Thursday, May 14, 2015

Students are Happy: Social Capital

I can handle people trashing me - for two reasons.

Reason 1 is that I feel it's important to have bad people trashing you, just as much as it matters to have good people talking you up. With the people who tend to trash me, I'd be horrified if they all of a sudden they began to endorse me. That would be a bad thing.

Reason 2: I have plenty of good people talking me up. I believe in "the lion and the mouse", so I like it when I get notes like this from students.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

UK Elections send a message to Labor

The best leadership I've seen was the Hawke-Keating years in the 1980s and 1990s. True, I hated them at the time but can reflect that they did some great things. Less so, the Howard years. I can't imagine I'll ever think well of Rudyard, turning a $40billion surplus into structural deficit that will take us two decades to correct.

But that's probably the golden age fallacy kicking in. I hope I live long enough to recognise myself as a crusty old fool, and that Ruddyard was good. I desperately want to have respect for Julia Gillard, although I feel Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd might be beyond redemption.

Bill Shorten must get his act together, or get out of the spot. shit or get off the pot. Our current government will be buoyed by the recent UK elections result. Someone had some thoughts about this:

That the result is so different from the polls suggests one or more of three things:
- the “shy conservative” will give pollsters what is the “right” answer, as defined by the media, but in the privacy of the ballot booth will follow his true instincts.
- the Conservatives finished strongly with passionate campaigning with a shirt-sleeved Cameron, with Boris Johnson, the vote magnet now back in Parliament. Labour, on the other hand, ended poorly, with Miliband clowning with Russell Brand and carving his promises in stone.
- the instinct for many voters, when the result seems cloudy, is to vote conservatively (small c).
I'm not impressed by Bill Shorten, but I do think Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese could make a fist of it. The way this is headed, my prediction is that Hockey will bring down a functional budget, the Australian ship of state will grind along in stormy waters, Liberals will campaign on "you need the adults in charge in these tough times", Australia will vote "small c conservative" and Tanya Plibersek's star will rise and fall without her ever becoming PM.

As a leader of the opposition the stress and white anting will reduce her to the same dithering blowhard we saw in Ruddyard, and she'll be gone.

Labor or Liberal the Australian government must realise that we're in the shit and we have some painful years to come - and act accordingly. In the UK, the people just gave their government the opportunity to do something about it.


Welcome, my friends!

My buddy posted to Facebook that his girlfriend just took citizenship. I love that. I meet dozens of people who are working their way towards getting the right ticks in their boxes. Plenty of students, but also a Canadian who once spent years sitting in Ontario waiting for notification, an Iranian family who kept working at home until their letter came.

When I see people who want to become a part of our family and become a positive part of it, I get a little teary. And all I can say is "welcome, friends!"


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Young people living a published life

I've met people like this recently. Lovely young women, but a big mask.

"You've got your secrets, you've got your regrets. Darling we all do"

Monday, May 4, 2015

Snapchat? WTF?

Man I feel old! Another social media platform to make sense of . As I 'm well and truly outside the target segment it might be harder when it comes to snapchat. But never fear - a young guy has written a blog about it.

I might just read that. Keep it up, Ben.


Whiteboard: Problems with measuring social media

When technology fails you...

Well, this is sub-optimal. Aren't vending machines suppose to - well - vend?
 

Consumers are lazy: Let's colour code our coffee pods

This photo gives away way too much about me, namely:
  • How much coffee I drink
  • My polygamous loyalty
  • My penchant for a bargain

But it also indicates that marketers are not stupid. They recognise that consumers don't want to spend a lot of time and energy on FMCG products.

So, just as salt and vinegar chips tend to have purple packs, chicken green, plain blue we see the marketers making our lives easier on the their points of parity.

We're cognitive misers, so for the points of parity we go:
  • Fits Nespresso - tick
  • Intensity 7 - tick

NOW let's see how the brands differ and make the choice on that. All makes sense to me.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Managing People: Sergeant Hartman died because..

He only had one tool in his toolbox. When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The growly drill sergeant from "Full Metal Jacket" was a one trick pony.

Dealing with people is a game of chess. You move emotions - yours and theirs - around like pieces on the board. Sometimes you lose an incursion and sometimes you win one.

But you never use just the one tool. Sergeant Hartman had had success with this one tool for a long time, but when the game changes you have to change too. Even just for a minute. He died because he was not that clever, and because he only had one tool in his toolbox.

The fashion industry is like the matrix

I don't resent it, but I don't always accord with it either. A cracked column I just read mentioned someone who said they are now less quick to judge people who are out of style. It's no longer a crime to wear last year's cuff shape.

I can't see a person in a blue sweater without thinking of the Devil Wears Prada.


Just as the matrix was the idea that we're all just living in some computer program, fashion is less about our personal choices than we think.