Issue 87: Dushi-est Newsletter Ever
From Serial Marketer: "The Cutting Edge of Marketing”

I’m back from a week’s vacation on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, and it’s a colorful island full of even more colorful stories.

Here are a few you might enjoy.

May I Have a Word?

The locals speak a Creole language called Papiamento, and the word they love the most is "dushi."

It can mean "sweet," "delicious," "sexy," and much more, and you see signs and ads with the word everywhere.

The "dushi" brand and Curaçao's are one and the same. Kudos to them for summing up their identity in a single word. Can you do the same for your brand, your company, or your clients? 

If you're in an English-speaking country, I'd pick a different word than "dushi" for yours. But it works perfectly for Curaçao.

Drinking the Blues

If you’ve ever had authentic Blue Curaçao, you had it with Senior & Co.’s liqueur.

Touring Senior & Co.’s distillery is a highlight during a visit to the island. They’ve been in business since 1896, and their products are delicious. I got to sample their tamarind flavor and wound up taking home a bottle.

Senior & Co. gets to call its product “genuine” because it’s made from Curaçao-grown lahara oranges that have been the main ingredient of this liqueur since the 16th century. 

The lahara oranges, descended from a variety brought over from Spain in 1527, are too bitter to eat. As Senior & Co. tells it, “Not even our infamous goats would touch them.”

Some enterprising Dutch later discovered that the peels could be dried and used as the base for a much more flavorful product. Centuries later, Senior & Co. popularized it and helped ensure that the island's name and liqueur's name would be intertwined indefinitely. 

If you have lemons, make lemonade. If you have bitter oranges, toss the fruit and make booze out of the peels. That beats getting bitter over bitter oranges.

Useless Is as Useless Does

The story of the lahara oranges is fitting for Curaçao. We now know Curaçao as one of the ABC Islands with Aruba and Bonaire. The Spanish initially called the trio “Las Islas Inutiles” because they were useless, as they didn’t produce enough gold or silver.

The initial name for Curaçao itself offered by the Spanish was “Isla de los Gigantes.” When the Spanish arrived in 1499, they were greeted by the exceptionally tall members of the Arawak tribe. Clearly, the island had a lot to offer if it could sustain such a healthful population.

Don’t give the Dutch too much credit for their more optimistic view of what the island could offer. The main appeal for the Dutch was using Curaçao as a local base for the slave trade. While the Dutch have proved far more enlightened since then, including many Dutch who helped Jews flee Europe before and during World War II, it’s unlikely the Dutch would have stayed so long if the slave trade wasn’t so profitable.

Should you make it to Curaçao, be sure to check out the Kura Hulanda Museum for one of the most thorough exhibits on the history of slavery I’ve come across anywhere. It also houses a wide-ranging collection of African art spanning millennia.

Location, Location, Location

Curaçao has some of the most fascinating Jewish history in the Americas. It boasts the oldest continually used synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, Mikve Israel.

Where you have enough Jews for a synagogue, you’ll probably have enough for a cemetery. The oldest Jewish cemetery in the hemisphere is there too, Beth Haim (which, wonderfully, translates to “House of Life”).

The original Jewish settlement on the island dates to 1651, and Beth Haim is a short walk. That settlement is long gone; gentrification is hardly a new phenomenon. The immigrants later settled on a nicer neighborhood and established a new cemetery closer to them.

More than a century ago, when there was interest in developing an oil refinery business that would later become the main economic engine for the island, the Jewish families sold the land and just hung on to the cemetery.

This might have provided some short-term gain, but the refinery complex today is blamed for a range of environmental and health issues. The gravestones, many of which were carved with intricate designs and poetic inscriptions in several languages, are now almost illegible. Al Jazeera wrote last year, “The faded tombstones at the Sephardic Jewish cemetery adjacent to the refinery --the oldest in the Americas -- are a testament to what pollution can do, even to rock surfaces.”

There are no villains in this story. It’s a case of unknown unknowns. It’s unlikely anyone could have predicted that the new neighbors would hasten the graves’ demise. What’s more striking is how often we currently make these short-term tradeoffs today even knowing exactly the kind of damage we’re doing.

Today, there’s no excuse, especially when we’re not just disturbing the dead but more quickly escorting the living to their final resting places.

People of the Book

I can’t resist sharing a few book recommendations related to the island.

Patricia Selbert spent much of her youth growing up on Curaçao and then emigrated with her mother and older sister to the United States in the 1970s. She wrote what she calls an “autobiographical novel,” The House of Six Doors. It’s a maddening, frustrating character study of her mother and a touching ode to her memories of the island.

Another beautiful but challenging read is Manfred Wolf’s Survival in Paradise: Sketches from a Refugee Life in Curacao. Wolf was a schoolboy when his family fled Europe during World War II and made it to the island. His essays describe the life of an immigrant family that was better off than many but that constantly confronted the ghosts who traveled with them.

Finally, there’s The Caribbean by Jacob Gelt Dekker who founded the Kura Hulanda Museum. I only discovered this book after I returned home, but I will get to it soon. Dekker seems like one of these larger than life figures. He sold his One Hour Super Photo business to Kodak and expanded Budget Rent a Car in the Netherlands from 20 cars to more than 25,000. He cracked the list of the top 100 richest Dutch citizens in 2006. His eclectic interests are evident in his museum, and he became known as a philanthropist later in life. His books on sale in the museum were all in Dutch, but this one is at least in English, and I’m looking forward to savoring the island’s stories for a while longer.

I will, of course, need to sip my genuine tamarind Curaçao while reading it.

That’s a bit of what I’ve been making of myself during some downtime. What are you making of yourself?


Congrats to my friend and inspiration Johnny Boston on the release of his film 2030. I've been hearing about this for years and saw an early cut of this. You can stream this via some of the links below. Here's the official description:

"Filmmaker Johnny Boston was only 10 years old when he first met FM, a meeting that evolved into a lifelong friendship. When Johnny learns years later that scientists are going to attempt the world’s first reanimation of a cryopreserved brain – that of his friend FM 2030 – he fights fiercely and with at times conflicting motivations for his own access to document the process... 2030 is an engaging docu-drama with thriller and sci-fi flourishes that seeks to answer the deeply philosophical question, 'What will it mean to be human when technology has finally given us a world where no one dies?'"
-Watch it on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes

Julie Slavin has one of the more fascinating careers of anyone I've met, and she tells some of her story in Campaign about veering between the DJ and advertising worlds.

The FTC is ready to be more aggressive with policing influencer marketing. Influencers themselves don't need to worry; it's the brands that could soon face fines. How about not worrying so much about the fine and focusing on doing what's right? You should always ensure influencers disclose relationships with brands.

How well do you know about these critical movements and moments in black history as part of America's and the world's history? Here are some terrific videos narrated by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


Want to include your event below? Just reply with the details.

February 25
Hosted by SimilarWeb, they have some terrific speakers like my friend Kevin Lee of Did-It fame, and I'll be going to this one.  

March 4
Serial Marketers has teamed up with First Wednesdays to bring back this long-standing tradition in NYC. Every month, we meet at the top-floor penthouse bar from 6-9. While Zack Rosenberg and Rachel Herskovitz post the event links on Facebook, if you want the recurring invite on your calendar, just let me know, and I'll add you to it. I'm also now sending updates via Meetup.

(I'll have more updates on SXSW as we get closer.)
March 11, 2020
Austin, TX
Attention Designers! Place by Design is a pitch competition aimed at showcasing innovative and invigorating design in the public sphere. Urbanists, artists, architects, and designers have the opportunity to present their scalable solutions for improving our shared landscape.

Awards ceremony: March 27, 2020, in Venice, Italy
Voting ends today!
BOLD Awards recognizes top companies, projects and individuals powering breakthroughs around the world.

April 29-30
I loved this event so much in New York that I'm joining them in Chicago as both a speaker and media sponsor. I'll be speaking about how to build and run a successful B2B community, and of course I will be including examples from many others, with a bit of experience covering mistakes I've made that others can learn from.

May 13-14, 2020
"The premier global gathering in visual tech" is run by one of my favorite firms of any sort out there, LDV Capital. They specialize in bringing some of the best people together in all sorts of ways.


Reach out to me if you want introductions or any additional information, and let me know if you have other job postings you'd like to share. There have also been many job updates within Serial Marketers, so if you're part of that, be sure to check the #jobs channel for more. 

Senior Communications Associate
"Luminary Labs seeks a digital-savvy communications specialist to support public-facing initiatives, including open innovation programs, accelerators, and more, on behalf of our Fortune 500, government, and nonprofit clients. This is a unique opportunity to help our clients communicate complex problems, learn directly from senior leadership, and grow within a consulting firm as an in-house communications and marketing expert. This role reports to our Communications Manager."

Product Marketing Manager
LiveIntent writes, "The Product Marketing Manager (PMM) will play a key role in refining and communicating the value proposition of LiveIntent products to marketers and publishers." Apply below or see Kerel in Serial Marketers.  

Account Manager, Programmatic
Via David K. in Slack: The Account Manager is responsible for all phases of the Varick post-sale process. This entails supporting the Sales Team through the post-campaign life cycle post campaign analysis, wrap up reporting, and liasoning with traders to ensure campaign success. The Account Manager collaborates across all operational teams as well as communicates directly with clients to provide consultative support and best in class client service through strategic thinking.

VP Marketing
See details here. Reach out if you want me to refer you their way:

A strategic and creative marketing professional that has a wide breadth of experience in multiple marketing disciplines. This person:
*Will excel at building Axio's brand voice and image
*Can project manage and execute effective demand generation campaigns through events, social media, and online channels
*Has interest or curiosity about the cybersecurity space and the evolution of the industry.

Axio helps organizations understand cyber exposure, calculate risk, and make data-driven decisions that improve their security and risk posture.  

Director of Product Marketing
Via Dorothy in Slack: "I’m hiring a Director (head) of Product Marketing at Paxos in NYC. Paxos is a B2B fintech startup using blockchain tech, building infrastructure to make assets more accessible and to make them move faster in a new, open financial system. The company is full of mission-driven, smart, kind, humble, ambitious and collaborative people. Looking for a player/coach to build and run this brand new function." DM or email her in Slack, or apply directly. I can make an intro as needed.

Marketing Director (Product)
This is an opportunity to be their first marketing hire. See lots of details in the description. They also have customer success roles open. If you're in Slack, you can find the post and contact Melissa.

Senior Account Manager
Brooklyn, NY
Via my friend David Yarus. Let me know if you want me to refer you: "Looking for a rockstar client-service account lead for one of our core accounts. Ideally 6+ years agency CS experience, tired of the big agency world and seeking quality of life and work/life/vibe-alignment. Competitive comp. Need someone who loves owning the client relationship, understands digital / social / performance, and down with light team travel & WFH Wednesdays."

Other job resources:
-Ad Ops Online: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more
-ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted
-Facebook Groups: NYC Ad Jobs & Networking
-TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups
-VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads

Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I'll share them.


David Berkowitz, publisher


100+ TECH RECOMMENDATIONS (updated regularly)

18 TYPES OF STARTUP MARKETERS (now in quiz form, thanks to Riddle)

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