Learning to Work with Hypotheses, Buttons, and Leaving it all Behind

Making Sense:

Looking at the past seldom helps you see the future, especially when you are called to make choices. Because choices create intended and unintended consequences, a smart way to go about them is experimenting with hypotheses.

Tacking into them is a better way to uncover new paths in the same way we approach the wind when sailing. Simulation and small experiments take us from point A to B faster. From that knowledge we can extrapolate the information that gives us actionable data

  • Don't mistake non-choices for strategy. Roger Martin: […] you can't analyze your way to innovation, most of the dialogue on big data (surfacing trends from massive databases of information on customers, consumers, or taxpayers) is delusional, and I say that even though I'm a total data hound. People seem to think that big data reveals innovation. But I believe you have to have data and creativity at the same time. In the scientific method, there's this thing called "hypothesis" and then there's an experiment to test to figure out whether the hypothesis was right or wrong. To innovate, you need the hypothesis, which is creative. Big data, to a great extent these days, is hypothesis-less analytics and crunching.
  • Tidal and the Future of Music. Ben Thompson: The key to the record label’s resilience is that their role has always been about more than distribution; it has also been about discovery, funding, and promotion. […] The fact remains that the labels can – and do – take just as much advantage of social and Shazam data as anyone else, and they retain a core competency in developing and nurturing raw material into something popular. […] There is one big problem with this story of continued label importance: Macklemore.

Making Do:

We wade in behavioral territory with two stories about wearing one's cards on the sleeve, or was it up the sleeve? (Afraid I am mixing sayings here) and push marketing.

The point is we have fewer and fewer buttons to push, and yet still more experiences that are pushing all kinds of our wrong buttons.

  • Woolworths' Apple Watch app brings shopping lists to your wrist. C|Net: The Watch is ultimately "mirroring what's available in the iPhone app" and providing a "view port" for lists and information, meaning the iPhone itself is still needed to organise lists before your at the supermarket. But Colpo said having that information on your wrist could prove invaluable for shoppers who are juggling groceries, kids, a bag and a trolley.
  • The return of Nietzsche marketing [ #dashbutton edition]. Eaon Pritchard: Being famous and familiar will always be important. But the Dash Button is somehow more refreshingly Nietzschean in it's acceptance of the kind of emptiness of consumption. In reaching acceptance that it will never be loved Tide is now happy just to be bought. […] If the buying situation occurs at the point of usage, ie in front of the washing machine then the brand that was last used, and the brand on the button becomes the most salient by default.

Making it:

I have no idea why, but when marketers get in a room, someone or something always dies, though the reasons why end up making sense. Cheyfitz makes good points, especially the part on not providing much in the way of context.

Can we make it work better? I rather like investing energy in finding a different way, like the couple in the second example.

  • 6 New Reasons to Kill the RFP: Find Innovators, Not Commodities. CMI: let’s all admit we hate and mistrust RFPs. On the brand side, Joe Chernov, the pioneering marketer and blogger who heads content marketing for HubSpot, says, “If I hire an agency, it’s never through an RFP.” And when asked about responding to RFPs, Paul Roetzer, founder and CEO of data-driven digital agency PR 20/20, says, “Never have. Never will.” Using the qualifier “never” puts these guys at the extreme of the opinion range, but the extreme is not so far from the mainstream these days.
  • Why a Tech Entrepreneur and Her Husband Got Rid of All Their Possessions and Lived as Nomads for a Year. Vogue: I was surprised by how quickly we adjusted and settled into a new routine. We would wake up with the sun, no alarm needed, and go for a morning surf. After breakfast, we would walk along the beach to a nearby eco-resort, where we would sit in a swing chair, sip coconut water, and work on our book. Work felt different in that swing chair. […] my productivity was greater than it had ever been. My mind was quiet and clear, not cluttered by endless social chatter. Focus came easily.