ROI: The Musical

THE MUSICAL

“ROI: THE MUSICAL”
On iTunes
On Spotify
On Stitcher
Direct Download

ELEVATOR PITCH

A time-traveling, genre-spanning, thought-leading comedy musical podcast experience about marketing, sales, and ROI, that’s sure to enchant anyone in business that’s ever asked, “RO-Why are we doing this?

STRAP LINE

“If you’re living life by the measurements,
you’ll never do something for the hell of it!”

The Trailer

BASIC IDEA

A musical audio drama, in which, the leadership staff of a fictitious company, after a journey of transformation, discover that investing in marketing the business isn’t about ROI, it’s about RO-Why.  

The question business leaders should ask in regards to marketing & ROI is not “what will we get out of marketing,” but “why are we even doing this?” 

Beyond just getting more leads & business, why choose marketing?

The WHAT of marketing, the tactics & measurements of marketing can be mishandled, misinterpreted, crammed into square holes; you want ROI, I can get you ROI.

The WHY of marketing, the strategy, is about more than a return on investments, it’s about the purpose for being in your brand’s marketplace. RO-Why.

With a marketing strategy strongly focused on WHY, the tactics, expectations, and measurements of marketing are aligned, so the way forward becomes clearly defined.

So when it comes to marketing, it’s RO-Why, before ROI. Or else, you endlessly chase more metrics that prove more things that are disconnected from the value you create and offer in your marketplace.

The Soundtrack

The Credits

Ryan Wallman as The CEO
Scott Monty as Donaldson Brown
C. Vincent Plummer as the Marketing Director
Casey Clark as Head of Sales
Jeremy Most as The CMO
Paul Julius as Paul Julius
Neon Brown as Jeremy Bentham
and Jacob Sanders

Written, Scored, Produced, and Directed by Jacob Sanders

Want a custom musical or podcast experience for your company or business? Get In Touch.

So You Wanna Start a Podcast?

Deciding to start your own podcast is a great idea – or is it?

In the process of launching the LAWsome podcast for Consultwebs with Paul Julius, we learned what it takes – and it takes a lot. 

The suggestions made below are based on our own research and preferences – for each suggestion, there are more expensive options, and indeed there are cheaper/shittier options – We encourage you to do your own research and find solutions that fit with your own preferences.

This outline is also ordered in a specific way – 

  • You must first Presearch; create a powerful purpose for your podcast, ID specific/narrow audience and install business goals – before you record anything. 
  • Then, focus on Content; what will you be saying, how will you say it, how will you pitch it? Get the words right, speak them aloud.  
  • Then, get your image right by dialing in the Creative; logos, show art, episode art cards for social media.
  • Then, get all of your Sites together; figure out where it’s going to live, be distributed, connect the dots – everything short of publishing an episode. 
  • Finally, get all the Tech and equipment you need to create, record, edit, and produce the podcast you’ve envisioned. 

We did NOT do it this way, and learned in a roundabout, hit our head on the doorway, stubbed our toe in the dark kinda way.  

Let this guide serve as the diving board into the pool of podcasting. And just like real swimming, the best way to learn is through experience, so, good luck! 

Here are some considerations, software, tools, templates and tech that you may find helpful as you get your podcast off the ground.  

PRESEARCH – Figure Out ‘Why’ First

Audience? – Narrow audience, narrow focus = loyalty, who needs this podcast?

Content? – Theme? Topics? How deep can you go on the topics, how many episodes can cover this topic?

What kind of format? – Interviews, long-form, story/chapters, product reviews, length, who is Host/Co-Host, advertising potential, will you be live-streaming, will there be video?

Competitors? – Who is doing similar? What are they offering? How can you differentiate? Can you go more narrow with your topic? Focus in on what they haven’t.

VMOSA – The Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Actions. COMPLETE THIS before doing anything – Learn more → HERE 

Goals – Are you ultimately looking for emails, bookings, sales? Find a way to incorporate the “Ask” naturally.  

CONTENT – Show format, content schedule

Show/Episode Flow & Formatting – Use Google Docs to keep a list of topics, guests, links, and show lengths to make sure you’re staying on theme.

One-Sheet – Create a one-sheet pitch for your podcast, highlight benefits/topics/themes – sell the podcast – this can be sent to potential guests, advertisers, used on social, in show blogs

Content Schedule – Map out the episodes and dates for recording and distribution 

Email Templates – Have prefabricated starting points for your most frequently sent emails – Interview requests, sharing requests, links – be sure the footer includes podcast logo! 

ID3 Settings Template – For your mp3s, you’ll want to make sure the ID3 (metadata) tags are complete, so keeping a good reference of what a complete ID3 tag looks like is a good idea.

Blog Per Episode – Your site needs to be updated with every episode. 

Influencer List – Research people who frequently talk about your show’s themes on social media, get with them/tag them when publishing

SITES – Destinations, Applications to Create/Distribute Podcast

Your Website – A place to send folks, collect info, update with episodes, embed LibSyn code.

Social Platforms – Twitter, FB, Pinterest? Where is your audience – ?

LibSyn – Pay to host content and distribute to major platforms, ensure ID3 tags (metadata that explains the file on the web and connects back to you) are complete.  

iTunes Podcast Connect – Submit your LibSyn RSS feed to iTunes, refresh, some analytics – Only takes a day or so to submit, make sure you are ready to Publish before submitting to iTunes 

Google Docs – A place to create show notes, links for guests, collect art/logos/episode cards, 

Calendly – To schedule interviews

CREATIVE – Podcast brand/logo/show art

Canva.com – Image editor, visual content engine – online, quick, easy to use and provides templates! 

Show Logo – review iTunes podcast art, create similar – 3000 x 3000 px – 

Social Platform Art – Banners, right-sized art cards for distribution

Episode Art Cards – Social posts that feature the episode art, logo, features of the episode, visual banners for iTunes and GooglePlay – 

Follow LibSyn FAQs – Art requirements (size, file type) will be explained in LibSyn to ensure that all your logos, wallpapers and backgrounds will look good. 

TECH – Running a radio station

Microphone – Audio Technica AT2035 Condenser

Stand – On-Stage Stands MS7701B Tripod Microphone Stand – Mic needs to be free-standing, not on desk.

Pop-Filter – Prevent the “pffs” and unnecessary mouth noises

Mic Baffle – Deaden the room sound.

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Closed-ear headphones – Sennheiser HD 280 Pro – closed-ear contains audio bleed from headphones better

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) – Audio editing platform to edit show, add music, etc – Audacity, Logic, Garageband – YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO EDIT WAVEFORMS – how to maintain audio levels with compression and other mastering tools, and how to export MONO mp3s. 

Audio HiJack – A program that allows you to capture audio from either specific applications like Skype, or your entire computer, then export as mp3 and edit in your DAW.

Skype – For interviews or audio access to guests, including options for video, Skype is the way to go. 

Original Music – You’ll want a theme and music that is distinct to your show – HIRE A COMPOSER – or, find royalty-free music and be sure to credit musicians and composers/links to their work. 

Total cost for Tech investments → $500+

So that’s it then…..?

Not quite.

The two main ingredients to a podcast, or any successful content marketing idea, are CONSISTENCY and TONE.

Be consistent or be forgotten.

We all have awesome ideas, passionate ones. But passion doesn’t scale.

When you set out for this endeavor, think romance, not passion. Make sure you have a deep well of topics and ideas you can drink from regularly and for a long while.

Podcasting is a performance art.

Don’t think for one second that a podcast is “just talking.” Your podcast is here to perform, and the hosts better deliver because the competition isn’t the next business in your vertical, it’s the New York Times, or WNYC, or Serial, or any other high-quality audio experience up for grabs in the marketplace of podcasts.

Speaking in public or on record is an art with artistic tools like rhetoric, grammar, colloquial flourishes, inflections, and melody. If you are still thinking of doing a podcast, consider the entertainment quality of your hosts and ensure they are ready to deliver a performance with each and every episode

In Conclusion….

If you have any questions about your podcast, or are interested to learn more, let’s connect here on LinkedIn.

Good luck and happy podcasting!

Business vs Personal – A Handy Myth

“Are you traveling for business or pleasure?”

Two distinct categories, one distinct answer. In the airport, it seems that business and personal are segmented worlds. We’ve heard the following quote often enough to know it’s true.

“It’s not personal, it’s business.”

The line between the realms of business and the realm of the personal is firm and unwavering. There is calculated business behavior, and then there is chaotic human behavior, and never the twain shall meet.

“It’s not work if you love it.”

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This is where I get confused.

It seems that if professional decisions need to be made, business factors weigh heavier. But if professional motivation is a goal, the personal and business realms are passionately intertwined?

You’re supposed to put your heart into your work, yeah?

You should love and be proud of what you do for money, right?

This purposeful & paradoxical confusion between “business vs personal” is especially dangerous territory for marketers & advertisers.

How do marketers and their investors properly temper & balance their personal feelings, when arousing personal feelings in an audience to gain business benefits is the goal of advertising?

When the impersonal calculus behind business decisions meets the personal realm of the creative act of marketing or advertising, what are the people caught in the middle supposed to feel? How are they supposed to act and not take things too personal?

Content Custodians

Marketers start off seemingly cordoned from the business realms. Custodians of Content.

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Wandering the halls of your company’s assets, sweeping the files, checking for typos, cleaning up links, adjusting a footer, the pixelation of graphics, the tone/phrasing/shaping/size/hue/saturation, removing all the scuff marks from the floors of your content, wondering how to improve the shine of, and gain proper recognition for, the institution.

And so, when shareholders dog your idea, trash your ad concept, change the copy at the last minute, remain unconcerned with all of your input – how does a marketer not take this shit personally, especially when I’ve been up late at night polishing the trophy case and told to throw my heart into my work? You see how this could fuck with people?

How do you separate your marketing’s performance from your performance?

An idea marketers can use from the world of jazz & creative performance art, is that you don’t lose yourself in the song, you lose yourself in the craft.

When I am playing jazz on a stage, I focus on song form, meter, key centers, & then the existing interplay between the musicians. Where are we? What’s going on? How can I fit in? What can I accentuate? What’s required right now?

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We play the song all the way through, together as a band – we all individually add our parts and try to bring relevant and appropriate amounts of funkiness – and then we move on to the next song.

I don’t judge myself by the song, I judge myself by the unique interplay onstage during the song and the successful contributions I made therein.

If ice-cold execution of the band writ large, or your own perfect personal performance, or other people’s adoring reactions are the main focus, your focus is off and you’ve stopped doing your best work.

Your work is the delivery of the craft, not the product.

As marketers I believe we personally develop through the creative endeavors we embark on behalf of paying clients, not because of them.

The goal is to continually build your personal skill set regardless of the professional outcome. Because people will boo, they will applaud, they will cry, they will love you, they will hate you, you’ll sell millions, you may lose that much – and you have to be able to professionally handle all these various reactions, without taking things personal.

So how does this connect with the “business vs personal” myth?

“Business vs Personal” needs Disruption

The lie that there’s a difference between business and personal, when only people do business with one another, is a mental barrier worth overcoming.

Business is interpersonal, so the idea that there’s some separate world of behavior and norms actually creates the euphemisms & distrust of the business world, concurrently making meaningful relationships & personal contributions nearly impossible within it’s ecosystems.

The marketer considering the “business vs personal” dynamic, tasked with performing on the public stage on behalf of the brand, is therefore hindered on several fronts. Do they bring their personality to the marketing? Do they do what’s required, or what they think is right? Do they deliver something they are 100% proud of, or do they deliver whatever % required to get the check cashed?

There may be no clear answer, but I think if we dropped the pretense that there is a difference between the way we’re supposed to feel/act/behave in business and personal relationships, and embraced a few truths from the world of jazz & creative performance, we’d better understand dynamics that transcend economic logic and incorporate cultural and anthropological contexts, providing a much more useful and holistic perspective on business & marketing.

Then again, all this jazz is just my opinion….don’t take it personally.

How MacGyver Ruined Marketing or The Cheap Genius Theory

“Time and budget are tight for this project. You’re creative, you’ll think of something. What we’re looking for Jake, is ‘cheap genius.'”My Life

As a creative person, my ability to think fast and make connections has helped advance my career, propelled me from gig to gig. Along the way I’ve been haunted by the spectre of MacGyver, the resource-strapped (read; alluringly cheap) genius of 90s American TV, because I think he personifies a few things wrong with marketing and business.

Why?

Think about this…

  1. Of the first companies that appeared on the Fortune 500 in 1955, only 53 held a place on the list in 2018 (-89.3% success rate)
  2. A business culture obsessed with risk and cost management, rife with rampant short-termism and shortening CMO lifecycles
  3. The crumbling foundations of ‘expertise’ and break-up of industrial knowledge silos
  4. The ‘gig’ economy filled with entrepreneurial DIY-life-coaches-gurus-hackers
  5. The belief that the next big platform or IPO or genius idea will come like it always does, from a random, scrappy teenager’s garage;
  6. and MacGyver….

Mix it all together and it’s plain to see, the belief that MacGyver-like-business-saving genius is cheap, widely available, and flourishes during to-the-wire timelines, is a bad brew for marketing and business to be sipping on.

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I’ll first explain who MacGyver is, unpack what I’m calling The Cheap Genius Theory, and then we’ll explore ways to define and disrupt this damaging trend.

Who is MacGyver?

A bent paper clip can defuse a ballistic missile. A potato and some cigarettes are all you need to thwart a high-tech prison’s security system. Chewing gum alone can defeat an entire militia.

These aren’t just thought-exercises, these seemingly implausible scenarios all played out during the 80-90’s TV action/drama MacGyver.

There are MacGyver fansites dedicated to celebrating the genius of MacGyver, featuring full breakdowns of all the problems he’s applied his time-strapped, cost-effective, MacGyver-ness to, in all seven seasons on CBS from 85′ – 92′.

While MacGyver seems to portray creativity very favorably, it’s my belief that MacGyver perfectly personifies the perceptual problems around what creativity and “cheap genius” is, where it comes from, what resources it needs, what it’s worth, and how creative ideas can be best applied in business and life.

The Cheap Genius Theory (CGT) explains why business leaders approaches problem solving, creativity, advertising, and marketing the way they do – which is hoping MacGyver shows up, or worse, thinking they’ll pull a MacGyver and cut the right wire once the countdown on the bomb begins.

You, trying to defuse a bomb.

There are five concepts that add up to The Cheap Genius Theory….

HUMANS ARE CHEAP

Although a premium option exists for almost every good or service, (the best house/car/President, the best advice, the best hummus!) humans will almost always choose the least-crappy, less-likely-to-fail option. Not the worst, but the least worst.

It’s called ‘satisficing’ and it’s an irrefutable part of human behavior, it’s based on strong empirical data, and it’s the best explanation around for why people make decisions that don’t make sense in the long run.

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Sure we could defuse the bomb a traditional way, but let’s try this paperclip first.

GIVEN RESOURCES, “EVERYONE IS CREATIVE”

With so many brainstorms and Post-It Notes and examples of startups with humble-and-hooded-sweatshirted beginnings, genius ideas spawned from simple creative thinking are seemingly everywhere.

Many are the professional articles outlining how managers just need to unleash their team’s creativity to solve their issues.

That creativity is widely available changes the way creativity is incentivized or incorporated into strategic thinking.

If we solved the last emergent problem cheaply, in a tight timeline, with a potato, then why budget in experts, time, or resources this bomb around?

If MacGyver can’t disarm the bomb in time, after this next brainstorm, I bet Glen from Accounting might be able to pull it off.

CREATIVITY LOVES SPONTANEITY

The myth that creativity is bolt out of the blue stuff and must always arise spontaneously is pernicious outside of the creative community.

There’s a belief out there, no thanks to MacGyver and college term paper deadlines, that creativity is best catalyzed by time and resource constraints, and it’s usually only when your cognition is pushed to the wire do the explosively successful results take place.

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Nope.

The true skill to develop in creativity is not time-constrained improv, but strengthening the mental muscles that connect threads between disparate channels of thought.

The results of creativity may be experienced and sharpened most thrillingly at the drop of a hat, but the skill that connects creative conclusions takes a long time to strengthen for ideation at a rapid pace to take place.

So in training for creativity it isn’t about developing quicker reaction times, but rather increasing mental flexibility in making farflung connections between wide swaths of human experience, accrued knowledge, cultural/social consciousness, and expressing it all through the chosen medium.

Just because someone HAS defused a bomb with a shoe in under 30 seconds, doesn’t mean that’s the most effective way to train for defusing a bomb.

CREATIVITY ISN’T ACTION OR OUTPUT – ITS CONNECTION

Creativity is an observation made in the minds of those that connect a creative action to genius, not in the action itself.

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Creativity is judged not by the act, but by the audience, the norms it upsets, the expectations it disrupts – cheap genius is only good when someone is there to see it as genius, otherwise it’s just cheap.

Or worse.

CGT enthusiasts wrongly think the purpose of creativity is to solely manifest actionable ideas, missing the point that the true measure of a creative idea is the interpretation and accepting ingestion of it by the target audience, not just in the idea itself.

REAL CREATIVITY IS SOMETHING WE’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE

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Creativity is not a groundbreaking shattering of molds, but the art of combining recognizable molds in unexpected ways.

Something that had never been seen or experienced before would not strike a familiar chord in our souls, and so, it would just seem chaotic or out-there. You’ve heard Coltrane’s SunShip, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not down, it’s a tough hang.

The Cheap Genius Theory highlights the skillful usage of a paper clip to defuse a missile, overshadowing the true skill/ability in need of nurturing praise in creativity, which is a deep understanding of pre-existing concepts, in this case metallurgy and electricity, and how to quickly combine and apply them in novel ways/situations.

Ingenuity and spontaneous invention is only possible on the shoulders, brains, backs, thoughts, legends, laws, and expectation of the rules that have come before.

You can only cleverly manipulate the law of gravity once you understand the underlying concepts and expectations, concepts that Newton teased around hundreds of years before your trick of cheap ingenuity came to be.

You can defuse the bomb with gum and its wrapper because you know about microchips, friction, the chemical properties of saliva, and the electrical conductivity of metallic substances. Without Galvani, Lavoisier, Curie, Jack Kilby, Wrigley, the ancient Aztecs that found chicle – all of that cheap genius wouldn’t be accessible.

Why this is bad, and what to do about it

Since creative thought is widely available, potentially cheap, and the product of chaotic spontaneity, businesses don’t plan, budget, or schedule for it, let alone reserve creativity a seat at the strategic table.

That’s bad.

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Along with cheapening the importance of creativity and devaluing it’s place in business development plans, The Cheap Genius Theory’s most destructive influence is on strategy.

As disruption threatens every established business model, stakeholders across the world run their businesses knowing that companies don’t last as long as they used to.

But rather than strategically approaching changes to their business model, or solving business problems with creativity in the front end, CEOs are relying on MacGyver’s to save the business as is, they’re cutting costs where they can, and focusing their marketing campaigns on higher conversions with shorter observational windows.

Whether it’s Byron Sharp, Binet & Field, Mark Ritson, Rory Sutherland, or any of the other great minds in marketing today, the smartest people in the room agree, there is a rampant disease of short-termism with drastic side-effects on strategic, creative, long-term thinking in businesses today.

I think there needs to be a perceptual shift in the way we view creativity, and it starts by admitting the truth of The Cheap Genius Theory, and realizing our business development strategies are not strategies at all, but rather a string of implausible MacGyver-like fixes.

We have to admit CGT throws off our sense of how creative thought is best curated, generated, and applied to researching business problems. And we have to change the way we apply creative thinking to the research and diagnosis of solutions that aim to fix the business problems our companies face over time in a competitive marketplace.

Oh, hi marketing.

And then, once we understand creativity, I think we need to dial it up!

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Creativity is far-and-away always voted as the most important factor in effective marketing and advertising. But because of The Cheap Genius Theory, creativity is paradoxically the first thing everyone relies on to solve a marketing issue, but the last thing anyone plans on paying for.

Rather than relying on more MacGyvers to show up, I’d like to see creativity given it’s proper respect, timeframe, and proving grounds to demonstrate it’s ability to guide business development strategy. Businesses should curate a place of deep thought and research, develop the atmosphere of a mental gym that strengthens the connective and creative muscles in your team to saturate themselves in your most pressing problems to come up with slow-cooked, ingeniously-marinated marketing solutions that fall off the bone. (…who’s hungry?)

Without exercising both the fast and slow twitch muscles of creativity, research and execution, the impact of continual cheap genius fixes, no matter how ingenious, will yield ever-diminishing returns.

No one is arguing that resourceful creativity isn’t important to business development, but rather than utilizing creativity to strategically adapt our business models and marketing plans, we’re praising/seeking/utilizing versions of ‘genius’ that imprison us, and keep us mucking about with the same type of short-term fixes and cost-effective disarming methods, for a bomb that’s killed 89% of the last MacGyver-dependent businesses.

Here’s to all my cheap geniuses and business owners the world over;

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Move Fast and Break Things – Jonathan Taplin


“Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy”

The title really says it all. In the last 10 years, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth among giant tech monopolies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. This has poured gasoline on the issue of income inequality – and has stoked the dumpster-fire that is the Presidency of Donald Trump.

Check it –

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google owns 88% of the Search Engine Market
Facebook own 77% of the Mobile Social Media Market
Amazon owns 70% of all E-Book Sales and 67% of Print Book Sales

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In 2006 the Top 5 Most Valuable Public Companies were
ExxonMobil, General Electric, Microsoft, Citigroup, and BP

In 2016 the Top 5 Most Valuable Public Companies are
Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Since the giant marketplace launched and began pricing local merchants out of business, Amazon has forced 24,000 bookstores and 3,000 record stores to close. 

Locally sustained culture and much needed jobs are being traded for low prices and convenience.   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Since lobbying President Bill Clinton for the Internet Tax Freedom Act in 1998, which prevents any government body from imposing internet specific taxes, Jeff Bezos continues to ensure that libertarian, limited-government, tax-free ideology can flourish online.

Google, Facebook and Amazon annually shortchange the US government well over $100billion, thanks to the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In 2003, worried about eroding civil liberties, billionaire PayPal founder and now Top-Trump aide in the White House Peter Thiel starts PALANTIR, a data-mining company. Palantir and Cambridge Analytica work together in 2016 to undermine democratic processes in both UK and USA.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To understand how these giant monopolies came to dominate Sillicon Valley and then the world, Taplin takes us back to the birth of the Internet. . . which was originally supposed to be a good idea.

Birth of the Net

For all of the libertarian lipsmacking we hear about the tyrannical oppression from government, the Internet, which has made most libertarian dreams possible, was funded by DARPA in the late 60s; aka, the US GOVERNMENT.

Pro Tip here-> The early Internet was not created by a lone genius, it was carefully researched and funded by the US government, and built by a network of wicked-smart and progressive data scientists.  It was never meant to be an IPO.

By the 70s, there are two factions within this community
– Geeks, and Counter-Cultural Humanists.

Heading into the 80s, with Apple and Steve Jobs on the scene, hackers become corporate consultants. Here, the tech world and the future Internet, meet the free-market ideology of libertarianism.

Peter Thiel

The chess wizard, math prodigy, closeted-gay genius is swept up in self-hating Libertarian ideology in the late 80s. Founds The Stanford Review, a publication which aimed to question the crippling effects of feminism, the tyrannical obsession over political correctness on campus, and fought against a multicultural society, which would subsume the powerful white man’s role. No kidding.

His book “Zero to One” on entrepreneurship, suggested everyone set-up monopolies, huge companies that would dominate the landscape. What could go wrong?

His structure was simple –

1) Build proprietary tech that dominates competition, buy-out competing tech.
2) Build businesses that have “network effects” – millions of people need to connect.
3) Scalable economies that can grow
4) Strong branding and promise

Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the business model for PayPal, Uber, Napster, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, Apple, Lyft, Tesla, YouTube, Netflix, Adobe, Oracle, and thousands of other tech companies.

30 years ago, being Libertarian was a joke. Now it has become mainstream – it has become Silicon Valley – it has become the Republican Party. This connection is bringing darker ideas with it – anarcho-capitalists, paleo-libertarians, the need for authoritarian control. This is where the undermining democracy part comes through.

The aim of steroidal-libertarians is to destroy democracy, before it destroys us, our individual freedoms. When billionaires like Charles and David Koch start espousing this line of thinking, it sure isn’t to the benefit of the voting public. This quote from David Koch outlines the ideology that helped to secure a Trump presidency last November –

“We need a return to authoritarian rule. Democracy has led to moral decay, family breakdown, divorce, crime – Diversity is forced integration from the government, which brings concomitant social strife and racial tensions. We need a strong man to lead us.”

Yeah – right off a St. Petersburg pier!

Thiel’s first company, PayPal is this Libertarian philosophy made real – The government can’t touch our money.

Jeff Bezos and his tax-doging, workplace safety avoiding, small economy destroying company, AMAZON, is also built on Thiel’s disruptive monopoly model. Amazon captures 51 cents of EVERY dollar spent in America.

Sergy Lyn and Larry Page and their black-hole-like information suckingdemocracy disruptingtruth defyingadvertising revenue generating behemoth of a company, GOOGLE is also built on this model.

Mark Zuckerberg and his privacy destroyingcivilization tamperingmanipulatingbrain altering, social media company, FACEBOOK, are also built on Thiel’s model.

These guys are the richest people in the WORLD – they are making decisions that effect THE WORLD – and they are at the helms of the largest monopolies the world has ever seen, making the largest profits ever known. They rent out properties on their “land” and operate more and more like feudal lords than techno-future-wizards. These feudal lords establish political power in a web of bilateral individual contracts – these orgs have no conception of legitimate public political authority, nor any place for political society within their profit models.

This will be the coming battle -> A war between those who foresee a democracy that continues to uphold its obligations to its citizens regardless of their net worth, and one in which market imperatives have become so fully assimilated that the only citizens who count are those within a small sector – The definition of the word “plutocracy” is a society ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens. We are right in the middle of this.

SO, AM I HATING ON LIBERTARIANS?

Yes – and in addition to that, I am questioning the concept that technology and ONE SINGLE PERSON can save the world. Superhero movies are at an all time high in American culture – and why not? We want someone to save us. The real problem is, ALL of these hyper-wealthy wackos think they can save the world.

Zuckerberg is trying to eradicate diseases and promote equality worldwide, while Facebook is supposed to bring us closer together.

Page and Thiel are working on life-extension therapies and transferring human consciousness to a database, as well as establishing “floating cities,” which are supposed to be Libertarian utopias lying outside the jurisdiction of current geopolitical reach, all the while PayPal and Google have made it easier for us to learn and get paid for our gig-economy micro-jobs.

Bezos is pushing back against Trump, funding a political takedown of sorts with his Washington Post by means of “free press,” as well as pushing for the industrialization of space, while we can get cheap eyeliner delivered to our house in hours from Amazon.

Libertarianism only works for a small group of people. For everyone else, we have to care about one another to survive, we have to cooperate. Learning to cooperate and work together is how civilization survived and thrived for thousands of years! If everyone is truly the captain of their destiny, and we have no one to depend on but ourselves, ask this question . . .

If we ALL go out hunting for, who keeps the homefire burning?

In digital economies like Google and YouTube and Facebook – orgs that trade in information – the social and marginal costs for producing and distributing more content is close to zero. Facebook pays NOTHING for the content it hosts. YouTube pays NOTHING and has millions of hours of user-generated video being uploaded everyday. This is what Taplin and other economists refer to as “zero-marginal cost economy.”  The only way to make money is to scrape everyone’s data and sell it to advertisers.

Nowhere does the fixed cost to produce more content like high quality movies, art, music get factored into the equations of Google or Facebook or YouTube. Artists and musicians will not be able to survive, because no one will have the time to keep the homefire burning, there will be no culture to maintain and pass on. Artists living in this world are more concerned with gathering a fleeting slice of a distracted marketshare, than building the foundational masterpieces that future art can build upon.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – SO WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?  

A rejection of “techno-determinism” and “techno-humanism” – a breaking up of monopolies and plutocracy! We have to get a little R&R – Resistance & Renaissance

Taplin’s Solutions?

Content creators need to get PAID – Micropayment ecosystems should be set up and existing ones encouraged, “take down-stay down” laws need to be put in place in US in as strict a fashion as Europe, mandatory “opt-in and opt-out” options to limit tracking and surveillance efforts of big data mines.

Access to Broadband Internet – 
The United States has a chokehold on the Internet – those with higher funds can access higher speeds thanks to monopolization efforts from TeleCom Co’s. In our digital economies, restricted access to the Internet is a form of poverty. Out of the top 50 countries in the world that offer broadband access to their population, the US is 22nd. We are behind Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Norway, Portugal, Finland.

Untether Happiness from Consumption – In his book, “Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered,” the economist EF Schumacher breaks apart the modern obsession over “happiness,” and asks us to envision a world where people actually give a shit. “The modern Western economist is used to measure the standard of living by the amount of annual consumption, assuming all the time that a man who consumes more is “better off” than consuming less. A Buddhist economist would find this irrational. Since consumption is merely a means to human well-being, the aim should be to obtain the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption”

The only barriers to living in this world of less consumption is Google, Amazon, and Facebook’s business models are engineered to continually arouse our desires. We market and create products that are “sticky,” that are basically addicting. So the short answer is – – –

FB, Google, Amazon Need to Change Their Biz Model – To protect our privacy and help thousands of artists create sustainable cultures for the future, the business model needs to change to honor content creators, not a few random billionaires. Facebook is about to make $20billion in annual revenue – and only 15,000 people work for that company. This is clearly adding to income inequality in such a drastic and massive fashion that the time for action and awareness is now.

These companies may seem like benevolent Plutocrats – but the time for plutocracy is over!

GET THE BOOK!! –> http://www.jontaplin.com/the-book/

marketing blog, content marketing, advertising, digital marketing, social media marketing

Faces

“I’m looking at the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways.”
– Michael Jackson

What is this life, but a striving for connection. We want to feel connected, initially to our parents/family, friends, lovers, then to our conception of society, and finally to the narratives we choose to pursue, identify and struggle with, draping them with the flimsy cloth of existence. We also want any irregularities, or unexpected changes in our narratives, to be fully explained and if possible, connected. We want to see ourselves in our surroundings, we want connection.

The Information Lords at Wikipedia have supplied us with this gem –Pareidolia (/pærɨˈdoʊliə/ parr-i-doh-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant.

Common examples of pareidolia include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse. In 2014, archaeologists in India, discovered prehistoric cave paintings, which they claim depict ‘tripod objects, flying crafts, and a race of noseless, weapon carrying aliens.’ The paintings, done in a natural tone, are thought to be over 10,000 years old.

The reportage over at the Times of India was very well balanced, and didn’t lean into non-facts, or what could explained as pareidolia. “We can’t refute possibility of imagination by prehistoric men, but humans usually fancy such things.” But do these drawings validate the theory of ‘paleocontact’, ancient aliens visiting us in the distant past, giving us our edge? Or are they the “fancy” of an ancient artist, in love with connections, trying to connect the images in his/her brain, with reality, with the narratives of her people?


We are constantly trying to connect everything, to everything else. Centaurs, chili-cheese-fries, gryphons, politics n’ religion, open browser-Twitter-iPhone-TV-Wii, Combos – we want all of it condensed and understood, smashed together in a pill, fitted into a box, all the wild hairs shellacked down to our scalp.

Connections are thought to give our life meaning. But almost all of the most meaningful moments in our life are unplanned, non-connected, beautiful, wild, and sometimes horrifying. And when nature’s had her unexplainable way with us, we get to choose how we want to connect to the information.

So the question of the cave art is this – Do you connect more with an ancient race of people, who with the assistance of extraterrestrials really turned on their cave art, maybe went to space and learned the secrets of the universe, but still died with nothing but great cave art to show for it….or do you connect more with an ancient race of people who strove for connections, who wanted explanations for the unexplainable, who saw their forms commingle with the forms inside their creative minds on a cave wall, a race of people who wanted connection with the forms of nature, a race of people trying to tame an untameable world? Sounds familiar.

marketing blog, content marketing, advertising, digital marketing, social media marketing

Emotional Analytics and the Ham Sandwich

Marketing gurus. Businesspeople. Vegans with MBAs. Social-media bottom-feeders. Picture in your mind a ham sandwich.

What you hold in your head right now is, for me, one of the key concepts to great social media strategy. Not the ham sandwich itself, but the idea that while each of you now sees a ham sandwich in your mind, none of you are seeing the SAME ham sandwich. It’s your “idea” of a ham sandwich. Now, what does that mean in regards to Social Media? Everything.

The Sandwich Multiverse

When we’re engaging with our peeps, or engaging with our client’s peeps, we have to remember the ham sandwich, we have to remember that everyone is seeing “their own sandwich.” Very briefly, the philosophical concept underpinning this idea has been referred to as “Qualia” or individual instances of subjectiveconsciousexperience. The term derives from a Latin word meaning for “what sort” or “what kind”. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the perceived redness of an evening sky. When you’re sharing and engaging any ideas on social media, you need to be prepared for the “qualia” or the multiple ways your text or links can be interpreted. When we share, we have to engage our brains in emotional and social intelligence. Get these ideas, these deals and these coupons into the social stream, while focusing on the emotional analytics of your content…now what are emotional analytics?

The Empathic Sandwich

People don’t read content in a bubble – they’re reading their News Feeds with their moods, their attitudes, and more sociological baggage in tow. Brought to light by the imitable Stephanie Walden in this article, “Emotions Analytics” is a new field that focuses on identifying and analyzing the full spectrum of human emotions including mood, attitude and emotional personality. When we pump out content, we have to be aware of what emotions we are asking our audiences to engage with, what questions are we asking, how will the reader feel after they’ve given more than a cursory look. So as you engage with these large groups, don’t bank on people “understanding” your knock-knock joke about Shania Twain, or that people will “see where you’re coming from” when you talk about the buzz in the lights while you’re on-line at the Orange Julius in Paramus, New Jersey. These are dead-ends, esoteric wastelands, inside-jokes that will kill your traffic. But this doesn’t mean you can’t be weird.

The Sandwich Unfolds

Back to the sandwich – When I post anything, I try and see the item from as many different angles as I can, before I hit send. I examine my post with the clarifying lasers of questions – “Is this engaging/funny/interesting, is there a trend I’m joining/starting/rebooting, who will catch this, who won’t, who will need extra info to make the connections, who’s gonna be offended, how risque can I get, children, grandparents, orphans…” I refer to this technique as “Unfolding the Sandwich” – Let’s see it in action, and we’ll use our ham sandwich as content –

To some, the ham sandwich killed Mama Cass (Pop Culture) to others it stands as a symbol of religious oppression (Insider Information, Sphere of the Personal/Religious), others may see the ham sandwich and picture those riveters on the Empire State Building (Historical/Educational Signifigance) some may be vegetarian and see the ham sandwich as proof of our inhumanity (Empathic/Emotional Intelligence) and still some may have never even had a ham sandwich and are picturing a large flightless bird (Non Sequiter – Attention Grabbing).

ONWARD

The point is, think long and hard and creatively about the content you share, and when you get responses (Retweets, mentions, Shares, Likes) follow up in the same spirit as the post. Your audience will feel like they’re being talked to, not at – and that’ll keep the billables coming.