In March: Kit Kat in Japan, Google in India & Elsevier in California


Photo by Spencer Lowell for The New York Times

This month has unfortunately been overshadowed by the passing our my former colleague John, fellow crowdsourcing researcher who worked on the theory of Crowd Capital, and with whom we have explored the geography of Crowd Capital. He was a funny, smart and inspiring individual; may he rest in peace… I’m also sharing a dozen of articles that I found worthwile reading, starting with this fabulous NYT piece about KitKat in Japan.

(Nothing to add…)


The New York Times’ “The Candy Issue” has published this highly interesting piece about Kit Kat’s product, marketing and innovation strategies in Japan. Richly illustrated by testimonials and factory photos – something I’ve always found fascinating – it tries to explain why the English-born candy bar is so popular in Japan. An enjoyable reportage about a very common product.

From Japan to India; from Nestlé to Google; and from candy bars to internet users. Fortune publishes a lengthy article about the internet giant’s approach to get the “next billion users” in one of the world’s most populated countries. “We are thinking of products from scratch,” says Josh Woodward, director of product management for Google’s “next billion users” team to focus on new markets.

When I was a PhD student, a counterpart (mentioned in my tweet) challenged me to think about the academic publishing system, basically telling me: “Wait, you work day-in-day-out to publish your work in journals, for no pay by the publishers who will sell your work and your knowledge? How does this make sense!?” It struck a chord in me at the time, and I was happy to read this article about UC Berkeley challenging this system!

Gloria Lou, product manager at Google, shares many of her thoughts in this Medium post about Silicon Valley; the pressure to perform, the societal meaning of some jobs at tech firms, mental health issues among students and workers… a stimulating piece from someone who is “part of the machine“. I don’t share such a grimm view on everything, but I welcome the reflection and share some of her convictions.

A short piece by Uber’s Principal Design Director, Erik Klimczak. I don’t know much about design and don’t use Uber neither (true story!) but still liked reading his post about redesigning the 3D cars in the app: “We found inspiration in two places: the powerful aesthetics of German car manufacturers, and the masterful miniaturizations of toy brand Playmobil.

A propos new mobility, this is a short article – written in French – about the PR strategies of the scooter companies in France. Published by a PR agency in the popular advertising site L’ADN it gives some great insights into the state of the current hype, responsible for much of the media coverage. Lime, Bird, Flash, Voi and co. will have to get creative in their marketing very soon to remain relevant and visible.

This article, part of CMO by Adobe‘s March 2019 series about emerging technology, has a rather shallow title but great content! Chief Marketing Officers of Microsoft, Adobe or Carat share their observations of how their job has changed, is and will keep changing.

Thanks for reading!

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