Thursday, June 30, 2016

Playground codenaming

Driving home with Paco today, we passed one of the favorite playgrounds from when he was much younger.

We said, "hey, it's the doggy playground."

One of the best ideas from when my kids were younger was giving each of their favorite playgrounds a codename.

Instead of saying "that one with the swings or the slides."  It was "the peanut butter playground" or the "kitty cat playground."

That way...we all knew which one was which.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Policing via the Automobile Network

Driving down the highway the other day, I saw one of those signs that said "Amber Alert, White Dodge License Plate MD xxx-xxx."

I wondered..."how often does that work?

I mean...3 seconds after I pass it, I've forgotten the license plate number.

Should I write it down and check each license plate? If so, for how long?

Then, it dawned on me.

What if we had our cars equipped with visual recognition devices (like those that detected objects and make the car brake on its own) that were also able to scan the license plates of the cars in front of us and then, if they are wanted by the police, notify the cops of the location of the sought-for vehicle?

Then, the police could use that info to start tracking it (via other cars in the network) and they could send a cruiser (or whatever) to do the dirty work.

You'd have a privacy switch so you can opt out of the network at any time.

Alternatively, by participating in it, you'd essentially be extending the police network (with no risk to  yourself), making society safer by enabling the apprehension of criminals faster, and saving costs for the muncipal government.

Perhaps you'd get a tax break/credit for participating.

Think of it as an evolution of the collaborative loan the fact that your car is on the road, connected to the network, and visual recognition to the police in exchange for less taxes and (hopefully) a safer society.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ivy League Brand Challenges

I don't have anything against the Ivy League. That's not the point of this post.

The point of this post is to highlight the ongoing threat that I see to the traditional way we think of credentialing young people for their ability to succeed in the modern work world.

You may not see that in this article (pdf) about how Goldman Sachs is expanding recruiting beyond the traditional Ivy League schools (and maybe this is all a PR stunt?), but that's what I see.

What I see is a technology-enabled leveling of the playing field when it comes to demonstrating competence.

I know I have been on this kick for a while now and I may be a few years ahead of the curve.

But Goldman's decision to say 'hey, the best and the brightest may not only be at a few brand name schools" is notable.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Are your kids on Instagram/Snapchat too much?

Are your kids spending too much time on iPads, phones, or social media sites?

I may have an answer that helps.

My daughter has been asking for Snapchat and a phone recently.

Not withstanding Louis CK's view on cell phones and parenting, I was thinking about a conversation I had a few months ago with my good friend Chuck in Atlanta.

"Snapchat is evil," he said.

He has two teenagers.

It was with this in mind that I was intrigued when I heard about Circle with Disney from Rohit.

It's a $99 device that you put in your house and allows you to customize the amount of time that EACH person can use the Internet (based on which phones, etc. s/he uses) and which sites are permissible.

You can set bedtimes, wake-up times, and filters.

So there's a teen filter, a kid filter and...a "pause" button...which can shut down the connection for any device when you keep calling your kid and she doesn't respond.

I've had it for a week now....and though my kids hate it....I FREAKING LOVE IT.

Now, I don't have to monitor them and ask what they are doing...I know that if they have hit their time limit for the day (or it's after a certain time), they simply can't go online.

George Orwell would be proud.

If you find yourself saying "I'm worried that the kids are spending too much time on _____," I think this device is for you.

And yes, you can now control it when they are out of the house....
Oh...and the CircleGo subscription service so you can make sure the rules apply to the device when they aren't connected to the home wi-fi.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Estonia leads the digital world...another story

Best line in the article:

"The way Americans cave and accept that government services have to be shitty shows they've given up."

The Unexpected Story of How This Tiny Country Became the Most Tech-Savvy on Earth

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thinking About The People Who Got You Here....

Paul Haskell is one of the best Success Managers at Sprinklr.

He lives in Omaha, Nebraska and on my recent trip there, he insisted on taking me out to lunch.

He was most gracious...saying that "without you, I wouldn't be at Sprinklr and my life would be entirely different."

Obviously, it is very nice to be appreciated.

His comment sparked a conversation about the debts of gratitude we owe to all of the people in our lives who helped us get to where we are at the moment.

I may not be accepting an Oscar or a Tony (and that's unlikely to ever happen) and it's not like I have anything to brag about, but I did want to take a moment to thank some of the people who helped get me where I am professionally.

(I'm talking about the less obvious ones than parents and teachers.)

Call it part of my effort to practice gratitude and recognize how it's the people in each of our lives who make a difference.

So, a big thank you to...

Todd first boss. He gave me a chance to start my career in "Internet Marketing" in Tokyo in 1997. Ignited my passion for marketing by giving me Peppers and Rogers "the 1:1 Future."

Paul Cimino....introduced me to the world of E-Commerce in NYC during the hey-day of Internet 1.0 and taught me how to sell.

Marty Cassidy...a former client (while working for Paul) who got me into an interview loop at Microsoft.

Tom Begley...who plucked me out of the interview loop and gave me my first job at Microsoft and taught me the ropes of selling to large enterprises.

Christine Zmuda...who put me into a channel marketing role and showed me what an operationally disciplined marketer looks like.

Dan Pink...who had the confidence to become my first consulting client at Never Stop Marketing.

Adam Schorr (whom I met via Jacob Licht) and became my first client at a major brand (JNJ), thus catapulting the fledgling consulting business to a new level.

Sonja Maxwell  and Steve Measelle who became flagship Microsoft clients and advocates, opening up doors all over the place.

Sean O'Rourke who took one of my Microsoft courses and said, "hey, there's a guy who says a lot of the stuff you said and whom you should meet."

And Ragy Thomas who took Sean's word for it and went against the grain, hiring a non-traditional marketer for his 30 person company, Sprinklr.

And most importantly, the NFO (my wife), who has put up with, tirelessly supported, and sacrificed so much.

And thanks to Paul for inspiring me to be thankful.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Obama and the Redefining of the American Presidency

I may not be his biggest fan nor agree with him on a fair number of issues, but I do need to give credit where credit is due.

I think Obama has done a fantastic job of making the Presidency a more "human" role.

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend of mine who was high up in the Cruz campaign.  I said, "you know what one of Cruz's issues is for me?  He just doesn't seem like a guy that I would want to watch a game with."

I think a lot of that has come from Obama. I feel like we can disagree and still be friends.  I'd watch a game with him and I feel like he might listen to me, even if we disagree with each other.

There are plenty of Dem and GOP politicians about whom I do not feel that way.

All of this was prompted by the fact that I  saw Obama on Jimmy Fallon last night.

Here is a good clip (that was basically free advertising for his record, but as a marketer, I appreciate that!)