The Instant Pot Phenomenon

We got an Instant Pot for Christmas. I’d heard of Instant Pot before. Many times. But, when I think about it, I’ve NEVER seen an ad for one. EVER!!!

No Advertising Marketing!

I decided to look up the founder’s story and found this: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/24/why-robert-wangs-instant-pot-is-a-bestseller-on-amazon.html

“To be honest with you, we haven’t spent much money on advertising,” Wang says. “In fact, that is not part of the business plan. We really spend money on product development and customer support.”

Robert Wang, a fellow Canadian and Techie, invented this. It’s an inspiring story, actually.

The problem: “What if there is a machine which is smart enough, which can automate the entire cooking process for us, so that we can fix dinner when we come back from work.”

While my perception of this brand (or category, which they created, or rather re-invented?) was neutral, I understood that it was this “craze”; almost a cult-like following had developed.

A non-cooking friend told me about theirs over the holidays. And since the price point is very reasonable, that put me over the top.

A relentless focus on a product development that meets a consumer’s problem. Instant Pot built it and their consumers propelled them to amazing growth.

Great business story!!!

Podcast Must Listen: Masters of Scale :: Charity Water

Reid Hoffman’s Master of Scale podcast episode that dropped today is AMAZING on so many levels! “TO SCALE, YOU MUST MASTER THE SKILL OF STORYTELLING”

Link to episode: https://mastersofscale.com/#/scott-harrison-to-scale-you-must-master-the-art-of-storytelling/

It’s the story of Scott Harrison of Charity: Water.

I found within it:

  • Life lessons
  • Marketing lessons
  • An amazing story, amazingly told

I dare you to watch this video “The Spring” and:

  • Not shed a tear
  • Not believe that clean water is one of the most impactful efforts that we can do for civilization
  • Not pull out your wallet to subscribe to this amazing charity (all charities should operate this way!)

Data Engineering is like the Offensive Line in Football

In Football, QBs & RBs get all the glory, but they are nothing without their Offensive Line. In Advanced Analytics, Data Scientists capture all the headlines, but the Data Engineering team is quietly of one of the most important pieces of an Enterprise.

You want to be Data Driven? …you need Data.

Quality Data Data that can be trusted and governed

And available when needed

A Data Scientist can build the most valuable model, but it is always dependent on the data.

As teams evolve to adopt many multiple AI/ML models that depend on the same underlying data, the data pipeline(s) becomes the critical path of the business.

A strong Data Engineering team can make a huge impact on a Data/Decision Science team. Conversely, they can also create a huge drag.

The longest cycles in a ML project is the data wrangling and the production-ization of a model. Data Engineers have the opportunity to drastically reduce these areas and free the Data Scientists to focus on what they do best.

The best QBs take care of their O-Line and are known for giving extravagant gifts (cars, watches, etc.). Data Scientists aren’t star QBs making tens-of-millions, but a simple “Thank You” and acknowledgement of appreciation this holiday season can go a long way!

#TeamWork

AI Wins Again!

AI beats humans again!

https://mashable.com/2018/02/26/ai-beats-humans-at-contracts/#Sg3c4D_8TkqS

These victories are to be celebrated as great feats of technology and advancement, until one day… :/

In this competition, lawyers we’re given 5 NDAs to review and identify 30 legal issues.

Humans averaged 85% accuracy rate; AI achieved 95 percent accuracy.

AI also achieved 100% accuracy in one contract, whereas which highest-scoring human lawyer score was 97%.

So, the tech works, but what is the business case?

Human lawyers took an avg of 92 minutes; AI completed the task in 26 seconds!!!

That is at least several hundred dollars of savings.

I’m not a lawyer, but if I was, this isn’t something that I’d be concerned with at all. I’d welcome this with open arms and run to this now, as a potential competitive advantage to provide a better service at a lower cost to my clients. In theory, I’ll be able to serve more clients as well and/or be able to devote more attention to higher valued services.

As a consumer, I’d look for lawyers that have adopted this kind of technology because I will feel more confident in the quality of the service. And presumably, the service might be a little cheaper (relative to others’ that don’t leverage technology).

How Romantic…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2018/10/29/japans-princess-ayako-must-leave-royal-family-after-marrying-commoner/1804881002/

Firstly, I didn’t even know that Japan had a royal family.

Secondly, love conquers all.

Thirdly, don’t feel bad for the princess. She still receives a lump sum of money after leaving the royal family to “maintain her high standard of living”.

Kei Moriya: Big score for the little guy. Keeping the dream alive for us commoners! (to be clear, not my dream, I’m happily married!)

 

Is Sexual Abuse in the Church part of the Institution?

60 minutes lead story this week was about a whistleblower that came forward with evidence of sexual abuse allegations going on in the churches in Buffalo for decades and the leaders knew about the incidences, yet kept looking the other way.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whistleblower-says-buffalo-bishop-knew-of-sexual-abuse-allegations-but-did-nothing-60-minutes/

I’m not religious, but clearly these leaders are serving themselves and not serving their people.

This problem seems very pervasive in Buffalo. Is it pervasive throughout other parts of the country as well? I don’t know, but my suspicion is yes. If it were just a region, then it would be easy for the Vatican to purge one region.

The fact that this has gone on for decades and that there are so many cases, makes me believe that this is institutionalized. Were they abused themselves as children in the church? Do these men then seek priesthood in order to put themselves in a position of power over kids to abuse them?

Absolutely disgusting!

Doubly so when it comes from people who are supposed to be the “holiest of holy”

How Much Time do you REALLY Have?

Would you change anything if you, literally, knew when your time is up? Seems we each have an explicit biological clock embedded in our DNA.

This article talks about how researchers found that your Epigenetic clock can calculate biological age and predict your lifespan.

“Some individuals who fill their lives with fitness and healthy habits die younger than peers who live a much less healthy life. New research into the epigenetics of aging sheds some fresh light on the perplexing phenomenon of premature aging.”

It’s based on this research paper.

I thought this was super interesting.

Loads of implications:

  • Would you retire earlier or later based on your biological age?
  • Surely, this is going to have a tremendous effect on the Insurance industry.
    • I wonder how long until the industry adopts this as common practice to set your premiums.
  • Now that we know the marker (or measure), can we work to improve or manipulate it. (this is all over my head, I don’t even know if that’s a valid question)

Smart People are Flip-Floppers

I’m insecure. I have a small fear of commitment. When I make a decision, I’m always wondering if it was the best decision. What’re the unknown unknowns?

Bezos believes that “the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved”

I’m not saying I’m amongst the smartest or smart at all. But this did give me solace, in that, at least I know I might be thinking along the same lines as smart folk.

I’m always curious: Is there a better way?

In the book “Thinking in Bets”, Poker pro Annie Duke says that when it comes to decision-making, decide as if you are betting all of your money on your choice. Don’t take shortcuts based on your biases; seek contrarian opinions and experienced counsel. Talk with folks who have had similar experiences and expertise who can critique your choices and illuminate your blindspots.

I’ll talk to anybody and everybody about anything.

You can always learn something from someone.

And you know what? You’ll probably disagree and hate me for saying this, but Recruiters and Sales folk are amongst the best to speak with because they speak to the most people. So, they often have a good perspective (as long as you understand their bias, you can really learn a lot).

Rise of the Chief Data Officer (CDO)

Image shows number of CXOs in USA for companies with >1000 employees. In other words, only ~5% have a Chief Data Officer (CDO). Yet, how many are undergoing “Digital Transformations” and/or trying to become “Data-Driven” and/or trying to leverage AI (which depends on (good) data)?

I believe that the CDO role is a huge gap at corporations and it presents a huge business opportunity; not to mention a probable necessity going forward in order to, just simply, compete.

If you segment just “Retailers”: CEO = 497 | CMO = 154 | CDO = 8

This means in Retail, only 1.61% of large retailers have a CDO!

My advice: Hire a CDO.

Here’s the ROI: We all know data is siloed. But instead of breaking silos, I see LOBs duplicating data across the org to suit their needs; thereby creating bigger silos. That’s a lot of duplicated expense and effort, as indiv LOBs protect their budget and interests.

Example, one company recently spoke with, Marketing and Analytics use Adobe Analytics. But Data Science chooses to use raw web logs.

A CDO can put the people, processes, and tech in place to streamline data across the org.

N.B. All #’s are from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, so probably not exact, but good enough for % analysis. Also, I included “Chief Analytics Officer” in the CDO category.

Makes “Hew” say Hmm

Life After Death? (if you can afford it)

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/ultra-wealthy-elitists-are-having-their-brains-frozen-so-that-they-can-come-back-to-life-100s-of-years-in-the-future

I suppose when you have millions of dollars at your time of death, there is no harm in spending $100K for a lottery ticket to be brought back to life one day.

This is a genius business model. In some regards, I think Evil Genius, but then again, who’s getting hurt? There is no con. But the current owners of the company, whom profit from this venture today, take $100K, put you in cold storage, and head to the beach? No worries about customer service or a customer complaining about bad service!

Does this fee include the revival surgery process?

Let’s say this technology does come to fruition in 50 years or 100 years. You’ve already given away your estate. You’re no longer ultra-wealthy. Are your (potentially ungrateful) great grandkids, who never knew you, going to take care of you?

 

Really Japan?

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-24/explosion-sex-dolls-threatens-japanese-race-extinction

Japanese are so interesting. They insist on preserving their strong culture with very strict immigration policies.They’re already one of the oldest populations in the world. Their birth rates have plummeted. And now the men are preferring sex dolls over the real deal?

 

Good Premise, but Dangerous Means?

https://www.manhattanda.org/tomorrow-d-a-vance-ends-prosecution-of-marijuana-possession-and-smoking-cases/

I am all for legalization of Marijuana. It’s long overdue. I don’t know the exact stats, but I’m sure that there are far too many folks currently incarcerated or blackballed with a criminal record because of minor marijuana charges.

But I don’t believe that a DA’s office should be allowed to do this. This is one man, single-handedly, changing the law, isn’t it? Doesn’t that set a dangerous precedence? Why doesn’t this go through the municipal or state government?