Archive for the 'Blog' Category

Bread made from 4,500 year old yeast

This is the neatest thing I’ve seen in a while.

Click through to see the full thread.

August 7th, 2019

Edge cases

Edge cases are the points at which a process stops working. It’s the customer that tries to enter via the exit. Or wants to pay on card when you are cash only. Or someone that adds 20kg to a container that only holds 10kg.

Edge cases are helpful, they help you find the bounds or ranges of your process. Addressing them can further these bounds. Or constrain them. They are tactical real feedback.

How you address that feedback – sets the tone for future edge cases.

And most often the lens is, do we want to increase the addressability of our process? Or is this the limit we want? Both can be right. And both communicate to your customers.

July 26th, 2019

Zero carbon

Loved this, NZ to introduce zero carbon bill.

Target is 2050.

I wonder what I’ll be doing in the years 2050. Hopefully enjoying zero carbon!

What makes New Zealand an ideal test bed is that it is a completely cut off country. It’s discrete. Everything that comes and goes can be identified, tracked. I imagine there is some leakage but a lot lower that say a country in Europe.

It makes a perfect scenario for measuring it.

July 19th, 2019

Time to value, how far can you take it? Amazon knows

Amazon upped the ante reducing two day shipping to one day.

But even so, they are still looking at other ways to get value to the end consumer faster.

And I liked this, I bought a book in the weekend, and they let you give it a read BEFORE it arrives. Not sure how they handled the digital rights on this, maybe it is a book where they have both rights. Or maybe it leverages the free sample. Either way, there is an option for me to get started on a new book.

How deep do you have to be in the customer experience to go, lets do this.

That’s the standard for the rest of us to exceed.

July 17th, 2019

Podcast vs radio and the sense of accomplishment

Growing up, adults listened to radio. I didn’t do (or know of) the books being read aloud for kids, maybe it was a bit before my generation. So radio was background noise, with music and DJs I liked as I grew up. It was just there. All the time. Like a river flowing and you turned the tap on.

But with podcasts, you seek them out, you start, you finish. I’ve listened to that one, right lets listen to another. Or you binge a bunch. Then once they’re done they’re done. There’s a psychological reward for finishing, it’s a sense of accomplishment.

In essence both are the same thing, audio storytelling. In fact much of the top downloaded podcasts are radio shows republished to podcast directories.

They are different in substance but that’s dictated by the medium, radio shows are made for mass appeal whereas podcasts are ok in the niches. The one thing that does separate them is the sense of accomplishment. TV is the same.

Maybe it’s not that people don’t like TV or radio. It’s just that in a world of endless content, people like making progress. OTT and podcasts offer that. A sense of accomplishment.

July 16th, 2019

You should know when you’re hot or not

Another kicker from the Druckenmiller interview I shared in the last post.

(for context he is a fund manager)

Skip to 49:00 minutes to pick this chat up.

They get in to, what do you do, after you’ve had a bad year? The analogy is the same with betting after you’re down.

As an aside, the investment principle: if you’re down 20%, you now need to make 25% on your principle to get back to where you were. Or if you’re down 80% you need to make 500% on your principle to get back to where you were. This is when people tend to get irrational and make bigger and bigger bets. Only to lose.

Druckenmiller goes on..

When you know you’re hot, make bigger bets. When you’re not, make smaller bets to find your groove.

It’s when you make big bets when you’re not hot, that really hurt, and create bigger losses.

A good fund manager should know when they’re hot or they’re not. And calibrate accordingly.

I like this simple approach.

July 9th, 2019

Friends & family

Was listening to this interview with Druckenmiller – and he talks a lot on, how friends and family, create the environment and support to do great things.

Give it a listen in the background, it is excellent. What I tend to do, is open on phone, put AirPods on.

And I couldn’t agree more, we are as strong as our weakest support.

Thanks to Noah for sending it my way.

July 3rd, 2019

What did you do differently the second time around?

I shared some thoughts on Quora, around thinking about the second product.

Like most things, the second time is easier but now the threshold is higher.

Same but different.

Here’s more on the Nudge blog.

And a link to the thing. In short, we see a lot of first timers to content give up because they don’t know where to start. Showing them where others brands are – gives a reference point. And then maybe evoke a little bit of the competitive spirit.

Lets see.

June 25th, 2019

The perfect client

I was on a flight a month ago, thinking about the perfect client. Who are they? What do they do? What do I do, to nudge them to be the perfect client?

I caught Ana Milicevics presentation on how to find the right vendor or kick off vendor partnerships in the right way.

That’s the thing. The right partnership is a combination of the technology and expertise to supercharge your internal value chain.

Seth Godin has another analogy on it, his is, are you pushing a stone uphill to close deals, or rolling it down a hill. Creating those conditions for the perfect client, leads to more rolling than pushing.

As one of those partners, it’s helpful to define what a perfect client is. Once established we can work on creating and maintaining the ideal conditions and environment.

So for me, what is my perfect ideal client?

A clear understanding of how our partnership can drive value.

A clear north star, or goal, that we can work towards.

Something we can both spark or learn from.

Cultural fit.

Have fun but stimulating work.

An appetite to improve, to be the best in their area of the world.

Not all clients will be that, each can bring new and unexpected dynamics but it’d be a spoilt position to start each relationship from.

Give it a think, how would this apply? How can you do an experience audit, to make sure you are creating these conditions or the right environment for it to happen? How can that experience speak to and acknowledge your unique lens, or POV on the world?

This kids store had a ‘kids only’ door, that part of the experience sets the tone, kids are valued here, and in turn so are the parents that share that value. An obvious but subtle nod – that also creates enjoyment. That’s the kind of output from the exercise.

May 29th, 2019

When does a human cross the threshold to become a bot?

It’s a question we were faced with recently. I don’t typically share long form pieces on the blog, but you can see it over on Medium for the full write up.

In a world of automation, we see these tools also bridge to all sorts of use cases. And in a recent campaign, we saw automation or assistant tools, in turn being used to inflate user numbers for a brand.

The vanity metrics looked great – but the real metrics did not.

There was also a piece a while back on how someone created a bot to fulfill tasks on Mechanical Turk. Or used AI to respond to are you a robot CAPTCHAs.

These are the signs of our times and will continue. That’s why things like blockchain are counter responses to this. As more and more systems and processes digitize, more will become bots so to speak.

May 17th, 2019

The rise of private intelligence

Everything zig zags online, in recent history our brands intelligence has been more public, you can see it on Facebook. The zig.

But what we’re seeing now is the development of private intelligence, the zag. The shift (and maturing) of brands to build up their internal processes, to execute novel media (and content) tactics, to combine public with private data.

I’ve been thinking about it from a product perspective too. How Apple handles machine learning is the perfect analogy, the learning is done on device, protecting your privacy (rather than in the cloud). Google yesterday mirrored this intention. This is the private intelligence.

This is the exciting time, as it’ll produce richer and different types of investments in the digital eco-system. I’m excited to see what eventuates.

May 9th, 2019

What sorts of problems do you want to lose sleep over? Mapping opportunity cost

If we are successful at this endeavour what will that look like? What will be the challenges with it? What will be the advantages?

When you’re small it’s easy to make these decisions but you have to know what you’re optimizing towards.

And whether, that headache is one that you want.

It’s a weird way to think about it – what sorts of problems do I want to keep me up at night? And if you’re ok with that – you’re probably doing the right thing.

The regular business challenges are a given – but also explore the nuances of the strategy you’re going after. If it goes well, what incidental problems can or will it create.

(Btw no one wants to be kept up at night – but it is inevitable on anything worth doing and you may as well check, that that is a worthwhile sacrifice)

March 17th, 2019

How does this conclude?

It’s not really a question I’d ask when I was younger, if something was directionally ok, I’d follow it.

Now, especially with environmental concerns (and that’s where it’s starting) I’m going what do I do with this when it’s done?

For example, I bought two stools, which I love. At some point, they will need repair, or repainting or I’ll want to move them on. But I never once considered these in my purchase.

I went, I want a couple of good quality, nicely designed, comfortable stools for our kitchen counter. Something that I will like and cherish and value for time to come. I didn’t go, hang on, are these recyclable? Can I resell them? How repairable are they?

The patina they develop over time is assured. But I think these features of products over time will come in to popular culture. How long will this last? How does it get better over time?

February 28th, 2019

Best Books for Marketers [continuously updated]

Here’s my curated list of the best marketing books. The lens on this list is that it has to be arguably a book that every marketer should read – books that should stand the test of time. The other two rules for this list, is that I can’t include anything published in the last two years, to help focus on the books which are weighty and I must have read them first hand.

This does introduce constraints but should mean we have a slow moving rather than a fast changing list.

For any suggestions tweet me @bwagy, I’ll add to the list to read and update.

Timeless Marketing Books

These are books I think ALL marketers should read.

How brands grow. A refresh on the latest research on how brands grow and what you can do to help.

22 Immutable Rules of Marketing (and Branding). A solid reminder of the power of the basics – and as marketers we do tend to over complicate things.

80/20 Principle by Richard Koch.

Ignore Everybody by Hugh Macleod. Coming at it from the creativity angle, the best marketers are creative, or can at least manage or create the conditions for creativity to happen.

Confessions of an Advertising Man and Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy. The classics.

And finally, whilst it’s not a pick off your shelf and read the whole thing, Philip Kotler (yes from university) does keep an up to date on the latest thinking in marketing management.

Old trends but still relevant

Free by Chris Anderson and The Long Tail.

Permission Marketing by Seth Godin (and actually any Seth Godin, All Marketers are Liars and Purple Cow).

Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

Upcoming potentials

I haven’t yet read these but have been suggested via peers. Once I read may/may not add to the list.

Where the Suckers Moon: The Life and Death of an Advertising Campaign

Small Data: The Tiny Clues that Uncover Huge Trends

Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. Oft recommended by the greats of advertising.

Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz

The Content Trap by Bharat Anand.

The Cluetrain Manifesto by David Weinburger.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini.

Any I’ve missed, you’d vouch for or recommend? Tweet me @bwagy or send me an email.

January 15th, 2019

Setting yearly goals

I have done this as far back as I can remember.

One neat thing (which I love) is that my wife/I will formulate ours independently.

Then a couple of weeks in to the year we sit down, compare and identify our shared goals. We then write them and put up on the wall.

It keeps us both accountable but is a way more fun process. And means we know what we’re working so hard for.

January 10th, 2019

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