and created its database of female influencers, the Mission List, which she sold in 2021.

Morra was named 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year at the Iris Awards, created to recognize excellence among digital content creators.

She has helped three US presidential candidates and a range of mission-driven organizations create communications, marketing, and fundraising campaigns.

Aarons-Mele is also a prolific writer. Since 2004 she has covered the campaign trail, the White House, the lactation room, and the office cubicle. Her first book, Hiding in the Bathroom: How To Get Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home), was published by Dey Street Books in 2017 and was an Amazon bestseller. She has written for the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Slate, InStyle, O, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Guardian.

Aarons-Mele has degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and Brown University. She and Nicco Mele live in Boston with their three children.


Follow Morra Aarons-Mele!

Morra’s Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Books

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

178 Apple’s New Category Design & Why(almost) No One Got It

LOM_Episodes-178 Apple new category

Apple announced some powerful new stuff at their Worldwide Developer Conference. And, as usual, many people in the business press, Twitter, and in Silicon Valley didn’t see what happened in plain sight. So here we are again, explaining why this new category is different from the other virtual and reality augmentation devices out there, and why it is important.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

Don’t just launch products, launch categories

Let me put it to you this way. Google launches products, aka Google Glass. Facebook, launches products, aka Oculus. Meanwhile, Apple does Category Design.

It’s fascinating to us that category design hides in plain sight. Because what most people got wrong is they think that Apple introduced a product called Vision Pro. And yes, of course, they did that. But they did not make the same mistake that Google and Facebook made, which is they just launch products; Apple designs categories. And they tell you that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Press Release for Apple Vision Pro

Here’s the headline: introducing Apple Vision Pro, Apple’s first spatial computer.

And what you have is the new product and brand Apple vision Pro. And they tell you what it is. It’s a spatial computer. It’s not a VR/AR headset. It’s not some kind of other variety – It’s a spatial computer. And if you go on to read the press release, what you’ll discover is that Tim Cook’s quote sums the whole thing up. “Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing. And that, my friends, is the difference between marketing a category and just a product.

Creating a new computing platform

And this is what most people miss. And the reason they did it at their worldwide developer conference, is because they want the vision pro spatial computer to become a new compute platform. Just like the iPhone became a new compute platform, the personal computer became a new compute platform. That’s what they’re doing here. The iPad, etc. became a new platform, a new category of technology, not just a product that they gave to people.

Launching a product without a category is like a loose cannon

When Google launched Google Glass, they launched a product, they never articulated a problem that that product solved. They never evangelized a different future with that product. What they did was show a bunch of features. And because they didn’t provide the strategic context for understanding of what the product was, aka category, they left it up to customers and the media to decide.

Google Glass Demo

Well, what happened? If you don’t control your own category narrative, somebody else will. And so what emerged about Google Glass? Well, number one, because they did the launch in Silicon Valley, the people who used it immediately got the nickname of “glass-holes”, because it was rich assholes using Google Glass and beta and early release driving around in their Tesla’s and the like, that sort of drew the ire of much of the world.

To hear more on what Apple did right with the launch of their new category, download and listen to this episode.


Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!