Interview, Insight, Helpful

9 Predictions for "the next billion" [Memeburn]

HERE/FORTH CEO, Paul Armstrong, recently wrote about his experience at Quartz's conference 'The Next Billion' for Memeburn.  In the piece he interviews several CEO and top execs from some of the world's more innovative companies including Uber, frog design and Kano (amongst others).  Read the full piece here

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C_NCENTRATE +5 - 17/05

5 links that aren't in the C_NCENTRATE newsletter.  Please share them with your colleagues and friends.

[1]  The best podcast you'll ever listen to.  [6m]
[2]  How brands should use Selfies. [6m]
[3]  An app that helps you take back your brain. [7m]
[4]  Four ways to win your competitor's customers behaviour. [4m]
[5]  Why you are not your job. [5m]

Got a link you think we should share?  Let us know!

*Register your interest in the HERE/FORTH conference, coming January '16.*

Interview, Helpful

INTERVIEW : Brian Eden - Creator of 'Tell Us Your Story'

We instantly loved 'Tell Us Your Story' when we came across it on Twitter - it's an impressive and passionate rage against a trend we have seen emerge over the last few years...the tell us your story campaign.  We grabbed the creator, Brian Eden who is a Copywriter in New York.

Why did you set up 'Tell Us Your Story'?  

I started the blog last year after noticing that every brand suddenly wanted to hear my stories. The cat food wanted to hear my cat food story. The bleach wanted to hear my bleach story. The disinfectant wipes wanted to hear my disinfectant wipe story. The more I started paying attention to it, the more I started to see the humor and absurdity in these requests. Because, when’s the last time you heard a good disinfectant wipe story? 

What is the problem here?

As long as there’s been advertising, there have been trendy executions. From side-by-side taste tests, to “your family will love you for giving them [insert product here]” to jingles and flash mobs.  It seems the newest advertising trend is that brands want us to tell them our stories. But most products - especially the more ordinary ones - don’t lend themselves to being the centrepieces of especially compelling stories.

Why do you think brands do this? 

It’s easy to see the appeal of “Tell us your story” for a company, because it seems like a good way to create social media content, generate conversation with customers, and collect a bunch of testimonials all in one.   And for some types of businesses, that might actually work out. Travel, sports, hospitals, charitable causes - people actually do have stories to tell about these kinds of things, so it’s not as strange of a request coming from a brand like that.

Where it starts to get funny is when the more mundane, everyday kinds of products ask us for our stories. Kitty litter. Iced tea. Nose spray. They’re funny because they’re so socially awkward. Who actually has a nose spray story? 

What do you wish brands would do? How can they be better?

There are a lot of companies that are using social media really well - Oreo, GoPro, Old Spice and Honey Maid to name a few.   Social media offers brands big opportunities to do great work. But the work has to be rewarding for the customers. The more time and energy you’re asking people to give you, the more worthwhile it has to be for them to give it. The work can’t be totally self-serving (at least not overtly).

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C_NCENTRATE +5 - 26/04

5 links that aren't in the C_NCENTRATE newsletter.  Please share them with your colleagues and friends.

[1]  Why innovation is sometimes small even with big changes (and intentions). [6m]
[2]  Hairware; the new software? [4m]
[3]  Google didn't kill Google Glass, it's just making it sexier. [7m]
[4]  The secret psychology of Snapchat may surprise you. [4m]
[5]  Need focus in your day?  These 18 minutes are critical. [6m]

Got a link you think we should share?  Let us know!

*Register your interest in the HERE/FORTH conference, coming this October.*

Insight, Interesting, Helpful

Meerkat and Periscope may have a sting in their tail [Guardian]

Paul Armstrong (HERE/FORTH Founder) penned this for the Guardian after reading a slew of press about the benefits of the new live-streaming video tools.  Wielded poorly, these new shiny platforms could cause brands real problems whilst possibly altering the way people expect to consume media.  [FULL ARTICLE]

Instead viewers got what I term as “G-nough”, created from the Google News effect: people get enough of an experience to gain value but not in the optimal way to maximise revenue for most parties.
— Paul Armstrong

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C_NCENTRATE +5 - 19/04

5 links that aren't in the C_NCENTRATE newsletter.  Please share them with your colleagues and friends.

[1]  Why platforms are unbundling themselves. [6m]
[2]  A SXSW Trend deck worth reading. [4m]
[3]  Don't be nice, be instrumental. [7m]
[4]  A gorgeous data viz video about the big bang. [4m]
[5]  Are we seeing the future of broadcast? [6m]

Got a link you think we should share?  Let us know!

*Register your interest in the HERE/FORTH conference, coming this October.*

Interview, Company, Insight

ITV News at Ten - Paul Armstrong, HERE/FORTH Founder, Talks about Meerkat & Periscope issues

HERE/FORTH Founder, Paul Armstrong, was asked about the issues surrounding new live streaming apps such as Meerkat and Periscope. While the technology is certainly not new, the ease of use and low barrier to entry make these apps appealing but there are serious business concerns due to copyright, privacy and other issues.  

More from Paul on the subject can be seen in the piece he recently wrote for the Guardian.

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C_NCENTRATE +5 - 06/04

5 links that aren't in the C_NCENTRATE newsletter.  Please share them with your colleagues and friends.

[1]  How MIllenials select vendors. [4m]
[2]  Are you using the right mental models? [4m]
[3]  BlippAR now has a browser. [4m]
[4]  You need to go to this conference. [1m]
[5]  Four things you can learn from UX/UI designers. [6m]

Got a link you think we should share?  Let us know!

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C_NCENTRATE +5 - 15/03

5 links that aren't in the C_NCENTRATE newsletter.  Please share them with your colleagues and friends.

[1]  The Like-pocalypse took out Etsy. [4m]
[2]  Static might just be the beautiful analytics tool your social needs. [4m]
[3]  For when words fail you...Nattr. [4m]
[4]  You need to go to this conference. [1m]
[5]  Understanding how you make toast can help you be better at work. [6m]

Got a link you think we should share?  Let us know!