SUMMARY: We live in an age of “infosmog.” From the moment we wake up to the last time we check our phones or turn off the TV before bed, thousands of ads, social media posts and news stories, both fake and real, compete for our attention. This is the attention economy – a fiercely competitive market in which brands attempt to outshout their rivals in a bid to get us to notice their messages. The result? A chaotic jumble of data that most consumers just can’t cope with, and the increasing popularity of ad blockers designed to silence this cacophony.
SUMMARY: Seth Godin is a great marketing blogger but his view of marketing is often idealistic. To Seth marketing should tell stories even though consumers today don’t have the time or patience for stories. Today consumers want a good product at a fair price they don’t want to listen to stories that, to them, don’t change the fact that the frozen pizza brand they’re buying is more expensive and taste like cardboard.
In Summary: Facebook has taken advantage of our trust, using sophisticated techniques to prey, on the weakest aspects of human psychology, to gather and exploit private data, and to craft business models that do not protect users from harm. They continue to deflect, avoid and act as if more code is the answer to everything yet users love the site and don’t care that hey may have helped elect the most irresponsible administration in history.
KEY TAKEAWAY: We all want to be responsible for the success of our brand or product but it’s almost impossible to get any work done in most organizations. There are two primary reasons: (1) The workday is being sliced into tiny, fleeting work moments by an onslaught of physical and virtual distractions. And (2) an unhealthy obsession with growth at any cost sets towering, unrealistic expectations that stress people out.
- Seth says “It’s time to do something else with marketing. To make things better” but would consumers agree?
- “Marketing has changed, but our understanding of what we’re supposed to do next hasn’t kept up’.
- While Seth believes that marketing “needs to solve a problem” this isn’t always true.
Key Idea: Profit-sharing plans for rank-and-file employees are vanishing as corporate America has adopted a “shareholders above all else” approach. Companies like Amazon.com have been built on the backs of warehouse workers who toil away in abominable conditions under huge amounts of stress.
- For half a century, bankers and venture capitalists have been told that they are the only ones who matter, that companies exist solely to deliver the biggest possible return to them. That’s the gospel of shareholder capitalism, the doctrine created by Milton Friedman.
- CEOs, under pressure from management consultants, business gurus, and academics, push employees beyond their limits.
- Tech companies do not see high turnover as a problem. They are proud of it. They considered it a badge of honor. It demonstrates that the company has a “high-performance culture” where only the best of the best survive.
- The modern workplace are actually worse than the old companies they are replacing. They are digital sweatshops, akin to the brutal textile mills and garment factories from more than a century ago.
- They work for managers who are young, inexperienced, and undertrained—or sometimes completely untrained. They are exposed to brainwashing techniques, force-fed notions about “culture,” and informed that their success hinges on their ability to fit in with the others, but that the others didn’t like them. They were told that they were failing, but not told how or why.