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What we're reading

A few articles that made us think.

When algorithms surprise us

– Fascinating overview of "unintended consequences" - how machines learn and surprise people.
Wall Street Journal

Why Tech Titans Are Betting on India, in 14 Charts

– The center of gravity for venture capital is shifting to Asia.Despite serious challenges, these charts provide a compelling vision of the Indian market.

Recruiting Rock Star Employees: Your Next Marketing Campaign

– How to treat recruiting more like marketing.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Transformation Leaders

– Do you know all of them?
Wall Street Journal

Silicon Valley Powered American Tech Dominance—Now It Has a Challenger

– The center of gravity for venture capital is shifting to Asia.
Fast Company

Are Robo-Instructors The Future Of Corporate Training?

– As the need to learn (and learn again) increases, companies are turning to robotics. But humans still have the edge.
Harvard Business Review

Case Study: Prune the Brand Portfolio?

– Great overview of the politics and decisions in navigating a merger situation in terms of brands.

The robots really are taking over—but only because there aren’t enough workers

– Countries with the fastest-aging populations are seeing the biggest growth in use of robots.

The Limits of Explainability

– How the power of intuition fits (or should fit) in the coming AI world.

The Meaning of Design Is up for Debate. And That’s a Good Thing

– The power of empathy is shaping business but companies are still trying to figure out how to respond.
New York Times

Bricklayers Think They’re Safe From Robots. Decide for Yourself.

– A "vew from the ground" about the roll of robots and how we perceive them.
Fast Company

These Savvy Cities Are Using Tech To Spark Citizen Engagement

– Cities of Service highlights interesting ways cities are using digital to engage their citizens.
Wall Street Journal

The Next Big Threat to Consumer Brands (Yes, Amazon’s Behind It)

– Companies are trying to figure out the next big consumer touchpoint: voice assistants.
Fast Company

The Ride-Hailing Business Is Now Way Bigger Than Uber and Lyft

– A crowded space could be becoming confusing for consumers.
Ad Age

A survivor’s guide to risk taking

– How to treat risk like an asset rather than a liability.
Fast Company

Here’s Why The NBA Is The Most Tech-Savvy League Today

– A multi-pronged strategy to create new experiences is paying off.
Harvard Business Review

The 4 Dimensions of Digital Trust, Charted Across 42 Countries

– Trust has always been crucial, but as complexity and privacy concerns proliferate and customer experience gains primacy, its becoming a core business asset.
Harvard Business Review

Can We Keep Our Biases from Creeping into AI?

– Expanded talent pools and focus on addressing bias through AI is needed.
Marketing Week

GDPR: Five questions marketers must answer before May

– Good overview ahead of EU data protection laws kicking in, though marketing leaders should have answers for them by now.

The Death of Clothing

– Workplace trends and focus on experiences coming at the expense of clothing.
Fast Company

On This Blockchain-Based Version Of Airbnb, There’s No Middleman

– Some companies are exploring how to use blockchain technologies to automate peer2peer commerce.
TED Radio Hour

Can We Trust the Numbers?

– Data scientists and statisticians discuss the biases behind data.

The Tale of the Painting Robot that Didn’t Steal Anyone's Job

– “Co-botics” is an emerging capability, with important repercussions for how leaders prepare their workforce of the future.

9 Ad Innovations Poised For Kickoff In Super Bowl LII

– "Innovations" might be a stretch for many of these, but interesting overview of the range of tactics companies are trying.
Financial Times

Can big data revolutionise policymaking by governments?

– A world of real-time trending using the world's data (44 zettabytes as of now) is around the corner. Maybe.
Fast Company

This Is What It’s Like To Not Own A Smartphone In 2018

– Unplugged power.
Harvard Business Review

3 Ways to Improve Your Decision Making

– Doubt, probability, and experience play starring roles.
Fast Company

How The World Economic Forum Is Tackling The Dangers Of Big Tech

– A new effort to help governments and companies think through the implications of new technologies.
think with Google

5 ways voice assistance is shaping consumer behavior

– Not many surprises, but useful data and interesting to see highlights in one place.
Wall Street Journal

Martin Sorrell on Why Investing in Brands Remains Crucial

– When investing in growth, don't forget about the brand.

Platform Strategy, book review: Business models for connected markets

– A useful book review about the platform business and varying business models for it.

Designers Finally Have a Seat at the Table. Now What?

– Hierarchy of success for designers in business: 1.User  2.Business  3.Team  4.Self
The Guardian

CES 2018: less ‘whoa’, more ‘no!’—tech fails to learn from its mistakes at annual pageant

– Provocative view about tech, and how it’s not solving consumer issues—at least, not based on what is coming out of CES
Wall Street Journal

The Cashless Society Has Arrived— Only It’s in China

– It's well known how much China has turned to mobile for payments. But some surprises about how far ahead of the US (and Europe) it is.
MITSloan Management Review

Why Design Thinking in Business Needs a Rethink

– Connecting design thinking to business processes.
CNN Tech

No checkout lines and smart everything: 8 futuristic store concepts

– Simple but interesting overview of the changes emerging ... and starting to go mainstream.

AI is now so complex its creators can’t trust why it makes decisions

– Data-driven decision making can be a big help but without insight into root causes, a big blind spot may be emerging.
New York Times

The hidden player spurring a wave of cheap consumer devices: Amazon

– A fascinating look at the wave of cheaper but higher-quality products, and how it’s happening.
Harvard Business Review

How digital tools and behavioral economics will save retirement

– The power of the nudge translated into some specific lessons.
MIT Technology Review

AI is dreaming up new kinds of video games

– What the next frontier of the creative arts might look like.

Can this game-like app help students do better in school?

– Digital gamification and "nudges" come to schools – interesting for businesses too.
Harvard Business Review

How to navigate the politics of an innovation project

– Everyone wants to be part of an innovation project. So what do you do about that?
Harvard Business Review

Managers Aren’t Doing Enough to Train Employees for the Future

– New survey shows that workers are least satisfied by training and development in their organizations.

The “mom-on-demand” economy is indulging our inner lazy teenager

– What the impact of the on-demand economy is doing ... or what it might be doing.
Financial Times

Esports: Is the gaming business ready to come of age?

– The next big entertainment force may already be here.
Fast Company

This atlas maps how driverless cars may change the world

– Data-driven initiatives are re-shaping cities.
The Atlantic

How pop-ups went corporate

– Interesting overview of why pop-ups are enduring.

Solve these tough data problems and watch job offers roll in

– Gamifying data talent introduces an interesting dynamic to the war for talent.
Fast Company

Working with creatives: A short guide for everyone else

– With design skills and creativity in demand, a useful primer on how to get along.
MITSloan Management Review

Turning strategy into results

– A new call for “complexity translators” to turn complex strategies into simplebut clearactivities.
Wall Street Journal

Drug makers find new profit formula: Take generics, add marketing

– Branding and marketing take center stage in creative growth strategy.
Harvard Business Review

All Management Is Change Management

– What happens if every leader has to be a change manager?
Fast Company

Rediscovering history’s lost first female video game designer

– Timely and fascinating story.
Harvard Business Review

Why are startup founders so bad at changing their own companies?

– Interesting lessons here about what it takes to drive change.
Fast Company

Want a design-led company? Hire “people who are insanely curious”

– This interview with start-up leader highlights how design and curiosity are inextricably linked.

The future of the marketing platform ecosystem is now

– An inside look at how one business is navigating the marketing ecosystem.