Something Ain’t Right

On the Perils of AI

That’s Artificial Intelligence, the next big thing that’s going to transform us. At least that’s the way futurists and tech visionaries have been telling the story since 1952 or so.

While we await the computer-driven millennium, I think it’s important to maintain some perspective. If you’re a knowledge worker chances are you’ve encountered a colleague, client or C-suite executive smitten with the latest novel technology sure to lead to marketplace domination or a total revolution in whatever sector you toil.

I’m not certain it’s that easy.

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When the Sun Goes Down on Austin Town

whole-foods-market-logo-2008My cognitive dissonance meter started to peg about the time I reached the fish counter.

In Austin, Texas for a conference (working, not attending), and a retail marketer from way back, I had to visit the flagship store of Whole Foods, the behemoth ($14.2 BB in 2014 annual revenue) organic grocery chain that calls that burg home. I’m glad I did if only to have had an experience that Continue reading

The Consumer Isn’t a Moron

Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer
Michael J. Silverstein

When I started this experiment my intention was to give equal weight to things I spend my time on (and so might know something about). I should’ve  known better.

The reality is that I spend very little time reading about marketing even though it’s how I make my living. There are a lot of reasons for that and maybe, someday, we’ll go into them. Today, though Continue reading

Take the Money: Retail 101

Sometimes the dictionary tells you everything you  need to know. Take retail as a noun. The meaning couldn’t be clearer. But to be thorough let’s visit Webster’s: (n) the sale of commodities or goods in small quantities to ultimate consumers; also: the industry of such selling. Let’s remember these two terms: selling and consumers.

Given such a straightforward definition why does retail prove so difficult in practice? That question is prompted by a Continue reading

Reed Owes Steve $26.31: Retail Missteps 3

At least that ‘s one way to figure it. I’ll get to the math shortly but let’s set the stage. Last week (July 12 to be exact) Netflix introduced new pricing. Predictably, the corporate spin (look for the July 12 entry) was that this was both the lowest pricing ever and the best possible thing for customers.

The customers, evidently, disagreed.

A Google search for ‘Netflix  pricing dissatisfaction’ turns up 893,000 results. And while the Continue reading

Retail Missteps: Take 2

Have you heard of eMusic? It’s an alternative (at least to iTunes and Amazon) online music service. You pay a monthly subscription and get X number of credits good for X number of downloads. But many ‘albums’ are capped at 12 credits so if you’re an astute shopper you can get far more songs than the Continue reading

The Arrogance of Success

Success, it seems, can be its own worst enemy. How else do you explain the meltdowns that so many people and businesses suffer after they have triumphed?

This train of thought was kick started by a visit to the Apple store in New York’s SoHo last Friday. Cards on the table: mine is an Apple household-the desktop, the laptop, the iPods, the wireless network are all products Continue reading