Must Reads 279

📝 Billboard Bother

👋 Hello Friends, Must Reads 279 is packed again full of brilliant articles this week making you more informed about the future themes that impact our lives.

This week’s important themes covered include:

  1. Comprehensive company culture

  2. Remote work or just work 

  3. Going all in on AI

  4. Billboards banned

  5. Changing sports

My New Site: I’ve been heads down for a week putting together my new coaching and consulting website. Be the first to check it out.

Work Focus

» Remote Work Lessons 💻- In this period of mandating a return to the office this is a refreshing tale of a CEO moving her firm into full remote and sharing the most important lessons (cough effective comms not more). We have over-indexed on where with work right, not focused on the output and the quality of work.

++ Trivia ++ Which dating app has just topped $2b in user spending?
(A) Bumble (B) Tinder (C) Hinge (D) Happn

» Scatter 𐅣-A brilliant short piece on the impact of scatter. Lesson: Don’t let scatter take you down…

Tech Focus

» Cruise Controlled - Unfortunately, there we two accidents with autonomous cabs last week with people injured, after sharing this in MR #278 as an important upcoming theme, Cruise (one of the leaders of the industry) had to reduce their service in SF and reviewing their data. Will this deter people from getting in these cabs unlikely, however, with the race to AI and self-driving we have to remember the impact of rushing to roll out tech and the implications this has on us. I suspect this is a warning many need but lets see how this continues and where the blame ultimately lies.

» Podcast That Breaks All Of The Rules - Acquired is a super long-form podcast breaking businesses down, It goes against all of the rules by being long-form, talking deep strategy and often without any of the insiders talking about their experiences but despite all of these they have taken the podcast world by storm and have cracked the blend of listeners from all over the globe and earned the respect of top CEOs wanting to appear on their pod. The X above shows their growth and a lot has come over the last year!

» Cashless Counter Punch 💸 - I rarely use cash, I haven’t regularly since living in London for over 10 years but cashless only establishments are everywhere and in major cities in especially in 🇬🇧, 🇺🇸. LA is now looking to actually ban the movement away from cash - which impacts a number of unbanked and those who still trust cash over digital. In the near future businesses will have to decide which payment methods they accept and those they just won’t and I suspect cashless is the future especially with phone digital wallets becoming a default for many generations.

» Microsoft Big AI Bet 🤖- Long-form articles aren’t always appreciated but this breakdown of Microsoft and their huge early AI bet is well worth the investment of time. Many people criticise MSN consumer play but being a powerhouse in B2B and software it is worth a bigger bet into consumer play. I am not a massive believer in Bing and their early attempt at AI chat in search but if anyone is going to have time and large reserves to invest it’s Microsoft and being different not competing against Google might be their best play.

» TikTok & Reels Selling Products Power 📹- An unlikely article on the BBC… it does however a great job of explaining why TikTok & Instagram has done incredibly well in selling products through their user’s videos promoting the weird, random hacks and ‘organically’ pushing brand new products. People believe people (not so much influencers atm) and when they see the ‘results” they trust it and run out to buy while sharing their experiences and the videos to friends and group chats. Most brands struggle with TikTok and I think that’s part of the magic formula TikTok landed on. Algorithmic-driven entertainment/content is driving sales for now, it’s the hit rate of these products that’s going to make or break some brands.

This is a hard no thank you from me

Life Focus

Is this ad for a model too much? 30+ people complaint about the model’s billboards across London 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

» Billboards Bother👆- In a weird story, an OF model has come under investigation by the ASA (advertising standard authority) as Eliza paid for billboards across London with their photo and platform logos as CTAs. It’s an interesting debate to have about why is this any different to other ads or creative ads. Will we see more attempt this approach, local targeting is smart, especially knowing your audience…

» Unacceptable Ads 📲 - New media platform 404 media wrote a good piece on the ads that are driving illegal sales including guns and drugs. Where there is an ad platform there is going to be shady ads and platforms like Instagram will attempt to monitor but when they have set aggressive financial targets will taking them down be a good trade-off for them?

» Pumpkin Spice Marmite ☕️ - The pumpkin spice latte is 20 this year and it is still driving a divide between those who love it and those who hate it. The history is fascinating - let’s see if we can see anymore cult drinks appear with matcha variations, bubble tea and many other drinks saturating the market.

Trivia Answer - Bumble (download data below) topped $2b this week with Tinder already hitting that milestone earlier this year.

» Inside Pickleball 🔓- I have covered pickleball a number of times over the last two years, it is now becoming popular indoors and ready for its second expansion. What is great about this is it is paving the way for young and old making it accessible to all players and fans. Something almost all sports can learn and apply.

Go and have a great day and we will speak soon!