“I don’t know what happened to the Future. It’s as if we lost our ability, or our will, to envision anything beyond the next hundred years or so, as if we lacked the fundamental faith that there will in fact be any future at all beyond that not-too- distant date. Or maybe we stopped talking about the Future around the time that, with its microchips and its twenty-four-hour news cycles, it arrived.”—
Futurelessness is an attribute of the postnormal era. We are confronted with so much fog — from a cascade of ambiguities, the dissolution of institutions and the collapse of solidarity, and the growing complexities of an incestuously interconnected world — that we are blocked from envisioning some extrapolated arc of history over the event horizon. And there is so much appearing and smacking us in the face everyday, it’s as if the present has been colonized by the future. As William S. Burroughs put it,
When you cut into the present the future leaks out.
It’s been 20 years since the first major label experiment in putting music online: on Jun 27, 1994, Geffen Music put a WAV file of Aerosmith’s “Head First” on Compuserve, which waved its hourly fee for people who wanted to download the track over their dial-up modems.
Through discussion, research and reflecting upon past experience, we discover that it is a story the consumer buys, not a logo. A story that sticks in people’s minds, supported by a consistently memorable customer experience creates loyalty.
Consumers can connect with a brand in a myriad of ways – through websites, apps, digital advertising, magazines, events, shopping environment, packaging, product, customer service … the list is truly endless. What is important is that if a customer has a bad experience in one of those touchpoints, it will be difficult to correct that experience. A great logo will not be enough to save the brand.
An interesting side effect of Twitter’s inability to articulate their core value prop is that anyone and everyone has advice for how they might improve (including me!). Combine that with the fact that Twitter serves so many different use cases – real-time news, de facto RSS reader, public chat, just to name a few – and you have a paralysis of choice not only for new users but also for Twitter’s marketing and onboarding teams.
So why not embrace the complexity? Instead of trying to teach new users how to built a curated follower list, build the lists for them. Don’t call them lists, though; embrace Twitter’s TV connection and make them “channels.” Big basketball game? Go to the basketball channel, populated not with the biggest celebrities but with the best and most entertaining tweeters. Build similar channels for specific teams in all sports. Do the same for Apple, Google, and technology; liberals, conservatives, and politics in general; have channels for the Oscars, the Olympics and so on and so forth. And make them good, devoid of the crap that pollutes most hashtags and search results. If the ideal Twitter experience is achieved with a curated list, then provide curated lists and an easy way to switch among them.
Now you have a value prop: easily join the conversation about what is happening in the areas you care about, without the months-long process of building a perfectly customized Twitter feed. Oh, and by the way Ad Person, here is a very easy-to-understand ad unit built around a specific topic filled with self-selected followers.
"For 40 years, Silicon Valley has played this role where it’s basically selling the world a technology stack. We saw this big shift where Silicon Valley was no longer the high-tech capital of the world, but it was the industry disruption capital of the world."
Ethan Gilsdorf looks back on four decades of pen-and-paper role-playing tradition:
The tools of D&D gave me permission to imagine a better me, and a better story for myself. They gave me the courage to imagine a different future. And taught me how to change myself. Not happy with lowly Level 1 Ethan, I worked hard to level up to my better, stronger, faster level 17 version today.
The period of playing role playing games in the 1980’s and up until the early 1990’s (when I met my wife) was really a fantastic time and I agree that we all learned a lot by playing RPGs. Before and during the university years I was heavily involved in both playing and writing RPG scenarios for our local gaming event Gothcon. I even met Gary Gygax once at Games Fair in Reading, UK in the mid 1980’s.
For me I think one of the key learnings was how to think hypothetically about the society and it’s mechanisms, a way of thinking that together with a fair amount of science fiction novels and studies in philosophy has brought me into the futures field,
I saw this talk at the Seattle Interactive Conference last week and it brought me back to being an editor on the high school newspaper in the late 80s. It was a great talk, but he totally lost the audience when he got to Step #5.
““The Voting Rights Act is like a restraining order. The states are like “I used to beat my girlfriend, but I haven’t since the restraining order, so we don’t need it anymore.””—Stephen Colbert (via herblondness)
This is exactly what I was talking about in my TED talk. Creative, outside-the-box thinkers are crucial in redefining healthcare and making it sustainable. We don’t need any more traditional-thinking doctors to maintain the status quo. This makes me think of the Shirky Principle:
“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.”
We need less institutional types, and more creative doctors.
“In 2010, only 19,390 students in the United States out of some 14 million took the Computer Science Advanced Placement test. This number represents only 0.6% of all AP tests taken that year. This at a time when five of the top ten fastest growing jobs will be in a computer related field and two of the top three top bachelors salaries are in computer science and engineering.”—
I was born in 1946, just when the boomer wave began. Bill Clinton was born that year, too. So was George W. Bush, as was Laura Bush. And Ken Starr (remember him?) And then, the next year, Hillary Rodham was born. And soon Newt Gingrich (known as “Newty” as a boy). And Cher (Every time I begin…