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The100: Strategic BOGOFs, predictive optimisation and Angostura Bitters

An event on Pork Pies?

Got your ticket for our event on May 4th yet? 

We’ve got some superb speakers lined up, from Behavioural Scientists, to Strategists to House of Common(ists). Want to come, but can’t get the budget? Email me.

Here’s Mark Earls doing his thing at our last event, 2020:

“The ultimate strategic BOGOF”

It’s been 10 whole years since Uncle Les and Uncle Pete released The Long and the Short of it. And that marketing bloke, Mark Ritson, has shared new data that shows the Long can also deliver the Short, whilst the reverse doesn’t hold true. 

“It’s a stunning discovery […] Long-term brand building is the ultimate strategic BOGOF, ensuring shorter-term impact as well as longer-term benefits.”

Turing Test fail

If ChatGPT ever stops being “at capacity right now”, it would do a pretty good job of writing The100, I’m sure. But as Rory Sutherland pointed out, it still has some serious pitfalls. Not only is it seemingly unaware of anything that happened since 2021, but:

“Its probabilistic approach also means it’s not averse to making stuff up. For some deluded reason it believes that I was awarded an OBE in 2018. Eh? A colleague in New York asked it to list academic papers in citation of its findings and it simply invented three papers which sounded believable but didn’t exist.”

Focus = Sacrifice

Neil Perkin shared a lovely clip of Jony Ive talking about how Steve Jobs was brilliant at focusing: 

“Focus is saying ‘no’ to something that you, with every bone in your body, think is a phenomenal idea, and you wake up thinking about it, but you say no to it because you’re focusing on something else.”

Don’t know the ingredients? Don’t eat the cake

I know it’s Friday, but you’ll need to switch the brain from automatic to manual for this one and the case against Predictive Optimisation. For those as clueless as I, that’s when a machine is trained to make predictions about a person, and those predictions are then used to make decisions about said person. But there are flaws, so:

“Any application of predictive optimization should be considered illegitimate by default unless the developer justifies how it avoids these flaws.”

Two particular  arguments against it caught my attention:

  1. Good predictions may not lead to good decisions
  2. Predictive optimisation does not lead to strategic behaviour [aka ‘gaming the system’ or Goodheart’s law]

“Make it stop”

Moments were once having a moment, but now brands are asking us to say hello. Kudos to Vikki Ross for gathering a list of the latest contenders.

And finally…

My 16 year old daughter sent me a video on the history of the world in 20 mins. And, apart from it having some deep level annoyingness, I still watched it all and learnt a few things in the process. Or it made me look them up anyway.

For those that are fans of Formula 1, here’s a full orchestra playing the opening music. Should get the goosebumps going before the season starts.

And finally, why do bitters bottles have an old fashioned paper wrap on them? Because of split responsibility between 2  brothers. Who knew?

Until next time,