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Goodbye to the DIFF blog. Hello Zing!

Goodbye to the Quicken Loans DIFF blog. Hello Zing!I can’t believe it.

The DIFF blog is ending today. It’s over. Done.  Finished.

That’s right, the DIFF blog is officially retired.  We started the DIFF blog over four years ago as our original foray into blogging here at Quicken Loans. We wanted a blog. And we wanted to try something different. So, as part of a recruiting campaign, we launched the blog and wrote about things we found around the globe that made a difference.

The recruiting campaign ended a few months later, but the blog lived on. We’ve had several dozen writers over the years contribute to the blog. Almost a thousand posts in 4 years.

My favorite?

Just about a month or so after we launched the blog, my wife’s grandfather died. He had such an inspiring story, I wrote about it here. It pretty much cemented me as one of the main contributors to the blog for the next four years.  Check it out: Requiem for a Warrior.

One personal note about the DIFF blog. It was my writing here that eventually led to my current position leading the Quicken Loans Brainstorm team (content team).  It’s funny how things like this happen.  An opportunity opened up that I didn’t plan, and I can thank the DIFF for setting the stage for it.

I’ll miss this blog. I’m the first to admit I haven’t always given the DIFF blog the attention it deserved. Seems like other business priorities often got in the way of spending a lot of time writing here. But I never gave up on it and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working this for the past four and half years. Interestingly enough, I’ve never really considered myself a blogger. Just a writer working at a mortgage company that fell upon a pretty cool assignment.

So there you have it.

The time has come to say goodbye.

Goodbye to the DIFF blog, one of the favorite projects of my professional life..

Welcome, my friends, to Zing!

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Cleveland Cavaliers Strike it Rich in the NBA Draft Lottery


With the 2011 NBA Draft approaching fast, Thursday June 23rd, one team is making major headlines with two of the top four picks in the draft.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, represented by owner Dan Gilbert’s 14 – year old son Nick, won the draft lottery and walked away with the coveted number one overall pick.

Adding excitement to an already successful draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers were also awarded the number four overall pick in the 2011 draft.

It has been several years since one team collected two of the top 10 picks in the draft.  The last time one team won two pick so high was 2009, when the Minnesota Timberwolves won the second and sixth overall picks in the first round.  They selected point guards Ricky Rubio, from Europe, and Johnny Flynn, from Syracuse, respectively.

This is great news for a team who won 19 games last season looking to upgrade the roster and add excitement to The Q Arena while beginning a new era.

The excitement proved to be contagious as the Gilbert family, Dan, Grant, 13, and Nick high fived each other and celebrated with anyone in arms reach as the announcer revealed Cleveland as the winner of the number one overall pick.

As the reporter introduced Nick Gilbert, as the Cavaliers representative for the NBA draft lottery, he exclaimed the now famous and rhetorical phrase, “What’s not to like!” which is in fact the perfect slogan for the Cleveland Cavaliers future.

After acquiring the first overall and fourth pick of the first round, the Cavaliers also obtained the second and 24th pick in the second round of the NBA draft.  The success of the 2011 NBA draft lottery for the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans adds truth to the common saying, “the rich get richer.”

With four picks in the 2011 NBA draft, great seats, season tickets available at The Quicken Loans Arena, and a breakout star and Ambassador of the National Children’s Tumor Association, Nick Gilbert…when it pertains to the Cleveland Cavaliers 2011 and future ask yourself “What’s not to like!”


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Gosh. It’s The Napoleon Dynamite Animated Trailer.

I just found out that Napoleon Dynamite might get its own animated show next year on FOX. So, if you miss seeing Napoleon and Pedro show off their skills, like numchuck skills and computer skills, then you will be excited to see them back as much as I am. Heck yes.

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The Power of Words from Purple Feather

Amazing video from Purple Feather, online content specialists in the UK.

One of the best examples of the power of words I’ve ever seen.

Storytelling is the rage in business and this video shows why.


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Simply Suzanne’s Granola is Simply Delightful!

Simply Suzanne's Granola is DELICIOUS!!!!First of all, Simply Suzanne’s Granola is, well, GREAT.

Possibly the best granola of all time.

Second of all, here’s my story of how I tasted Simply Suzanne’s Granola.

It started at the IDEA Detroit conference. Suzanne, the wizard behind the amazing concoctions, was a featured speaker at the conference (topic: why she chose to create her business in Detroit). During her presentation, Suzanne graciously handed out samples of her granola. I happily accepted one (the cherry flavor).

When I got home, I put my granola sample on my kitchen counter and relished the thought of enjoying it the next morning. That never happened.

Grover, my 11 year old mutt, ate it instead. I was mad.

So I went to Simply Suzanne’s Facebook page and left a note about how sad I was that Grover ate my granola. Suzanne replied and ended up giving me TWO free bags of granola to try.

So ate them. And loved them. So fruity. So nutty. So tasty. So cherry. So simply GREAT. Continue reading “Simply Suzanne’s Granola is Simply Delightful!” »

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Thanks, Quicken Loans and Fathead!

Boba Fett Fathead and Jude FettMy son, Jude, is the world’s biggest Star Wars fan. Well, wait. That’s a big claim considering some of the Star Wars fans out there. Ok, he’s at least the world’s biggest 5-year-old Star Wars fan. He’s watched the movies countless times, he visits the 501st Legion every year at the Motor City Comic Con (as seen in this post), he watches the cartoons, and my god, he has toys out the wazoo. Last year, I even went so far as to make a stormtrooper costume for Halloween because  in his mind a simple store-bought stormtrooper would NOT do. We spend the drive to and from school discussing why Anakin was overcome by the dark side, why it’s good to be a Jedi, why Boba Fett  (his favorite) was a bounty hunter and how he doesn’t think that Boba was necessarily BAD, per se, but misunderstood. Needless to say, the boy loves Star Wars.

Continue reading “Thanks, Quicken Loans and Fathead!” »

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Let’s Put Detroit’s Census Count in Perspective – Amazing blog post by BCBS of Michigan CEO Daniel J. Loepp

BCBS Detroit Census Letter

Yesterday Daniel J. Loepp, the CEO and president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, posted a most amazing and insightful letter on the BCBS of Michigan blog that I absolutely HAVE to share here.

Before I repost the beginning of Loepp’s post, here is a little background. The Census announcement two days that Detroit has fallen to it’s lowest level population since 1910 left many folks in the Detroit area stunned. Have things really gotten this bad?

Here is Loepp’s response to the Census results and that question:

“On the surface, it’s difficult to put Detroit’s significant population loss, as reflected by Census figures released Tuesday, in a positive light. The city is now at its lowest population in 100 years. Back then, Henry Ford’s new assembly line was about to revolutionize industry and draw people by the hundreds of thousands to Detroit in search of a good day’s pay.

But it put a sour taste in my mouth when I read this in The New York Times this morning: “The question now is the degree to which the most recent census figures will discourage those who have invested in Detroit and continue to try to make a go of it.”

I’m here to say unequivocally that our belief in a bright future for Detroit is stronger than ever.

As a native Detroiter who works here every day, I see positive signs nearly everywhere I look. And as I think you’d hear from all who’ve invested time and energy in the city, we’re here to stay.

The Chrysler Super Bowl ad with Eminem may have reinforced our reputation as a metal-bending blue-collar town, and for good reason: After undergoing bankruptcy two years ago, General Motors and Chrysler are back with acclaimed new models, renewed focuses on quality and technology and vastly improved balance sheets. Ford is coming off its most profitable year since the late ‘90s.

But we’re no longer all factory smoke. Detroit was recently cited as the nation’s fastest-growing markets for technology jobs, boosted by a new Microsoft technology center, a vibrant and growing TechTown business incubator, loads of new high-tech automotive engineering jobs and General Electric Co.’s largest concentration of IT professionals in the world.

New businesses are cropping up around downtown and Midtown, and after a shakeup, automakers are luring advertising talent from far and wide. Quicken Loans is relocating thousands of employees from the suburbs to downtown. Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center are offering incentives to workers who agree to move to the dynamic Midtown neighborhood. I could go on.”

Please read the entire blog post on the BCBS blog.

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How to Help Survivors of the Japan Tsunami and Earthquake

Help Animals JapanGreat article in Yahoo News that I wanted to share. Some great ways to help the people of Japan that have suffered tremendously from the recent tsunami.

The pictures from north Japan are horrific. An estimated 10,000 are dead the number is growing. Words fail me. Here’s how you can help:

“If you would like to help with a financial donation there are many trusted charities out there, and some newer ideas (such as Lady Gaga’s Prayer Bracelet) that will send relief to thousands who need our help. Continue reading “How to Help Survivors of the Japan Tsunami and Earthquake” »

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A Gershwin Rhapsody presented by the Rackham Symphony Choir

A Gershwin RhapsodyA great opportunity for Detroit area residents to enjoy some outstanding music, by one of history’s greatest composers, is coming this week to the Detroit Opera House.

The Rackham Symphony Choir, known for their outstanding annual performances of Too Hot to Handel (which brings down the house with a combination of classical, jazz and gospel music – a combo that’s good for the soul, you know what I’m saying?), debuts a production which is sure to inspire and delight.

On Saturday, March 12, 2011, Rackham presents the Detroit premiere of ”A Gershwin Rhapsody” – featuring some of Gershwin’s greatest music, including Rhapsoday in Blue. Here’s some info from Rackham’s site:

“A Gershwin Rhapsody – Detroit Premiere
Presented by the Detroit Opera House and Rackham Symphony Choir conducted by Suzanne Mallare Acton

Celebrating the genius of George Gershwin and featuring some of his most beloved standards including “S’Wonderful”, “Embraceable You”, “Someone to watch over me” and more!Featuring Alvin Waddles of Too Hot To Handel performing Rhapsody in Blue and the rarely performed concert version of Porgy and Bess with the Choir and soloists, Soprano Kimwana Doner and Baritone Eric Greene.”

I’ve seen Alvin Waddles perform several times and he’s one of the best pianists I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness. He truly is amazing.

Tickets are on sale at (313) 237-SING. Sure to be a great time. Don’t miss it!

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Detroit & Quicken Loans Featured In Delta In-Flight Magazine!

Detroit Feature in Delta's Sky MagazinePicture this – you’ve just reached 40,000 ft. in the air on your way to Bali or Hawaii or some other wonderful tropical region. You just missed #SNOMG or Snopocolypse 2011 or whatever you’d like to call it and you can’t wait to rest your feet on the sands of some far off land. The captain has just turned off the fasten seat belt sign and you reach for the compartment in front of you and grab Delta Airlines in-flight magazine thinking you’ll pass the time leafing through the pages. Little did you know, you were about to be introduced to the wonderful world of Detroit!

Delta’s Sky Magazine has put together an incredible 42 page spread about the fair and often misunderstood city of Detroit featuring none other than Dan Gilbert and Quicken Loans. Delta carries people to 348 destinations in 64 countries around the world. Many of these people probably have no idea about some of the truly amazing things Detroit has to offer. Things like: Good Girls Go To Paris – a creperie started by a former French teacher, that we are home to the largest historic market district in the country or that you can drive to Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Buffalo from Detroit in 5 hours or less.

The February 2011 issue of Sky Magazine is packed with fascinating information about Detroit. Quicken Loans Chairman & Bizdom U Founder Dan Gilbert is featured discussing the incredible business opportunities that Detroit offers entrepreneurs of any variety.

It’s a new dawn in Detroit. Things are happening here and the world is beginning to recognize it. As Dan Gilbert says in the magazine: “We’re on the cusp of everything taking off in a big way…”

Not planning on hitting the big sky anytime soon? Don’t worry – you can read the entire feature here.

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Today's Date:
Sunday, February 25, 2018