jerryking + storytelling   128

How the 1619 Project Came Together
Aug. 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Lovia Gyarkye.

This month is the 400th anniversary of that ship’s arrival. To commemorate this historic moment and its legacy, The New York Times Magazine has dedicated an entire issue and special broadsheet section, out this Sunday, to exploring the history of slavery and mapping the ways in which it has touched nearly every aspect of contemporary life in the United States.

The 1619 Project began as an idea pitched by Nikole Hannah-Jones, one of the magazine’s staff writers, during a meeting in January.......it was a big task, one that would require the expertise of those who have dedicated their entire lives and careers to studying the nuances of what it means to be a black person in America. Ms. Hannah-Jones invited 18 scholars and historians — including Kellie Jones, a Columbia University art historian and 2016 MacArthur Fellow; Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor of law and history at Harvard; and William Darity, a professor of public policy at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University — to meet with editors and journalists at The Times early this year. The brainstorming session cemented key components of the issue, including what broad topics would be covered (for example, sugar, capitalism and cotton) and who would contribute (including Linda Villarosa, Bryan Stevenson and Khalil Gibran Muhammad). The feature stories were then chiseled by Ms. Hannah-Jones with the help of Ilena Silverman, the magazine’s features editor......Almost every contributor in the magazine and special section — writers, photographers and artists — is black, a nonnegotiable aspect of the project that helps underscore its thesis.......“A lot of ideas were considered, but ultimately we decided that there was an undeniable power in narrowing our focus to the very place that this issue kicks off,”.......even though slavery was formally abolished more than 150 years ago, its legacy has remained insidious. .....The special section.... went through several iterations before it was decided that it would focus on painting a more full, but by no means comprehensive, picture of the institution of slavery itself.......The 1619 Project is first and foremost an invitation to reframe how the country discusses the role and history of its black citizens. “

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The 1619 Project is, by far, one of the most ambitious and courageous pieces of journalism that I have ever encountered. It addresses American history as it really is: America pretended to be a democracy at its founding, yet our country practices racism through its laws, policies, systems and institutions. Our nation still wrestles with this conflict of identities. The myth of The Greatest Nation blinds us to the historical, juxtaposed reality of the legacy of slavery, racism and democracy, and the sad, inalienable fact that racism and white supremacy were at the root of this nation’s founding.
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KM
Well, look forward to 4 more years of Trump I guess. The Times' insistence on reducing all of American history to slavery is far more blind and dogmatic than previous narratives which supposedly did not give it enough prominence. The North was already an industrial powerhouse without slavery, and continued to develop with the aid of millions of European immigrants who found both exploitation but also often the American dream, and their descendents were rightly known as the greatest generation. I celebrate a country that was more open to immigrants than most, and that was more democratic than most, rather than obsess about its imperfections, since they pale against the imperfections of every other country on the planet.
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Linda
Aug. 19
@KM Can't let your comments go as the voice of Pittsburgh on this forum, so must register my disagreement with your comments as a different voice in Pittsburgh. FYI, my white immigrant ancestors toiled in the coal mines of western PA, so I'm aware of the work of the European immigrants. But I am grateful to have my eyes opened on many topics through Sunday's paper. Slavery is a deeply shameful chapter in our history. If trying to come to terms with the living legacy of that abominable chapter is "obsessing about its imperfections," then I hope I may be called an obsessive.
African-Americans  anniversaries  commemoration  focus  history  howto  journalism  legacies  newspapers  NYT  photography  slavery  storytelling 
august 2019 by jerryking
Comments to How 5 Data Dynamos Do Their Jobs
I’d like someone to go through the tax data and find out what happened to all the accountants before and after Wang Spreadsheet, Lotus123, and Excel were released. What happened to their earnings, ...
data_scientists  letters_to_the_editor  organizing_data  storytelling  from notes
june 2019 by jerryking
How 5 Data Dynamos Do Their Jobs
June 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Lindsey Rogers Cook.
[Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.]
Reporters from across the newsroom describe the many ways in which they increasingly rely on datasets and spreadsheets to create groundbreaking work.

Data journalism is not new. It predates our biggest investigations of the last few decades. It predates computers. Indeed, reporters have used data to hold power to account for centuries, as a data-driven investigation that uncovered overspending by politicians, including then-congressman Abraham Lincoln, attests.

But the vast amount of data available now is new. The federal government’s data repository contains nearly 250,000 public datasets. New York City’s data portal contains more than 2,500. Millions more are collected by companies, tracked by think tanks and academics, and obtained by reporters through Freedom of Information Act requests (though not always without a battle). No matter where they come from, these datasets are largely more organized than ever before and more easily analyzed by our reporters.

(1) Karen Zraick, Express reporter.
NYC's Buildings Department said it was merely responding to a sudden spike in 311 complaints about store signs. But who complains about store signs?....it was hard to get a sense of the scale of the problem just by collecting anecdotes. So I turned to NYC Open Data, a vast trove of information that includes records about 311 complaints. By sorting and calculating the data, we learned that many of the calls were targeting stores in just a few Brooklyn neighborhoods.
(2) John Ismay, At War reporter
He has multiple spreadsheets for almost every article he works on......Spreadsheets helped him organize all the characters involved and the timeline of what happened as the situation went out of control 50 years ago......saves all the relevant location data he later used in Google Earth to analyze the terrain, which allowed him to ask more informed questions.
(3) Eliza Shapiro, education reporter for Metro
After she found out in March that only seven black students won seats at Stuyvesant, New York City’s most elite public high school, she kept coming back to one big question: How did this happen? I had a vague sense that the city’s so-called specialized schools once looked more like the rest of the city school system, which is mostly black and Hispanic.

With my colleague K.K. Rebecca Lai from The Times’s graphics department, I started to dig into a huge spreadsheet that listed the racial breakdown of each of the specialized schools dating to the mid-1970s.
analyzed changes in the city’s immigration patterns to better understand why some immigrant groups were overrepresented at the schools and others were underrepresented. We mapped out where the city’s accelerated academic programs are, and found that mostly black and Hispanic neighborhoods have lost them. And we tracked the rise of the local test preparation industry, which has exploded in part to meet the demand of parents eager to prepare their children for the specialized schools’ entrance exam.

To put a human face to the data points we gathered, I collected yearbooks from black and Hispanic alumni and spent hours on the phone with them, listening to their recollections of the schools in the 1970s through the 1990s. The final result was a data-driven article that combined Rebecca’s remarkable graphics, yearbook photos, and alumni reflections.

(4) Reed Abelson, Health and Science reporter
the most compelling stories take powerful anecdotes about patients and pair them with eye-opening data.....Being comfortable with data and spreadsheets allows me to ask better questions about researchers’ studies. Spreadsheets also provide a way of organizing sources, articles and research, as well as creating a timeline of events. By putting information in a spreadsheet, you can quickly access it, and share it with other reporters.

(5) Maggie Astor, Politics reporter
a political reporter dealing with more than 20 presidential candidates, she uses spreadsheets to track polling, fund-raising, policy positions and so much more. Without them, there’s just no way she could stay on top of such a huge field......The climate reporter Lisa Friedman and she used another spreadsheet to track the candidates’ positions on several climate policies.
311  5_W’s  behind-the-scenes  Communicating_&_Connecting  data  datasets  data_journalism  data_scientists  FOIA  groundbreaking  hidden  information_overload  information_sources  journalism  mapping  massive_data_sets  New_York_City  NYT  open_data  organizing_data  reporters  self-organization  systematic_approaches  spreadsheets  storytelling  timelines  tools 
june 2019 by jerryking
"Boss: The Black Experience in Business" Explores the History of African American Entrepreneurship Tuesday, April 23 on PBS
Apr 23, 2019 | WNET |

Tying together the past and the present, Boss: The Black Experience in Business explores the inspiring stories of trailblazing African American entrepreneurs and the significant contributions of contemporary business leaders. Stories featured in the film include those of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, publisher John H. Johnson, Motown CEO Berry Gordy, and business pioneer and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis, among others. The film features new interviews with Vernon Jordan, senior managing director of Lazard, Freres & Co. LLC.; Cathy Hughes, CEO and founder of Urban One; Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox and chairman of VEON; Ken Frazier, chairman, president and CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.; Richelieu Dennis, founder, CEO and executive chairman of Sundial Brands; Robert F. Smith, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Managing Partners, LLC; Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr., CEO of Black Enterprise; and John Rogers, CEO and founder of Ariel Investments.

As a capitalist system emerged in the United States, African Americans found ways to establish profitable businesses in numerous industries, including financial services, retail, beauty, music and media.
African-Americans  Berry_Gordy  C.J.Walker  CEOs  documentaries  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  filmmakers  founders  historians  history  inspiration  Kenneth_Frazier  Lazard  Merck  moguls  PBS  Reginald_Lewis  Robert_Smith  storytelling  trailblazers  Vernon_Jordan 
april 2019 by jerryking
What tech hasn’t learnt from science fiction
APRIL 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Elaine Moore.

Never mind the future: where are the books tackling Silicon Valley’s current challenges?

There is a myth that Silicon Valley is stuffed full of nerds who have never picked up a book in their lives. Like a lot of tales about the Valley, it is not true. The tech industry is acutely aware of the value of storytelling.......Whenever a tech founder is asked about their favourite novel it is usually worth paying attention. Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s admires Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.....Jeff Bezos’s is taken by the quiet despair of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day......and Theranos' Elizabeth Holme is attached to Moby-Dick.

It’s true that reading lists on the West Coast tend to skew towards science fiction.......For Silicon Valley, the genre seems to offer both inspiration and validation. .......But the connection between tech companies and sci-fi novels runs deeper. To make their futuristic projects reality, some seek the help of the authors themselves......Less is made of its focus on the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world (jk: sci fi doesn't pay enough attention to the the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world). .....The affection tech founders feel for sci-fi often seems to lack this dimension.....If founders are not paying too much attention to cautionary sci-fi themes, at least some people are. Amazon Go shops can feel like a vision of the future as you pick up milk and walk away, without scanning anything. But cities such as San Francisco have begun to wonder whether cashless shops will end up marginalising the country’s poorest citizens, who do not have access to online bank accounts......does any sci-fi novel offers a way to think about Silicon Valley’s present, as well as its future? The singularity and inter-planetary travel are well covered in literature..... are there book out there that address privacy scandals, electric scooters and $100bn IPOs?
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* Counting Heads' (2005) by David Marusek is a novel set in 2134.
* Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
* Idoru" by William Gibson.
* Count Zero" by William Gibson.
* "Black Mirror" TV series Charlie Brooker.
* The Circle by Dave Eggers.
* ‘Minority Report’ Phil K Dick.
* Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
* Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

People who don't read science fiction (SF) are handicapped in today's world really, because usually they form part of the 99% of humans who are unable to look ahead more than a few months or so and see where society is going. ......Or the people that think Elon Musk is a visionary. He is not a visionary! He is just a smart person, which necessarily includes reading SF, and taking things from there. People who do not read SF think that Musk is the only person on the planet thinking about and developing our future society on Mars...  But there are millions - it's just that he is one of a few billionaires working concretely on it. For example, if you read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, you'd realise that one of the reasons that Elon Musk now has a tunnel boring company is that we will NEED tunnels on Mars... You'd also realise that the TV rights of the trip to Mars will pay for (most of) the cost of the trip... etc. etc. etc.
Amazon_Go  augmented_reality  Ayn_Rand  authors  books  cautionary_tales  Elon_Musk  entrepreneur  fiction  founders  future  futurists  novels  pay_attention  reading_lists  San_Francisco  science_fiction  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  storytelling  virtual_reality  William_Gibson 
april 2019 by jerryking
Dump the PowerPoints and do data properly — or lose money
APRIL 15, 2018 | FT| Alan Smith.

So what can data analysts in organisations do to get their messages heard?

Board members and senior managers certainly need to consider new ways of thinking that give primacy to data. But reasoning with data requires what psychologist Daniel Kahneman describes as “System 2 thinking” — the rational, reasoning self — and a move away from the “gut intuition” of System 1. That’s not an easy culture change to achieve overnight.

Freelance consultant, author and data visualisation expert Andy Kirk believes there is a duty of care on both analysts and their audiences to develop skills, particularly in relation to how data is communicated through an organisation.......many senior managers “neither have the visual literacy nor the confidence to be exposed to [data presentations] they don't understand — and they just don't like change”. Mr Kirk describes it as a kind of “Stockholm syndrome” in data form — “I’ve always had my report designed like this, I don't want anything different”.......data analysts need to nurture their communication skills, taking a responsibility for encouraging change and critical thinking, not just being “the data people”. Acting as agents of change, they need to be effective marketers of their skills and sensitive educators that show a nuanced appreciation of the needs of the business. Organisations that bind data to the business model — and data literacy to the board — will inevitably stand a better chance of achieving long-term change.....The truth is that data in the boardroom enjoys a patchy reputation, typified by dull, overlong PowerPoint presentations. A cynic might suggest that even the most recent addition to boardroom structures — the chief data officer — is used by many boards simply as a device to prevent other members needing to worry about the numbers.

Here are 3 techniques that can be used to encourage progressive change in the boardroom.
(1) Use KPIs that are meaningful and appropriate for answering the central questions about the business and the market it operates in. Try to eliminate “inertia metrics” — i.e. “we report this because we always do”.

(2) Rework boardroom materials so that they encourage board members to read data, preferably in advance of meetings, rather than glance at it during one. This might mean transforming the dreaded PowerPoint deck into something a little more journalistic, a move that will help engage “System 2” thinking.

(3) Above all, be aware of unconscious bias in the boardroom and focus on debunking it. Most of us are poor intuitive statisticians with biases that lurk deep in our “System 1” view of the world. There is insight, value and memorability in the surprise that comes with highlighting our own ignorance — so use data to shine a light on surprising trends, not to simply reinforce that which is already known.
absenteeism  boards_&_directors_&_governance  change  change_agents  Communicating_&_Connecting  Daniel_Kahneman  data  data_driven  gut_feelings  infographics  insights  KPIs  PowerPoint  psychologists  storytelling  surprises  visualization 
april 2018 by jerryking
Piecing Together Narratives From the 0′s and 1′s: Storytelling in the Age of Big Data - CIO Journal. - WSJ
Feb 16, 2018 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Probabilities are inherently hard to grasp, especially for an individual event like a war or an election, ......Why is it so hard for people to deal with probabilities in everyday life? “I think part of the answer lies with Kahneman’s insight: Human beings need a story,”....Mr. Kahneman explained their research in his 2011 bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow. Its central thesis is that our mind is composed of two very different systems of thinking. System 1 is the intuitive, fast and emotional part of our mind. Thoughts come automatically and very quickly to System 1, without us doing anything to make them happen. System 2, on the other hand, is the slower, logical, more deliberate part of the mind. It’s where we evaluate and choose between multiple options, because only System 2 can think of multiple things at once and shift its attention between them.

System 1 typically works by developing a coherent story based on the observations and facts at its disposal. Research has shown that the intuitive System 1 is actually more influential in our decisions, choices and judgements than we generally realize. But, while enabling us to act quickly, System 1 is prone to mistakes. It tends to be overconfident, creating the impression that we live in a world that’s more coherent and simpler than the actual real world. It suppresses complexity and information that might contradict its coherent story.

Making sense of probabilities, numbers and graphs requires us to engage System 2, which, for most everyone, takes quite a bit of focus, time and energy. Thus, most people will try to evaluate the information using a System 1 simple story: who will win the election? who will win the football game?.....Storytelling has played a central role in human communications since times immemorial. Over the centuries, the nature of storytelling has significantly evolved with the advent of writing and the emergence of new technologies that enabled stories to be embodied in a variety of media, including books, films, and TV. Everything else being equal, stories are our preferred way of absorbing information.

“It’s not enough to say an event has a 10 percent probability,” wrote Mr. Leonhardt. “People need a story that forces them to visualize the unlikely event – so they don’t round 10 to zero.”.....
in_the_real_world  storytelling  massive_data_sets  probabilities  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  Communicating_&_Connecting  Daniel_Kahneman  complexity  uncertainty  decision_making  metacognition  data_journalism  sense-making  thinking_deliberatively 
february 2018 by jerryking
Meg Whitman joins Katzenberg’s ‘bite-sized’ video start-up
February 24, 2018 | FT | Tim Bradshaw in Los Angeles and Shannon Bond in New York.

Ms Whitman, the outgoing boss of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and former head of eBay, will become chief executive of a new media venture started by DreamWorks Animation co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. 

The company — provisionally named “NewTV” — has not yet created any content or developed an app. 

“Right now I am the only employee,” Ms Whitman told the Financial Times, “but there is a lot of work [already] done on the business plan and the strategy”.

NewTV’s central idea of creating “premium” short-form video with Hollywood production values was developed at WndrCo, the tech-meets-media holding company co-founded by Mr Katzenberg alongside Ann Daly, former president of DreamWorks Animation, and Sujay Jaswa, Dropbox’s former chief financial officer.

Videos will be up to 10 minutes long and distributed directly to consumers, in a style similar to Netflix.......NewTV plans to ride a wave of change in consumer viewing habits, as eyeballs shift from the big screen to the smartphone. 

Mobile viewing is growing explosively in total minutes and viewing time. And I don’t think the industry is comprehensively serving that up right now....Despite the huge investment in professionally produced online video from the likes of Netflix, Apple, Facebook, Alphabet’s YouTube and Snapchat, Mr Katzenberg and Ms Whitman are betting that none is focusing on “snackable” content for watching on the go. 

“One has to envision this short-form content as a completely new format,” she said. “You can’t take existing content and chop it up, you have to create for this format. That is going to inspire a lot of creativity and a chance to tell stories in a different way.” 

NewTV will develop its content and its technology in concert, to ensure fast loading times and personalised recommendations. “In some ways this will be a data company,”
Meg_Whitman  CEOs  HP  Jeffrey_Katzenberg  NewTV  content  short-form  start_ups  entertainment_industry  digital_media  storytelling  platforms  SaaS  video  bite-sized  snackable  Quibi 
january 2018 by jerryking
‘The Wisdom of Finance’, by Mihir Desai
Review by Gillian Tett

JULY 17, 2017
The Wisdom of Finance offers a thoughtful explanation of how money works that recognises how perverted the industry can be, but which also argues that “there is great value — and there are great values — in finance”.

Desai does this by using a clever and unusual device: literature. Most notably, he explains how money works by citing stories ranging from Chaucer to Jane Austen to the 1988 film Working Girl. He knows that stories are a powerful narrative device. But the wider philosophical point is, Desai argues, that one of the great failings of our modern world is a “chasm” between the arts and science, and between finance and humanities. This prevents financiers from understanding the social context in which they operate. It also means that non-financiers do not understand how finance drives our world, or the fact that money encapsulates and crystallises social patterns and values. “
books  book_reviews  finance  Gillian_Tett  humanities  Mihir_Desai  non-financial  storytelling 
december 2017 by jerryking
Open books, open borders
OCTOBER 20, 2017 | FT| Janan Ganesh.

The globalised Booker also confirms this medium-sized country’s knack for cultural decorations — degrees from its universities, air time on the BBC — that are coveted worldwide. The unfakeable emotion from Saunders and Beatty upon receipt of the prize was a larger compliment to Britain and its soft power than a Booker for one of its own would have been.....There is a strategic imperative to open up that goes beyond the aesthetic one. As the gap narrows between the superpower and the rest, it becomes more important for America to understand the outside world. Better foreign news coverage can help, but mere politics is downstream of culture. The real prize is to comprehend another country’s thought patterns, speech rhythms, historic ghosts and unconscious biases — and these seep out from the stories it tells and the way it tells them....Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker cites the spread of literacy as a reason for the long-term decline of human violence. To read another person’s story is to end up with a larger “circle of sympathy”. But even if America’s concern is the narrowest raison d’état, rather than world peace, it would profit from reading beyond its borders.

The minimum return is that more American readers would have more fun. The headiest writing tends to come from places that are ascendant enough to matter but raw enough to retain some measure of dramatic chaos: 19th-century Britain and Russia, mid-20th-century America, and now, perhaps, early 21st-century Asia. It is not just in economics that protectionism stifles.
books  cosmopolitan  cross-cultural  cultural_products  empathy  fiction  George_Saunders  Janan_Ganesh  literature  Man_Booker  middle-powers  national_identity  novels  open_borders  open_mind  parochialism  prizes  protectionism  reading  soft_power  storytelling  United_Kingdom  writers 
november 2017 by jerryking
How Peloton is Marketing a $2,000 Bike Beyond the Rich - WSJ
By Alexandra Bruell
Oct. 25, 2017

When Carolyn Tisch Blodgett joined fitness startup Peloton as its brand marketing lead a year-and-a-half ago, the company’s executives were focused on promoting the functionality of their product -- a $1,995 stationary bike with an attached tablet and a $39-a-month subscription service for access to live and on-demand classes.

What they were missing, however, was a compelling brand story about the bike’s convenience and its role in connecting riders around the country, largely through a leaderboard that displays rider data, said Ms. Blodgett.

“My challenge over the last year-and-a-half has been telling this brand story,” she said. “We wanted to bring the product to life but also the brand.”

Ms. Blodgett also conducted research showing that the company had been targeting a core, affluent audience, but overlooking a less affluent consumer who was willing to splurge on a convenient fitness habit.

Peloton is now shifting gears with a new financing program ($97 per month for 39 months for both the bike and subscription service), an ad campaign that’s more relatable to a diverse consumer base and an NBC Olympics sponsorship.
Peloton  fitness  storytelling  brand_identity  brands  data_driven  connected_devices  subscriptions  overlooked  overlooked_opportunities  functionality 
october 2017 by jerryking
Katzenberg’s Big Ask: $2 Billion for Short-Form Video Project
OCT. 2, 2017 | The New York Times | By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN.

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s idea of fund-raising is on a very different scale.

Mr. Katzenberg....is trying to raise $2 billion for his new television start-up. That is likely to be the largest first round of financing in history for a digital media company that, at least at the moment, is only a concept swirling around in his head......Mr. Katzenberg, 66, is convinced that his new product, called New TV, can upend the format of television for mobile devices. He wants to create the next-generation version of HBO or Netflix, purpose-built for viewing on phones and tablets with short-form content of premium quality — think of “Game of Thrones” as if each episode had a narrative arc of 10 minutes.

He wants to create big, expensive productions at a cost of $100,000 a minute. (For the sake of comparison, a highly produced minute of programming on YouTube might cost $10,000.)......Mr. Katzenberg’s hunch about the way a huge swath of consumers will watch television in the future is, in all likelihood, right. The number of teenagers and young adults who have their nose pressed to their mobile devices watching video content is startling. Globally, 72 % of all video is viewed on a mobile device, according to Ooyala, a video platform provider.

The question is whether his idea is ahead of its time. And whether he can find the right business model to support such expensive programing.

Mr. Katzenberg is a realist. “We need $2 billion. That’s a high bar,” he said. And he acknowledges that the financial details still need to be worked out. It’s daunting. He needs to build an instant library of content — and a big one.....Mr. Katzenberg’s gamble is being taken seriously because of his long history of success and his provocative thesis about the current television model. “The design and the architecture of the storytelling fit the business paradigm, not the other way around,” he explained, suggesting that shows were made in the format of a half-hour or an hour for business reasons and do not make sense in the world of mobile devices and streaming.....Mr. Katzenberg does not merely want to simply create a studio that specializes in short-form storytelling; he wants to create a platform for it. He is hoping that many of the big television networks both invest and produce content for the service.
Quibi  start_ups  funding  investors  Jeffrey_Katzenberg  entertainment_industry  content  digital_media  storytelling  platforms  SaaS  video  Andrew_Sorkin  DreamWorks  short-form  mobile  streaming  bite-sized 
october 2017 by jerryking
When Jack Daniel’s Failed to Honor a Slave, an Author Rewrote History - The New York Times
By CLAY RISEN AUG. 15, 2017

“It’s absolutely critical that the story of Nearest gets added to the Jack Daniel story,” Mark I. McCallum, the president of Jack Daniel’s Brands at Brown-Forman, said in an interview.

The company’s decision to recognize its debt to a slave, first reported last year by The New York Times, is a momentous turn in the history of Southern foodways. Even as black innovators in Southern cooking and agriculture are beginning to get their due, the tale of American whiskey is still told as a whites-only affair, about Scots-Irish settlers who brought Old World distilling knowledge to the frontier states of Tennessee and Kentucky.

Green’s story changes all that by showing how enslaved people likely provided the brains as well as the brawn in what was an arduous, dangerous and highly technical operation......Mr. May said that so far, visitor response to the new tours spotlighting Green’s contribution has been positive. It’s not hard to see why: At a rough time for race relations in America, the relationship between Daniel and Green allows Brown-Forman to tell a positive story, while also pioneering an overdue conversation about the unacknowledged role that black people, as slaves and later as free men, played in the evolution of American whiskey.
African-Americans  authors  distilleries  history  liquor  origin_story  slavery  storytelling  whiskey  writers 
august 2017 by jerryking
Will Packer Starting Production Company With Backing From Discovery and Universal
JULY 25, 2017 | The New York Times | By MICAH MAIDENBERG.

Mr. Will Packer, 43, is already known as one of the prominent African-American producers in Hollywood, with movies that have grossed more than $1 billion.....best known for his work in movies, including the “Ride Along” films and “The Wedding Ringer.” Now he wants to take aim at consumers using just about every other form of contemporary media.....Packer is starting a new company, Will Packer Media, with backing from Discovery Communications and Universal Pictures. The new entity aims to develop a wide range of programming, from television shows and documentaries to short-form digital videos and advertising campaigns.....telling stories the way that a given story should be told...without having to look at it as one particular type of content for one particular medium.”.....To support the company’s planned advertising campaigns, Will Packer Media bought a marketing and technology company called Narrative that was founded in 2013 by the mogul Russell Simmons and the advertising executive Tricia Clarke-Stone. The company will take the name WP Narrative.

Ms. Clarke-Stone said combining her enterprise with Mr. Packer’s new company would allow for storytelling at the intersection of entertainment, innovation and branding. Working with Mr. Packer, for example, will give her team greater access to Hollywood talent.

“Brands now have a new standard they have to live by,” she said, explaining that they must act as broadcasters, publishers and entertainers. ”That’s the only way to engage with audiences.”
Hollywood  African-Americans  storytelling  movies  packaging  documentaries  short-form  video  producers  television  advertising  Discovery  Universal  films  brands 
july 2017 by jerryking
Seven Tips for Hiring Great Data-Analytics People - The Experts - WSJ
By TOM GIMBEL
May 16, 2017

1. Check references. References may sound basic, but they are crucial.
2. Actual examples. Regardless of their previous role, have them share an example of how they’ve analyzed data in the past. Ask for both the written and oral presentation. You want the person who actually did the heavy lifting, versus the person who only interpreted the information.
3. Take-home projects. Give your candidates a case study to take home and analyze.
4. On-the-spot tests. The best way to tell in real time whether or not a candidate is good at analyzing data is to present them with a data set during the interview and have them share how they would go about drawing conclusions.
5.Challenge the status quo. Talk to the candidate about a flawed process, or something you did that went wrong. Do they challenge or push back on why you went about it a certain way, or suggest a different way?
6. Storytelling. If when explaining a project they worked on, candidates claim to have reduced or increased key metrics, ask why they thought it was successful and what downstream impact it had on the business.
7. Insightfulness. Regardless of the project, whether it was an in-person analysis or report from a take-home assignment, have them walk through how they got to each step. What was their thought process, and are they able to expand on how it would impact business?
data_scientists  hiring  howto  tips  reference-checking  references  storytelling  insights 
may 2017 by jerryking
China gifts luxury a reprieve
29 April/30 April 2017 | FT Weekend | by Harriet Agnew and Tom Hancock

Chinese consumers, the drivers of global luxury for more than a decade, once travelled overseas to the European fashion capitals of Paris, London and Milan to take advantage of lower prices. Now they are increasingly inclined to spend at home. Last year Chinese consumers made two-thirds of their personal luxury goods purchases domestically, compared with roughly a third in 2013, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
.............In an era of lower growth, brands are trying to adapt to changing consumer demands and the disruption of digital while keeping the creative process at the heart of it. “Creativity and audacity is what allows you to elicit desire [and therefore sales] over the long run, telling a story that people want to discover, chapter after chapter,” says François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of Kering.
......Yet brands can no longer rely on opening lots of new stores to fuel growth. Instead they have to keep costs down, revamp their existing stores to make them more profitable, and seek new customers through avenues like digital.

“The business model of luxury has completely changed,” says Erwan Rambourg, global co-head of consumer and retail at HSBC in New York. “Either brands understand that and make the changes themselves, or they don’t and they leave themselves open to activism or M&A.”
.......Compared with other consumer brands, luxury has been late to the digital party. Phoebe Philo, the then creative director at fashion house Céline, told Vogue in 2013 that “the chicest thing is when you don’t exist on Google”. But that view now looks unsustainable.

Six out of 10 sales are digitally influenced, says BCG, which estimates that online commerce will grow from 7 per cent of the global personal luxury market today to 12 per cent by 2020.

Within digital, the holy grail is so-called omnichannel — the ability to offer a seamless experience to customers that blends digital and bricks-and-mortar stores, and includes initiatives like click-and-collect. “Blending the physical and the digital is the future of the online flagship stores,” says Federico Marchetti, chief executive of the YOOX Net-a-Porter Group.

The emphasis is on the customer experience. Net-a-Porter is launching a same-day delivery service in September for its top clients in London called, “You try, we wait.” Customers will be able to try on their online order at home or in the office while the delivery van waits outside.
......As e-commerce gathers steam and groups collect more and more data on their clients, the next stage is machine learning and artificial intelligence, believes Mr Marchetti. In this vision of the future algorithms will act as virtual shopping assistants, suggesting items that the customer might like, “enabling us to speak to each customer on an individual basis rather than to the whole customer base”, he says.

Luxury brands are also increasingly using blogs, online “influencers” and social media platforms such as Instagram to generate visibility and lure potential buyers.

All of this is happening at a time when the definition of what constitutes luxury is expanding beyond physical possessions to include experiences both as a competitor to, and opportunity for, the traditional houses.

“Luxury brands are now competing with the plastic surgeon and the luxury travel agent,” says Mr Rambourg. “For a similar price you can have a Louis Vuitton handbag, a facelift or a trip to the Maldives.”
....“Our pulse is the Chinese customer,” says LVMH’s Mr Guiony: “It made the sector worse a couple of years ago and it has made it better now. We have to be aware of that. Trees don’t grow to the sky.”
/
luxury  brands  China  Chinese  China_rising  consumers  digital_disruption  e-commerce  travel_agents  BCG  growth  LVMH  watches  noughties  Yoox  customer_experience  WeChat  Burberry  digital_influencers  creativity  audacity  storytelling  omnichannel  artificial_intelligence  machine_learning  virtual_assistants  same-day 
may 2017 by jerryking
David McCullough’s History Lessons
April 14, 2017 | WSJ | By Alexandra Wolfe.

David McCullough thinks that the country isn’t in such bad shape. It’s all relative, says the 83-year-old historian and author of such books as the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies “Truman” (1992) and “John Adams” (2001). He points to the Civil War, for instance, when the country lost 2% of its population—that would be more than six million people today—or the flu pandemic of 1918, when more than 500,000 Americans died. “Imagine that on the nightly news,” he says.

History gives us a sense of proportion, he says: “It’s an antidote to a lot of unfortunately human trends like self-importance and self-pity.”.....see history “as an aid to navigation in such troubled, uncertain times,”.....[McCullough] thought back to something that the playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder had said while a fellow at Yale during Mr. McCullough’s undergraduate days. When Wilder heard a good story and wished to see it on the stage, he wrote the play himself. When he wanted to read a book about an interesting event, he wrote it himself.....Even today, Mr. McCullough doesn’t use a computer for research or writing. He still goes to libraries and archives to find primary sources and writes on a typewriter. ...History, he adds, is “often boiled down to statistics and dates and quotations that make it extremely boring.” The key to generating interest, he says, is for professors and teachers to frame history as stories about people.
archives  authors  biographies  Civil_War  contextual  David_McCullough  DIY  flu_outbreaks  Harry_Truman  historians  history  John_Adams  libraries  self-importance  self-pity  sense_of_proportion  storytelling  Pulitzer_Prize 
april 2017 by jerryking
Dancing with Disruption - Mike Lipkin
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By Mike Lipkin
#1. Become someone who knows.....a secret is a formula or knowledge that is only known to a few. If you own a secret, you have the power to share it so you can turn the few into the many. Secrets are everywhere – hiding in plain sight. The difference between someone who knows and someone who doesn’t is the willingness to do the work, find the information, talk to the people and formulate one’s strategy. Be a source of joy and not a source of stress!! Disruption begins long before.....Mastering other people's emotions....Add in a way that thrills and delights others!! Prospective of Personal Mastery....industry connection + internal influence.
# 2. Have an audacious ambition. If you want to be a disruptor, you can be humble, but you can’t be modest. You have to dream big....dream bigger than anything that gets in its way.
#3. Be simultaneously analytical and creative. There may be a gap in the market, but is there a market in the gap? ...Disruption demands left and right brain firing together. Your intuition may alert you to the opportunity but it’s your intellect that builds your business case. That’s why you need wingmen or women to complement your capacity. Fly social not solo.
#4. Be prolific. The more you lose, the more you win. 1.0 is always imperfect. You will hear the word “no” hundreds of times more than the word “yes.” The best way to get ready is to do things before you’re ready. The best you can do is get it as right as you can the first time [i.e. "good enough"] and then get better, stronger, smarter. Disruptors try a lot more things than disruptees. They fail fast and they fail forward. [Practice: repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency.
#5. Communicate like magic. If you want to be a disruptor, you must be a great communicator. ... the right words generate oxytocin – the love hormone, whereas the wrong words generate cortisol, the stress hormone. .... tell your story in a way that opens people’s hearts, minds and wallets to you. Create a vocabulary.
#6. Be a talent magnet. Disruption demands the boldest and brightest partners....The best talent goes where it earns the highest return. Reputation is everything. [What would Mandela do?]
#7. Play like a champion today. Disruptors may not always play at their best but they play their best every day. They bring their A-Game no matter who they’re playing....you feel their intensity and passion. How hard are you hustling on any given day? Everything matters. There is no such thing as small. They’re all in, all the time.
disruption  personal_branding  uncertainty  hard_work  Pablo_Picasso  creativity  intuition  intensity  passions  talent  failure  partnerships  reputation  Communicating_&_Connecting  storytelling  thinking_big  expertise  inequality_of_information  knowledge_intensive  imperfections  audacity  special_sauce  prolificacy  affirmations  unshared_information  good_enough  pairs  Mike_Lipkin  CAIF 
april 2017 by jerryking
Why Andreessen Horowitz Models Itself After A Hollywood Talent Agency - Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJ
By DEBORAH GAGE
Jan 21, 2011

Andreessen Horowitz’s investors, including university endowments, foundations and funds of funds, are also betting big money on the firm’s story, Horowitz says. The firm aims to flip the venture industry on its head by acting more like a talent agency – specifically Creative Artists Agency, which became so prominent in Hollywood that it was hard to do deals without them being involved.

CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz, who served on Opsware’s board from 2000 until H-P’s acquisition in 2007, shared his secrets with the two partners, Horowitz said — even talking to Andreessen Horowitz’s employees when the firm started so that everybody could be on the same page.

Horowitz says he and Andreessen looked hard at everything Ovitz did, “and a lot of little things, we copied,” including even how Ovitz ran staff meetings.

Like CAA – and unlike more traditional venture capital firms – Andreessen Horowitz employs over 20 well-paid partners whose job is to help clients, i.e. the entrepreneurs, much in the same way CAA agents serve the talent.

Instead of book and movie and TV deals, the partners, each specialists in their fields, find engineers, designers, and product managers; the best marketing and public relations; and relationships with key customers – not just top management, but the guys who run the network and the database. They check references, and research companies and markets.

“When we were at Netscape, John Doerr introduced us to the CEO of AT&T,” Horowitz said. “That’s great, but he’s not buying a Web server. If you have no relationship at that level, it’s not as powerful, so we invest a lot in that.”...Like his firm, Horowitz believes every company should have a great story, too, because it motivates employees and helps explain the company to the outside world. “In a company, hundreds of decisions get made, but objectives and goals are thin,” he says. “I emphasize to CEOs, you have to have a story in the minds of the employees. It’s hard to memorize objectives, but it’s easy to remember a story.”
Andreessen_Horowitz  Marc_Andreessen  Ben_Horowitz  creating_valuable_content  Michael_Ovitz  CAA  partnerships  insights  professional_service_firms  talent_representation  storytelling  reference-checking 
march 2017 by jerryking
CBC radio personality and Vinyl Cafe host Stuart McLean dead at 68 - The Globe and Mail
SIMON HOUPT AND MARSHA LEDERMAN
The Globe and Mail (includes correction)
Published Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017
CBC  celebrities  obituaries  Canadiana  storytelling  iconic  cultural_touchpoints 
february 2017 by jerryking
Julie Dash Made a Movie. Then Hollywood Shut Her Out.
NOV. 18, 2016 | The New York Times| By CARA BUCKLEY.

Julie Dash’s 1991 film, “Daughters of the Dust”, about Gullah women on the Sea Islands off the Southeastern United States in the early 1900s who are tugged north by the Great Migration, celebrated its 25th anniversary....Along with reveling in the film’s restoration, rerelease and Beyoncé-borne attention, Ms. Dash was recently inducted, to her delight, into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as part of its effort to diversify its membership....Ms. Dash is still having trouble getting through the door. The agent she eventually ended up with died years ago, and for all her efforts, she said, she has not been able to get another one since.
'90s  African-Americans  anniversaries  Beyoncé  exclusion  filmmakers  films  Great_Migration  Gullah  Hollywood  marginalization  movies  storytelling  trailblazers  women 
november 2016 by jerryking
How to Counter China’s Global Propaganda Offensive -
SEPT. 21, 2016| The New York Times | By MAREIKE OHLBERG and BERTRAM LANG

Above all, it’s crucial to show that it is possible to point out the flaws and failures of current Western political systems without undermining what is valuable about them: pluralism, freedom of speech and the willingness for introspection. Let’s not sacrifice those values by entering into a propaganda war.
propaganda  China  China_rising  Confucius_Institutes  storytelling  counternarratives  Communicating_&_Connecting 
september 2016 by jerryking
The Money Letter That Every Parent Should Write - The New York Times
By RON LIEBER JUNE 17, 2016

"....consider the old-fashioned letter. It’s long enough to tell some tales to bolster your advice, and if it’s written with enough soul, there’s a good chance the recipient will keep it for a long time. Plus, it’s a literal conversation piece, since the good letters will inspire more curiosity about how the writers oversee their own financial affairs....A good letter, according to Ms. Palmer, should include at least one story about a large financial challenge and another one about a big money triumph. Then, include a list of crucial habits and the tangible things they have helped the family achieve.

HEED YOUR IGNORANCE Quite often, the best stories and takeaways come from the biggest mistakes.
BEWARE OF GENIUS: Don’t trust the person who claims to be omniscient either.
STICK TO YOUR SELLING PLANS We can be blinded by flattery from the seats of power,” “Be aware of this in your business lives.” Selling something that is still valuable is the hardest part of any trade, he added. So if you can’t name three good reasons to continue owning something, then it’s time to sell.
BUDGETS ARE ABOUT VALUES. What you spend says a lot about what you stand for, and if you don’t like what your own notebook says about you, try to make it look different next month.
personal_finance  parenting  Communicating_&_Connecting  writing  investing  investors  mentoring  values  budgets  advice  self-discipline  lessons_learned  wisdom  habits  financial_planning  ownership  ignorance  origin_story  takeaways  family  storytelling  financial_challenges  family_office  generational_wealth  soul-enriching  coverletters  unsentimental 
june 2016 by jerryking
The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru - The New York Times
By DAVID SAMUELSMAY 5, 2016

Ben Rhodes walks through the room, a half-beat behind a woman in leopard-print heels. He is holding a phone to his ear, repeating his mantra: “I’m not important. You’re important.”....As the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Rhodes writes the president’s speeches, plans his trips abroad and runs communications strategy across the White House, tasks that, taken individually, give little sense of the importance of his role. ...Rhodes strategized and ran the successful Iran-deal messaging campaign, helped negotiate the opening of American relations with Cuba after a hiatus of more than 50 years and has been a co-writer of all of Obama’s major foreign-policy speeches. ...Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies. ....Price turns to his computer and begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from “senior White House officials” and “spokespeople.....Watching Rhodes work, I remember that he is still, chiefly, a writer, who is using a new set of tools — along with the traditional arts of narrative and spin — to create stories of great consequence on the biggest page imaginable. The narratives he frames, the voices of senior officials, the columnists and reporters whose work he skillfully shapes and ventriloquizes, and even the president’s own speeches and talking points, are the only dots of color in a much larger vision about who Americans are and where we are going that Rhodes and the president have been formulating together over the past seven years. When I asked Jon Favreau, Obama’s lead speechwriter in the 2008 campaign, and a close friend of Rhodes’s, whether he or Rhodes or the president had ever thought of their individual speeches and bits of policy making as part of some larger restructuring of the American narrative, he replied, “We saw that as our entire job.”...The job he was hired to do, namely to help the president of the United States communicate with the public, was changing in equally significant ways, thanks to the impact of digital technologies that people in Washington were just beginning to wrap their minds around.....
Ben_Rhodes  U.S.foreign_policy  Communicating_&_Connecting  policy_tools  White_House  writers  strategic_thinking  storytelling  narratives  speechwriters  Obama  PDB  messaging  Syria  Iraq  Middle_East  novelists 
may 2016 by jerryking
5 Spectacular Marketing Insights From Cirque du Soleil On Customer Intimacy | momentology
By Lisa Lacy, 21st of April 2016 at 14:05 PM.

So how does Cirque du Soleil use get closer to its fans? Here are five marketing insights from Derricks.

1. Be Ready To Ask & Re-Ask Questions

the live entertainment brand isn’t the new kid on the block anymore....undergoing a huge transformation as a result in part of private investment firm TPG acquiring a majority stake last year.

“And what’s fascinating is this inflection point is a chance to re-ask all the questions,” Derricks said. “Everything is back on the table again. Our brand is incredibly strong on stage, but where we’re challenged is what happens beyond the lights and how to interact with you.”

2. Don’t Miss The Marketing Basics
it’s hard for a brand like Cirque du Soleil to simply deliver an app or the like, so “given the crowded market, there’s a lot of basic blocking and tackling as much as finding the next brand new thing. Sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time.”

That means Cirque du Soleil capitalizes on traditional out-of-home tactics like taxi toppers and marquis ads, as well as videos in taxis to create awareness and buzz.

3. Have Smaller Conversations & Tell Stories

Derricks said the brand is hearing from its fans that they want to know more about the performers and what goes on behind the scenes.

“Where we’re challenged is selling the concept of the show itself,” Derricks said. “The most radical thing we can do is to be more intimate. I don’t know if we can be louder, but we can be more intimate and [and bring you] behind the curtain, which is a fascinating new adventure for Cirque du Soleil.

4. Bring People To You

Another part of Cirque du Soleil’s marketing strategy involves breaking down the shows into their component parts and connecting with audiences from there....As a result, the brand has begun experimenting with master classes in fields like makeup and dance.

5. Conduct Team Building Activities

What’s more, noting the circus itself has changed drastically as traditional circuses included acts in which performers were related by blood and were therefore very tightly knit, Derricks said Cirque du Soleil, which includes groups of performers without family ties, had to conjure up its own unique methods of fostering trust....As a result, Cirque du Soleil created Spark Sessions, or corporate experiences for networking, business development and/or milestones, to get other companies involved and to help teach what it has since learned about trust and leadership, "
private_equity  TPG  Guy_Laliberté  entrepreneur  fascination  Cirque_du_Soleil  customer_experience  storytelling  customer_intimacy  LBMA  out-of-home  teams  trustworthiness  brands  insights  outreach  live_performances  corporate_training  inflection_points 
april 2016 by jerryking
The Danger of a Single Story - The New York Times
David Brooks APRIL 19, 2016

American politics has always been prone to single storyism — candidates reducing complex issues to simple fables. This year the problem is acute because Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the giants of Single Storyism. They reduce pretty much all issues to the same single story: the alien invader story....As in life generally, every policy has the vices of its virtues. Aggressive policing cuts crime but increases brutality. There is no escape from trade-offs and tragic situations. The only way forward is to elect people who are capable of holding opposing stories in their heads at the same time, and to reject those who can’t....As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “The test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two diametrically opposed ideas in your head at the same time.”"
David_Brooks  storytelling  public_policy  single_action_bias  critical_thinking  history  philosophy  skepticism  tradeoffs  oversimplification  criminal_justice_system  incarceration  narratives  dual-consciousness  F._Scott_Fitzgerald 
april 2016 by jerryking
Life’s Work
May 2915 | HBR | Alison Beard

"In the business of storytelling, you're looking for originality in the subject and point of view....which ideas feel authentic and new?"

Can curiosity be taught? Some people have more than others, but to use it as a tool takes work. You have to assault a topic kind of like a scientist and ask endless questions.

"But I still had to do what Lew Wasserman told me: Start manufacturing ideas"

"When people look at you, you have a chance to be a leader"
HBR  Brian_Grazer  curiosity  storytelling  films  movies  ideas  idea_generation  Hollywood  books  Communicating_&_Connecting  self-actualization  creativity  creative_renewal  studios  producers  questions  originality  perspectives  authenticity  pitches  independent_viewpoints  personal_accomplishments  creating_valuable_content  Lew_Wasserman 
april 2016 by jerryking
The One Question You Should Ask About Every New Job - The New York Times
Adam Grant DEC. 19, 2015

The culture of a workplace — an organization’s values, norms and practices — has a huge impact on our happiness and success.....
But how do you figure out the culture of a company you’ve never worked for? As Nicole tried to evaluate company cultures, she kept asking the Passover question: “How is this organization different from all other organizations?” And, as with Passover, I told Nicole, the answer should come in the form of a story. Ask people to tell you a story about something that happened at their organization but wouldn’t elsewhere....If you’re still unsure where to work, start asking for stories about one practice that says a lot about a culture — a practice that consumes more than half of the time in big organizations. When people find it productive and enjoyable, that’s a good sign.
new_graduates  job_search  storytelling  organizational_culture  Managing_Your_Career  questions  Adam_Grant 
january 2016 by jerryking
How to pick startup ideas
Slava Akhmechet: cofounder of RethinkDB — an open-source distributed database designed to help developers and operations teams work with unstructured data to build real-time applications.

How to pick startup ideas

25 Feb 2015
ideas  howto  self-deception  storytelling  unstructured_data  competitive_advantage  competition  entrepreneur  start_ups 
november 2015 by jerryking
Q&A: General Electric's Chief Marketing Officer on Storytelling in the Digital Industrial Era | Adweek
Linda Boff says it's GE's "DNA" to adopt new media platforms early. General Electric may be 125 years old, but when it comes to innovative social media campaigns, it's often light-years ahead of most…
GE  Digital  Marketing  Advertising  CMOs  storytelling 
october 2015 by jerryking
What Hollywood Can Teach Us About the Future of Work - NYTimes.com
MAY 5, 2015 | NYT |By ADAM DAVIDSON.

the “Hollywood model.” A project is identified; a team is assembled; it works together for precisely as long as is needed to complete the task; then the team disbands. This short-­term, project-­based business structure is an alternative to the corporate model, in which capital is spent up front to build a business, which then hires workers for long-­term, open-­ended jobs that can last for years, even a lifetime. It’s also distinct from the Uber-­style “gig economy,” which is designed to take care of extremely short-­term tasks, manageable by one person, typically in less than a day....With the Hollywood model, ad hoc teams carry out projects that are large and complex, requiring many different people with complementary skills. The Hollywood model is now used to build bridges, design apps or start restaurants. Many cosmetics companies assemble a temporary team of aestheticians and technical experts to develop new products, then hand off the actual production to a factory, which does have long-­term employees...Our economy is in the midst of a grand shift toward the Hollywood model. More of us will see our working lives structured around short-­term, project-­based teams rather than long-­term, open­-ended jobs...the Hollywood model is a surprisingly good system for many workers too, in particular those with highly-sought-­after skills. Ask Hollywood producers, and they’ll confirm that there are only a limited number of proven, reliable craftspeople for any given task. Projects tend to come together quickly, with strict deadlines, so those important workers are in a relatively strong negotiating position. Wages among, say, makeup and hair professionals on shoots are much higher than among their counterparts at high-­end salons. Similarly, set builders make more than carpenters and electricians working on more traditional construction sites....It’s probably not coincidental that the Hollywood model is ascendant at a time when telling stories, broadly speaking, is at the heart of American business.The Hollywood system offers another advantage for workers: Every weekend’s box-­office results provide new information about which skills in their field are valuable. ....The Hollywood model isn’t good news for everybody. It clearly rewards education and cultural fluency, which are not distributed evenly throughout the population.
trends  Hollywood  storytelling  teams  project_management  market_intelligence  automation  Communicating_&_Connecting  Managing_Your_Career  gig_economy  ad_hoc  dissolutions  short-term  on-demand  short-lived 
may 2015 by jerryking
Data Storytelling: The Ultimate Collection of Resources — Juice Analytics
April 19, 2013
Data Storytelling: The Ultimate Collection of Resources
Zach Gemignani
data  storytelling  visualization 
april 2015 by jerryking
The Toronto Poetry Map: See (and read) a new way of exploring the city - The Globe and Mail
MARK MEDLEY
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 13 2015

The Toronto Poetry Map captures the city in words. Click on an area and you’ll be presented with an excerpt, or several, from works referencing the street, or landmark, or neighbourhood....“The metaphysical Toronto is what we actually see in this map,” says Clarke. “The Toronto that’s conjured up by our imaginations as we ponder the reality of our existence here.”
poems  poetry  poets  Toronto  mapping  metaphysical  neighbourhoods  streetscapes  storytelling  imagination  landmarks 
april 2015 by jerryking
Four Ways to Innovate Through Analogies - WSJ - WSJ
By JOHN POLLACK
Nov. 7, 2014 | WSJ |

Here are four rules for innovating through analogy.

(1) Question conventional analogies. Always kick the tires on the analogies you encounter or consider. Some analogies ring true at first but fall apart on closer examination.
(2) Explore multiple analogies. No matter how seductive an analogy may be, be sure to examine several others before deciding which one might be most useful. Usually, more than one analogy can shed light on a given situation.
(3) Look to diverse sources. The art of analogy flows from creative re-categorization and the information that we extract from surprising sources
(4) Simplify. Similarly, Steve Jobs recognized that the digital “desktop,” first developed but unappreciated at Xerox PARC, was an analogy with the potential to make computers accessible to millions of people—an insight he put to work when he launched the first Mac.
storytelling  pattern_recognition  innovation  analogies  simplicity  Charles_Darwin  theory  theory_of_evolution  conventional_wisdom  Steve_Jobs  under_appreciated  Xerox 
november 2014 by jerryking
Bill Ackman and His Hedge Fund, Betting Big - NYTimes.com
By ALEXANDRA STEVENSON and JULIE CRESWELLOCT. 25, 2014

“We certainly have to make bigger investments, that’s definitely true. But not riskier investments.” Asked about failures, like the Target bet, he sighed deeply. “Target was a bad investment,” he said, “but out of 30 investments, I don’t know of another investor with as high a batting average.”...Mr. Ackman’s role as an activist hedge fund investor is to persuade other shareholders that he knows how to run companies better than current management does. This involves research, argument and, perhaps most important, a sensitivity to how every pronouncement and gesture will be perceived....“I said, the next time I have a really good idea, I’m not going to listen just because someone is older than me.” Mr. Ackman continued, “It’s not going to stop me from going forward.”...His first foray into activist short-selling was in the spring of 2002, when he released a 48-page, scrupulously researched paper criticizing the management and reserve levels of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation....At Gotham, he learned that he needed research and a story. At Pershing, he perfected the skill of telling that story to an audience of shareholders, corporate directors and the news media.... he has spent $50 million just on research and legal fees for his campaign ...
William_Ackman  hedge_funds  storytelling  Communicating_&_Connecting  big_bets  shareholder_activism 
october 2014 by jerryking
My eBay MBA: a dozen business lessons from online auctions - FT.com
August 25, 2014 | FT | By Lucy Kellaway.
My eBay MBA: a dozen business lessons from online auctions.

1. Trust is vital . . .
2. Consumers are sometimes irrational
3 . . . and sometimes dead sensible
4. Jargon and hyperbole subtract value
5. Spelling matters
6. Accentuate warts
7. Arbitrage opportunities are plentiful
8. Do something you love
9. Study the data
10. The human touch is vital
11 Innovation is overrated
12. Tell stories
What they don’t teach you at eBay Business School . . .
. . . is how to network.
eBay  lessons_learned  Lucy_Kellaway  auctions  networking  overrated  trustworthiness  storytelling  irrationality  spelling  arbitrage  jargon  online_auctions 
august 2014 by jerryking
Getting Started in ‘Big Data’ - The CFO Report - WSJ
February 4, 2014 | WSJ |by JAMES WILLHITE.

executives and recruiters, who compete for talent in the nascent specialty, point to hiring strategies that can get a big-data operation off the ground. They say they look for specific industry experience, poach from data-rich rivals, rely on interview questions that screen out weaker candidates and recommend starting with small projects.

David Ginsberg, chief data scientist at business-software maker SAP AG , said communication skills are critically important in the field, and that a key player on his big-data team is a “guy who can translate Ph.D. to English. Those are the hardest people to find.”

Along with the ability to explain their findings, data scientists need to have a proven record of being able to pluck useful information from data that often lack an obvious structure and may even come from a dubious source. This expertise doesn’t always cut across industry lines. A scientist with a keen knowledge of the entertainment industry, for example, won’t necessarily be able to transfer his skills to the fast-food market.

Some candidates can make the leap. Wolters Kluwer NV, a Netherlands-based information-services provider, has had some success in filling big-data jobs by recruiting from other, data-rich industries, such as financial services. “We have found tremendous success with going to alternative sources and looking at different businesses and saying, ‘What can you bring into our business?’ ” said Kevin Entricken, the company’s chief financial officer.
massive_data_sets  analytics  data_scientists  cross-industry  recruiting  howto  poaching  plain_English  connecting_the_dots  storytelling  SAP  Wolters_Kluwer  expertise  Communicating_&_Connecting  unstructured_data  war_for_talent  talent  PhDs  executive_search  artificial_intelligence  nontraditional 
june 2014 by jerryking
Sponsor Generated Content: 4 Industries Most in Need of Data Scientists
June 16, 2014 12:00 am ET
4 Industries Most in Need of Data Scientists
NARRATIVESby WSJ. Custom Studios for SAS

Agriculture
Relying on sensors in farm machinery, in soil and on planes flown over fields, precision agriculture is an emerging practice in which growing crops is directed by data covering everything from soil conditions to weather patterns to commodity pricing. “Precision agriculture helps you optimize yield and avoid major mistakes,” says Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank in Washington, D.C. For example, farmers traditionally have planted a crop, then applied fertilizer uniformly across entire fields. Data models allow them to instead customize the spread of fertilizer, seed, water and pesticide across different areas of their farms—even if the land rolls on for 50,000 acres.

Finance
Big data promises to discover better models to gauge risk, which could minimize the likelihood of scenarios such as the subprime mortgage meltdown. Data scientists, though, also are charged with many less obvious tasks in the financial industry, says Bill Rand, director of the Center for Complexity in Business at the University of Maryland. He points to one experiment that analyzed keywords in financial documents to identify competitors in different niches, helping pinpoint investment opportunities.

Government
Government organizations have huge stockpiles of data that can be applied against all sorts of problems, from food safety to terrorism. Joshua Sullivan, a data scientist who led the development of Booz Allen Hamilton’s The Field Guide to Data Science, cites one surprising use of analytics concerning government subsidies. “They created an amazing visualization that helped you see the disconnect between the locations of food distribution sites and the populations they served,” Sullivan says. “That's the type of thing that isn't easy to see in a pile of static reports; you need the imagination of a data scientist to depict the story in the data.”

Pharma
Developing a new drug can take more than a decade and cost billions. Data tools can help take some of the sting out, pinpointing the best drug candidates by scanning across pools of information, such as marketing data and adverse patient reactions. “We can model data and prioritize which experiments we take [forward],” Sullivan says. “Big data can help sort out the most promising drugs even before you do experiments on mice. Just three years ago that would have been impossible. But that's what data scientists do—they tee up the right question to ask.”
drug_development  precision_agriculture  farming  data_scientists  agriculture  massive_data_sets  data  finance  government  pharmaceutical_industry  product_development  non-obvious  storytelling  data_journalism  stockpiles 
june 2014 by jerryking
Ad executive Winston Binch preaches the importance of invention - The Globe and Mail
May. 15 2014 | The Globe and Mail | SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER.

Q: You spoke about the way advertising is migrating more toward inventing things – a big trend for advertisers looking to get noticed.

A: Agencies have been making products for a long time. Alcohol brands have been invented by plenty of agencies, for example. But it used to be an idea and you’d outsource the production. What’s different now is a lot more of it is technology, it’s digitally based. That requires new people in the building. ... There’s a lot of talk about invention right now in advertising. It’s startup culture."....The difficult thing is selling [invention/innovation] to clients. A lot of our clients all know they need to do it, and they want to, but it’s hard to find room for it given the demands of their businesses, particularly the Fortune 500s. ... They’re more concerned with short term than long term. Innovation is seen as a long-term thing. And also hasn’t been in marketing organizations; usually IT, product design and R&D, not the marketing side. How do we sell more invention products to our clients?
Susan_Krashinsky  inventions  advertising  advertising_agencies  hard_to_find  data_driven  digital_media  long-term  innovation  ideas  storytelling  experimentation  Fortune_500  product_development  large_companies 
may 2014 by jerryking
Felix Salmon is leaving Reuters for the Fusion network because the future of media is “post text” — Tech News and Analysis
by Mathew Ingram

Financial and media blogger Felix Salmon says he is leaving Reuters to join Fusion, a cable channel co-owned by ABC and Univision, because the future of storytelling and communication is not in text but in video, animation and other digital experiments
appointments  start_ups  future  Communicating_&_Connecting  Mathew_Ingram  Reuters  storytelling  finance  digital_media  web_video  journalism  CATV  animation  Felix_Salmon  visual_culture 
april 2014 by jerryking
The Power of 'Thick' Data - WSJ.com
By
Christian Madsbjerg and
Mikkel B. Rasmussen
March 21, 2014

companies that rely too much on the numbers, graphs and factoids of Big Data risk insulating themselves from the rich, qualitative reality of their customers' everyday lives. They can lose the ability to imagine and intuit how the world—and their own businesses—might be evolving. By outsourcing our thinking to Big Data, our ability to make sense of the world by careful observation begins to wither, just as you miss the feel and texture of a new city by navigating it only with the help of a GPS.

Successful companies and executives work to understand the emotional, even visceral context in which people encounter their product or service, and they are able to adapt when circumstances change. They are able to use what we like to call Thick Data.
thick_data  massive_data_sets  Lego  ethnography  visceral  storytelling  social_data  observations  Samsung  consumer_research  imagination  skepticism  challenges  problems  sense-making  emotions  contextual 
march 2014 by jerryking
Finding gems of insight from customer data
Dec. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by AMANDA HAY.

"Albert Einstein – “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” It’s not enough to be able do the calculations, build the models, run the analyses, you have to be able to articulate and justify your methods simply. Clients want insights they can use to generate revenue. Understanding your client’s business is key so that you can communicate with them in meaningful terms."
customer_loyalty  customer_insights  massive_data_sets  Aimia  loyalty_management  data  analytics  Albert_Einstein  insights  Communicating_&_Connecting  storytelling 
december 2013 by jerryking
To Persuade People, Tell Them a Story - WSJ.com
Nov. 9, 2013 | WSJ | By Dennis Nishi.

"Lead With a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire.

* Use far fewer slides. Use a lot more anecdotes
* Turn presentations into stories that your audience can relate to, instead of lecturing them on what needs changing.
* Judge performance on the quality of questions being asked and the quality of feedback received.
* Being an effective storyteller requires preparation.
* Move beyond facts and figures, which aren't as memorable as narratives, says Cliff Atkinson, author of "Beyond Bullet Points."
* Many people in business think raw data is persuasive. But when you're dealing with people from other departments and in different fields who don't understand how you got that data, you can lose them pretty quickly. * Step back and put yourself into their shoes and take them through the process of understanding," "Distill the most important facts and wrap them in an engaging story."
* Find ways to connect with your audience on an emotional level, Neuroscientists have discovered that most decisions—whether people realize it or not—are informed by emotional responses. Do legwork to find significant events in your audience's lives or your own that you can base your story on or use to reinforce your points.
* Insert anecdotes about taking care of a sick family member or a memorable customer story, says Mr. Smith, author of "Lead With a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire."
* Organize your story into three acts and starting by establishing context. You want to let your audience know who the main characters are, what the background of the story is, and what you'd like to accomplish by telling it, he says. Open, for example, by describing a department that's consistently failed to meet sales goals.
* Move on to how your main character—you or the company—fights to resolve the conflicts that create tension in the story. Success may require the main character to make additional capital investments or take on new training. Provide real-world examples and detail that can anchor the narrative, he advises.
* The ending should inspire a call to action, since you are allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions about your story versus just telling them what to do. Don't be afraid to use your own failures in support of your main points.
* Whatever you do, don't preface your story with an apology or ask permission to tell it. Be confident that your story has enough relevance to be told and just launch into it. Confidence and authority, he says, help to sell the idea to your audience.
storytelling  presentations  Communicating_&_Connecting  persuasion  books  P&G  howto  pitches  buy-in  large_companies  emotional_commitment  narratives  self-confidence  preparation  empathy  seminal_moments  contextual  think_threes  anecdotal 
november 2013 by jerryking
'12 Years a Slave,' and Historians' Problems with Slave Narratives : The New Yorker
October 23, 2013
Slavery’s Shadow
Posted by Annette Gordon-Reed

The historian’s task is to recognize this truth, figure out what problems are inherent to each form of evidence, and find ways, if possible, to surmount them. Take that most cherished of historical documents, the family letter. Letter writers often used the medium to create a pictures of what their families were like, and to illustrate what role they played in the family. Sometimes the picture was good. Sometimes it was bad. But the family letter is always subjective, and carries with it the problems that go along with all subjective judgments. We must be wary of them—not reject them out of hand but, rather, recognize their limitations.

What do we do to satisfy ourselves that any critical or important information contained in a family letter, or in any letter, is reliable? We look for evidence outside of the document, preferably created by someone other than the letter writer, to support what it says. If the letter presents information that we have no good reason to question—if the writer is not saying anything that is fantastical, or which contradicts other known information—we tend to accept its assertions. There is only so much time in the day and in life. The same process can be, and has been, followed with slave narratives.
slavery  storytelling  historians  history  critical_thinking  problems 
october 2013 by jerryking
Advice to Start-ups: Stack the Deck | Inc.com
October 2013 | Inc. Magazine | BY Eric Paley.

As for entrepreneurs, my advice is to discourage your team from writing prose whenever possible. If you want to tell a story, tell it in a compelling and concise narrative slide deck
Communicating_&_Connecting  presentations  howto  start_ups  visualization  infographics  concision  storytelling 
october 2013 by jerryking
Tom Clancy knew that it was all about the story
Oct. 04 2013 | The Globe and Mail | ROBERT WIERSEMA

Late one afternoon, two men came into the store, clearly American in that slightly louder-talking, slightly bigger-than-life way that stands out in unassuming Victoria. They wandered the store for a bit before stopping at the display of Tom Clancy’s then-newest paperback, The Sum of All Fears.

One of the men brought a copy to the cash desk. Rather than pulling out his wallet, though, he asked to borrow a pen. Flipping the book open, he signed the title page, along with a note, something along the lines of: “Thank you for your support.”

He slid the book back across the desk to me with a small smile. And then, without another word, Tom Clancy left the store.

That casually bad-ass blend of hubris and humility was my one personal encounter with Clancy.....Clancy was one of a group of authors that included the recently departed and much-missed Elmore Leonard and Ray Bradbury, among others, who reminded me of the values of storytelling, the virtues of characterization, plot and wonder – elements that were either overlooked or looked down upon in the English department.
Tom_Clancy  covert_operations  espionage  authors  tributes  obituaries  writers  storytelling  virtues  characterization  plot  wonder 
october 2013 by jerryking
New Book Erects Photographic Shrine to Apple - WSJ.com
October 3, 2013 | WSJ | By BETSY MCKAY.

New Book Erects Photographic Shrine to Apple
"Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation," documents every Apple product ever created, from the Apple I computer to the iPad mini
photography  books  Apple  gift_ideas  storytelling  organizational_culture  heritage  history 
october 2013 by jerryking
Why empathy is an economic necessity - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013

The world is full of wonderfully engineered, but poorly designed products – with no eye for how the average person might use it. This highlights a certain quality that isn’t taught in business schools but can make a huge difference for companies developing new products: empathy.

Empathy is the ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes. It’s far more than just being a nice person. If properly developed, empathy can give you and your company a distinct competitive edge. Negotiating a contract, dealing with workplace conflicts, coming up with a marketing campaign, or dreaming up the next must-have consumer gadget all require the ability to see the world through eyes that aren’t your own.

Sadly, managers and human resource departments too often neglect the interpersonal skills that are so essential to achieving results. Along with other aptitudes such as story-telling and creativity, empathy is underappreciated by many in the corporate board room. The fact that we even call them “soft” skills implies that they’re less important....The ability to see the world through the eyes of others is an economic imperative. If empathy were given the attention it deserves, companies would find new ways to please their customers. Innovators would dream up systems that save time and money. Conflicts would be resolved more easily. And maybe – just maybe – engineers would design products that are simple to use.
empathy  product_development  design  skills  storytelling  Todd_Hirsch  UX  usability  competitive_advantage  under_appreciated  people_skills  new_products  interpersonal_interactions  soft_skills  delighting_customers  product_design  economic_imperatives  must-have_experience 
august 2013 by jerryking
Meet Bloomberg's data-driven Daniel Doctoroff
Aug. 09 2013 | The Globe and Mail |JOANNA SLATER.

Mr. Doctoroff’s job, as deputy mayor for economic development, would include rebuilding the site and pushing ahead with projects envisaged in the Olympic bid....Founded by Mr. Bloomberg in 1982, the firm grew into a global juggernaut that disrupted every field it touched, from market data to financial journalism....Mr. Doctoroff had a yen for precision and a belief in the power of data. To eliminate clutter on his desk, he never touches a piece of paper twice. “I either delegate something, I dump it, or I deal with it,”...Mr. Doctoroff’s mission at Bloomberg is twofold. The first is to sell more terminals – a subscription service that costs more than $20,000 (U.S.) a year per person and offers access to an expanding universe of data, analytical tools and news. Last year was a tough one for terminal sales; Wall Street firms continued to shed staff in what Mr. Doctoroff describes as “the fourth year of post-financial crisis adjustment.”

The second task is to lead the company into other areas and make those investments pay off. Bloomberg has launched what it hopes will become indispensable data products for fields like law and government and also for back-office personnel within finance. Then there’s the media business, which includes a news service, television, radio and magazines, among them Bloomberg Businessweek, which was purchased in 2009. Businessweek still isn’t profitable, but it’s losing much less money than it used to. The magazine, like the rest of the news operation, serves another objective in the Bloomberg ecosystem, Mr. Doctoroff said: heightening the firm’s profile so it can attract more market-moving scoops, which in turn helps to sell more terminals....On his career path: I believe we’re all endowed with a very small set of narrow skills that make us unique. You’ve got to find what that is. Most often what you truly understand makes you unique is something that you’re also going to build passion around. For me – and I didn’t really discover this until I was in my 40s, the line that connected the dots … [is] seeing patterns in numbers that enable me to tell a compelling story which helps to solve a problem. So whether it is helping a candidate get elected or doing a road show for a company, getting a project done in New York or hopefully setting a vision for a company, it’s that narrow skill.
New_York_City  Bloomberg  data_driven  precision  CEOs  organizational_culture  Wall_Street  private_equity  digital_media  disruption  privately_held_companies  Michael_Bloomberg  fin-tech  journalism  pattern_recognition  career_paths  gtd  mayoral  Daniel_Doctoroff  storytelling  product_launches  sense-making  leadership  insights  leaders  statistics  persuasion  ratios  analogies  back-office  connecting_the_dots  scoops  financial_journalism  financial_data  special_sauce  non-routine  skills 
august 2013 by jerryking
The Secret Life of Data in the Year 2020
July-August 2012 | World Future Society Vol. 46, No. 4 |By Brian David Johnson.

A futurist for Intel shows how geotags, sensor outputs, and big data are changing the future. He argues that we need a better understanding of our relationship with the data we produce in order to build the future we want....Data is only useful and indeed powerful when it comes into contact with people.

This brings up some interesting questions and fascinating problems to be solved from an engineering standpoint. When we are architecting these algorithms, when we are designing these systems, how do we make sure they have an understanding of what it means to be human? The people writing these algorithms must have an understanding of what people will do with that data. How will it fit into their lives? How will it affect their daily routine? How will it make their lives better?...the only way to make sense of all this complex information—by viewing data, massive data sets, and the algorithms that really utilize big data as being human. Data doesn’t spring full formed from nowhere. Data is created, generated, and recorded. And the unifying principle behind all of this data is that it was all created by humans. We create the data, so essentially our data is an extension of ourselves, an extension of our humanity.
future  data  algorithms  Intel  sensors  massive_data_sets  storytelling  ethnography  questions  sense-making 
july 2013 by jerryking
How to Think Big,
April 11, 2013 | Businessweek | by 'Titanic' Replica Builder Clive Palmer.

There are no barriers to having great ideas and thinking big. Whether rich or poor, privileged or disadvantaged, everybody is capable of changing their lives and the lives of others by thinking big. It takes imagination, courage, and the will to work hard. Don’t listen to the knockers and the critics, the naysayers and the negativity. To my knowledge, nobody ever built a monument to a critic. They come and go, but big ideas last forever. The great John F. Kennedy said words to this effect: “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”

I’ve had my share of failures along the way, but they’ve only made me stronger and smarter and the successes all the more sweet. The secret to thinking big is capturing the imagination of the people. That’s where the power lies. It’s like harnessing the tide. If you can cultivate the right idea that resonates on an individual level, it will surge through the population like a wave. The best ideas are highly contagious. They can cross borders and cultures.
ideas  thinking  howto  storytelling  persuasion  virality  idea_generation  chutzpah  failure  individual_initiative  ideaviruses  moonshots  negativity_bias  imagination  courage  hard_work  thinking_big  JFK 
july 2013 by jerryking
The Family Stories That Bind Us — This Life - NYTimes.com
By BRUCE FEILER
Published: March 15, 2013

The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative..... Psychologists have found that every family has a unifying narrative, he explained, and those narratives take one of three shapes.

First, the ascending family narrative: “Son, when we came to this country, we had nothing. Our family worked. We opened a store. Your grandfather went to high school. Your father went to college. And now you. ...”

Second is the descending narrative: “Sweetheart, we used to have it all. Then we lost everything.”

“The most healthful narrative,” Dr. Duke continued, “is the third one. It’s called the oscillating family narrative: ‘Dear, let me tell you, we’ve had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. You had an uncle who was once arrested. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we always stuck together as a family.’ ”

Dr. Duke said that children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.... Any number of occasions work to convey this sense of history: holidays, vacations, big family get-togethers, even a ride to the mall. The hokier the family’s tradition, he said, the more likely it is to be passed down. He mentioned his family’s custom of hiding frozen turkeys and canned pumpkin in the bushes during Thanksgiving so grandchildren would have to “hunt for their supper,” like the Pilgrims.
bouncing_back  Communicating_&_Connecting  family  family_breakdown  family_trees  generational_wealth  legacies  mission_statements  narratives  origin_story  resilience  sense-of-belonging  storytelling  the_single_most_important  values 
june 2013 by jerryking
Humanity takes millions of photos every day. Why are most so forgettable? - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 21 2013 | The Globe and Mail | IAN BROWN.

In what should be a golden age of photography, our preoccupation with technical brilliance, technique, and technological advances is overwhelming our ability to collectively use our cameras to tell the simplest of stories...As a result, Ian and his fellow judges at the 2013 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival photography competition to tell a visual story--a photo essay--about wildlife or wilderness, declined to identify a winner--or even a runner-up--from 500 entries....none of them managed to tell the simplest of stories.

A story is a cohesive account of events in which something is at stake – a beginning, middle and end tied together with characters, scenes and details (long shots, mid-shots, closeups) that lead to a climax and resolution (or not). A story is content.

Even the entries that were remotely in the neighbourhood of telling a story – and most were hopelessly lost – were edited incomprehensibly. (Not experimentally. Incomprehensibly.) In other words, if photographic sequences evoke no perceptible story, they have no significance.

* Don't try to compensate for a lack of vision with a bag of technological tricks.
* Don't take photographs because you can. First, determine if you should (i.e. will there be story?). Think--pretend the resource you're consuming is finite.
* Don't sit down awaiting to be entertained, go out and seek a story.

We crave the instant gratification and collective approval that the Internet deals out to us and photograbs are the fastest way to get it, the visual equivalent of a hypodermic drip....The Online Photographer, the blog of Mike Johnston, a digital photographer who writes about his attempts – his successes, but more often his failures – to tell cogent and moving stories in pictures. It’s the struggle that makes visual work interesting....“Time changes the image.” allowing photos that didn't like to become favourites and vice versa....Good pictures that tell a story, he said, are always about other people. But when “everybody with a phone thinks they’re a photographer,” the result is “the autobiographical and the narcissistic.”

Ian fears for organizations such as the Chicago Sun-Times, which last month laid off all of its camera pros in favour of cheaper, crowd-sourced iPhonography. They will get what they pay for.
storytelling  photography  contests  digital_media  information_overload  curation  narcissism  Banff  failure  visual_culture  finite_resources  instant_gratification  constraints  problem_framing  golden_age 
june 2013 by jerryking
Forget the budget numbers. Tell a story - The Globe and Mail
DON DRUMMOND

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Mar. 13 2013
Don_Drummond  storytelling  budgets 
march 2013 by jerryking
Luvo Ntezo, South Africa's Rising Wine Star | The Shift - WSJ.com
January 17, 2013 |WSJ| By TOM DOWNEY.

South Africa's Sommelier
Eight years ago, Luvo Ntezo was working as a dishwasher. Now, as Cape Town's most trusted authority on wine, he's a symbol of the country's distinctive postapartheid viniculture...Ntezo's story isn't just inspiring—it also offers insight into a remarkable development in South Africa's viniculture. During apartheid, boycotts targeting the country's racist policies had isolated its wine-making industry from the rest of the world, which meant that modern cultivation techniques, foreign varietals and rich export markets were all effectively off-limits. In the postapartheid era, the wine market has broadened and expanded—importing vines and growing methods— radically improving the wine made there.

Even so, Ntezo has to introduce wine to drinkers who may know little or nothing about Bordeaux, Riesling or Pinot Noir. His approach is simple: Wine can't just be about taste, color and mouth feel. It must also tell a story. "When I serve Grangehurst's Nikela, of course I want people to notice the blend of grapes," says Ntezo. "But I also tell them that Nikela means 'tribute' in the Xhosa language, that winemaker Jeremy Walker created this wine as a memorial to his parents and that he bottled his first batch of Grangehurst on their former squash court in Stellenbosch. That's something they'll always remember and associate with the wine." It's sommelier as storyteller, a role for which Ntezo is well suited as he confidently looks down over his spectacles at customers more than twice his age.
wines  South_Africa  Cape_Town  storytelling  curators  Stellenbosch  sommeliers  viniculture 
january 2013 by jerryking
Change or die: could adland be the new Detroit?
Feb 18, 2011|Campaign |Amelia Torode (head of strategy and innovation at VCCP and the chair of the IPA Strategy Group) and Tracey Follows ( head of planning at VCCP)...

As the world changed with the globalisation of markets, the transformative power of digital technologies and a shift in consumer demand, the automotive industry and the city of Detroit did not. At a fundamental level, nothing changed. Detroit failed to adapt, failed to evolve.

We have started to ask ourselves: is adland the new Detroit?

Data: find stories in numbers

It's time to reimagine our role. We're no longer solving problems but investigating mysteries; no longer taking a brief, rather taking on a case. Like a detective, we start with behaviour, looking for patterns and anomalies. We assume that what we're being told is not entirely the "truth" so search for information that is given from various perspectives and tend to believe our eyes more than our ears.

Imagine the implications for how we approach data. Seen through the lens of "mystery", we're not simply seeing data as a stream of numbers but as a snapshot of behaviour and an insight into human nature. What we do with data is the same thing we do when we sit on a park bench or at a pavement café - people-watching,albeit from desktops. It's human stories hidden within numbers, and it takes away the fear that surrounds "big data".
shifting_tastes  data-driven  data_journalism  Detroit  advertising_agencies  data  storytelling  massive_data_sets  adaptability  evolution  United_Kingdom  Publicis  managing_change  sense-making  insights  behaviours  patterns  anomalies  assumptions  automotive_industry  human_experience  curiosity  consumer_behavior 
december 2012 by jerryking
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