Quora: What small thing can each individual do every day to help shrink the wealth gap?

https://www.quora.com/What-small-thing-can-each-individual-do-every-day-to-help-shrink-the-wealth-gap/answer/Kerry-Hew

Figure out ways to own strong, appreciating, assets.

If you don’t own any assets and you just earn your salary and save your money. You strive for a certain percentage raise per year. Well, so does your boss and bosses boss and so on. They make more than you, so as time goes on, their dollar value increases faster than yours and the gap grows in perpetuity.

Another thing you can do, and many may not want to hear this — and I hate to get political — but perhaps something would be to get involved with politics and embrace capitalism. True Capitalism, that is.

To make myself clear, we do NOT have proper capitalism today. If we had true capitalism, the banks would have been allowed to fail and go bankrupt in 2008 during the GFC. Yes, it would have hurt, but we would have come out the other side stronger, with smarter institutions (in my opinion). Iceland was the model to follow.

But with true capitalism and limited regulations, it would provide more opportunity for the little guys to start their own companies, create more competition, and bridge the gap.

[Gee, for a self-proclaimed independent, I sure sound Republican, huh? To be clear, Establishment Republicans today aren’t real Republicans. And we definitely need some regulations in place and some social services. But enough of that political jibjab.]

Business ownership is the ONLY way to close the gap. If you have more businesses, it’s more competition, each business makes a little less money, and the gap closes. And again, the way to create more businesses is to remove as many barriers as possible to start new businesses. Case in point, look at what Amazon AWS service has done for the software industry. Million-Dollar, even billion-dollar businesses have started with an Amazon account and a credit card.

And to be clear, buying shares or acquiring equity in a business is a form of business ownership. I’ll even posit here that real estate is a form of business (it’s an asset, anyway).

 

Time to Start Paying Attention to Bitcoin again?

Bitcoin news has been quiet for a while, huh?

Now could be a time to start sneaking in (do it, NOT to make money, but to EDUCATE yourself).

Last year, May 5, 2017, I wrote this blog post. At that time, Bitcoin (BTC) was $1545 and Ethereum (ETH) was $95. Even after the insane run up and subsequent crash, today’s prices are BTC = ~$8100 and ETH = $466.

BTC has shown nice price support and has shot out of a Head-and-Shoulder chart pattern. H&S is a typical pattern found at major turning points (according to classical chartist, Peter Brandt).

ETH is forming an Ascending Triangle pattern. I love this pattern because it provides a nice risk-reward setup. Buy up to $480, sell if it drops below ~$450.

Look, I’ve written this from a trade/investment perspective, but going back to my article, “The best thing you can do is educate yourself”.  

Open a Coinbase acct, buy $10 worth, get your own wallet, and move the coins around.

See what it feels like to hold digital currency. It’s a little scary, if I’m honest, but I’ve learned a lot and it’s tempered my excitement about decentralized cryptos for the masses (at least for western civilization).

If you really want to roll the dice, look at 0x coin. 🙂

An Example of Poor Email Marketing

[LinkedIn Post]

Dear Email Marketers,

How about using a bit more creativity (or even effort) in engaging with your audience?

Let me provide some suggestions and I’d love to hear more from others in comments.

First, I’m sorry to call out The Venetian® I The Palazzo®, Resort Hotel & Casino I Las Vegas Sands Corp.; I really like the property and it is the premier large conference center (maybe in all of the US). But it’s a good example.

I stayed at The Venetian for a couple days during the Adobe Summit conference. For starters, they should know this and my purpose (i.e., persona = business traveler).

Ever since that stay, I get an email once every 2-5 days with an “Up to 25% rates” offer and “Book Now” CTA. Different image. Sometimes a highlight of a restaurant or other amenity.

I can probably unsubscribe and consider my “research” done.  I know what they’re going to send; it’s predictable and just clutter.

Consider that not every email needs to have an offer. Vegas has so much to do; why not highlight other things to do that may catch my attention?

Maybe give a voice to employees and expose the personalities. What does “Concierge Joe” recommend? It would be a better experience if I read about his recommendations and then later engaged with him upon my visit.

It goes without saying, Machine Learning can help tremendously with relevancy for email marketing. Connect to share ideas on this and more.

Ideas from others?

Why IT and Marketing are Diametrically Opposed [commentary]

[LinkedIn Post]

When Business and IT clash, it’s the customer who loses. Everyday you stagnate, you put your customers at risk. When you keep your data siloed, it’s your customer’s experience that suffers.

Amazon has over 500K employees and they are foster a culture with  “Day 1” mentality; a mantra meant to convey that the company will never stop being a start-up.

Has any company in history disrupted as many individual companies and distinct industries as Amazon?

I’ve been on the vendor side for over 12 years now, selling technology into various businesses. Business wants to be nimble and move fast. IT is often opposed and it’s not their fault, necessarily.

It’s a classic scenario.

This old article by Scott Brinker absolutely nails it on the head.

I believe these opposing goals has helped fuel the rise of SaaS, as businesses could by-pass IT. But with Data being such a huge asset (and security risk), the pendulum is swinging back a bit. Business must work with IT.

“We’re a big company, we move slowly”

Okay, but who suffers? YOUR CUSTOMER.

 

Last I checked Amazon is a big company too.

They put their customer first.

It’s always Day 1 at Amazon.

News is not News anymore; News is Business

“Mexico’s Next President Calls for An Invasion Of The US”

MEXICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WORLD’S ASYLUM SEEKERS HAVE A ‘HUMAN RIGHT’ TO MIGRATE TO US

Mexico’s Next President Boldly Declares That Immigration To The United States Is A “Human Right”

News is business and the headline is the clickbait. In today’s polarized political environment, you cannot simply read the headlines.

I remember reading these headlines a few weeks back, before the Mexican election and thinking, “Wow, that is bold and crazy to say”.

Then I recently read a headline about how the new Mexican president-elect wanted to build his own “Southern wall” by establishing a distinct border-police force to combat illegal immigration from Central America. I thought: “How ironic”

This led me to find this seemingly more credible-neutral article on the headlines above. AMLO wasn’t telling people flood the border. He was simply saying that he will defend those who find themselves with no other option but to relocate to the United States, in wake of all the hoopla about ICE and family separation.

You have to read the full story…TWICE! Once from the a left-wing biased publication and then a second time from the right-wing bias. And maybe a third time from a neutral party, if you’re lucky enough to find one these days. :/

Then form your own opinion.

Brand Affinity is Created by Great Customer Experiences

[LinkedIn Post]

Apple’s greatest asset is one that you cannot see, feel, or touch. That is, its Brand Affinity. Buffet is not a technology investor, but he bought APPL because he saw “an extraordinary consumer franchise”. Apple customers are “very, very, very locked in, at least psychologically and mentally, to the product you are using. [The iPhone] is a very sticky”.

I noticed one of my connections wrote a lot about Toyota. I asked him: “What’s your affinity with Toyota”. He told me about a story when he was younger, how he was in a pretty bad car accident with his family, but luckily nobody got hurt and he attributed that to the safety of the Toyota vehicle. He is a Toyota customer for life.

My kids play a lot of Fortnite. It’s a free game, but players buy V-Bucks for new skins, etc. [Aside: As a parent, Fortnite is the most expensive free game there is!]. I bet if Redbull or Monster or equiv, purchased the ability to brand the Chug Jug or Shield Potion, they would create a positive brand affinity to millions of youth, for life.

Brand affinity is created by great customer experiences. I believe that the more bland or generic the product is, the greater effort you need to put on your customer service/marketing/engagement experiences.

[More to come at a later date]

WSJ: In this Economy, Quitters are Winning

[LinkedIn Post]

Commentary on this article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-this-economy-quitters-are-winning-1530702001

Don’t read this if you’re happy in you’re current role! The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Be thankful you’re happy. BUT…

If you aren’t happy, do something about it! Life is short; don’t waste time that you can’t get back. This is as good an economy as it gets. I love working, but I know I’m not normal.

If working is miserable to you, in general, at least be miserable with 30% more dollars in your pocket! 🙂

I know loads of folks hiring in digital analytics and data science. Demand is larger than Supply.

I also know individuals that are looking (secretly) and I’m happy to match where I can. I’m here to help. Society is better when ppl are happy.

 

[Article Thoughts] Want to Really Understand Your Customer Data? Try Hiring a Scientist

[Posted on LinkedIn]

Here is the article: http://www.adweek.com/digital/blinded-by-data-science/

I bet Nike accelerated ROI from their customer data by years by buying Zodiac.

Here’s the typical path…

Execs read that Data Science is hot, so they start to build out a small team. Some value is seen, but putting models into production, specifically ones with high data volume, velocity, and variety (e.g., Customer-related data) poses a significant engineering challenge. It’s hard.

It’s why Uber built Michelangelo, their ML platform. Putting this apps into production is hard. It seems to have taken Uber ~1.5 yrs to build Michaelangelo and I’m sure it’s constantly evolving, as it has a dedicated product team assigned to it.

By acquiring Zodiac, Nike inherits a Data Science platform or toolset centered around Customer data. Plus they get some (presumably good) data science talent, which is seemingly scarce. They’ve accelerated initiatives by a year+.

“Before analysts can crunch the data, apply machine learning and deliver new insights, brands need engineers who know how to store, manage and clean the data. And they need tech-savvy communicators who can take that analysis and translate it into business reality, Purcell says.”

SYNTASA can help you with this in less than one month!

#WorkSmarter #Clickstream

Does This End Mark Zuckerberg Chances to be President?

Facebook

This Bloomberg article summarizes the scandal succinctly:

Here, in a nutshell, is the CA scandal. In 2014, Aleksandr Kogan, an academic of Russian origin at Cambridge University in the U.K., built a Facebook app that paid hundreds of thousands of users to take a psychological test. Apart from their test results, the users also shared the data of their Facebook friends with the app. Kogan sold the resulting database to CA, which Facebook considers a violation of its policies: The app was not allowed to use the data for commercial purposes. Carol Cadwalladr and Emma Graham-Harrison, writing for the U.K. publication Observer, quoted former CA employee Christopher Wylie as saying the firm “broke Facebook” on behalf of Stephen Bannon, the ideologue and manager behind the Trump campaign.

I have several internally conflicting thoughts on this. The one that bothers me the most is the political bias of Facebook executives towards Democrats. I’m NOT a Republican. I’m an Independent. I want to see fairness. But when you read things like: https://bigleaguepolitics.com/facebook-executive-sheryl-sandberg-podesta-want-hillary-win-badly/ …it’s really disturbing.

I am a privacy advocate and I’m not. I mean, I’m sure this kind of profiling is being done anyway. Facebook just has a plethora of data on so many people that it just makes it easier. And these campaigns are using it to create targeted messages. It’s the same thing that marketers do. It’s still my vote to cast.

I suppose the big deal is that I give permission to FB by giving my info. And I give permissions to any app I install from FB. But I don’t give permission to apps that my friends install. And I know there are “friends” that install some garbage apps. But again, it’s my wallet and my vote and my decisions.

In light of all this, though, it was known that Mark Zuckerberg has been taking steps to explore a Presidential run in the future. Does this stop that in its tracks? Or does this all blow-over by the time that happens?