Monday, October 22, 2018

Self-Driving Gullibility — October 22, 2018

There's something about charismatic leaders that we always fall for; an abundance of Tesla, Facebook, Netflix and Uber content this week; the economic benefits of A.I.; Americans don't trust bots (can you blame them?); A.I. and medicine; automakers are trying to become software companies; mobile ad spending passes TV ad spending; consumers want brands to take a stand; why you're seeing brands you don't recognize; oh, what a tangled web Facebook weaves; Netflix is responsible for 15% of global Internet traffic; Spotify may upend soundtrack albums; Uber and Lyft are racing toward IPOs; marketers are having trouble with data-driven personalization; the word of the week is "humbition"; plus the podcast pick of the week and MUCH more in the Self-Driving Gullibility edition of The Full Monty for the week of October 22, 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.


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


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, we continued to explore reputation as it relates to actions, and the stories we tell ourselves:

Top Story

Why is it that we're willingly fooled by some people? Usually it's some charismatic leader, or someone who provides something that fills us with great hope — yes, that sounds rather cult-like, doesn't it?

Consider the continual ruse we've fallen for at Facebook. I wrote about Facebook's trust problem as far back as 2014. And now we've discovered that Facebook can use data about whom users call and which apps they use on the company's new in-home, voice-activated speaker Portal for targeted ads on Facebook-owned properties. During the product launch, executives said data collected on Portal would not be used to target users for advertisements.

And Elon Musk, that great showman / Twitterer-in-chief, has consumers and investors alike eating out of his hands with promises that are just around the corner or that never materialize. Such as fully autonomous driving on the Tesla Model 3, which we now find will not be happening (not to mention that Tesla's are Level 2 autonomous, not Level 5, as indicated).

We think we're intelligent, but plenty of us have been taken in by confidence artists of one sort or another "It couldn't happen to me," you say. Well, it most likely does in one way or another. It's just part of human nature. William James wrote: "No fact in human nature is more characteristic than its willingness to live on a chance."

More on this topic on The Full Monty podcast this week.

About this week's image: Lear was duped by Edgar, who was disguised as Tom O'Bedlam in Act 3 Scene 4 of King Lear. Incidentally, Bedlam was England's notorious insane asylum.

Speaking Engagements

Always looking for recommendations for speaking engagements. I connect our digital selves with classical influences, pointing out the universal human truths that can unlock the secret of retaining and growing customer relationshipsCan I speak to your organization or at your event? Feel free to contact me to discuss it.
  • If you're looking to save some of your budget this year 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 two.

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. 

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

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

    Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ




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


    • With the launch of a 24-hour comedy channel on SiriusXM, Netflix is approaching the experiment as a marketing play rather than a new revenue stream. (The Drum) Given the amount of comedy material on Netflix, it makes sense and is an easy transfer of content.
    • E.W. Scripps said it will buy audio advertising and measurement company Triton for $150 million. Scripps had previously purchased on-demand audio service Stitcher and podcasting ad net Midroll, but Triton will be its first subscription software business and first advertising measurement offering. (AdExchanger)
    • Spotify is tinkering with the soundtrack album. It is releasing music to the movie Mid90s as a playlist rather than as an album. (WSJ) Given Spotify's popularity, this might change how we consume soundtracks (although not for those of us who are original score fans)
    • Program of the Week: Our pick this week is Myths and Legends, which brings you folklore that has shaped our world.
    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

    • Uber and Lyft are racing toward IPOs next year. Currently, Uber is valued at $120 billion—more than GM, Ford and FCA combined—and Lyft is valued at $15 billion. (NY Times)
    • Uber sees itself as the next Amazon, but others see it as the next Yahoo. (Vanity Fair) Between a high pre-IPO valuation and a revolving executive door, it's tough to call.
    • Uber's secret weapon: more than a dozen Ph.D.s from top economics programs who act as an on-site think tank for Uber, gathering facts from quants and data scientists and synthesizing them to arm the lobbyists and policy folks who fight some of Uber’s biggest battles. (Quartz)
    • Uber is reportedly developing a new service that would provide short-term jobs in professions like security and hospitality. (Business Insider) I'll bet they know how to transport those employees to work, too.
    • The explosive growth of short-term rentals like Airbnb nationwide has pushed local governments to curb them, with help from the hotel industry, which wants to stifle a formidable competitor. In a last-minute effort to soften the bill, Airbnb sent council members a memo warning it may try to put the issue directly to voters with a ballot initiative in 2020 if the current version passes. (Washington Post)

    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 creditKing Lear by Benjamin West, 1788 (public domain) 


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