Monday, December 10, 2018

Now Trending — December 10, 2018

A trend in outsmarting consumers doesn't seem all that smart; top A.I. research of 2018 and predictions for 2019; trends in mobility; digital marketing strategies for building your brand; digital publishers are for sale; what 2019 holds for the future of retail; Facebook's annus horribilis; the tone-deaf tweets of the chief twitterer; the top-earning YouTuber; the streaming media business is getting crowded — and contentious; podcasts come to Pandora; Lyft and Uber have both filed for IPOs; how smart cities are turning a mountain of data into insights; the strange and wonderful hidden musicals that powered corporate America; and so much more in the Now Trending edition of The Full Monty for the week of December 10, 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.


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


Just an advance notice: next week is the last official edition of The Full Monty for 2018. With Christmas and New Year's Day falling mid-week, there will be interruptions delivery service. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Top Story

What is it about companies that they think it's acceptable to deceive people? I've talked about this a number of times before (see: Smoke and Mirrors and Why We Fall For It Every Time).

We like to think we're smarter than that, so when we see someone else get caught up in a deception, it's entertaining (especially when it's caught on camera!).

Just in this last week, we Dunkin' fooling foodies in Portland with an espresso pop-up. The coffee was actually Dunkin', but it was made to seem as if it was a hand-crafted espresso that wouldn't be expected to come from a chain.

And as we reported in last week's newsletter, Payless Shoesource made a fake luxury brand and tricked fashion influencers into spending $640 for their discount shoes — an 1,800% markup on shoes that normally retail for around $35.

The prevailing thought here is alternatively a jab at the "experts" who can be easily taken in, or a self-congratulatory back pat for the brand. Either way, it feels off, you know?

This "hey look, we fooled you/them" isn't really anything new. The Pepsi Challenge undertook that in first in 1975, and Folgers famously switched the coffee in fine restaurants with its own instant crystals in the 1970s and 1980s.

This may seem clever or entertaining, but it's hardly new. And because it's built on deception, it stands on about as solid ground as the mistress who becomes a second wife: you never know when your spouse is going to cheat on you again.

P.S. The results of these switcheroos don't always turn out as expected.

Related: Episode 52 of The Full Monty.

If you enjoyed this commentary, please sign up for Timeless Wisdom in addition to this newsletter and I'll send you a couple of more items a week.

About this week's image: Stańczyk, painted by Jan Matejko in 1862 depicts the court jester when Poland was at the height of its political, economic and cultural power during the era of the Renaissance in Poland, during the reign of King Sigismund I the Old who reigned from 1506–1548. Stańczyk was a popular figure; besides his fame as a jester he has been described as an eloquent, witty, and intelligent man, using satire to comment on the nation's past, present, and future.

Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

The latest in AI, machine learning, bots, and blockchain, mobility, and autonomous everything.
Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ
  • Three trends to expect in mobility services next year. They center around autonomous, 5G and scooters. (AdWeek) If you can get a self-driving scooter via 5G, more power to you.
  • An interview with Ford CEO Jim Hackett, who explains how to sell driverless cars when drivers are your best customers. (Newsweek) Not sure the message is getting across. When asked to define what a 'mobility company' is, this was his answer:
    • "Henry Ford brought us mobility. But for the first time in history, you’ve got the confluence of technology that will let the vehicle drive itself, the ability for the vehicles to communicate with each other and all talk to the cloud. The cities will also communicate with the cloud, which then connects with the vehicles in ways that actually help choreograph traffic."
    • Our 'Mulallified' version: a mobility company handles data, hardware, and software that connects vehicles to each other and the grid, and helps people more easily go from place to place. #FixedItForYou
  • The anatomy of a connected car owner — from their banking habits to their social network use and more. (otonomo)
  • Waymo introduced its commercial self-driving service, Waymo One. That's right, a driverless taxi. (Medium) Like Total Recall, but with no robot driver.
  • May Mobility is an autonomous vehicle company, but their focus is on providing “a better level of service and we’re solving real transportation problems.” (Wired) 
  • Congress is getting serious about autonomous vehicles as well with the AV Start Act, which would collect crash information for Level 2 systems like Tesla’s Autopilot. (The Verge)

Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

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


  • IRI combines highly comprehensive data sets — including consumers’ actual purchase behavior — advanced analytics, and robust technology to offer clients 3-4 times sales uplift and up to 70% improvement on return on advertising spend. Click here for more information on the impact of online ads to offline product sales. (IRI Worldwide) If you ask me, that's the Holy Grail of measurement.

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 a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy." 
–Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

Just a quick moment to thank those of you who have recommend this newsletter (publicly) to friends and colleagues. You've helped countless others discover these stories and learn from them.
Please consider doing it again, as the busy season is upon us.


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.
Please subscribe to The Full Monty podcast, our own 5-minute weekly business commentary.
Try this at home: "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.

    Speaking Engagements

    Are you tired of hearing about the latest thing you have to chase from executives or so-called gurus who love shiny objects? The platform du jour, the latest trend in influencers, stunts, and the like? 

    Then allow me to wow your team with Timeless Wisdom — lessons drawn from historical and literary contexts, combined with my Fortune 10 executive experience, that still apply today. You'll walk ways with a sense of reassurance after hearing some of my stories. I connect the dots between digital and analog, pointing out the universal human truths that drive us all.

    SPECIAL OFFER: There are just two slots left on my discount offer for up to five subscribers of The Full Monty. Book me to speak in 2019, and I'll speak to your group for 30 percent off my normal rate. Let's have a call to discuss it. This offer is ending this week.

    Mental Nourishment

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

    Top image creditStańczyk by Jan Matejko, 1862 (Wikimedia Commons, public domain)


    Post a Comment

    Learn from the Past to Inform Your Future

    The Full Monty in Person

     Book Scott Monty to speak