Things I've been reading lately
Note: every once in a while I share a couple of things I read with co-workers. I sometimes post them here as an archive. A previous post can be found here.
Attack of the Zombie Websites
Another key player is a former employee of a large ad network who runs a group of eight sites that were part of the fraud, and who consults for a company with another eight sites in it. That company is owned by a model and online entrepreneur who played Bob Saget’s girlfriend on the HBO show Entourage.
This is an amazing quote, even if the subject is an everyday occurrence like widespread ad fraud.
Scott Galloway's The Four
I just finished this book and I loved every f-ing page. Read the book. It's both inspiring and absolutely terrifying. To give you an idea of the contents:
- Amazon's next targets: FedEx and UPS - At some point, what's the difference between a core competency and a by-product you can monetize?
- America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Is Really Just Beginning - Much has been written about the demise of the American Mall. It also lends itself to harrowing pictures.
- Uber 2.0: New C.E.O. Wants to Put His Stamp on the Company - Uber wants to go public by 2019, so they need to polish up their image a bit. Good luck with that.
- The Worm Has Turned - As Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple grow larger, they start receiving more and more attention of regulators.
- Tesla Approaches Terminal Decline - One-sentence summary: Financial performance deteriorates - structural unprofitability likely.
We have a domain now. And an official organizational chart. A couple of interesting articles that are semi-related to this new development:
- Your Org Is a Product - Why would it be perfectly normal for our website to continuously change, but not for the supporting organizational structure?
- From Startup to Scaleup | Sam Altman and Reid Hoffman - This is still one of my most re-watched videos on this subject ever.
- How Facebook’s VP of Product Finds Focus and Creates Conditions for Intentional Work
- Google’s Secret Formula for Management? Doing the Basics Well
I have a bit of a pet theory that finance technology and marketing technology are both very, very advanced in some areas, but completely helpless in others - and that those weaknesses and strengths are opposed between them. Banks know a lot about your purchases, even with limited data points (2-3 transactions per day?). Banks know where you buy stuff, and have a general idea of what you bought. We only know what you bought from us, but we do know a lot more about the whole customer journey preceding the purchase. Complementary knowledge? Or diametrically opposed?
Another pet theory: the marketing technology circle of doom when starting a new company:
- High cost of entry (complexity) - either technical (header bidding in programmatic...), walled garden (private auctions) or regulatory (audiences, GDPR);
- This leads to a situation that favors the incumbent/large company (the best DMP, the best algorithm, etc).
- Starting a new company without funding means scaling is hard, and acquiring small companies is easy;
- Starting a company with funding allows for faster scaling, but funding often comes from either VC's that seek an exit (eg selling to Google, Facebook) or the funding comes from Google (Ventures) and Facebook itself;
- Now, the large companies (Google, Facebook...) increased the complexity of their product, thus the world, thus we're back at point 1.
This whole situation, in theory, should lead to a high degree of consolidation. And apparently it does. This doesn't mean we should not use tooling from third parties (because point 1, complexity), but does mean it makes sense to build in some form of mobility, where we would be able to reasonably quickly change software and/or supplier if necessary.
The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching. -In the waterlogged Netherlands, climate change is considered neither a hypothetical nor a drag on the economy. Instead, it’s an opportunity.
This Tiny Country Feeds the World - The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.
Jony Ive on Apple’s new HQ and the disappearing iPhone - Though I admit the 'Limited-edition cover for Wallpaper December 2017' at the end is Onion-level hilarious (but apparently serious) the article is surprisingly interesting.
I'd like to share a couple of websites and youtube channels that hopefully contribute to my goal of reading less voetbalzone-articles, and more articles that actually teach me something. Maybe it's useful, maybe it isn't - feel free to share this email if useful, of delete it without reading - whatever floats your boat. If you read something interesting, please let me know! I love input.