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.


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, 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, 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.

    "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.


    • 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.

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


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