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August 10, 2020
"Remember that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language" - Dale Carnegie
As businesses embrace technology to deliver ever more personalised communications and products, a careful balance needs to be maintained around privacy and data collection.
Ever since the industrial and mass-producing revolution, ordinary man has sought to achieve a higher level of comfort and luxury while also differentiating himself. The customer's desire to be different from others, to feel uniquely taken care of, to be part of a tribe, is what allows companies to build a strong relationship with them.
Marketing, once approached in a shotgun manner now is backed by data-driven processes. They have profiles on the types of customer they are targeting. They know the right kind of words, colours and imagery that resonate with that market. They've optimised the right timing of ads based on users current behaviour. They've increased the effectiveness of marketing to a robust science.
As companies employ more data collection and marketing strategies, they often forget their true goal is to build an authentic relationships with customers and help them solve their problems. In fact, the companies' hard-nosed efforts to increase the bottom line often creates annoyance in their customers, who subsequently choose to leave the brand.
Data protection and privacy are the concerns of the modern day. We, as companies and producers, need to be custodians of our customers data, treating it as the valuable resource it is. With the gaining of this resource is also the responsibility of using it to truly deliver an improved service for the customer.
So, did I get your name right?
With the above being said, I want to build an authentic relationship and deliver value. I want to use the tools of personalisation to the benefit of you, the reader. So, if I've got your first name wrong - please adjust it using this link - *removed
A few of the readers mentioned to me they enjoyed the Sleep podcast shared in Slipstream#01. It makes me really happy to know these wonderful resources are being enjoyed by others as well.
To hammer home the theme of sleep as the foundation of health, I've shared the other impactful resource I've consumed on the matter. After I watched the talk with Dr Chatterjee, I completely changed my view of health as being comprised nutrition and exercise in an 80-20 split. Now, I look at health across four pillars: Sleep, exercise, nutrition, leisure with equal weighting to all.
📺 Watch: Why being perfect will ruin you - Dr Rangan Chatterjee | Impact Health (38 mins)
The power of meditation, as I'm sure you've heard, has been talked about in everything from improving emotional control, anxiety, sleep, to digestion and overall well-being. As a regular meditator for over 4 years, the main benefit I have received is ability to feel more present and in control of my life. Within a few weeks you'll come to appreciate this exercise as a way of cleansing the mind and thoughts, before starting your day or to end your day.
As Tim Ferriss says, "If you don't have 30 minutes to meditate, you need 3 hours"
There are many types of meditation practices. The simplest and easiest to start with is a guided meditation with focus on the breath. The best resource I used, and still do, is Tara Brach's guided meditations, which she shares for free on her website regularly. You'll find various types and lengths, and I would suggest you choose one that appeals to you and give it a shot.
🤸 To try: Guided Meditations - Tara brach (10-25 mins)
I recently came across Piestro (pronounced like maestro) and their crowdfunding campaign. In essence, they're a robotics vending machine that makes pizzas. And it has an app. If you read through the web-page offer, at first glance you might think its pretty great automating out labour in service of getting your pizza in 3 minutes and at anytime of the day. But looking carefully at their business costs and breakdown you can see that the saving achieved through the use of automation in this business is channeled directly towards larger profit margins (22% to 48%).
You have to ask the question here, who is the real customer? Who has asked for such an innovation, or expressed pain with the current pizza value chain that they want to add robotics to it? Are companies riding the trend of robotics, in the same way AI and blockchain have been used? I think so.
In a cautionary and still fresh tale, a company called Zume, (not Zoom) tried changing the world with pizzas-making robots in a van. The surprising thing is they managed to raise over $350 Million, with backing from one of the biggest names in startup investing - SoftBank. Despite the hype and large amount of capital raised, they have pretty much been declared a failed investment.
The takeaway: Raising money is not a sign you have a good business. Focus on the true needs of your customer to build something defensible
🔖 Read: Inside the Firings at SoftBank’s Pizza-Robot Startup Zume - Bloomberg (14 mins)
🐿️ Browse: Piestro | The Future of Artisanal Pizza
"That's just your privilege speaking." But what is privilege? How does it present itself in its many forms and how does understanding it allow us to create a better world and navigate discussions with more empathy?
Paul Graham, a notable thinker from Silicon Valley penned the essay below on Orthodox Privilege which I found quite insightful. It speaks to those of us that have had fairly normal lives, which can be described as orthodox. Those that have lived and expressed themselves within that bubble, without having any repercussions with authority and the law, come to view that world as operating in the same way for everyone else. Thus, when they hear people speaking out, protesting and getting into trouble with the law they do not grasp the meaning of such a thing within a larger societal context. They think the protesters must be at fault, that they transgressed in a way that was unacceptable to society's well established rules. It is harder for them to understand that the rules in which those people live were unfair in the first place.
🔖 Read: Orthodox Privilege (8 mins)
With much discord in the media these days, it can feel like every group is fighting every other. Sure, things may be hostile out there - but the conversation is not being played out on an honest field either. The issues are being weaponised, with labels used as a way of shutting down intelligent conversation. Any desire to bring about peace and bring about solutions gets detracted by bots and extreme personas.
The underlying issue, that often get's overlooked or easily shutdown is that of class. This is an age old battle, between the rich, those in power, and the poor and middle-class, those that work. In the article below, it is clear how we are being deliberately distracted by the issues of race, health, employment and other things while the rich get richer and acquire more power and control.
Their ultimate aim - turn the majority of the world into a slave working class, a serfdom. The future may turn out to be more like the Hunger Games than we'd actually like.
🔖 Read: Class: The little word the Elites want you to forget (10 mins)
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