John's Newsletter Blurbs
Yesterday I got out of the shop to get some Christmas shopping started. I found myself on Queen Street West in the hip quarter of Toronto and discovered (for the first time) an independent bookshop called TYPE. The shop has a beautiful yellow hue for lighting, wide plank floorboards, soft jazz music at an ambient volume and an impressive selection of art and design books, notebooks and biographies. I stuck around flipping through titles for about 40 minutes, eavesdropping on conversations, getting a sense of what people were seeking and taking in the fashion sense of a crowd easily twenty years my junior. A great reprieve from my usual routine.
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Dr. Adam Alter, is an associate professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University who researches psychology and marketing. He became fascinated with the "dogfooding" strategy and has written a book called Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked when he discovered one industry that avoids "dogfooding".
With cannabis becoming legal today, my thoughts were not on the excitement of scoring a joint, but what does this mean for our roads? I drive a motorcycle (my wife and kids hate it and think I am an idiot and that may be true), and now that we have both alcohol and marijuana to contend with, I am closer than ever to selling the bike.
When we were teenagers, we could get into the car in Port Credit, Ontario and play the song "Who Are You" by the Who (on cassette) with our goal always to see how close to Toronto we could get by the time the song was over. The track was six minutes and 21 seconds long and we'd regularly pass the ‘Welcome To Toronto' sign just as Roger Daltry was about to swear.
One habit from living in North America is that you tend to assume that everything happening of relevance, at least from a technology position, originates on this side of the planet. When you reflect that companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel and so on all originated in America, you can see why it's easy to conclude that The United States has provided more than their fair share of meaningful inventions.
"Are there enough women in the industry to actually make up a feature story?" That was the question that was asked most often when we initially floated the idea of running a story to celebrate the women of CE. Well, it turns out that there are more women in high places than we actually thought and as an industry we can be proud to say that we are much more inclusive than others.
I just received a report from our newsletter mailing service informing me that we sent out 2.7 million newsletters by email in 2017. That breaks down to about 53,000 subscribers emailed each week for 52 weeks, give or take. If I mention anything to do with gun laws and my frustration toward the NRA, I will lose subscribers. The same goes for religion and politics, (sometimes I can't help myself).
Many thanks to the reader that brought to my attention the Barclays Equity Gilt Study, an annual report published by the British bank that addresses topics on finance and economics with a look at how technology changes the way we live.
Last week I did something that I have not done in well over fifteen years - I completely shut off all digital connections, no email, text, no social media, no online reading, no laptop, no phone for five days overlapping Easter.
There's an old saying that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. I can't see the plight of taxes ever changing, but a company run by Google known as Calico, has brought together a team of scientists with a single mission to try to solve death. Most of us would be quite happy to live longer, especially if we maintain our health and mobility. The question then becomes: for how much longer? Would living to 150 sound about right? How about to 500?
Scott Galloway teaches brand strategy and digital marketing at NYU Stern School of Business. Galloway has been an Internet pioneer since 1992 and has owned and sold several e-commerce companies over the past couple of decades. He is either a visionary champion of our capitalist economy or if you follow Scott Varney from Fox News, Galloway is a raging socialist.