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The100: Humour as a tactic, homogenous brands and cuddly offensiveness

Listen to the consumer, or… not?

First up, a clip of Steve Jobs explaining how Apple made a list of things they wanted to build for their customers. By asking them. And not focussing on their competitors.

But we also have Adam Ferrier explaining why you shouldn’t talk to customers *gasps* and how research can make brands homogenous *gasps again*.

So if you need to do research, HOW should you do it?

“Ask the people around the customer, so doing collateral interviews. The second thing is if you are going to try to get information from that particular man at the bar, I get that information by observing as much as you can rather than asking them anything, but if you do want to ask them anything, then ask them about the context that they’re in. Rather than trying to ask them to project forward or think back.” 

Big thanks to The100 reader Eddie Wilkinson for sharing that with me.

The last laugh

Does funny sell? Lucy Greeves, Dom Dwight and Rory Sutherland had a superb discussion about just that. Here are a few things I took from it…

  • “The best ideas come as jokes” – David Ogilvy.
  • There are more committee decisions these days, which dilutes the funny.
  • You can be cuddly offensive. 

When time really does mean money

Too many internal meetings? You could try the Shopify way and display the cost of the meeting based on the attendee’s salaries.

“No one at Shopify would expense a $500 dinner. But many people spend way more than that in meetings without ever making a decision.”

Originally I was a fan of this position, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s missing a trick. It doesn’t account for any value that does come from attending – both in terms of direct revenue, but also the learning, the creating and the relationships.

Until we invent telepathy

As Justin Rosentien says, the default status of teams is ‘chaos’. Moving to ‘clarity’ is one of the most vital functions of leadership. To do so, you need to provide:

  1. Clear understanding of the purpose (destination)
  2. Coherent and actionable plan (how to get there)
  3. Explicit lines of responsibility (who’s driving what)

On a similar thread, back in the 1960s, David Packard (yeah that one), made a speech about how to operate a company.  

F + A = W

Jason Kottke has revealed Steven Speilberg’s secret ingredient – wonder. Created via fear and astonishment, and extraordinary things happening to ordinary people. And now not so secret. Sorry, Steven.

And finally…

Bunnings needs to work something out with Swag on the Beat so that they can use this as an ad. Very clever.

What’s it really like to fly on a private jet? Get ready to feel both sickened and extremely jealous. And have you ever wondered how rubber bands are made? You’re welcome. Really.