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.


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


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 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

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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 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.
  • 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.'"


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

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


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