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jerryking : non-obvious   9

The dumb-bell economy: inside the booming business of exercise
FEBRUARY 9, 2018 | FT | Jo Ellison.

Where once consumers looked for acquisitions to express their status, our spending habits are shifting towards more holistic expenditures. In the past 20 years, the leisure industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic, disruptive and fashionable of forces. It’s all part of a new focus on the “lifestyle experience”, a trend that has possessed consumers and found luxury brands spiking with sporty new offerings — sneakers, leggings, apps and accessories — designed to harness the burgeoning market. As Harvey Spevak, the executive chairman and managing partner of the Equinox group, likes to say: “Health is the new wealth.”
.....2019 will see the first Equinox hotel opening in New York’s Hudson Yards, the first in a rollout of Equinox hotels earmarked for billions more in investment. The hotels will be founded on the same full-service ideal as the clubs. “Our vision for the hotels is to cater to the high-performance traveller,” says Spevak, “and we think about it as we do, historically, from a science perspective. We call it MNR — movement, nutrition and recovery — where a high-performance lifestyle and a healthy lifestyle is a three-legged stool.”.....as our lives have become busier, atomised and more urban, the gym has emerged as the new place in which to gather: to be part of a community....not only are millennials more likely to buy gym memberships, they’re driving the boutique business as well. The rise of the group workout, club membership and all of the attendant accessories that come with it have become part of the new language of “wellness”......Where you work out, who you work out with, and what you wear to work out in have become totems of fashionability. Spevak traces the first shoots of the wellness trend to 9/11, when he saw a jump in the number of people becoming focused on holistic health and taking care of themselves.
....But more than anything, the fitness boom must be a corollary of a digital revolution in which working out has become a ubiquitous feature of our online life; ....Minton agrees that a gym’s success depends on cultivating this tribal loyalty, delivering a unique experience and then selling product that marks its members out. “Some of the most interesting clubs are those that are expanding into less obvious areas,” he says. “We now have over 600 boutiques across the UK and they are growing faster than traditional gyms as they have a smaller footprint and can take pop-up spaces.......The experiential market is throwing a lifeline to retailers, as well. “The fashion link is growing,” adds Minton. “Fitness apparel brands like Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Reebok, Nike all now offer free in-store workouts, which provide them with an opportunity to market their brand lifestyles more directly and forge a connection with the consumer.”.......“The demise of retail is a permanent shift,” says Spevak. “It doesn’t mean retail’s going to go away, but it’s going to look very different. The consumer, in my opinion, will continue to buy nice things for themselves, but I think in the scheme of priorities the experience is more important than the handbag.”
fitness  exercise  London  United_Kingdom  gyms  wellness  rollouts  strength_training  boutiques  leisure  Equinox  millennials  experiential_marketing  small_spaces  pop-ups  non-obvious  upscale  retailers  in-store  digital_revolution 
february 2018 by jerryking
Beware of linearity: The shortest distance to your future may not be a straight line - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 09, 2016

linearity – dominates our thinking as we tackle problems. “Western thinkers are so habituated to thinking in terms of linear models that we allow them to inform not just what we think, but the fundamentals of how we think....Linearity is a critical and – apparently – inherent part of our cultural DNA....It’s not easy to forsake linearity...it’s essential to guard against slavishly following its tantalizing direction. Start by reading trade journals from another industry or studying a topic you have no interest in. Look for the less obvious interconnections around you. Think like a songwriter: Choruses and bridges signal a break with the preceding verse or the patterns that come before. But a true bridge, unlike a chorus, never repeats. They urge you to look for bridge moments rather than assume past is prologue.
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Leaders are supposed to tell people the truth rather than what they want to hear. But fact checkers found Mr. Trump consistently at odds with the truth. And his supporters didn’t seem to care, assuming leaders lie anyway. TV host Stephen Colbert used the term “truthiness” to cover believing something that feels true even if it isn’t supported by fact. Says Fowler: “I wonder if truth-telling matters when people are interested in bigger issues?”
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One of the highly touted productivity approaches is to tackle your most important thing (MIT) at the start of the day. Get it done before the chaos of the day overwhelms you.

But productivity writer Cal Newport, a Georgetown University computer science professor, feels the approach is insufficient – calling it “amateur ball” while the professionals play a more textured game.

The problem is that it implicitly concedes that most of your day is out of your control. But someone who plans every minute of their day and every day of their week will inevitably accomplish far more high-value work than someone who identifies only a single daily objective. The key, he feels, is to put enough buffers in your day to handle the unplanned stuff that hits you. With those slices of times and a spirit of adaptability you will find your work life not as unpredictable as you assume.
early_risers  linearity  Harvey_Schachter  thinking  humility  Donald_Trump  unplanned  unforeseen  buffering  GTD  productivity  discontinuities  nonlinear_systems  randomness  interconnections  Jim_Collins  truthiness  truth-telling  slack_time  adaptability  overwhelmed  time-management  unexpected  Cal_Newport  straight-lines  bridging  non-obvious 
december 2016 by jerryking
What Scented Candles Say to an Economist - The New York Times
By DIANE COYLE NOV. 7, 2015

We need a wider variety of indicators to help us take a more accurate reading of the economy. Some of these might seem frivolous, but paying close attention to worldly detail could make forecasting more reliable.
(1) height of hemlines
(2) the number of cranes visible on the skyline
(3) Spending on luxury items is another example. During a boom, sales of fast cars, expensive paintings, prime real estate and diamond necklaces all soar, as do their prices.

Less obvious are trends in retailing. When the good times roll, people decide that their great idea for a specialty store is viable. Thus booms bring all those boutiques selling just one type of good: socks or scented candles or freshly squeezed juices. But like flowers that display the behavior known as nyctinasty — opening to the sun’s light and warmth — they close as soon as the skies darken and things start to cool.

(4) how easy, or otherwise, it is to get restaurant reservations or tickets for shows.
(5) how many “help wanted” signs appear in the windows of stores and restaurants.

....G.D.P. almost certainly fails to capture newer areas of economic activity, such as today’s digital innovation — so other sources of information are needed to fill the gap....economic policy makers usually scrutinize tens, or even hundreds, of indicators, covering different industries and assets, different parts of the country, different groups of people. They monitor jobs reports, advertising rates, wage settlements, the cost of shipping freight, asset prices, sales of consumer durables and much, much more.
economics  economists  forecasting  non-obvious  GDP  indicators  trends  retailers  boutiques  detail_oriented  economic_data  information_sources  policymakers  policymaking 
november 2015 by jerryking
Sponsor Generated Content: 4 Industries Most in Need of Data Scientists
June 16, 2014 12:00 am ET
4 Industries Most in Need of Data Scientists
NARRATIVESby WSJ. Custom Studios for SAS

Agriculture
Relying on sensors in farm machinery, in soil and on planes flown over fields, precision agriculture is an emerging practice in which growing crops is directed by data covering everything from soil conditions to weather patterns to commodity pricing. “Precision agriculture helps you optimize yield and avoid major mistakes,” says Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank in Washington, D.C. For example, farmers traditionally have planted a crop, then applied fertilizer uniformly across entire fields. Data models allow them to instead customize the spread of fertilizer, seed, water and pesticide across different areas of their farms—even if the land rolls on for 50,000 acres.

Finance
Big data promises to discover better models to gauge risk, which could minimize the likelihood of scenarios such as the subprime mortgage meltdown. Data scientists, though, also are charged with many less obvious tasks in the financial industry, says Bill Rand, director of the Center for Complexity in Business at the University of Maryland. He points to one experiment that analyzed keywords in financial documents to identify competitors in different niches, helping pinpoint investment opportunities.

Government
Government organizations have huge stockpiles of data that can be applied against all sorts of problems, from food safety to terrorism. Joshua Sullivan, a data scientist who led the development of Booz Allen Hamilton’s The Field Guide to Data Science, cites one surprising use of analytics concerning government subsidies. “They created an amazing visualization that helped you see the disconnect between the locations of food distribution sites and the populations they served,” Sullivan says. “That's the type of thing that isn't easy to see in a pile of static reports; you need the imagination of a data scientist to depict the story in the data.”

Pharma
Developing a new drug can take more than a decade and cost billions. Data tools can help take some of the sting out, pinpointing the best drug candidates by scanning across pools of information, such as marketing data and adverse patient reactions. “We can model data and prioritize which experiments we take [forward],” Sullivan says. “Big data can help sort out the most promising drugs even before you do experiments on mice. Just three years ago that would have been impossible. But that's what data scientists do—they tee up the right question to ask.”
drug_development  precision_agriculture  farming  data_scientists  agriculture  massive_data_sets  data  finance  government  pharmaceutical_industry  product_development  non-obvious  storytelling  data_journalism  stockpiles 
june 2014 by jerryking
Rachel Carson’s Lessons, 50 Years After ‘Silent Spring’ - NYTimes.com
By NANCY F. KOEHN
Published: October 27, 2012

Rachel Carson, throughout her personal and public struggles, she was an informed spokeswoman for environmental responsibility.

She was a classic introvert who exhibited few of the typical qualities associated with leadership, like charisma and aggressiveness. But as people like Susan Cain, author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” have pointed out, leadership can come in less obvious forms.... her story is a reminder that one person’s quiet leadership can make a difference.... RACHEL CARSON’S story offers many leadership lessons, including the importance of persistence in pursuing an objective. When I discuss her with business executives, many are struck by her ability to stay focused on goals in the face of obstacles including severe illness.

Another lesson involves the importance of doing thorough research and taking the long view. A sense of context based on hard facts, along with a knowledge of history, is essential to understanding what’s at stake in difficult and uncertain situations. It also confers a sense of authority on the person who has acquired this knowledge.

A third insight concerns the juggling of personal demands and professional ambitions. Carson understood the challenge — and satisfaction — of dealing with our obligations to others even as we follow our professional drive. And she saw that this can rarely be navigated smoothly. For her, and for many executives with whom I have worked, times of great productivity were followed by fallow periods when ambitions had to be put aside for personal reasons.
solo  leadership  environment  cancers  women  non-obvious  trailblazers  books  introverts  contextual  long-term  history 
october 2012 by jerryking
Market Research: Safety Not Always in Numbers | Qualtrics
Author: Qualtrics|July 28, 2010

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.

we put together a few guidelines for when one research method might be more useful than the other.

Quantitative:
* For trending purposes, i.e. trends in customer feedback
* Need for quick feedback
* Particularly useful when a company wants to determine how to increase market share
* Product feedback for consumer products

Qualitative:
* Help identify non-obvious ways to delight current customers
* Looking for information to grow an existing market or create a new one
* Market research follow-up questions when numeric scales can be misleading
* Messaging validation for products that are new to the market
* Market validation
* Understanding objections and barriers
* Product feedback for enterprise products

In the article, “Market Research: Quantitative or Qualitative,” the writer Diane Hagglund said, “sometimes numbers provide false confidence and obscure real opportunity.” [Definition of overquantification]

She later added in a follow-up article that her market research firm recommends web surveys as good vehicles for quantifying concepts that the researcher is familiar with and wants accurate percentages for each option.

“This is a valuable thing to do, especially for market sizing, external marketing and PR purpose,” Hagglund said. “But for finding out the answers that you don’t really know, start with qualitative research – and by all means do a web survey next to put those percentages in place once you know the statements to put the percentages with.”

In other words, it’s important to quantify your qualitative research and qualify your quantitative research
market_research  market_sizing  overquantification  storytelling  qualitative  quantitative  Scott_Anthony  dangers  research_methods  non-obvious  enterprise_clients  false_confidence  Albert_Einstein  easy-to-measure  delighting_customers  follow-up_questions 
december 2011 by jerryking
Google Spending Millions to Find the Next Google - NYTimes.com
July 19, 2011 | NYT | By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER. Google Ventures
invests in various areas — the Web, biotechnology & clean tech.. It
puts large amounts of $ into mature companies, but it's also investing
small amounts in 100 new companies this yr..To make its picks, the
company has built computer algorithms using data from past venture
investments & academic literature. E.g., for individual companies,
Google enters data about how long the founders worked on start-ups
before raising $ & whether the founders successfully started
companies in the past.

It runs similar info. about potential investments through the algorithms
to get a red, yellow or green light. Google says the algorithms
provide valuable lessons, from obvious ones (entrepreneurs who have
started successful companies are more likely to do it again) to less
obvious ones (start-ups located far from the vc’s office are more likely
to be successful, probably because the firm has to go out of its way to
finance the start-up.)
google  venture_capital  start_ups  Claire_Cain_Miller  corporate_investors  vc  Google_Ventures  algorithms  investors  data_driven  non-obvious 
july 2011 by jerryking
Why Networking Isn't About Achieving Personal Gain
2004 | Wall Street Journal | By Barbara Moses. Good networkers
extend their connections beyond their immediate professional boundaries.
They cultivate relationships with people who know how to get things
done... They enjoy bringing together interesting people and ideas, and
they are as proud of making things happen for others as they are of how
many people are listed in their personal organizers. Skilled networkers
don't view staying connected with others as networking, seeing it
instead as exchanging information. The best networkers rarely expect a
personal payoff...having benefited from their contacts' kindness and
help, they`re seeking opportunities to reciprocate and hope they'll do
the same...Adept networkers are huge information synthesizers who can
see connections that aren't obvious between people, things and ideas.
From the initial presenting issue, they can identify a higher idea the
other person might not have seen and make creative referrals...they're
idea generators.
personal_connections  Barbara_Moses  connecting_the_dots  networking  tips  serving_others  Communicating_&_Connecting  idea_generation  ideas  non-obvious  latent  hidden  information_synthesis  referrals  value_added  packaging  personal_payoffs 
december 2010 by jerryking
How to be a packager
Posted by Seth Godin on June 29, 2009

Seth was a book packager which has nothing to do with packaging and a bit more to do with books. It's a great gig and there are useful lessons, because there are dozens of industries just waiting for "packaging"....A book packager is like a movie producer, but for books. You invent an idea, find the content and the authors, find the publisher and manage the process. Book packagers make almanacs, illustrated books, series books for kids and the goofy one-off books you find at the cash register. Seth did everything from a line of almanacs to a book on spot and stain removal. It was terrific fun, and in a good year, a fine business.....there are advantages to this model (and not just for books).

First, the world needs packagers. Packagers that can find isolated assets and connect them in a way that creates value, at the same time that they put in the effort to actually ship the product out of the door. ...
Second, in many industries there are 'publishers' who need more products to sell. Any website with a lot of traffic and a shopping cart can benefit from someone who can assemble products that they can profitably sell. Apple uses the iPhone store to publish apps. It's not a perfect analogy, because they're not taking any financial risk, but the web is now creating a new sort of middleman who can cheaply sell a product to the end user. We also see this with Bed, Bath and Beyond commissioning products for their stores, or Trader Joe's doing it with food items.

Any time you can successfully bring together people who have a reputation or skill with people who sell things, you're creating value. If you find an appropriate scale, it can become a sustainable, profitable business.

The skills you bring to the table are vision, taste and a knack for seeing what's missing. You also have to be a project manager, a salesperson and the voice of reason, the person who brings the entire thing together and to market without it falling apart. Like so many of the businesses that are working now, it doesn't take much cash, it merely takes persistence and drive.

Here are some basic rules of thumb that I learned the hard way:

* It's much easier to sell to an industry that's used to buying. Books were a great place for me to start because book publishers are organized to buy projects from outsiders. It's hard enough to make the sale, way too hard to persuade the person that they should even consider entering the market. (PS stay away from the toy business).
* Earning the trust of the industry is critical. The tenth sale is a thousand times easier than the second one (the first one doesn't count... beginner's luck).
* Developing expertise or assets that are not easily copied is essential, otherwise you're just a middleman.
* Patience in earning the confidence of your suppliers (writers, brands, factories, freelancers) pays off.
* Don't overlook obvious connections. It may be obvious to you that Eddie Bauer should license its name and look to a car company, but it might not be to them.
* Get it in writing. Before you package up an idea for sale to a company that can bring it to market, make sure that all the parties you're representing acknowledge your role on paper.
* As the agent of change, you deserve the lion's share of the revenue, because you're doing most of the work and taking all of the risk. Agenting is a good gig, but that's not what I'm talking about.
* Stick with it. There's a Dip and it's huge. Lots of people start doing things like this, and most of them give up fairly quickly. It might take three or five years before the industry starts to rely on you.
* Work your way up. Don't start by trying to license the Transformers or Fergie. They won't trust a newbie and you wouldn't either.
Seth_Godin  howto  business_development  expertise  one-of-a-kind  licensing  patience  large_companies  voids  vision  persistence  change_agents  overlooked_opportunities  packaging  value_added  non-obvious  latent  hidden  information_synthesis  creating_valuable_content 
july 2009 by jerryking

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