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Robots Are Taking Our Jobs

…Or so it may seem. The question is, are we slowly creating a world where human manpower will become obsolete, or are we simply not thinking about what value we provide that a machine may never be able to.

John Hagel offers a suggestion that would mean an entire rethinking of the future business model, which to his credit in identifying has gone virtually unchanged for a century.

Most employees are, for scalability sake, replicatable devices in a big company. The cog tighteners tighten cogs, the miners mine, and the analysts analyze; all of which could essentially be replaced at some point by specialized robotics.

What is our future among more capable-more efficient employees?

Fortunately enough for us, there will ‘always’ be a very important differentiation between robots and employees. Robots don’t have a childhood, travel, ride horses, open presents, maintain social circles, or get inebriated on weekends. And somewhere near a million other things that shape our personality and influence; essentially, the soul that we have that inspires us. Robots have no source of inspiration and most important to our job security, innovation. Innovators will always have a place to work in the future, but have less importance in a current business infrastructure that requires replication for grand scale.

If we are currently in the era where Geeks are king, the future is bright for people that think out of the metal box.


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The Day I Met Seth Godin

Seth Godin Chat

In 2009 I was at a point in my marketing agency career that I knew I would have at least a small amount of staying power.

Not that I was necessarily a big shot, but being booked for two pretty sizable speaking engagements taking me to the exotic locales of Minneapolis and NYC gets you feeling pretty proud.

In Minnesota, I happened to be presenting about display advertising in the session prior to Seth Godin. We were sitting next to each other in the speakers lounge as I spent a few minutes focusing on my notes. Actually, he sat next to me in a fuss as he was frustrated with the connectivity and the lack of attention he was receiving from the event hosts; he disrupted me from my meditative state.

Recognizing him immediately, I took the opportunity to introduce myself. We shook hands and I asked where he was from, ‘New York’ being the answer. Procuring traditional small talk, I mentioned that I would be in NYC within the following few weeks to sit on a Behavioral Retargeting panel.

‘What do you expect the weather to be like?’ I coyly asked.
In response, he spouted the canned snark, ‘I have a deal with the local weatherman that they can’t talk about Social Media, and I don’t predict the weather.’

Well, great, I had one chance to make friends with the most recognizable Digital Marketing talking-head in the country and I piss him off.

I’ve thought long and hard about that interaction since and wondered where it all went wrong. Buddha might say that it didn’t go wrong at all since I learned something. It went wrong.

In some imaginary world, I impress Mr. Godin into believing I am his heir to the digital marketing throne, he legally adopts me, I shave my head and am groomed into his protege. Afterwards I sell 1 million books worldwide with my face on the front cover and get frequent calls from CNN for my valuable input.

What went wrong?

The answer now is as clear as day, I gave him an opportunity to retort a canned response with my objective question. Had I asked him to produce a subjective statement, he would have likely been more engaged and able to offer real insight. Lo and behold, I would have simply needed to ask him what his favorite midtown Pizza is. That’s it! It’s not an answer I can easily Google and find out for myself in 2 seconds because I will be flooded with differing opinions. Seth’s midtown pizza recommendation would illicit a response based on self-discovery, of which is one of the strongest sharing influences.

Yelp is full of independent reviews from people that have discovered their new favorite (or least favorite) restaurant, but nobody keeps a running tally on individual weather reports. People are passionate about responses that could have a reasonable amount of contest or debate.

The same holds true when seeking blog or social engagement. You can enhance the response rate of your content by seeking reader responses that are fed by self-discovery and or debatability.

What is the best pizza in your neighborhood, anyways?


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We Are Headed for the New Middle Ages (Predicted with Meeker’s Data)

Middle Ages England
You might remember how quaint and intimate it seemed when reading about pre-industrial revolution villagers making their livings and locally sourced the products or materials they used on a daily basis. The town baker had fresh bread every morning, blacksmith did the horse-shoeing/furniture repairs/dentistry while you waited for bread, and in the evening you may take in a play with a cast of characters whom you’d know on a first name basis. Rather than performing a cog-like function in a larger corporation, people simply did the things that their own skill and resource allotted. To an extent, very few people today perform precisely the function that most suits them.

Everything, including job functions, changed with the invent of the factory line and mass production, and then everything once again when the world got smaller via the Internet. Within the next 5-10 years we may be inline to repeat history with a reboot of the Middle Ages marketplace.

If you haven’t taken the time to pick through Mary Meeker’s data analysis and year-end wrap, then you’ll need to. The slideshare presentation which was delivered to students at Stanford can be found HERE.

A lot of reader reaction is focused on the growth of mobile and specifically the dramatic rise of tablets, and their accompanying OS.

Here are a few examples:

Meeker Data 2012

 

I really could care less about the ‘NOW’ results of this research.


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What People Want From Their Device

With all of the hype surrounding the iPhone 5 and the great ad debate over feature usefulness, I decided to open up a discussion on Facebook to see what people from all-walks want out of their mobile devices.

The results aren’t really surprising if you consider the medium. Facebook friends are the most comfortable sharing group. Check out how the responses divided out:

Facebook experiment

    Category Explanation

Appliance Interaction— Overall people seem to really like the idea of automating their lives through their mobile device. One respondent wants the freedom to turn on his tea kettle remotely.
Sexy Time–It’s our most primal need and mobile devices can keep a secret when you want them to. Respondents were most interested in having direct interaction with their device in ‘exciting’ ways. Use your imagination.
Live Social–This is a category describing requests for augmented reality-social functionality. Being able to automatically recognize the proximity of friends and interact.
Finance–This is not so much the management of you’re own bank account, and more the ability to increase financial standing using your device. I suppose this is more of a creativity or publicity issue than anything else as the tools seem to exist already for wealth building with a mobile device (SquareUp and Google Wallet, for example).
Entertainment–You’d think that every stone would be overturned in the entertainment category, but responses were looking for direct life interactions. Another augmented reality scenario, that is certainly an under-used technology.

Are there any categories or tech that hasn’t been addressed that people seem to be forgetting?


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Troll Call

We’ve all run across Internet trolls (an ‘anonymous’ web user that posts rude things and hides behind their username) at some point or another if you’ve been active online, but here are a few headlines within the last week that have one striking common thread and hope for the future of combating iwrongdoers:

1. A girl that thought she was really clever tweets an inappropriate joke about a pro football players deceased brother and is punished by thousands on the Twitter.
Inappropriate Tweet

2. A Sikh woman with facial hair faces ignorant Reddit comment attacks head on and rises victoriously
Reddit would be trolls diverted

3. Some ASU tailgaters took an opportunity to stage a funny photo in creating a ‘baby keg-stand’ and now the Internet and police officials are on a witch hunt.
baby keg stand witch hunt

It appears as thought the Internet community maybe growing up. Comments that used to be commonplace for users of popular blog and news sites have been isolated and exposed for larger consumption. This could be the hatching of a new social movement and sense of accountability for would-be trolls.

Who’s behind this web-evangelism? Will it continue or is it a flash in the pan?


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The Largest Potential Audience in History

The world is about to get a whole lot smaller…

It’s not often that a company comes along and boasts that it will have the largest viewing audience since the Married With Children final episode (not an actual claim, but you know you watched it). When one does, we must analyze such and either cast them aside as unsubstantiated, or celebrate and drool upon their arrival date.

UrtheCast is a company with a giant-sized stinky-audacious goal, to provide the world with a live feed of…THE WORLD.

Whatever you’re thinking this could be, is probably correct. Urthecast will give you a live stream from the International Space Center of Earth down to a 1 meter resolution. This is nothing short of Google Earth on a tremendous amount of Roids.

Forget Big Brother, Big Sister, or Perverted Uncle, this will be gripping television. Static images are beautiful as discovered in Google Earth/Maps, but bringing them to real-time will blow your mind and change your world forever.
What’s happening on the streets of Tokyo at 2AM?
Natural disasters will have an immediate ‘check-first’ location.
People will see people living their lives without the pretenses of any media layering.
Stalkers will find a new homepage.
Animal activists could find and protect endangered animals with greater ease.
History will be recorded in ways never previously thought possible.

And thousands if not millions of applications that will be explored as UrtheCast will be open to 3rd party development. This is tremendous news for development companies who already have a litany of places to push apps, but will likely jump the queue to be first in line here.

Enough of my ranting, check out the video below and see for yourself!

In what ways would you like to see this technology used? Either for good or for evil?


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Help, I Rank For Something Weird!

I discovered an organic traffic source in my analytics for this site (DanielRedman.com) that is not necessarily congruent with my keyword strategy, but a valuable long tail keyword in Tourism/Hospitality.

I asked SEO Maven, Ricardo Figueiredo, what he would do if he discovered the same thing…

Ricardo Figueiredo
Co-Founder / Managing Partner at


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ObAMA By the Numbers

Unless you’ve been living in an Internet cave forged out of mute buttons, you know that President Obama conquered Reddit by doing an AMA (ask me anything). In some circles, this appearance is being likened to the Fireside Chats by FDR. Others are commiserating about a lack of professionalism that the President displays by making his presence felt like a Hollywood starlet.

My opinion is that this further constitutes what the rest of us have already known about the Web for a very long time. Your access to anyone-anywhere changes the way we think and interact with people once known for being completely distant. This act put Obama ‘in-reach’ for millions, much like how Twitter brings us close to Bieber and inside the bedroom of Kanye West. The world we live in is one that can be transformative. Obama is not a despondent figurehead-robot. We now know him to be a person and interactive in OUR world.

All-in-all, you can’t deny that when your milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, they’re like, ‘it’s better than yours’.

Here’s a chart of what of Obama’s Milkshake did to Reddit traffic:

Reddit speed and connectivity was spotty during the whole affair, and is still experiencing a greater than expected load of visitors.

For more on the Obama AMA, check out the actual thread HERE.


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Death in the 21st Century

I’ve recently had a loss in the family. Among other things, it’s focused my thinking on how we handle death; much like it has been for centuries the world over.

I know what you’re thinking, but I assure you I’m not pandering for sympathy or tweets & likes. Instead, this is a plea for SCIENCE.

I’m just an idiot looking in and have no grounds or research for the claims I’m about to make, but bear with me for a second. I’ve grown up picking at computers and trying to manipulate them to do things I want them to.

As I understand just the basics of computing, here is how I look at the core requirements of a computer:

You obviously have other parts that add to the total capability of a PC, but for sake of better understanding the topic at hand, let’s keep it simple.

What happens if you take the same thinking and apply it to the world’s most complex computer, the human body?

‘The soul’, used in place of a better-more technical word, is the driving energy source that we all feel that we have and what essentially exits us as we pass on.

We should think of people as computers, because we process tasks in a similar fashion. Our synapes are equivalent to circuits. At our core, there is a binary decision at the lowest common denominator of cognition, but unfortunately we dont care for our data like we would in a PC. We don’t make it transferable, we don’t protect it with fail-safe backup, we allow our data to waste away as our power source extinguishes.

The body is simply a vessel for our data, just as a hard plastic case is for our PC.

How far could we possibly be from being able to thoroughly map and translate the mind and make it live sourceable content? We put a F***ING car on Mars!

Your legacy could become your data. Imagine the potential educational power if Einsteins brain was indexed in the Library of Congress, and made available to the public. Instead, we’ve allowed it to become plant food.

The family becomes stronger with the identity of previous generations remaining intact, the short future could allow for synergy between the brain-data and tools that help us compilate and share content. Eventually we no longer would rely on our own damaged and fail-prone memories to recite the stories of our grandparents to our own grandchildren, the gap could be bridged and we can begin to make experiential progress at a greater clip.

If memory and data transfer to a new energy source we allow the ‘self’ to continue. If we develop mind-mapping technology, then we protect the only thing that ever makes any single life unique and it would be our most valuable possession.


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Screwing the Lunch Lady

Chevy made a major splash by announcing their newly formed sponsorship of Manchester United . While on paper this seems like an incredible step forward in the globalization of the GM brand, by rerouting their Super Bowl ad budget overseas, it’s a terrible shafting to the American people.
Chevy pees on USA
I’m not an extremely avid follower of politics or the global bank, but let me simplify and explain some of the economics involved in the Chevy sponsorship that severely rub me the wrong way considering our government floated Detroit $25 billion just a few years ago. Here are my thoughts illustrated with the help of a beautifully contrived anecdote:

When I was a little kid, my mom (lets call her Obamama), was very interested in my daily sustenance. She still is, but more-so when it was important that I develop properly. Anyhow, she gave me a lunch money stipend that would more than cover what the lunch lady had for daily fare if i skipped the cookie and recess snack. It wasn’t exactly a bone-in ribeye at Del Friscos everyday, but thats ok because I was suitably nourished. If I was enterprising enough, I could even stick away a few bucks and at the end of the month pick up a rad Sega Genesis game with the balance (let’s call that R&D). I would be just like all of the other kids, but there’s nothing wrong with that because as kids, we all validate each other by making the same decision together. And eating lunch lady food was a balanced enough diet to help me grow into a bigger person.

Though, right across the street from my elementary school was an incredible taco shop, notorious for having the best carne asada tacos in town. It would have pushed me to the top of my budget, but I certainly could have afforded a few tacos everyday instead. Granted that my trip was made safely (as the risk inherently increases when you cross the street), there I’d be with salsa all over my face like a menstruating contortionist, overwhelmed with happiness in front of the other kids. They’d be so pissed; like, ‘damn, those tacos look amazing’. And maybe the other kids (that could afford it) would take the risk also because we sort of follow each other in a weird way, thats how childhood validation and competition works. In a best case scenario at the end of the month, maybe no kids get runover, the tacos are delicious as billed, and Obamama is stoked because the carne is making me strong like a Native American Poltergeist. But, allthewhile guess who is quietly getting screwed by the principal in the janitors closet? The lunch lady. That’s right. You know why? Because the kids didnt want to invest in her meals. If all of the kids ate there eveyday, maybe she could have improved from microwave pizzas to eventually serving the things that the kids really want. But the kids weren’t interested in the future, they just wanted immediate satisfaction. So the lunch lady is forced to grab her ankles for the principal every afternoon to keep her job. We WANT the lunch lady to win and not the taco shop because she’s on our campus and supports the total school infrastructure.

In a worst case scenario, maybe a few or all of the kids are runover by cars or kidnapped and forced into slave work by the open market of bottom feeders that frequent the taco shop, thus forcing Obamama to put on a cape and bail them out. Guess who still gets screwed in all of this? The lunch lady, because her market of hungry kids has diminished. Meanwhile, the kids that are pulling through the taco venture don’t have enough money for a Sega Genesis game, and they are getting sick of tacos because of the scrutiny they have to face from the poor kids on campus. All in all, the balance of the school is kept intact when lunch money is spent with the lunch lady. Thats why she has such a memorable name, to make it easy for the easily distracted kids. Really though, this mess wouldnt be the kids fault. They were operating within the rules, they just wanted to live large. Their Obamamas never said they couldnt because they never had the foresight to think the kids would do anything but the safe and simple thing.

Shifting American marketing dollars overseas when we need jobs and growth at home is risky, slaps all of our collective faces in the core market, and screws the lunch lady.


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Robots Are Taking Our Jobs

…Or so it may seem. The question is, are we slowly creating a world where human...
article post

The Day I Met Seth Godin

In 2009 I was at a point in my marketing agency career that I knew I would have at least...
article post

We Are Headed for the New Middle Ages (Predicted with Meeker’s Data)

You might remember how quaint and intimate it seemed when reading about pre-industrial...
article post

What People Want From Their Device

With all of the hype surrounding the iPhone 5 and the great ad debate over feature...
article post

Troll Call

We’ve all run across Internet trolls (an ‘anonymous’ web user that...
article post

The Largest Potential Audience in History

The world is about to get a whole lot smaller… It’s not often that a company...
article post

Help, I Rank For Something Weird!

I discovered an organic traffic source in my analytics for this site (DanielRedman.com)...
article post

ObAMA By the Numbers

Unless you’ve been living in an Internet cave forged out of mute buttons, you know...
article post

Death in the 21st Century

I’ve recently had a loss in the family. Among other things, it’s focused my...
article post

Screwing the Lunch Lady

Chevy made a major splash by announcing their newly formed sponsorship of Manchester...
article post