Here’s the latest edition of the newsletter. While I post much of the newsletter here, some updates are exclusively available to subscribers. Sign up now to make sure you receive it.
What’s the most important lesson you learned in 2019?
More than a dozen responses came in when I asked that question, and I’ll share them in this week’s and next week’s editions. If you’re inspired to add your own, just respond via this form by Monday 12/17, and I’ll add it for next week.
Let’s get to it. Here’s what some of you learned this year:
“Focus is a funny thing… sometimes it’s the blur of a broader landscape that helps you connect the dots. Either I’ve been looking at too much impressionist art or I’ve just been having a lot of fun creating value for tech & marketing businesses since going back to consulting/advising/investing.”
“Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself in ways you never thought were possible. Take on unfamiliar or bigger projects, apply to roles that you may not have all the experience for. It takes a period of madness and chaos, to figure out what works but the learnings and risks can be worth it.”
“We should collaborate more, help each other be successful. It’s something independent agents learn to do faster than corporate/agency types. To me the answer to isolation and loneliness is a mindset of abundance – we’re not all experts at the same exact thing. It’s an acquired habit worth pursuing. Beyond spreading the love/work, the benefit of getting to know what we’re working on and how we work opens doors in our minds. That’s powerful. (Hence why I joined the Serial Marketers slack group.)”
“You have no idea of your unconscious biases. That’s why they are called ‘unconscious.'”
“Nothing is as important as it seems at the time, and the most impactful things usually seem trivial as they occur.”
“Moor your adaptive teams mastering new marketing tech with metrics that move the needle, not the ego. If you prefer a five-word version: Move fast, and learn things.”
I’ll save my own for next week, and we have a bunch of other great ideas and reminders ahead, but I don’t think I can top “Move fast, and learn things,” along with some of these other gems that I’m bookmarking. Thanks to all of you who shared ideas so far. Again, there’s still time to add yours. Plus, as always, drop a line to share what you’re making of yourself.
If this newsletter has been interesting, informative, or inspiring for you, a kind holiday gift in return will be sharing this with others. No one (my wife included) has been automatically added, and more people join and open it every week. Thanks so much for reading it.
LEARN. TRY. SHARE.
DO NOT PASS GO (WITHOUT BUYING AIRPORT SNACKS)
Amazon’s checkout-free stores, dubbed Go, are coming to US airports. One quote here struck me as odd: “‘Think about how you can expose your brand,’ the person familiar with the matter said, on condition of anonymity. ‘You’ll be able to build broad awareness just being in a dozen of the best airports.’” Airports are getting better, but overall, these are not places people look forward to shopping. Airports retailers sell boxes of chocolate at a 200% markup and button-down shirts for 50% off (well, off their 400% markup). Airports may be a good place to expose higher-income, tech-savvy customers to Go, but it’s not because this kind of venue is some dreamy spot to build a brand. What’s next – brand building at the DMV?
Vila Serial Marketers community member Hila Nissim, Promo’s Image Resizer had a fantastic debut on Product Hunt, securing something like 700+ votes in 24 hours and making it to their top apps of the day. I tried this out for a side project I’m working on, and I got back dozens of images designed for all the major social platforms – and all smartly categorized. Amazing. I can’t wait to use this more. There are some designers who will hear from me less often now, for better or worse.
I didn’t think I needed to read that much about Kevin Hart; it felt like a train wreck rather than anything substantial. But in Casey Newton’s excellent daily newsletter, The Interface, he added perspective that I found particularly moving. Newton’s take: “”Apparently, in Hart’s world, it’s OK for a man to love a man — as long as that man is yourself.” Wow.
WHAT’S THE ROI ON A WISH?
Can you calculate the return on investment of a wish from Make-A-Wish Foundation? Yes, to some degree, in terms of healthcare savings. Calculating the ROI on quality of life is much harder. Just imagine the ROI of these kids being able to smile at their parents, and how many lives all of them will touch in turn.
“WE ARE THE REAL TOY STORY”
Can’t wait for Toy Story 4? You don’t have to; make another kid’s toy story come true thanks to Second Chance Toys, which I mentioned in a previous issue after reader Shelly Lipton brought up his family’s non-profit. Here’s some new coverage they received from WCBS; I’ll gladly connect you with Shelly if you want to learn more and get involved. They’re having a lot of success with corporate events to sort and clean the toys for delivery.
DOZENS OF HUMANS DISCUSS AI
Perry Hewitt, quoted above, is featured in this roundup of esteemed experts on where artificial intelligence is heading. She notes, “The ability for narrow AI to assimilate new information (the bus is supposed to come at 7:10 but a month into the school year is known to actually come at 7:16) could keep a family connected and informed with the right data, and reduce the mental load of household management.” She’s also concerned that voice devices are turning kids into… not very nice people. Read on for more about what she really thinks.
Want to include your event below? Just reply with the details.
Need your Gritty fix? You better. Because Grittycon is coming. I mentioned #Grittycon on Twitter in connection with the aforementioned Adweek article. Then Caroline McCarthy said she would keynote. And now she’s co-chairing it, and keynoting. Don Steele chimed in with his own contribution; he’s co-chairing too. Dates coming soon. This is happening. Sign up for more info.
ANA BRAND MASTERS
February 27-March 1
Submissions: globally through February 20
Event: April 5, Venice, Italy
The Crowdsourcing Week BOLD Awards, showcasing innovative businesses and individuals, will be a rewarding event for amazing projects, individuals and companies. After submitting your project, our team will review it within 1 week. If your project is accepted, it will appear online and votes will start on Jan 10th. Submissions are open and will be closed on February 20, 2019. Submitting a project will be completely free until January 1st, 2019.
New jobs are listed at the top, and older ones are phased out. Reach out to me if you want introductions or any additional information. And let me know if you have other job postings you’d like to share. The newsletter does work; someone recently that she landed a job through one of these postings.
New York, NY
I love this firm, run by a former boss of mine, and it’s a phenomenal opportunity. Let me know if you want a referral. Details: LL just posted a great opportunity in NYC for someone early in their marketing career (2-4 yrs experience). We’re looking for a digital-savvy marketer to support our open innovation programs on behalf of our clients + contribute to our corporate marketing / business development. This is a unique opportunity to help our clients solve complex problems. At Luminary Labs, every client is an incredible client, and every problem is one worth solving. We’re currently addressing the opioid crisis, the democratization of science, the future of education and work, tech ethics, health, and more.
Strategists / Senior Strategists
New York, NY
Consumer Dynamics is looking for Innovation Strategists (2-4 years relevant experience) and Senior Strategists (4-6 years) to join our team. Consumer Dynamics is an insights-led, strategic brand and innovation consultancy based in SoHo. CD works across categories with clients such as Abbott, Colgate Palmolive, Gillette, Keurig, iRobot and Moet Hennessy, as well as a number of start-ups. Our casual, entrepreneurial work environment is dynamic and high energy. It’s a great opportunity for someone who is looking to have a big role in very strategic brand and innovation projects.
Write me for the job description or to connect with the internal hiring lead