Archive for the ‘Reads & Feeds’ Category

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Reads & Feeds | Sep 5

Great minds don’t think alike – they challenge each other to think again. The clearest sign of intellectual chemistry isn’t agreeing with someone. It’s enjoying your disagreements with them. Harmony is a pleasing arrangement of different sounds, not the same ones. Creative tension can make beautiful music. – Adam Grant

💡 Hybrid working isn’t the right frame to guide a workplace strategy – I keep saying it because I believe it. It focuses only on one narrow dimension of work – where we work – and then overemphasises it. What matters is collaboration, focus and outcomes. Then pick the best way to do one or all three against the priorities in front of you. If that means you’ll drive a better outcome working from Antarctica, go for it. This got me thinking about it even more. And where there is a collaboration chasm, we might all need to work together for a bit.

Quotes of the Week:

“Rule of 3 in conversation. To get to the real reason, ask a person to go deeper than what they just said. Then again, and once more. The third time’s answer is close to the truth.” – Kevin Kelly

A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals to discovery. – James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)

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Reads & Feeds

  1. You have no privacy, don’t get over it. So you’ve never read those epic terms and conditions that come with Google mail – and likely resigned yourself to having no privacy and the indiscriminate scanning of users’ cloud data. So what happens when you suffer the consequence of Big Tech looking at your email? This is a sobering story. In short, Mark, a man flagged by Google as a purveyor of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) for taking pictures of his son’s penis and sending them to their family doctor, subsequently lost nearly every aspect of his digital life when Google deleted his account. Read more over at the excellent Stratechery.
  2. JP Morgan paper on Big Data, AI & Machine Learning. An excellent summary of #MachineLearning #AI and #BigData #DataScience.  And even an overview of types of alternative data and a brilliant tutorial on #ML methods to analyse data. 
  3. Mckinsey says the Metaverse will generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030 and is too big for companies to ignore.

Random but worth it:

  1. Bruce Mau is coming to Sydney. One of the many designers I admire. I can’t wait to see him speaking and the movie.
  2. A great set of resources for clearer thinking
  3. You’ve been waiting to hear this for like 3,400 years.
  4. This has to be the coolest fish ever

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TV Matters, Or Does It

Youtube’s most recent upfront reignited the debate around the relevance of TV and the much-maligned 30-second spot. Ritson counterbalanced the hyperbole with:

“I think most marketers these days agree that the reports of the death of linear TV have been wildly exaggerated. But nonetheless, we have to accept that a lot of people are watching a lot less linear TV than perhaps they once did,” said Ritson.

“That’s a major problem, especially for big brands who have for decades depended on linear TV to build their brands at the top of the funnel through its enormous reach. And that’s exactly where YouTube plays a wonderful role. As a supplement to linear TV, especially on connected televisions, YouTube provides a brilliant way to restore that reach, particularly among the younger demographics that have proven so difficult in recent years to reach out to.”

While Ritson is right, there are two problems with this.

First, the idea of a “top of the funnel” is antiquated. We are in need of the continuous creation of mental, physical and digital availability for our brands across all stages of the funnel. All buyers buy infrequently. The funnel is a broken metaphor. More to come on that.

Digital mediums – Youtube – plays a critical role in generating that availability. The issue is efficiency, effectiveness and reach. That is where the debate starts. So even if we are watching TV less – much less in my case – does that smaller viewing audience more efficiently and effectively create availability? I can’t recall a single ad or brand I’ve seen on Youtube but can recall brands I’ve seen on TV. Samples of one make for terrible evidence.

Second, drawing two mediums into a compare and delete debate is futile. The reality is all marketers of any quality will be working the media mix for outcomes. It’s not either, or – but rather where to allocate the spend across a mix. As more of us consume formats that move – TV, video, social the real losers will be static media. Not just in terms of the reach and efficiency of that media but also the complexity and cost in making that media work.

What is true is that we must adjust all marketing to reflect the attention span of audiences – short formats for intercepting the “feed” and much longer formats for engagement.

“Six second bumpers and 15-second spots. A smart mix can build a great story … languishing behind is the 30 and its cousin, the 45-second spot, which generate the lowest ROI across all screens … 30-seconds is too complex to automate, too simple to convince. It’s too short if I’ve chosen to engage with it, and it’s far too long if I’m forced to watch it. Consumers tend to skip the platform if they’re faced with the forced 30-second spot. Hence skippable format and the burst of the six second bumper. It’s long enough to grab my attention and over before I have the chance to object.”

The best performing ads, created by only 15 per cent of advertisers, were longer than three minutes, per Hunt.

So, go long, go short – but don’t get trapped in the middle.

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Efficiency vs. Meaning

Efficiency doesn’t equal meaning. That’s the essence of Nick Carr’s comments on Google. I tend to agree. Knowing involves work – and while search is certainly part of the work, the result doesn’t yield knowing other than at the most basic level.

"It’s not what you know," writes Google’s Marissa Mayer, "it’s what you can find out." That’s as succinct a statement of Google’s intellectual ethic as I’ve come across. Forget "I think, therefore I am." It’s now "I search, therefore I am." It’s better to have access to knowledge than to have knowledge. "The Internet empowers," writes Mayer, with a clumsiness of expression that bespeaks formulaic thought, "better decision-making and a more efficient use of time."

…It’s not what you can find out, Frost and James and Poirier told us; it’s what you know. Truth is self-created through labor, through the hard, inefficient, unscripted work of the mind, through the indirection of dream and reverie. What matters is what cannot be rendered as code. Google can give you everything but meaning.

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Great Reads & Feeds