December's Must Reads

✅ Informative Festive Reads

Dear Must Readers, how has your December gone? It has flown by, hasn’t it?

Over November and early part of December, I finished a couple of consulting projects, coached some brilliant Product & Marketing leads and even got away for a week.

This month’s Must Reads themes include:

  1. Why managers need to put themselves first 💯 

  2. Healthy vs. unhealthy vs. dangerous food and drinks 👀 

  3. The power being pulled on autonomous cars 🪫

  4. TikTok and e-commerce, only the brave brands will survive 📱

  5. Why huge companies are becoming landlords and co-creating cities 🏙️

🔓 As a reminder, I am a coach, consultant and advisor. I have space for coaching clients and consultancy from the start of January, get in touch (by hitting reply) or contacting me → [email protected] or DM me on LinkedIn.

» I am part of a brilliant new book aka the anti-manual This Is Not The Way (shown below) from friend of Must Reads Andy Reid. It’s 300 pages packed full of how to create better strategy, better North Star metrics and how to be more creative (from top company execs, YouTubers and brilliant minds). It comes out middle of January.

This is my interview ↑

By Me

  • The Important Themes From My Coaching Sessions This Year - this is a personal review with actionable steps to take from my coaching of CEOs, COOs, founders, CMOs, CGOs, Heads of Growth, Product & Marketing → Link

  • The 5 Roles You Should Hire For To Succeed Into 2024Link

  • Self Improvement As A Leader - I appeared on the Marketing Freaks podcast. I break down my Marketing & Growth coaching, why managers and above don’t put their development first (hint no good management above them helping them to become better) and how to put yourself first to improve 2024 → Link

Here is a sneak peek of the 11 themes I am going to release on January 1st

Life Must Reads

  • The PT Helping Music Stars To Put So Many Live Shows - Taylor Swift and Queen B have had an incredible year with their tours and supporting theatre releases. One key component that is overlooked is their fitness and stamina for a huge global tour → Link

  • 25 Most Influential Women of 2023 - a genuinely brilliant list by the FT → Link

  • The Extreme & Out Of Control World Of Energy Drinks - We go in cycles, healthy and low calories to vegan to diets fades and now we are seeing the most caffeinated drinks possible. The risks are clear but are they obvious enough? Expect more scrutiny on energy drinks (expect highest calorie food and super-sized options next year) → Link

  • Must Listen/Watch! Jeff Bezos has some incredible insights and shares some previously unspoken gems on Lex Fridman’s podcast. I loved his insights, particularly when he discusses paper cuts - having a dedicated team to fix several small problems to help the customer. This is a 2 or 3 time listen to podcast (from space adventure to running the globally dominant company for two decades) ↓

» If you love podcasts and enjoyed this one pod, hit reply and I have a list of 3 other invaluable pods that will improve your career.

  • RIP Autonomous Cars? Self-driving cars are failing safety tests and critically causing more danger and accidents than not. I cannot believe how many of the common issues should have been tested and thought through before AB testing is done on the road. It’s fascinating how the hype cycle goes around, particularly for a business like Cruise who were lorded for their work and are now struggling to move forward safely. This is the future but maybe flying cars might come around the same sort of time… → Link
    (PS With Tesla recalling 2m cars in the US will we embrace new tech or have a harder lens to review these new car companies)

  • Escape To Hawaii - This week social media went wild for Mark Zuckerberg’s top-secret new compound in Hawaii, maybe smart, but, why are so many celebrities and CEOs creating survival bunkers? What do they know, we don’t? → Link

Work Must Reads

  • The 5 Work Themes To Know & Understand For 2024 (From Friend Of Must Reads Bruce (Daisley) leading the way on company culture) Deck - Newsletter 

  • “Emails Are Dying Out?” BS - I keep seeing articles that suggest email is dead or doesn’t match younger people’s values - the issue here is they don’t make the decisions and rarely get to shape decisions so although we are on the journey of having less reliance on email it’s still how most decisions are made and other decisions are signed off → Link

  • How Marketing Shaped Rudolph’s Red Nose - & How It Passes On generation-to-generation since the 1940s (this is also why Santa went from Green to Red, thanks Coca-Cola) → Link (this hasn’t happened for a while but expect mega brands to start hijacking public holidays again)

  • TikTok Influence On Consumer Spending - TikTok shopping is going to continue to blow up in the next couple of years. The fear I have is consumers falling for scams and falling for brands which will run ad arbitrages to make thousands before human intervention or more regularly waiting for AI to detect issues and then put safety measures are actually put in place. TikTok has so many young people’s trust (video format spreads far and wide as it seems more trustworthy and there is never any review on if the data is true or not) and attention it will have a huge impact on spending habits and how brands will be perceived (and become guilty by association is something I am advising brands on) → Link

  • Buy Now Pay A Lot More Later Hits Airbnb. A smart play for Airbnb but bad news for their guests (customers) who aren’t aware of the related charges and cost of having micro-loans given a marketing wrapping around it. Clothing brands are feeling the BNPL effects and many consumers just don’t know the credit issues until they are burnt → Link

  • SEO Hijack & The Role Of AI - This was a viral tweetstorm in the search community and is now written up about leveraging competitive tools and open data to outrank who they rewrote content from via AI tools, FWIW this has happened for years - just not at this scale, it will happen time and time again (and just remember Google Bard is removing the need to click on the blue links for an answer)  Link

  • Google’s New Business Line Being A Landlord - We will see this from huge companies, they will be going into real estate and investing in property to diversify revenues and please investors while experimenting → Link

  • 🇨🇳 Chinese App Dominance & Say Hello To GPT Apps 💬 - this is a running theme for 2023 (and with TikTok’s rise to dominance since 2020). TikTok and their creation app CapCut & shopping app Temu have dominated iOS downloads, this is creating some ripples in the US and is likely to be in Europe too. Another notable re-entry is ChatGPT, despite many not knowing its retention it’s an important shift for ChatGPT to be on the canonical device and be available on the go. Expect ChatGPT app to come in and out of rankings when it gains updates and becomes more useful for the everyday person.

Have a great festive period and if you can, get some rest. I’ll see you again in January!

Thanks and go well,

Danny Denhard