Scott Galloway on Recode Decode – Recode

I’ve got a bit of love/envy thing going with Scott Galloway, but i LOVE this interview with Kara Swisher on Decode/Recode. One of the dozens of provocative points he makes here is that brands are becoming less relevant in an era of endless discovery. You can feel confident choosing a new product, because its easier than ever to find out whether the thing is good or not.

Brand has effectively served as shorthand for getting you from the unknown to the known faster than you could on your own, because you couldn’t do the diligence.

There’s a ton in this interview, but i love the concept of “tools of diligence” that he just touches on lightly. That is, Google, Amazon reviews, Instagram, Twitter and the other things you use to check out things to buy and do.

Obvious point: As a marketer, you must consider the full user experience from finding out about your thing – perhaps on instagram – through to the reviews on Amazon and Twitter, etc.


Source: Full transcript: NYU business school professor and L2 founder Scott Galloway on Recode Decode – Recode

This Influencer Marketing Shop Created Fake Accounts to Prove That the Industry Is Full of Ad Fraud – Adweek

I’ve always been annoyed by the “influencer” marketing practices. It’s coming up on 10 years of annoying, spammy stuff that has never seemed real or valuable. So, it’s surprising (to me anyway) that this writer seems surprised just how easy it is to be sketchy:

This represented the latest form of ad fraud afflicting advertisers and brands today seeking to work with social media influencers. To bring the issue to light, we created two fake Instagram influencer accounts. The goal of our experiment was to show how easy it is to create a fake influencer account, and to prove that it’s possible for fake accounts to secure paid brand deals through influencer marketing platforms.

Source: This Influencer Marketing Shop Created Fake Accounts to Prove That the Industry Is Full of Ad Fraud – Adweek

Innovation Framework From Doblin

It seems like there are just as many ways to talk and think about innovation as there are reasons to innovate. To get the conversations started with clients, i’ve always liked to use a framework to jumpstart the thinking.

I’ve mostly relied on simple 2×2’s or some variant of the incremental/disruptive comparison. Mainly because they’re simple to understand and most leaders can immediately apply the framework to their situation.

But, after reading a bunch of thinking from Doblin Group, i’ve come to really like their framework. It takes some work to fully understand all the dimensions, but that depth makes it versatile and forces the conversation beyond the obvious topics. Especially for folks like me who are deep in “digital”, a framework like this gets the conversation away from the basic stuff – technology, digital advertising, content – and should force a conversation about more potentially transformative options: business models, partnerships, etc.


The Checkered Flag Turns to Green: My Next Thing

I’ve been really fortunate to spend the last 3.5 years at GoKart Labs, a venture incubator and digital innovation shop in Minneapolis. I came to GoKart for a couple reasons: to be part of a team that was doing really amazing digital strategy & development work for leading companies, to learn how to run a small professional services business and to learn about entrepreneurship from the inside. I was attracted to the unique positioning GoKart has in the market, the team and leadership, and, since GoKart is an incubator, the chance to (eventually) springboard from GoKart to something of my own.

“Eventually” is now. I’m leaving GoKart this week to work a new venture i’ve been researching since earlier this spring. It hasn’t been a quick or easy decision, but it’s been revealing. Over the course of a lot of thought and discussion with the partners and the leadership team, it’s clear my passion is going to be around getting my own thing off the ground.

GoKart is in a strong position so the timing is right. We’ve refined our strategies over the last 6 months and sharpened our business development focus. We’ve re-aligned the leadership team to get ourselves set for the next 3-5 years of growth and we’ve focused on the skills and leadership behaviors we’re going to need. As a result, we’re looking to strengthen our bench via a search for our next UX Director and our first CFO.

I’m really proud to be a small part of  what the GoKart team has accomplished in the last 3 years. The business has doubled in size. We’ve opened an office in DC to serve clients and expand our talent pool. We’ve added a bunch of great clients whose names you’d recognize. We’ve been on the Inc 5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing companies and we’ve been on Fast 50 in MN, joining some of the best startups in the state. We’ve done that while being named a Best Place to Work multiple times. We’ve launched The Big Know, a truly innovative content marketing company that is changing the way brands connect with their communities. We’ve committed to investing in and supporting startups, and we’re making good progress there. We’ve done some of the most important strategy and development work I’ve ever been a part of, where we’ve helped organizations fundamentally change their trajectory. We’ve brought some amazing talent into the organization and we’ve helped a couple really talented employees get their businesses off the ground.

I love the solutions we’ve created and the innovation we’ve helped spark. But, there’s a persistent digital talent & skills gap that i’ve seen at just about every company we’ve worked with.  It’s not that there’s not strong talent, it’s just that there’s not enough of it. I want to help address that going forward. More on that later.

While i’m getting my biz started up, i’m taking on a couple digital projects and a few that  aren’t in my wheelhouse (e.g. podcasts, print) to flex some different muscles and learn about some new stuff. At the same time, I’ve been given so much, i hope i can give back somehow to the community. I hope to help out a couple non-profits with their digital opportunities. And, i’m going to finally learn to love coffee while i meet all the smart people i’ve been watching from afar via social media.  And, i’m still a true believer in the power of a good blog, so I’d love to get back to writing more.

I’m coming around to my last lap at GoKart and i can see a checkered flag waving for me. I feel like i won the race by getting some time with the team at GoKart and our great clients. I’m super excited about what the future holds for GoKart and i know the leadership team will guide the organization to the next level. But, i’m also really excited to see the green flag coming out for my next thing.

Get in touch if you’d like to talk (first last at g or connect on Twitter (@jcuene) or Linkedin. I’ll buy the first round!

Roads & Kingdoms’ editors, colleagues and crew

Roads & Kingdoms is an independent journal of food, politics, travel and culture. In its second year of existence, it was voted the Gold Winner for Best Travel Journalism Site by the Society of American Travel Writers. The magazine first launched in Myanmar as a Tumblr that became a home for reports on everything from Burmese civil war to dissident MCs to the perils of rancid crab. R&K is now a fulltime digital magazine based in New York and Barcelona, publishing longform dispatches, interviews and global ephemera daily.

Source: Roads & Kingdoms’ editors, colleagues and crew

A Digest of Digital Transformation Sources

There’s been an ongoing discussion of “Digital Transformation” for at least the last 5 years. Before that, I remember being in Silicon Valley with the senior leadership team of a Fortune 500 company in 2007 explaining the wave of change that was about to hit most organizations, but not having the catchy phrase back then. We just knew it was going to be big, it was caused by “digital” and just about everything was going to undergo some sort of transformation.

In the intervening years the phrase “Digital Transformation” has become a catch-all for too many things. In general, it seems like most agencies and organizations are using it to mean, essentially, “all the digital shit we gotta get moving on faster so we don’t get left behind”.

Look past the jargon and go to the roots of where the phrase came from; there’s a lot of really good thinking about Digital Transformation that will be useful for your own efforts to drive change in your organization.

  • The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation – This is a summary/overview from the authors of a much more in-depth piece (see below). However, this one has a really important focus on the customer experience.
  • Digital Transformation: A Roadmap for Billion Dollar Organizations – This whitepaper from CapGemini/MIT was the first one that made me wake up in a cold sweat, thinking “holy crap, this is going to require a much bigger enterprise effort than i thought. ” Before i read this, i was really just focused on the functional area i was leading. After this, i realized how integrated the “digital” effort needed to be throughout the organization.
  • Nine Questions to Help You Get Your Digital  Transformation Right – This article is new to me, but it’s focus on key cultural changes – budgeting, cross-team/cross-partner collaboration, customer centricity – is right on.
  • What Digital Transformation Really Means – More of a thoughtful analysis of the term and some analysis about what it *really* means by ITWorld. Really like the focus on “fungibility” and the emphasis on adaptability. Not much use for building your own roadmap, though.
  • What Does Digital Transformation Really Mean (Marketing Week) – This is written for marketers and provides a good overview of the concept and, more importantly, actionable advice about how to get senior leader buy-in.
  • 5 Disruptors to Marketing: Part 1 – Digital Transformation – This article is from the perspective of Marketing, but it’s a good overview of how “digital transformation” is creating organizational confusion as functional areas grapple with core, existential questions like “Who is accountable for the customer experience?” or “Who should be the owner of product management” when so much of the product is digital?
  • Altimeter’s 2014 Update on Digital Transformation – They’re all over this topic (here’s the 2016 doc), but i found this 2014 report especially helpful when talking with clients about what was happening inside their own organization. (interesting side note: In the old days of “social media”, i had kind of dismissed Brian Solis as a kind of gadfly – maybe it was the monocle – but i’ve come to respect his take on what’s happening inside of large organizations via Altimeter).
  • The Future of CPG: Moving from Analog to Digital – Close to my CPG experience, this Accenture article is useful for helping marketers to understand that digital goes way, way beyond marketing.

I’m hoping to add a couple more articles here over as time goes by.

The First Token Sale in Real Estate – Hacker Noon

By the end of 2017 we expect the first transactions to be made on the Propy Registry. Each title transfer will require Propy Utility Tokens (PRO) for processing and validation. Furthermore, we’re negotiating with several governments to accept the title deed issued by our distributed registry as legal proof of ownership. Thus, growing the ecosystem by involving more governments and real estate companies will increase the usage of PRO tokens. A limited number of tokens — 100 million — will be created.

Source: The First Token Sale in Real Estate – Hacker Noon