The end of the beginning

Really enjoyed this talk from Benedict Evans.

It’s fast paced 🙂 but follow along. He speaks to where we’ve come from in the past 20 years and to where it’s going.

Well, as much as you can at this juncture.

Give it a watch, or do a walk and listen. It’s 23 minutes but well worth it.

The practical segway (i.e. how you can think about it). Is if you are in business today through this change – is attention rationalization.

For the past 20 years the amount of attention consumers have given digital screens has gone up year on year. With growing attention it was easy for us all to get more of it – as there was growing appetite.

However that will slow dramatically, for the sheer fact that there is only so much attention in a day.

Pair this, with at this point, most (if not all) of your customers are connected to the internet. And expect some or all of your service to be digitally enabled.

In that world, the amount of attention is a real currency.

The nearest proxy today is a CPC or CPV. Once you remove all the ‘fake attention’ from juiced metrics and bots. It really is a fixed currency, where everyone is competing against everyone else, all the time.

Seems silly but a Netflix show is competing with your reddit thread, is competing with the time you have to research a new doctor.

^ Someone right now is nodding as they read this.

Businesses which don’t adjust will simply evaporate. If they can’t earn digital attention, they are invisible to the market.

A blunt example is the rise of DTC brands, the brands flooding Instagram. Being top of mind drives sales – and if you can’t ‘earn’ attention in the feed. You lose out immediately. This small extrapolation can roll out to the entire digital mix.

As Ben alludes to, software eats attention.

November 21st, 2018

When the existence of one is enough proof

For creators – the existence of one thing is enough to convince them that there can be two.

And if there can be two, there can be three, there can be four.

For some though, it’s not enough, it could be an anomaly, it can be explained away.

And they’re probably both right.

But it’s the founder, the maker, the creator who leans in to it and makes it two.

 

November 10th, 2018

People based algorithms, i.e. curation

In a world of endless recommendation algorithms, powered by clicks and interest signals.

There is a zag back towards curation, towards less. Towards understanding that someone has considered each thing you are seeing and believe you will enjoy it as well.

I’ve been riffing back and forth with a few colleagues on this, in their search for the best ‘media placements’ – a lot of it is just coming back to finding good context.

And that, is a combination of art and science. Algorithms AND people.

It’s a nice reminder, technology is here to help us do things better, more effectively. Sometimes it goes wrong. But that is the whole purpose. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

You’re reading this – probably because you know me. Algorithms help amplify it – but at the core you follow because you like the connection.

 

October 20th, 2018

Bench Strength

This is something you need to continuously develop, whether your are winning, losing or somewhere in between.

I mean this literally and figuratively.

But mostly I mean this when it comes to your team. As a leader you must continually develop, challenge and support your team to build bench strength – so that as conditions change, you are best equipped.

When hiring, people recognize this and appreciate going to a company that’s going to be as invested in their success as they are.

October 11th, 2018

Replacing yourself

My job at its kernel is an existential drive to replace myself. That is the definition of success.

Right now, I’m back from a trip, having just replaced a fair chunk of my day to day.

It’s great.

Now I have a wide open calendar and time, to tackle what’s next.

I love these little moments, snippets in time, it’s where the kernels of the next drivers of change happen.

October 4th, 2018

You vs the algorithm

What can you offer that algorithms can’t know or deeply cater for. 

Better understanding of your market, your customers, the nuances. 

The things which don’t scale across everything. That’s the personal edge.

The last mile of customer knowledge sits with you. 

August 28th, 2018

Productizing Data

I spoke with a colleague on the art of turning data in to products.

Given we live in a data-centric world there doesn’t appear to much dialogue on the topic so I’m adding some 🙂

Every product or service creates data. More and more companies are looking at how to build data businesses and many launch a ‘data’ product but few will go deep.

A lot of that is to do with product management, productizing data isn’t an easy process. In general there are a few levels to it.

  • Level One: The sell is more data, get more than you had before.
  • Level Two: Once you have sold too much ‘new data’, you have to swap or adjust to ‘curated data’.
  • Level Three: Insights or recommendations, make meaning from this data.
  • Level Four: Delta, show me the delta or contextualize these for me.

Then rinse/repeat.

Or at least that’s the theory.

Many companies do level one, and then at each step it drops dramatically. Why? Competition, need and market.

Highly motivated end users will push a company to get to stage four fast. Then at that point it’s continual renewal to standardize and continue to conextualize data.

Some companies only need to get to stage one or two, or can spend years before stage three or four. That’s ok. But this helps provide a framework or directionality.

July 31st, 2018

Why do young companies excel? People want to be led

Young companies excel, by demonstrating leadership.

They’re new, they’re fresh, they’re small, they’re fast.

All the exact opposite of any old company.

Their first customers, are those that want to be led, that want to try something new.

So if you’re a new company, lean in to that, embrace it, it’s what’ll get you a few years under your belt.

July 7th, 2018

Celebrating the small wins

I saw a tweet the other day that the hardest thing for founders can be the half wins. The wins that maybe they hadn’t envisaged.

I call this – celebrating the small wins.

Small wins, the little milestones on the way to big wins. And in the journey towards that bigger goal – they should absolutely be celebrated. Always.

Here’s to the small wins. 🥃

 

 

June 23rd, 2018

To deliver the worlds best products, you have to have the world contributing

A riff on why remote work is essential.

I run a technology company headquartered here in New York with remote teams in India, UK, Sweden and AsiaPac.

We embraced remote working out of necessity but found it has become a real strength of our business. To deliver the worlds best products, you have to have the world contributing.

Here’s what we found:

1) Turn time zones in to an advantage

  • Time zones turn a 5 day week in to a 6 day effective work week. Days can have a 16 hour coverage. Presuming everyone is well briefed and communicated.
  • Public holidays in one country enhance this effect.
  • Compound this 52 weeks/year and it gives you a significant edge over your competitors. And with the same employee investment.

Every Friday, we’re briefing changes/responses in, to deliver Monday morning – putting us ahead, just as everyone is getting started. It’s not about the epic wins, it’s about the always on small wins. This helps us win, by design.

2) Enabled us to be more precise in hiring

  • Opening to remote work means you can be a lot more precise in your role hiring, as you are more likely to find that person with a particular set of requirements.
  • ^ Then your chance of hiring them is a lot higher too.

Remote working allows you to find people wherever they are.

3) Made our internal processes more robust

  • It enforces process at a younger age and/or smaller size.
  • These processes also encourage effective documentation and communication, both of which create better work.
  • If we were all in one place we wouldn’t have had to do this as fast.

People always say to me, oh I thought you were much bigger, it’s because of the discipline, time zone advantage and ability to hire precisely.

I know a lot of my readers, are pioneers in their own ways. It’s important to fly the flag for the future of work mobility, and to help provide enough reasons to help those companies who haven’t made the leap yet. What have you found? Please @bwagy me on Twitter.

Please do share…

If you’d like to find more about us, and/or jobs at Nudge visit https://www.giveitanudge.com

June 16th, 2018

Micro breaks

When things are busy – it’s easy to say no to a big break.

It’s near impossible to say no to a micro break.

It could be as simple as, Wednesday morning off.

An hour out of the office.

A long weekend, which a half day either side.

Taking a Tuesday off, to break up your week.

 

June 13th, 2018

How Facebook should tackle News

Facebook killed off trending news – and now is looking to support live broadcasting.

My sense is they’re going down the rabbit hole again.

The problem with their initiatives is that they aren’t playing on the strength of the platform, to help inform and create a better experience.

What is it about Facebook that could improve the news experience? 

Thats the product question they need to answer.

My take is that they need to look to Twitter as a reference. They organise news topics and highlight the top tweets in their explore tab. It’s not rocket science but it does exactly what I want as a user, the Twitter take on a story.

This is a good model for taking the best of Twitter to be additive to the news experience.

 

How Facebook could tackle this

When a News event happens, trigger it as an event and let people contribute. Make them the hero’s. Lift them up – and elevate them.

What people share on Facebook is more direct, more personal. Twitter is more of our public face. So embrace that.

Then for bonus points, personalize that view for each and every user:

  • Share opposing points of view.
  • Share voices I don’t often hear
  • Elevate the official references of facts

Finally, embrace the small, sometimes for a news story, there is only 2-3 unique points of view worth sharing. That is ok. If you’ve delivered a great experience, the job is done.

 

Enable journalists

To enable journalists to use this and inform their reporting:

  • Provide tools to reach out (or a process) and to get consent for reuse of media.
  • The same for interviews.
  • And/or to ask questions of the audience.
  • ^ This helps the news industry produce better news.

And this is a lot better than just writing cheques for media companies to do what they already do.

 

June 7th, 2018

Token issues for turning up, i.e. a bitcoin for everyone

A coin for each day at work

Coin could be swapped for a share of profits.

A coin for being a citizen, basic income.

A coin for taking the train.

I’m really curious around a coin just being issued, for doing something. Something that we were all entitled too.

 

 

June 6th, 2018

The MRC for AI

Advertising has the media rating council. The council seeks to validate that independent measurement does what it says on the tin through an audit process.

AI algorithms will have the same need.

Each is a black box and with this he need for independent ratings of algorithms will only rise.

Especially in the enterprise sector.

This uber self-driving accident is case in point, there is no way for anyone else to verify that indeed the stated cause is what caused it.

Think of it as a quality verifier. Who is building this? Is anyone yet?

 

May 9th, 2018

Car shows are marketing terrariums

 

I am a bit of a car guy AND a marketer.

What I enjoy attending the auto shows, is how layered the products are.

There is a car for every customer segment, with price & feature differentiation. And at the auto shows you can browse and see how they’re tackling each segment all in one place.

They have their tiered marketing;

  • Brand, the big launches, the hype reel, the billboards.
  • Product marketing at the dealer level, YouTube reviews, car magazines & blogs.
  • Lead-gen to the local dealer, through events, car builders, SEM, social.

As a marketer, it’s just curious to be able to see the whole stack from top to bottom so transparently. But also how it adjusts year to year.

If you’re a marketer – and you haven’t been to one, go next time, peruse.

 

April 17th, 2018

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