Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

12th October 2018

By Tim Harford. ‘Why big companies squander brilliant ideas.’ ‘J F C Fuller did not invent the tank. That distinction should probably fall to E L de Mole, an Australian who approached the British war office in 1912 with a design that was — in the words of historians Kenneth Macksey and John Batchelor — “so convincingly similar to those which finally went into service that one wonders why it was never adopted from the outset’.

The very smart Rosie and Faris Yakob from GeniusSteals.co recently delivered a predictably engaging and inspiring webinar on WARC.com – ‘The Re-birth of Comms. Why It’s Time To Re-Examine Your Strategy’. If you didn’t manage to tune in, here is the deck. 

A couple of pieces on Voice Tech. This piece from WARC, is very well observed – ‘consumers are increasingly comfortable with using virtual assistants on their phones and sales of smart speakers are growing fast, so is voice becoming the new battleground for marketers? No, or at least not yet….A major stumbling block is access to data..’ …And this research reveals which verticals are successfully leveraging voice search, and which are not. 

The always enlightening Martin Weigel has updated his ‘Case for Chaos’. A polemic defending the integrity of originality and creativity in the face of technology and ‘efficiency.’ I especially like this quote – ‘We’ve been suckered into believing that we don’t need memories, but just identify the precise moment a consumer needs something.’

An interesting and attractive take on visualising commuting routes. This approach makes city networks look like living corals. ‘The varying patterns of urban forms are inherently dictated by their road network; a complex, seemingly organic connection of links moving people across their city.

From Lonely Planet. ‘Our Instagram feed may be full of shiny, saturated images of travels we could never afford but that doesn’t mean the influencers are actually affecting our travel choices. In fact, a recent survey suggests that social media influencers and celebrities are the least trusted source of travel recommendations.’

If you live in the US, this interactive map shows how hot your city will be in 2100. Spolier alert, they will all be pretty damn hot.

Been revisiting some of Marketoonist (Tom Fishburne’s) marketing cartoons recently. This is one of my favourites, Inside the mind of the consumer, and you can buy his new book ‘Your Ad |gnored Here.’ 

A Google intern is behind some shockingly good fake images. A new algorithm called BigGAN creates detailed photos from scratch, representing a leap forward for AI. But it may come at a steep price. This, also from Google, is a fun interactive graphic looking at twenty years of search. Click on ‘new insight’ to compare searches across different categories.

Rather like the highly useful visual thesaurus.com (for words) , this interactive mapping tool does a similar thing, but for music .It plots a specific artist, around other artists that `are closest in style. So Nick Drake, is like Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Elvis Costello. 

This endearing Vimeo ‘Pick Of The Week’, is all the more relevant in the week of Mental Health Awareness Day – ‘Stripes are the loneliest pattern, because they never cross‘. And finally….Giorgi Bereziani lost dog Jorge in 2015. After three years of looking, he finally found his beloved pup on the streets and oh man, we’re crying now. Look at that tail go…..