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The100: Generational generalisations, poisonous creativity & Haribo grapes

Told you it was dynamite

I had the pleasure of chatting with Tom Goodwin for an hour earlier this week. It was for a podcast we’re releasing soon. There’s some dynamite quotes, not least this, on data:  

I think what happened when we became immersed into a world where there was lots more technology and there was much more data, is we then lost faith in our ability to have arguments which didn’t have data to support them. And what happened first is that we would have hypotheses that came from our gut feel.  And then we’d commission enough research or gather enough sources to get data to support that. Slowly, over time, that’s turned into an environment where the more data you had, the better.

….and I think over time we learned to be in service of the data, and our roles became to gather the data. To try to understand the data. And then to try and come to conclusions from the data. And I don’t think that really worked. A lot of the data we have is so dirty it doesn’t mean anything. A lot of the data we have is so badly measured and so badly smashed together that it becomes confusing. A lot of the data is so big and it’s calculated at such a high altitude that, effectively, it’s meaningless. And I think we’ve completely lost sight. I’m always staggered by how much people love data.

Told you it was dynamite. 

There’s equally big thought-bombs on what is “insane” about marketing, and what we all might be embarrassed about when it comes to Insights. 

If you want a sneak preview of the full recording, email me, I can send something over pre-final edit. If you’d rather wait, it will eventually appear on our Ask a Researcher podcast soon (I’ll let you know). 

Long overdue

The Human Library is a fabulous idea where you can borrow people rather than books. 

It was designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. 

Clearly, this can massively help empathy in areas most people would not generally learn about or understand. Thanks to @storythings for featuring this recently.  


If you do want to understand people, maybe spend a bit less time relying on facial expressions:  they do not reveal your emotions… contrary to what Darwin said.

Emotion AI systems, therefore, do not detect emotions. They detect physical signals, such as facial muscle movements, not the psychological meaning of those signals.

Creativity is poison

Turns out that whilst we all like to say how much we love innovation, we actually feel completely different about it, associating it with poison and other such things …you’ll have to read the article 😉 

The brain behind this work has also done studies which show that religious beliefs can hinder creativity, and that creativity can provide a feeling of liberation for those that carry secrets. Who knew?

Jennifer Mueller, a professor of management at the University of San Diego commented: 

Novel ideas have almost no upside for a middle manager – almost none. The goal of a middle manager is meeting metrics of an existing paradigm.

Useless heuristics for desperate people

Stephen Bush says that Generations aren’t even real. So next time someone quotes one at you, make sure you’ve read his article.  

 [we] love to talk about “generations” because they are neat ways to sell someone something they might not otherwise buy. 

Bob Hofman would no doubt agree. 

Generational generalisations

As it happens, back in 2020, BBH Labs looked at this generational generalisations. It turned out that generations (Millennials, GenZ etc)  are less cohesive groups than, say, Guardian readers, introverts and people that floss. 

Marketers, interestingly, are pretty cohesive… 

Skip the skip button

I love this on the ‘skip intro’ button (that is used 136 million times every day!) and how it potentially damages the story. David Arnold said:

Great theme tunes make you feel anchored in the show’s world. That’s what I try to do with mine: welcome you and prepare you for what’s about to happen. It’s like having the lighting and the heating right in your house when you come home.

The big question is, could that be damaging the impact of the show? Reducing the value and therefore people’s likelihood to keep subscribing? Maybe they should switch it off. The mere thought of skipping the Sopranos intro makes me shiver. 

The best things come in 3’s:

How a sock gave birth to a horse

Love these photos. Sure to put a smile on your face just for their cleverness.

Nice touch

Headphones in for this, please. Mastercard has released a wonderful advert for their touch-touchcard. It’s so good. So well made. 

“Best Teammate ever”

Well, this ruined me. I needed it after everything I’m reading these days, but blimey, maybe we’re not all doomed after all. There are good people out there.  

To end the End

103 bits of advice a 70yr old wished they had known. I particularly like: 

The biggest lie we tell ourselves is “I don’t need to write this down because I will remember it.”


You will be judged on how well you treat those who can do nothing for you.