It is fine to have a strategy, as long as you can modify it — even give it up. The smart brand develops superflexible strategies. Changing its marketing mix every day, it operates like a modern software organisation that has replaced linear, static planning with agile, decentralised methods that can be readily upgraded.
The smart brand is open and adept at managing the loss of control. Instead of trying to do everything in-house, it works with others (including other brands), identifying and activating connections that are mutually valuable.
The smart brand remains ephemeral because it understands that, despite the deluge of aggregated and personal data at its disposal, it is more about sensing than hard knowledge, more art than science.
Hyper-connected, hyper-social, distributed and omnipresent, the smart brand anticipates desires, senses mood shifts, preempts knowledge, and quickly directs attention to significant market events and conversations — because whenever something happens or is being talked about, the smart brand is already there.
...in our real lives, we struggle to understand our real self.
…in our real lives, we struggle to understand our real self. This illustrates the situation pretty well:
(I am not sure where this abstraction comes from – Carl Rogers comes close)
In essence, we are neither who we think we are, nor are we what others think we are. Our real “self” is embedded in some shadow. Discovering this – our “real self” – is the magic that has spawned generations of godmen and mystics. This quest for the search of our true “identity” has continued for centuries.
What happens when you introduce the online world? This:
The quest for identity has gotten much, much more difficult thanks to the Internet. We are no longer just real human beings living in real lives, visible to sound, sight, and touch – we are now a Twitter persona, a Facebook persona, a Google Plus persona, and so on.
These online accounts are identities in themselves. Whether one chooses to associate these online identities with one’s real identity is an individual’s choice. (There are over 7 billion people on this planet.) But many do, and when they do, there is possibility of conflict. Online and Offline collide in ways one had never thought of before. Yes, they often do, just like this.
How does it look when your online persona is very different from what you really are?
The more different you are online than in your real life, the more stress you feel.
Some people are true to themselves to such an extent that their real life identities match closely with their online identities.
These are folks who experience harmony, with their digital and real self entwined together.
Another way to think about this:
No wonder millions of people are trying to solve the puzzle.
An artist's only home is art, not an abstract identity belonging to passport and language
Amanda Mooney: Here are a few of my favorite bits from Inner Spaces:
"There is a real craving for novelty and originality rampaging through Shanghai and China. It’s not necessarily a big wave, but it’s here, blooming in many unexpected places, growing through talented artists who realize the essential bottom-line: An artist’s only home is art, not an abstract identity belonging to passport and language." -Didjelirium
"A lot of young people here have a lot of pressure during childhood, they don’t have free time to care about or explore art and music. Besides, there are too many restrictions in China to have proper underground parties. Noise complaints, outdoor events restricted to end by 10PM, no clubs allowing you to pass flyers outside; This makes it very hard… but we are trying." -MIA
"I want people to put work out that really reflects who they are, and that they put blood, sweat and tears into. I feel many young artists are more concerned with having a release out than a truly personal release. It feels more like craftsmanship than artistry." -Tzu Sing
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”—Friedrich Nietzsche
It’s about the struggle between individuals with jagged passion in their work and today’s faceless corporate committees, which claim to understand the needs of the mass audience, and are removing the idiosyncrasies, polishing the jags, creating a thought-free, passion-free, cultural mush that will not be hated nor loved by anyone. By now, virtually all media, architecture, product and graphic design have been freed from ideas, individual passion, and have been relegated to a role of corporate servitude, carrying out corporate strategies and increasing stock prices. Creative people are now working for the bottom line.
Magazine editors have lost their editorial independence, and work for committees of publishers (who work for committees of advertisers). TV scripts are vetted by producers, advertisers, lawyers, research specialists, layers and layers of paid executives who determine whether the scripts are dumb enough to amuse what they call the ‘lowest common denominator’. Film studios out films in front of focus groups to determine whether an ending will please target audiences. All cars look the same. Architectural decisions are made by accountants. Ads are stupid. Theater is dead.
Corporations have become the sole arbiters of cultural ideas and taste in America. Our culture is corporate culture.Culture used to be the opposite of commerce, not a fast track to ‘content’- derived riches. Not so long ago captains of industry (no angels in the way they acquired wealth) thought that part of their responsibility was to use their millions to support culture. Carnegie built libraries, Rockefeller built art museums, Ford created his global foundation. What do we now get from our billionaires? Gates? Or Eisner? Or Redstone? Sales pitches. Junk mail. Meanwhile, creative people have their work reduced to ‘content’ or ‘intellectual property’. Magazines and films become ‘delivery systems’ for product messages.
But to be fair, the above is only 99 percent true.
I offer a modest solution: Find the cracks in the wall. There are a very few lunatic entrepreneurs who will understand that culture and design are not about fatter wallets, but about creating a future. They will understand that wealth is means, not an end. Under other circumstances they may have turned out to be like you, creative lunatics. Believe me, they’re there and when you find them, treat them well and use their money to change the world.
“Over time, the most skilled players came to inhabit a second tier of reliable competence. Those who succeeded spectacularly - who took their places in the first tier - were often not the most skilled, but rather were those who got some lucky breaks early on or took big risks that happened to pay off. Emulating these top performers would probably lead to disappointment, since imitators would be unlikely to replicate their good fortune.”—
It’s not a hard and fast rule by any means. Risks are often worth taking, but if you’re looking for a steady advisor you might be better off with the person in second.
Market research thereby reminds us that the consumer arena is about making yourself heard, making yourself known and feeling like you really matter — it’s certainly not about the humdrum acquisition of use values. Moreover, the market itself is where to seek that sort of affirmation about the significance of your opinion. And it reinforces the consumerist notion that opinions are the essence of you; as far as society (i.e. the aggregate of individual choices mediated by markets) is concerned, we are the sum of our opinions, not our experiences or actions.
There is obviously an element of this eagerness to have one’s opinion tallied to social-media usage, and companies have been mining sites for market-research data for a while now. I wonder how many people change their answers, so to speak, in search of some of that attention online, and whether a certain amount of attention along those lines is necessary to feel like one belongs to a consumer society. The feeling of inclusion, after all, is not something you achieve once and for all, but is something that we continually crave and seek. Social media offers addictive reminders. The microaffirmations offered by Twitter and Facebook hinge on this need. What drives us to compulsively check is not merely the compulsive quest for novelty but also the comfort in the flattering illusion that this new information was offered to us in hopes that we would respond — that our opinion matters and we belong on our terms, under conditions in which we always get to have our say. Dozens of messages scrolling past me on Twitter, all begging me to retweet them: I feel so powerful!
As the engine of micro-moments of pseudo-belonging, social media encourages ephemeral participation that reflects no necessarily deep-held concerns but rather an eagerness to say anything while the microphone is on and someone might be listening. But increasingly this behavior is being taken as indicative of not of users’ impulsiveness but as indications of how they behave socially in general, as if the medium does not condition what they do, selectively recording only certain aspects of it. Social-media communication is being regarded as indistinguishable from other forms of communication that hold together social forms in real space, despite the way that real spaces tend to have nonnegotiable components to them that condition our reactions. Real spaces are now defined by requiring mandatory sorts of communication, communication that we can’t escape or time-shift or control the terms of. This is now what makes “real life” real: that we have to compromise and put up with other people’s bullshit without being able to just scroll past them on a screen.
These are life changing experiences: If you see how other people live – particularly when people who come from very different backgrounds, with very different belief systems are kind and hospitable to you, particularly when they have few means to do so – or their generosity comes at great cost.
To be the recipient of random acts of kindness from strangers, to see how other people live, how hard their lives are…how different – and how similar.
To see a Saudi family behind closed doors…to get drunk with Vietnamese rice farmers…presumably expands one’s horizons and level of tolerance.
“I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky.
There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time. I always knew it would run out sooner or later. It couldn’t last, and now it’s running out.
I don’t particularly care that it is and like the way things are going. The record age was just a blip. It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you’d be stuck with your whale blubber. Sorry mate – history’s moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it.”
The Company with the Smartest Consumer Community Wins. Here’s Why.
Networked technologies lower the threshold of participation, create more modularity and granularity in products and services, relocalize physical production, and create new production models that scale fast and more efficiently than traditional models. This raises serious questions for executives about how to help their companies capitalize on the transformation underway.
Yesterday, the majority of competition was symmetrical: between players with relatively evenly matched resources and capabilities. Think Ford v. GM, P&G v. Unilever, or K-Mart v. Sears. While new entrants have always challenged these incumbents, it’s different now:
Rarely before have new entrants upset incumbents so decisively — to actually put them out of commission. (i.e. 244–yr old Britannica v. 11–yr old Wikipedia).
Never have entrants dominated entire industries with such speed (i.e. Facebook’s domination of not just the social media industry but the entire Internet).
Never before have so little resources been needed to compete (i.e. Airbnb v. hotels)
Never before have so many revolutionaries threatened so many incumbents across a broad sweep of industries.
In short, the Law of Asymmetrical Competition states that closed, hierarchical organizations will lose to those entrants who collaborate with their user communities via networked technologies. The work of physicist Geoffrey West, of the Santa Fe institute, proves why. He shows that companies scale SUB–LINEARLY. Their slope is .75, which means that, at each point of growth, a company has 25% less innovation (among other things) than they previously did. However, social networks scale SUPER–LINEARLY. Their slope is 1.15 meaning that, at each point of growth, networks have 15% more innovation (among other things) than they previously did.
The broad message of P2P design is that organizations need to respond. They must incorporate an understanding of networks into their strategic thinking and hire leaders to design and integrate these new means of business. In the long run, a deliberately designed loss of control grants companies the only remaining and arguably most critical competitive advantage: access. As long as they enable and facilitate knowledge flows, ideas, passions, skills, and innovations among social networks, they have access to them. The truth is this: the company with the smartest consumer community wins. In fact, McKinsey discovered this to be true. Surveying global executives, the firm found that deploying networked technologies to foster mass collaboration is highly correlated with market share gains.