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Monday, November 12, 2018

Breathe — November 12, 2018


Humanity beats technology (until it doesn't); A.I. isn't magic dust for your business; the variations in ethics of self-driving cars around the world; tech consultants are putting ad agencies on notice; why virality is less effective than word of mouth; Amazon's slow-growth grocery strategy has sparked competition; Yelp is yelping; Twitter and Facebook continue to battle trolls and suspect accounts; the cord-cutting continues, with 1.1 million households dumping cable in Q2; strong areas of growth ahead for podcasting; companies may be held to account for data privacy violations, and agency executives may be on the hook; mo data, mo problems; food innovation origins; tips on being well-liked and irresistible; plus the podcast pick of the week and so much more in the Breathe edition of The Full Monty for the week of November 12, 2018.



The Full Monty makes you smarter faster, by curating the essential business intelligence every week. Links are below with commentary in italics. Please sign up for our email updates to make sure you don't miss a thing. And check out The Full Monty on Flipboard.

Contents:

Announcements
Top Story
Speaking Engagements
Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous
Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy
Retail Apocalypse
Platforms
Media
Privacy / Security / Regulatory
Measurement / Analytics / Data
Mental Nourishment

Announcements

Please be sure that you're also signed up to get some timeless wisdom from my main site. There will be some changes coming soon, and I don't want you to miss out.




Top Story

To-do lists, apps, pop-up notifications, reminders, calendars...the list goes on and on. We have scores of tools at our disposal to make life easier and less cluttered.

We use technology to help segment our lives, follow news and sports, give us weather predictions, play fantasy football, browse through friends' photos, share memes, have debates...

But technology doesn't solve our problems. It has given us additional problems to address, such as how to stop wasting time on the Internet.

Instead, how about stepping away from or putting away the screen? We might just observe something. Or reconnect more deeply with a loved one. Or learn a little patience along the way.

Breathe. Smell the flowers. Enjoy each other. It's something technology can't do or help you to do.


About this week's image: On May 12, 1863, in the company of the journalist and explorer Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Albert Bierstadt departed on his second trip to the West. They camped in the Yosemite Valley, where Bierstadt captured a number of scenes of natural beauty. This painting depicts the huge jagged naturally occurring peaks that dwarf the figures in the foreground. Once again, nature towers over man.



Speaking Engagements

Always looking for recommendations for venues to share my stories. I connect our digital selves with classical influences, pointing out the universal human truths that can unlock the secret of retaining and growing customer relationshipsFeel free to contact me to discuss speaking to your organization or at an event you've been to recently where you think I might stand out.
  • IDEA: if you're looking to save some of your training and development budget and don't feel like sending multiple members of your team to a conference (high prices, time away from the office, questionable content), I've got an option for you: bring me in for a roundtable experience with your team for an hour or a half day.




Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

The latest in AI, machine learning, bots, and blockchain, mobility, and autonomous everything.
Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ


Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

Industry developments and trends, including advertising & marketing, journalism, customer experience, content, and influencer relations.
Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ

Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ


Retail Apocalypse

Humans are a transactional species, and the practice — if not the very notion of what retail is  is undergoing a historical metamorphosis. 


"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."  – Cicero

Please share your gratitude for this newsletter by recommending it (publicly) to friends and colleauges. The more you do, the more you'll be helping other people discover it.


SPONSOR


Platforms 

News to know about relevant social, virtual, and augmented reality platforms that may affect your business.
Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ
Tᴡɪᴛᴛᴇʀ
Oᴛʜᴇʀ



Media

The latest in the world of streaming video, audio, and the advertising, pricing and bundling models related to them.
Vɪᴅᴇᴏ
Aᴜᴅɪᴏ
  • Podcast listening is rising. Particularly strong areas of growth for podcasting: Android devices and cars. (Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Spotify is losing $1 billion a year. Could podcasts be an answer to its woes? (Rolling Stone)
  • Red Bull Radio announced that it struck a deal to stream worldwide via the smart speaker brand Sonos. (Variety)
  • Spotify debuted its first analytics tool aimed at publishers. The tool will offer daily streaming stats, including playlist performance, and view data across all the songwriters on their roster. (TechCrunch)
  • Program of the Week: Our pick this week is Imagined Life from Wondery. An immersive journey through the surprising moments and challenges that shaped someone’s life before they were famous. Clues are dropped along the way, but only at the end will you discover who 'you' are. A longer variation on our opening stories of The Full Monty podcast.
And don't forget about The Full Monty podcast, our own 5-minute weekly business commentary. Try this: "Alexa, play the latest episode of The Full Monty."

  

Privacy / Security / Regulatory

Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.
Pʀɪᴠᴀᴄʏ / Sᴇᴄᴜʀɪᴛʏ / Hᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ
Rᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴏʀʏ / Oɴ-Dᴇᴍᴀɴᴅ Eᴄᴏɴᴏᴍʏ


Measurement / Analytics / Data

The future is not in plastics, but in data. Those who know how to measure and analyze it will rule the world.


    Mental Nourishment

    Other links to help you reflect, improve, or simply learn something new.




    Do you like what you see here? Please subscribe to get essential digital news, hand-curated, and delivered to your inbox each week. And why not share this with some colleagues?


    Top image creditMerced River, Yosemite Valley by Albert Bierstadt, 1866 (Public Domain, via The Met) 

    Wednesday, November 7, 2018

    Episode 54: What We Really Fear




    Franklin Delano Roosevelt said "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." But when it comes to the fear of failure, what's the source of the dread? Even George Washington had to deal with this.

    Understanding what's at the root of that fear will allow us to overcome what's holding us back at work and at home. And may lead to a boost of self-confidence.


    Download now (2.83 MB, 6:10)

    I'd be grateful if you'd leave a rating or review for the show. Help other people find us.


    Links:


    Credits:

    Theme songAfternoon by Maestross is on a royalty-free license from Jamendo.com.

    ImageMount Vernon with the Washington Family on the Terrace by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 1796 (Wikimedia Commons - public domain)

    Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSoundCloudSpotify, or Stitcher.

    Or try this: ask Alexa or Google Home to "play the latest episode of The Full Monty podcast."


    If you find this program valuable, please consider supporting it on Patreon. It covers the cost of hosting, email, music and more.

    Monday, November 5, 2018

    Fear and Loathing — November 5, 2018


    There's been a lot of anger and fear swirling online recently; A.I. is taking on more human qualities (if only the reverse were true); what's next for the autonomous vehicle revolution; make customers want your email; an influencer who doesn't influence; preparing for a social media crisis; the Amazon con is over; Walmart has some improvements to the purchase experience; just as the public is conflicted about it, Facebook is facing its own dilemmas; Halloween week saw zombies like QR codes and Flickr rise from the dead; Netflix is trying for an Oscar; half of U.S. households will have a smart speaker this year; Uber will pay for drivers to go to college; a new online scam; data exhaustion is real; the origins of the dunce cap; a documentary film that needs your support; plus the podcast pick of the week and MUCH more in the  Fear and Loathing edition of The Full Monty for the week of November 5, 2018.



    The Full Monty makes you smarter faster, by curating the essential business intelligence every week. Links are below with commentary in italics. Please sign up for our email updates to make sure you don't miss a thing. And check out The Full Monty on Flipboard.

    Contents:

    Announcements
    Top Story
    Speaking Engagements
    Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous
    Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy
    Retail Apocalypse
    Platforms
    Media
    Privacy / Security / Regulatory
    Measurement / Analytics / Data
    Mental Nourishment

    Announcements

    Please be sure that you're also signed up to get some timeless wisdom from my main site. I'll continue the Top Story theme in tomorrow's post over there.

    Last week, I talked about being too big to fail (but not really) and how remaining nimble and flexible is a must in a fast-paced environment. Imagine my surprise and delight when The New York Times serendipitously published Farhad Manjoo's column How Mark Zuckerberg Became Too Big To Fail.
       





    Top Story

    Fear and anger are powerful motivators.

    As the U.S. midterm elections reach their apex on Tuesday, the rhetoric from one corner is filled with scare tactics about a caravan hundreds of miles from the U.S. border, driving fear into residents as far north as Minnesota, according to one NPR segment (because that's where Honduran migrants naturally settle, evidently).

    Whether in business, politics, or personal relationships, fear gets results. It's easier than having to build trust and unity over a prolonged and sustained effort. Hence, fear-mongers are so reluctant to give up their quick and effective tactic.

    "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." 

    In the last election cycle, anger was the motivator and was effective as well, as we've seen. And like fear, it's irrational. It doesn't take into account facts or likely outcomes.

    We've seen this only amplified in recent years online. Conventional wisdom pegged social media as a great connector, allowing people to communicate and collaborate in harmony. The reality is the social web does better at spreading hate. It turns out there's big business in outrage.

    Social media doesn't make us worse people; it simply exposes and amplifies who we already are. [Click to tweet this quote]

    Much like a certain comedian likened cocaine to amplifying your personality, social media puts a lens on what we are. ("Yes, but what if you're an a**hole?")

    Regardless of your situation, resist the temptation to be outraged. Control only what you can. Think logically. Then take action.


    About this week's image: In 1754, William Hogarth created a series of four paintings conveying the election of a member of Parliament called The Humours of an ElectionThis image, Canvassing for Votes, depicts Tory and Whig agents, both attempting to bribe an innkeeper to vote for them. The crowd outside the tavern is visible in the background. In a reference to the antisemitism of the crowd behind, a Jewish peddler is being employed by another agent who is offering jewels and ribbons to the wives of voters. The soldier on the left margin and the sailors on the right represent uncorrupted patriotism.



    Speaking Engagements

    Always looking for recommendations for venues to share my stories. I connect our digital selves with classical influences, pointing out the universal human truths that can unlock the secret of retaining and growing customer relationshipsFeel free to contact me to discuss speaking to your organization or at an event you've been to recently where you think I might stand out.
    • IDEA: if you're looking to save some of your training and development budget and don't feel like sending multiple members of your team to a conference (high prices, time away from the office, questionable content), I've got an option for you: bring me in for a roundtable experience with your team for an hour or a half day.




    Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

    The latest in AI, machine learning, bots, and blockchain, mobility, and autonomous everything.
    Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
    Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ


    Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

    Industry developments and trends, including advertising & marketing, journalism, customer experience, content, and influencer relations.
    Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ

    Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ
    • Luka Sabbat, a 20-year-old actor and model with over a million Instagram followers has been sued for $90,000 by the powerful fashion public relations firm PR Consulting for failure to influence. (Variety) He might want to work on his acting skills.
    • B2B influencer marketing efforts are on the rise. (Christopher Penn)
    • Don't let fear overtake you; how to prepare for a social media crisis in 9 steps. (Convince and Convert) The most important article I hope you never need. via Jay Baer
    • Recode and Vox.com are joining, putting tech and business reporting under the same roof. (Recode) Smart move here, as tech news is becoming more intertwined with mainstream news. And let's face it: many in society could use a dose of understanding of tech to help them make better decisions, whether they're regular citizens or lawmakers.


    Retail Apocalypse

    Humans are a transactional species, and the practice — if not the very notion of what retail is  is undergoing a historical metamorphosis. 
    • Amazon is in advanced talks to put HQ2 in Northern Virginia. (Washington Post) This puts nearly an end to over a year of speculation and abject begging by municipalities to let Amazon accept their bribes tax breaks at the expense of schools, fire departments and other facilities.
    • It seems unlikely, but Kohl's figured out the Amazon era. How'd they do it? Women's clothing. (CNN Business)
    • What do J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and J.C. Penney have in common? Like Searsthey need to succeed this holiday season. (USA Today) Now taking bets.
    • Despite ups and downs in the subscription commerce segment, it's still a subject of great interest in the retail industry. Lessons from Subscription Commerce Companies. (eMarketer Retail) Which makes the news of D2C agencies above all the more dicey.
    • Walmart announced several improvements to its purchasing experience in time for the holidays, including an ability to check out items in store aisles, digital store maps and a redesigned website to make shopping and returns easier, and allowing customers to return marketplace items to any one of its 4,700 stores, starting in mid-November. (Retail Dive)
    • Sam's Club is opening its own version of Amazon Go next month. It's called Sam's Club Now and is located in Dallas. The store has no registers, checkout lines, or cashiers. Customers must scan and pay for items using the app. (Business Insider)


    "No one has ever become poor by giving."  – Anne Frank

    If you like this newsletter please click here to recommend it (publicly) to friends and colleauges.


    SPONSOR


    Platforms 

    News to know about relevant social, virtual, and augmented reality platforms that may affect your business.
    Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ
    • Workplace, Facebook's counterpart to Slack, is moving onto a website domain separate from Facebook.com in an effort to build trust with customers. (CNBC) Good call on that trust thing. Let's make sure every division (and executive) gets the memo.
    • There's an exodus going on at Facebook: 44 percent of users ages 18 to 29 deleted the app from their phones in the past year. (CNBC) Think it might have to do with trust? The joke's on the youngsters, though: they're still using Facebook-owned Instagram.
    • It's official: WhatsApp will be showing you ads. (Gadgets Now) With the exit of the WhatsApp founder last month, who could have predicted this?
    • Investigative reporters posed as 100 U.S. Senators in order to run ads on Facebook. Facebook approved all 100 of them. (Vice News) Well that escalated quickly. It's a good thing there aren't elections this week.
    • Frontline ran a two-night special event called The Facebook Dilemma. The film looked at whether Facebook is more harmful than helpful. (PBS) One might ask that of the leadership as well as they struggle to address this issue that is clearly beyond their means.
    Tᴡɪᴛᴛᴇʀ
    Oᴛʜᴇʀ
    • Flickr is getting back to its roots as a photographer-centric community and will be charging users $49 a year for a Pro account. (Flickr) Interesting to note how they used data to arrive at the photo limit and pricing. But more importantly is their statement on user data:
    "[Y]ou can tell a lot about a product by how it makes money. Giving away vast amounts of storage creates data that can be sold to advertisers, with the inevitable result being that advertisers’ interests are prioritized over yours...SmugMug, the photography company that recently acquired Flickr from Yahoo, has long had a saying that resonates deeply with the Flickr team and the way we believe we can best serve your needs: 'You are not our product. You are our priority.'"



    Media

    The latest in the world of streaming video, audio, and the advertising, pricing and bundling models related to them.
    Vɪᴅᴇᴏ
    • Netflix released the final season of House of Cards last Friday. The streaming era owes much to House of Cards. It introduced the concept of binge-watching, among other things. (Variety) Smart move too, releasing the final season just before Election Day and during the change to Daylight Saving Time, when we'd have an extra hour to watch.
    • Finding hidden categories on Netflix used to involve searching for special codes and then going to each hidden category page manually. A new plugin makes the hidden categories visible. (BGR)
    • Netflix will debut three of its original films in theaters before they're available online, an unprecedented move for the streaming service meant to draw Academy Awards attention. (New York Times)
    • At TwitchCon, the CEO of Twitch shared a vision for expanding beyond streaming video games as 1 million viewers are logged on at any given moment. The Amazon-owned company has been partnering with traditional sports leagues such as the NBA and NFL, and the company is growing its arsenal of streamers and producers dedicated to broadcasting content outside of the traditional gaming sphere. (CNBC)
    Aᴜᴅɪᴏ
    And don't forget about The Full Monty podcast, our own 5-minute weekly business commentary. Try this: "Alexa, play the latest episode of The Full Monty."

      

    Privacy / Security / Regulatory

    Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.
    Pʀɪᴠᴀᴄʏ / Sᴇᴄᴜʀɪᴛʏ / Hᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ
    Rᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴏʀʏ / Oɴ-Dᴇᴍᴀɴᴅ Eᴄᴏɴᴏᴍʏ


    Measurement / Analytics / Data

    The future is not in plastics, but in data. Those who know how to measure and analyze it will rule the world.


      Mental Nourishment

      Other links to help you reflect, improve, or simply learn something new.
      • Feel-good story of the week: A doughnut store owner had to keep working long days and couldn't visit his ailing wife. So the neighborhood starting buying out all of his doughnuts in the morning so he could leave early. (Orange County Register) And you know, doughnuts.
      • Shirley Jackson's The Lottery has been digitized, 70 years after it was first published. The response to its original publication was something else. (Mental Floss) I was thinking of holding a drawing for a copy, but...
      • On the origins of the dunce cap. (Atlas Obscura)
      • When was a word first used in print? Get your accelerometer (1875) ready, Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is quite capacious (1606) in that regard. And that's no baloney (1922).
      • My friend Bryan is making a first-of-its-kind full-length documentary film about what to expect when you're adopted or adopting. (IndieGogo) Can you help support this film that will touch so many lives?





      Do you like what you see here? Please subscribe to get essential digital news, hand-curated, and delivered to your inbox each week. And why not share this with some colleagues?


      Top image credit: The Humours of an Election - Canvassing for Votes, William Hogarth, 1754 -  Wikipedia (Public Domain) 

      Wednesday, October 31, 2018

      Episode 53: Too Big to Fail




      While some of us find ourselves rooting for the little guy, it's more likely that we're secretly (or in some cases not-so-secretly) wishing for big companies to fail. Are they actually too big to fail? Sears (and others along the way) have taught us that failure can happen to anyone.

      What makes us take sides like this? And what can big companies do to inure themselves against the inevitable envy-based wishes for their demise?


      Download now (3 MB, 6:34)

      I'd be grateful if you'd leave a rating or review for the show. Help other people find us.


      Links:


      Credits:

      Theme songAfternoon by Maestross is on a royalty-free license from Jamendo.com.

      ImageThe Decline of the Carthaginian Empire by J.M.W. Turner, 1817 (Wikimedia Commons - public domain)

      Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSoundCloudSpotify, or Stitcher.

      Or try this: ask Alexa or Google Home to "play the latest episode of The Full Monty podcast."


      If you find this program valuable, please consider supporting it on Patreon. It covers the cost of hosting, email, music and more.

      Monday, October 29, 2018

      This Is Just the Beginning — October 29, 2018


      Big Tech may be seeing its hold start to unravel; Delta's use of technology and different thinking mean smoother flights; Lyft gets in the autonomous fast lane; marketers are faced with multiple threats; influencer marketing should be more than a tactic; Walmart's geographic transformation; visual search is coming; facts about Americans and Facebook; the golden age of streaming may be at an end; podcasting's next chapter; the rise of the data industrial complex means changes are ahead; IBM's biggest acquisition and its impact on the cloud; the weird world of secret menus; the 100 websites that reshaped the web; plus the podcast pick of the week and MUCH more in the  edition of The Full Monty for the week of October 29, 2018.



      The Full Monty makes you smarter faster, by curating the essential business intelligence every week. Links are below with commentary in italics. Please sign up for our email updates to make sure you don't miss a thing. And check out The Full Monty on Flipboard.

      Contents:

      Announcements
      Top Story
      Speaking Engagements
      Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous
      Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy
      Retail Apocalypse
      Platforms
      Media
      Privacy / Security / Regulatory
      Measurement / Analytics / Data
      Mental Nourishment

      Announcements

      If you aren't yet subscribed to updates on my blog, please check that out. I create two posts a week that capture an issue of today and tie it to a quote from the classics of philosophy, history, or literature.

      Last week, it was all about how we allow ourselves to get conned:
         




      Top Story

      Big Tech is getting big attention.

      From data breaches to ill-conceived handling of election-related meddling, the industry has been caught with its tunic down. Or with no tunic at all, since attention isn't on anything related to the past and proven human nature, but rather only on the technical.

      From China to the EU, entire countries are beginning to strike back against overly-powerful tech companies. Meanwhile, the biggest red flag coming out of Silicon Valley is that none of the people in charge of making tech products want their kids using them.

      They've recognized the negative impact that technology can have on children. To be clear, this isn't the first time we've heard the warning raised about being saturated with information. Dr. Conrad Gessner was an early proponent of less technology.

      And yet younger people are better at telling factual news from opinions than older generations. Perhaps it's because they're more digitally-savvy. Or because they haven't spent as much time with media to develop a sense of mistrust.

      One thing is for certain: in a world with less Facebook, people are primed to seek out content directly from the source.

      And in the end, that may be a great benefit to publishers — and to mankind.


      About this week's image: J.M.W. Turner's Dido Building Carthage is possibly his greatest work. Dido was of the queen and founder of Carthage, who fell in love with Aeneas on his way to Rome. The painting includes a flimsy toy boat, signifying Carthage's naval inferiority, and the tomb of Dido's husband, hinting at the future destiny of Carthage. Via The Athenaeum (public domain). 



      Speaking Engagements

      Always looking for recommendations for venues to share my stories. I connect our digital selves with classical influences, pointing out the universal human truths that can unlock the secret of retaining and growing customer relationshipsFeel free to contact me to discuss speaking to your organization or at an event you care about.
      • IDEA: if you're looking to save some of your training and development budget and don't feel like sending multiple members of your team to a conference (high prices, time away from the office, questionable content), I've got an option for you: bring me in for a roundtable experience with your team for an hour or a half day.




      Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

      The latest in AI, machine learning, bots, and blockchain, mobility, and autonomous everything.

      Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ

      • According to Deloitte's latest survey about A.I. use, most companies say that cybersecurity is their greatest fear with the technology. (Business Insider)
      • If you're a regular passenger on Delta, you may have noticed that Delta flights don't experience as much turbulence as other airlines. The reason is that Delta uses lines of code, iPads onboard and a willingness to ditch a century-old way of doing things. (The Points Guy) And just like that, we see how it's not technology that leads the way, but a mindset. Digital transformation starts with a different way of thinking.
      • Technology has now gotten to a point where celebrities are preserving themselves digitally to continue their careers beyond the grave. (MIT Technology Review) It's as if Narcissus met Hades.
      • Honda hasn't been shy about wanting an A.I. assistant in its cars, and it's bringing in a partner to ensure that this assistant is one you'll want to use. In this case, Honda is partnering with SoundHound to customize its in-car assistant. (Engadget)
      • Researchers at Airbnb describe how they implemented a sophisticated neural network — layers of mathematical functions that loosely mimic the function of neurons in the human brain — in their web and mobile app to improve the relevancy of search results. (VentureBeat)
      • For the first time, Christie's auctioned a painting generated by A.I. The piece is called "Portrait of Edmond Belamy" and was created by a GAN (generative adversarial network) trained on a dataset of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries. (BBC) The selling price: $432,000. And any the loss of any shred of self-respect an art lover has.

      Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ



      Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

      Industry developments and trends, including advertising & marketing, journalism, customer experience, content, and influencer relations.

      Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ

      • Marketers, we have a problem. Agencies are threatened by in-housing, consultancies, even an FBI investigation into illegal media buying practices. Brands are losing market share to direct-to-consumer startups and Amazon’s own products. Even the tech platforms have reason to fret, as GDPR sinks in and calls for governmental regulation get louder. (Digiday) If there was ever a call to think ethically, be customer-centric, and build relationships, now is the time.
      • What a decentralized web means for advertising. Tim Berners-Lee is on the scene. (AdWeek)
      • A BuzzFeed News investigation uncovered a sophisticated ad fraud scheme involving more than 125 Android apps and websites, some of which were targeted at kids. (BuzzFeed News) And this is only what was uncovered. There's bound to be more like this.
      • Research from the IAB Tech Lab found that U.S. men 18-34 were the most likely demographic to use ad blockers. This was largely attributed to young men in tech and gaming communities. The solution? Advertisers are using Twitch to reach people who hate ads. (AdExchanger)
      • The reason you're having trouble with your digital transformation efforts comes down to this quote from Scott Brinker: “Technology changes exponentially; organizations change logarithmically.” (Marketoonist) That is, we're at a point when technology is evolving faster than culture.

        Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ



        Retail Apocalypse

        Humans are a transactional species, and the practice — if not the very notion of what retail is  is undergoing a historical metamorphosis. 
        • Walmart is planning to create Town Centers: outdoor gathering areas with seating, green spaces, playgrounds, restaurants, jogging paths, fountains, and perhaps live music. (Inc.) If you're ever been to Walmart's hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas, the town square where the original Walton's store is located is very reminiscent of this concept. Interestingly, this is the very thing that critics have long claimed that Walmart has destroyed.
        • Not all shoppers want groceries delivered. According to a recent survey by Civic Science, 12 percent of U.S. adult consumers currently use a grocery delivery service with an additional two percent interested in trying it. A majority (68%) had no interest in the convenience, though. Close to half (45%) of those respondents who were interested in grocery delivery were Gen Xers, and far more women (67%) than men (33%) were likely to use this service. (eMarketer)
        • Amazon is seeing a slowing in its core businesses. Year-on-year growth in revenue is down from products sold on Amazon.com, commissions and services to third-party sellers, subscription products like Amazon Prime, and cloud-computing business Amazon Web Services. (Quartz)
        • With Shopify Plus, Shopify is pitching itself to Amazon-wary DTC brands. (Digiday) Emphasizing the importance of owning customer relationships and data as businesses scale.
        • The marked contrast between Amazon's and Sears' compensation plans shows the shift in recent years away from employees to shareholders. (New York Times)
        • Target is offering free two-day shipping for the holidays, in an effort to combat Amazon and Walmart. (CNBC)
        • What if you could store and deliver goods as easily as data? The future of retail is in robots and drones: automated warehouse, automated delivery, automated supply chain. Welcome to the physical cloud. (WSJ)
        • Retailers need to be ready for visual search. (Digiday) Yes, this is in addition to voice search.


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        Platforms 

        News to know about relevant social, virtual, and augmented reality platforms that may affect your business.

        Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ

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        Media

        The latest in the world of streaming video, audio, and the advertising, pricing and bundling models related to them.

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        • What's next for podcasting? The industry is making moves toward paid subscriptions and exclusive content. (TechCrunch) My bet is on watching podcasting following the models of what you see in the Video section directly above.
        • Spotify is testing a 'what's new' timeline to promote new releases. (The Verge)
        • The audio world is all aflutter now that iHeartMedia has announced the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. (Fast Company) They evidently missed the fact that Podcast Awards have been a thing for quite some time. Like since 2005 time
        • Program of the Week: Our pick this week is Believed, a joint production of NPR and Michigan Public Radio that's an inside look at how Larry Nassar, an Olympic gymnastics doctor, got away with abusing hundreds of women and girls for two decades.
        And don't forget about The Full Monty podcast, our own 5-minute weekly business commentary.

          

        Privacy / Security / Regulatory

        Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.

        Pʀɪᴠᴀᴄʏ / Sᴇᴄᴜʀɪᴛʏ / Hᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ

        Rᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴏʀʏ / Oɴ-Dᴇᴍᴀɴᴅ Eᴄᴏɴᴏᴍʏ



        Measurement / Analytics / Data

        The future is not in plastics, but in data. Those who know how to measure and analyze it will rule the world.


          Mental Nourishment

          Other links to help you reflect, improve, or simply learn something new.




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          Top image credit: Dido building Carthage, or The Rise of the Carthaginian Empire by J. M. W. Turner, 1815 - The Athenaeum, Public Domain 

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