Stratechery #worthreading

Do you read Ben Thompson’s “Stratechery” newsletter? He sends a freebie once/week (subscription is $100/year; #worthit.) He usually devotes one analysis weekly to media (“Media Mondays”…but not always Monday.)

He has published several pieces about aggregation theory and how that has led us to a media duopoly (Google and Facebook) as well as its effect on politics, the break down of many media conventions etc. Really thoughtful work that lucidly explains what is happening without over-philosophizing or romanticizing defunct business models and their values. He has also written predictively about television’s business model and, if past is prologue, he’ll be right. “The Great Unbundling” is one of my favorite of his analyses.

On other days he writes on the dynamics of business technology and the technology business.

One of my commitments post-election, by the way, is to pay for more content (rather than arrive at it for “free” through aggregators. I bought the subscription to Ben’s newsletter in part because of this resolution, but mostly because it’s a damn fine daily jolt of smart.

A few fave posts:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Posted onTuesday, September 20, 2016

Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Posted onWednesday, March 2, 2016


Almost 5 Tips for Running a Great Employee Town Hall

1-25-2017-12-24-18-pmThere’s a lot more to delivering a great Employee Town Hall than these tips – for example you have to get the invitations right, select the right speakers, schedule at an appropriate time of day and moment in the business cycle and so on – but above all, aligning the content to the business strategy and honestly evaluating the whole experience from the point of view of the participant/audience (rather than the speakers) are the two most important things to get right. That said, ignore the following handful of tips at your (and your executives’) peril.

These five, well, actually four, tips will help you deliver a successful Employee Town Hall. Really, they apply to any big meeting. Enjoy!

  1. Have a run-of-show document that makes it extremely explicit when each individual will hand off to the next and ensure that the AV team has this well in advance. Do not make last minute changes to this run of show document.
  2. Practice all transitions for real — both in a practice session and make sure that each individual has a walk-off line (and that the person who is supposed to take it knows what that line is a la, “Now I’m going to hand it over to Jimmy who will talk about his favorite tuna fish recipes.” etc)
  3. Consolidate all slides in one PPT file and have them run centrally — someone who is familiar with the content can advance the slides from your main stage. Same with video — do not have video initiated remotely — have the AV team do it. Also, make sure they test the video file in advance — ideally, during your transition practice session.
  4. The leader of the meeting must be vocal on sticking to schedule. Almost every Townhall I’ve attended has gone between 15 – 40 minutes over. The exception tends to be Sales where they have a culture of being able to pitch. So! Either schedule more time or drill the presenters in advance on their timing. Having an assistant hold up sign that says the time is up or relying on presenters to look at the clock doesn’t work. The convener of the meeting has to the boss on time.
  5. Practice the transitions. I know I already mentioned this! But it bears repeating. It is just so unlikely that it will go flawlessly unless you practice. Know what your last words will be before you say your first words.

#Essentialreading for the week: http://o

#Essentialreading for the week: DOOMSDAY PREP FOR THE SUPER-RICH Fascinating how the “smart money” think. The article repudiates their escapism but the critique is far too gentle; the gazillionaires who profited from polarizing the world, co-opting our desires and weaknesses and selling us stupid digital baubles should be accountable for its future.

“Dents in the universe are only observa

“Dents in the universe are only observable after they have occurred; this is why their continued creation is best induced by the establishment of conditions in which risk-taking and experimentation are rewarded.” Ben Thompson #stratechery

New Year’s Video Resolution

No, I’m not talking about 1080p or super HD….I’m talking about my New Year’s resolution  to start each day with a viewing of the Johnny Depp/ Amber Heard apology from April 2016. I just watched again and find myself revitalized, more focused and just — I don’t know — more #authentic.

The video just somehow captures it all for me and sets the tone for what 2017 will be all about.

I’m listening to these two albums pretty much exclusively right now

I’m listening to these two albums pretty much exclusively right now: “Cloudy Eye” and “We got it from here…” #studyincontrasts

Video: Tech’s Role in the Merger of Comms and Marketing

11-17-2016-1-06-25-pmJustin Tobin (founder of DDG) and I spoke together at iMedia in Santa Barbara last month — it was really fun to prep for it with him and think through some of the ideas we’d discuss. The iMedia crowd are concerned with the state of marketing, advertising, communications and customer/product experience. For this talk, Justin and I contemplated what is happening within organizations as the distinction between “Marketing” as a department and “Communications” as a department deteriorates largely because of disruption to their internal business models. This change — which manifests in the perceptions of our stakeholders and the experiences of our customers and employees — will drive some big decisions for those who have responsibility for organizational reputation and brand.

Here’s the video…