Brand As Publisher Isn’t Dead; Content Drives the Experience

A nice write up on Digiday covering fitness brands’ efforts to expand their media efforts, though in this case media is a little broad. It makes total sense, since brands like Equinox, LifeTime Fitness and SoulCycle are selling lifestyles, essentially. So,  to create a sense of belonging and being part of that lifestyle, content – the magazines, podcasts, exclusive events, the books, speakers, retreats – drives the experience and creates a differentiation. More importantly, the content is a reinforcer for the brand’s positioning: Every interaction reinforces the reason the member joined in the first place.

Side note: Really interesting move by Equinox to get into the talent and “packaging” business:

Equinox (which owns SoulCyle) and SoulCycle in July also launched a talent management agency, supported and advised by WME, that will turn its employees — instructors who happen to be social stars with cult followings in their own right. The idea of the agency is to open up the brands to more sponsorship deals.

Market Concentration Is Threatening the US Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz – Project Syndicate

this is yet another influencer on the rise of populism…

As corporate behemoths’ market power has increased, so, too, has their ability to influence America’s money-driven politics. And as the system has become more rigged in business’s favor, it has become much harder for ordinary citizens to seek redress for mistreatment or abuse.

Market Concentration Is Threatening the US Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz – Project Syndicate

Making Real Things

I’ve been talking to friends about this for  the last couple years. A lot of people i know would jump at the chance to get off the grind and take a shot at a craft-business.

Yet in little pockets of cities in the richest parts of the world, clever, prosperous people like Wood and Laufer are creating firms that look more like workshops from the pre-industrial world than modern companies. From the local sourcing of materials, to the espousal of community, to the strong relationships with suppliers and customers, to the appearance of their products, the ethos of firms like One Eight harks back to a time before the Industrial Revolution transformed society. Their emergence has much to say about our needs and wants, and may hold clues to how we can better satisfy them in the future.

https://www.1843magazine.com/features/crafting-a-life

Coming up Next: The Room is the Computer

Just when you start getting used to “Voice as the Interface”….

Yet it’s still just a room. Not virtual reality. Not augmented reality. Certainly not blockchain-reality. It’s a mostly normal room. That is until you get it started. Or look up.

Now you look up. The ceiling is quite full. There suspended are dozens of high-powered projectors, cameras, and speakers, all pointed down at the room, waiting for your code to make them come alive.

Dynamicland is a new kind of computer. It’s not a gadget that you keep in your pocket, nor one you can slip into your bag. The whole darn room is the computer.

via The Phenomenal World | The “Next Big Thing” is a Room

Quiet and Quality

Noticing a pattern on my social feeds: More and more folks are turning towards quality interactions vs. quantity, both online and offline. And, more and more folks are seeking (and paying) for ways to find quiet, time, and space to contemplate and consider. Makes so much sense.

MUST READ FOR STRATEGISTS: COMMUNITY-BASED, HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN

This statement, coming from these folks, is kind of like the emperor saying “I have no clothes”. Really interesting articulation of their ideas that i need to spend time with and  dig into.

We propose a radical change in design from experts designing for people to people designing for themselves. In the traditional approach, experts study, design, and implement solutions for the people of the world. Instead, we propose that we leverage the creativity within the communities of the world to solve their own problems: This is community-driven design, taking full advantage of the fact that it is the people in communities who best understand their problems and the impediments and affordances that impede and support change. Experts become facilitators, by mentoring and providing tools, toolkits, workshops, and support.

via COMMUNITY-BASED, HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN

How Much of the Internet Is Fake?

I’ve been waiting for an article like this for a while. I think this is just the beginning of the reckoning for advertising-based apps/sites. Too much BS in the metrics.

Can we still trust the metrics? After the Inversion, what’s the point? Even when we put our faith in their accuracy, there’s something not quite real about them: My favorite statistic this year was Facebook’s claim that 75 million people watched at least a minute of Facebook Watch videos every day — though, as Facebook admitted, the 60 seconds in that one minute didn’t need to be watched consecutively. Real videos, real people, fake minutes.

via How Much of the Internet Is Fake?