Ten Stories We’ve Enjoyed The Week

26th August 2016

Fascinating recent piece from @theeconomist on the extraordinary rise and increasing dominance of social channel WeChat in China, that puts western Social Media giants to shame. ‘Over 700m people use it, and it is one of the world’s most popular messaging apps. More than a third of all the time spent..on the mobile internet is spent on WeChat. A typical user returns to it ten times a day or more.

Seth Godin’s short and simple perspective on Marketing, made up of 4 steps. You’ll recognise the first 3 steps, but the last one is surprising , refreshing and rather inspiring.

As you will have read, WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy to share more customer data with Facebook. This also means that businesses will now have the chance to target users,en masse,on this channel. 

The implosion of the daily fantasy industry (DraftKings vs.FanDuel) is a bro-classic tale of hubris, recklessness, political naïveté and a kill-or-be-killed culture. Despite massive promotional spends and considerable media coverage, the companies are still not making any money and their valuations have been halved.

The paradox of pricing in the modern era. ‘Since 1996, the prices of food and housing have increased by close to 60 percent, health care and child care have more than doubled. Education prices have soared. Manufactured consumer goods however continue to get cheaper’. So “We can afford the things we don’t need, but we need the things we can’t afford.”

Britain’s world-beating cycling team owes its success to a Japanese World War Two management technique. Sir Dave Brailsford on the benefit of building big success out of small improvements – ‘We hired a surgeon to teach our athletes about proper hand-washing so as to avoid illnesses during competition. We were precise about food preparation. We brought our own mattresses and pillows so our athletes could sleep in the same posture every night. Taken together, we felt this gave us a competitive advantage.

Still on the subject of sport and with the marvellous Rio Olympics just behind us; it is worth revisiting the tale of sporting innovation that got Dick Fosbury the High Jump Gold Medal at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Since this time all high jumpers have used the same technique – this was the sports Flipping Point (on this video link his jump is at 2 mins and 50 secs in).

A crowd sourced project is bringing the magic of Indian train journeys to Instagram. Warning – some serious wanderlust ahead.

Nice to see amateur rocketeers are keeping the space age spirit alive. Enjoy the ride with this on board camera.

As we sweat outside in the ‘heat’ of the British summer, the air conditioning goes on full blast in offices. Fun piece here from @collegehumor on how this means that – Women’s Winter Is Coming.