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My Favorites of May: Fallon’s Tears, Forest Finance & @Jose_Naranja’s Notebooks

31 May 2017

Image by Jose Naranja (click to access)

Beyond the election of an open-minded, pro-business and modern President in France, the month of May had many other highlights. It starts with a very moving video of Jimmy Fallon telling the story of his son’s birth, which was fraught with challenges but end up with a happy end.

Besides, you’ll read about marketing, entrepreneuship, innovation and strategy – as always – but also about a Spanish artist’s notebooks who are absolutely fantastic (see picture). I have been following for years and like his hand-drawn pieces of art, which are invitations to travel and scribble. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

A rather moving sequence by Jimmy Fallon, who shares the story of his son’s birth… and the importance of affordable health care for those who experience similar difficulties. “It was something different to watch,” the NYT wrote. “First because Mr. Kimmel’s story was so raw, grateful and — but for the occasional wisecrack — sincere. Then because he turned from his own story to the current debate over who gets access to this kind of miraculous care, and how.” Which is of course why Barack Obama amplified the message.

A moving sequence in which Fallon talks about his son’s birth and the importance of affordable health care

In this article, which has a slightly over-promising title I must say, former marketing exec Damien Cummings (Philips, Samsung, Dell, Standard Chartered…) shares “his best digital marketing career advice.” He mainly explains that marketing fundamentals are paramount and that “digital” is no sub-set of marketing, it’s one of the discipline’s main channels. In 10 years, it won’t be a channel anymore, it will be underlying everything. Anyway, don’t expect to be baffled by this interview, but there are some interesting nuggets.

He explains that fundamentals are paramount and that “digital” is no sub-set of marketing

On finding the balance between broadcast and targeting! In this (other) article about digital advertising, Kate Kaye elaborates on some brand marketers’ decisions to cut back on targeting because it tends to be more expensive and less efficient, contrary to the common belief. “[Brands have] discovered that hyper-targeting consumers doesn’t always work. When a beer brand wanted to hit a thin slice of the male audience […] Adobe tested the tactic and showed the client that perhaps it was looking through the wrong goggles to gauge success. By making its ad campaign less targeted, the brand lowered the cost of each ad impression and in the end sold more beer.

Kaye writes about marketers’ decisions to cut back on targeting because it tends to be more expensive and less efficient

In the next couple of days, this Equity Crowdfunding round will close on WiSEED. It’s the first agroforestry project on our platform, and to my knowlegde the first time French investors can become shareholders of a cocoa plantation through an online funding portal. Watch this short spot by the German news channel DW, I found it very informative! (Disclaimer: I’m Marketing Director at WiSEED and I’ve invested in this project myself, so you may want to see this post as promotional.)

This short spot by the German news channel DW is very informative

Imagine you are the owner of an office building, and your tenants are complaining about the slow elevator. What would the solutions be? This HBR post explains how the intuitive solutions (replace the lift, install a stronger motor, upgrade the algorithm that runs the lift) should be challenged by innovative thinking, which can lead to cheaper or better solutions (like putting up mirrors next to the elevator). You may or may not want to apply the 7 rules shared in this post, but the main takeaway is to broaden your solution set when thinking about problems.

How the intuitive solutions should be challenged by innovative thinking, which can lead to cheaper or better solutions

A propos creativity. Instagram spreads the word about a Spanish artist’s work, Jose Naranja, whose amazing notebooks, filled with doodles and drawings and memorabilia, are always a pleasure to look at. I follow him on Twitter because I don’t have Instagram (I have Flickr… #old!), you can also look at his blog, it’s a great source of inspiration. He sells them too.

His notebooks, filled with doodles and drawings and memorabilia, are a pleasure to look at

In French : 5 life experiences of entrepreneurs who failed in their start-up endeavours, a really interesting read. Some of them have come a long way, and lost more than just a team. It is sometimes too easy to forget how difficult entrepreneurship can be, even when you are heading high-profile start-ups like Take Eat Easy, a Belgian Uber Eats and Deliveroo competitor. Read from @enamilys, @versac, @thibauld, @bertierluyt and Take Eat Easy’s Chloé Roose. Conclusion : “By excessively playing down failure in recent years, we tend to forget what matters most: you’re better off learning from other people’s failures than your own.” I’d also advise you to read this interview (in French), if you’re interested in entrepreneurship’s challenges.

It is sometimes too easy to forget how difficult entrepreneurship can be

 

I rarely publish a “My Favorites Of…” post without a Bloomberg article, and here’s this month’s favorite. This article discusses Etsy’s trajectory as a business, with increasing shareholder pressure to have tighter cost control and a stronger focus on product improvement. “The company had been careless with its spending—Etsy’s general and administrative expenses amounted to 24 percent of total revenue” Max Chafkin and Jing Cao write. For example, the “horrendous search functionality has hampered the site’s growth”. A good piece that also uncovers some of the tensions between ethos and customer service, non-profit and need for monetization.

A good piece that uncovers the tensions between ethos and customer service, non-profit and monetization.

Thanks for reading !

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