My Favorites in October: LVMH and Cycling, Derek Black’s Story & Donald Trump’s Revolutionaries

Image via Bettmann Archive

Derek Black’s father, 1982 (via Bettmann Archive)

This month again, a bunch of great articles about marketing, management, sports sponsoring or financial innovation. The usual suspects. But, in the wake of the U.S. election, also two long, important articles about U.S. nationalism in the broad sense. The first is a lengthy article about Derek Black, who turned his back to white nationalism as he met co-students from other cultures and beliefs. The second is about the follower crowd of Donald Trump, depicted as a heterogeneous – and sometimes sympathetic – group of people opposing a variety of contemporary realities (from immigration to media) with little alternatives to offer. May these two be as interesting to you as they were to me.

Earlier this month, LVMH luxury watch brand Tag Heuer announced it would become major sponsor of BMC cycling. Then, Pinarello confirmed to be in talks with investors, responding to earlier reports that mentioned the French conglomerate LVMH is interested in entering the fitness market with a high-end player. So: Pinarello hasn’t confirmed any direct talks with Louis Vuitton Moët Henessy (LVMH), but they “have been evaluating, […] different assets reinforcement options with a strong industrial base” right after the Italian press has leaked the LVMH name. Let’s see what happens.

Pinarello hasn’t confirmed direct talks with LVMH yet. Let’s see what happens.

First Round Reviews are often great when it comes to the inner life of new economy corporations, leadership and management styles, and high-level interviews. Here’s another example with an interview of Dave Girouard, CEO of personal finance startup Upstart,  sharing tips for making speed fundamental to your company. I recognize many parallels with our daily activities at WiSEED, as we’re in the same highly regulated industry than Upstart. It’s difficult to sustain rythm, speed and experimentation when you grow into this world; stating the importance of trial-and-error is something that resonated greatly with me.

I see parallels with WiSEED, as we’re in the same highly regulated industry.

This player does the reverse. They don’t come out of the blue to disrupt finance, they come out of the … (dark?) to refresh traditional finance model. Goldman Sachs has launched an online banking brand called Marcus:, which FastCompany calls a “redemption” effort after the investment banks woes in the last years. Despite the logical criticism of the institution, I believe they are right to innovate and launch new businesses. New and alternative finance thrives partly because of the better transparency, why shouldn’t a ‘bad boy’ have a shot at it, if it’s a genuine effort?

Alternative finance thrives because of transparency, so why shouldn’t Goldman Sachs have a shot, if it’s genuine?

Finding a balance between digital nativity (naivetiy?) and fundamental marketing knowledge – that’s what this article is about. “The last decade has been dominated by remedial classes for traditionally trained advertising practitioners who grew up before the digital era,Hannah Mirza writes in AdAge, “the problem is, there hasn’t been adequate attention paid to the reverse.” Good point!

This article is about the balance between digital nativity and marketing knowledge

This is journalism in the noble sense. I’m not speaking about the ideological part – even though I fully endorse the message of this article – but about the editorial quality of the piece. Eli Saslow, a reporter at the Washington Post, writes about Derek Black, a young American student of white nationalist background who turned his back to these theories after – well – just going out and see the world. It’s a long read, certainly well timed in the current U.S. election, but it’s one that shows how blind nationalism just doesn’t hold up to human intelligence.

It’s a long read which shows how blind nationalism doesn’t hold up to human intelligence.

Lighter topic, lighter format. A British team of management consultancy KMPG published a short prospective whitepaper about the future of banking. “In this vision, there is no “banking app” – access to money is interwoven with health, time management, leisure and other parts of daily life,Finextra writes. Just the fictive conversation between the customer and the virtual assistant called EVA, pages 4 & 5, gives a lot of food for thought. Just read these two pages. Do we want this future ? It’s up to us to decide.

The conversation between the customer and the virtual assistant called EVA gives a lot of food for thought.

Back to politics. The New Yorker’s Peter Hessler writes about the ambivalence among Trump supporters: The candidate’s love/hate relationship with the press, the shallowness of the political motivations within his audience, the fundamental contradiction between what America is and what Trump advocates… Or the reaction of a black seller of Trump merchandise to some customers’ suggestions: “I enjoyed the strangeness of the scene: the Muslim black man in a Trump hat, drawing the lines of political decency for white Coloradans. You can make America great, but you’ll never make it straight. [He] shook my hand and said, “Salaam Aleikum”.

The New Yorker writes about the many contradictions he notices among Trump supporters

How does today’s tech companies work? What are the benefits and drawbacks of tech start-ups’ management style? What skills do you need to thrive in a unicorn company? This HBR article by Maxfield & Grenny sheds light on the topic – excerpt: “Tech employees work long days and during weekends and holidays. They must deliver on tight timelines, quick turnarounds and short project cycles. […] Over time, a “hero” culture emerges that rewards those who maintain few boundaries between personal and work life. Little value is placed on personal renewal and sustainable engagement.

What skills do you need to thrive in a tech company? This HBR article sheds light on the topic

Another sobering article about our world, even if it focuses only on digital marketing. Actually it doesn’t. In the end, senior advertising executive Daniel Morel share interesting thoughts about the younger generations, and how they’re different to his:  “I’m from the baby boomer generation. The dream was to have a green grassed lawn after you’ve finished working. But I’ve always said that the grass is brown everywhere, you make it green. [Today] when I talk to young people, […] they believe that the lawn will have flowers and a rainbow unicorn floating over it. They have a level of expectation so high because of what has been offered to them, and the reality is not going to meet these expectations.

Advertising executive Daniel Morel share interesting thoughts about young generations’ (too) high expectations

Check my reading list any time on or, and don’t hesitate to mention me if you feel like sharing.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s