Agile Marketing Part III – Marketing’s OODA Loop

In the last post on Agile we discussed the flaws of the traditional linear marketing process.  So what could be the alternative? This is where we can find inspiration from an unlikely source – the military. John Boyd was perhaps the most prolific fighter pilot the US has ever known. He was an unusual character, a self-described maverick with an aversion to authority, which didn’t

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Heatmaps for Free


I remember the first time I showed a heatmap of a website to a client in a new business pitch a couple of years ago.  They thought it was the coolest thing  they had ever seen and I believe we won the pitch just because of it.  Nobody was doing it at the time.  We had partnered with one of the pioneers in the

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Agile Marketing Part II – Learnings from product development


Adapting to change is probably most important in new product development. Change and innovation live off one another. The last decade has seen a transformation in how companies approach innovation. This was drastically needed. According to the USPTO 59% of new product launches fail. These efforts accounted for 46% of all development resources. Even when products are launched, they usually aren’t optimized. 50% of all software functionality is rarely or never used.

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Agile Marketing Part I – The importance of adapting to change


Technology, new product innovation, consumer behavior, the entire society is changing faster than ever. This poses significant challenges for companies who need to find ways to adapt to change and embrace it as a breeding ground for innovation rather than a nuisance that forces them to reconsider outdated plans. This has pushed a broad range

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Music is Math

I have been pretty obsessed with a little side project over the last couple of weeks which explains why activity on the left column on this blog has been low ... .  It all started about a month ago when a colleague in London told me about the Korg drum computer

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Public Data Goes Public

Lately, I’ve been entranced by Google’s Public Data Explorer in Labs, launched in March.  This builds on the Public Data Search Feature that Google launched last year. It’s doubly wonderful because it uses the Trendanalyzer software developed by Hans Rosling’s Gapminder foundation and recently sold to Google.  (We’ve covered Rosling elsewhere here.)  The big breakthrough in this software is using very basic animation, to plot data against time.     - - Read More - -

England Will Win the World Cup

So says a quantitative model from JP Morgan. Analysts Matthew Burgess and Marco Dion used a model designed to predict stock prices and fed it with past scores and Fifa rankings and came to this unauthordox conclusion. "Having developed a rather successful Quant Model over the years, we intend to introduce it to our readers and also use its methodology to apply it to a fruitful field for statistics: Football    - - Read More - -

Monitoring Self Monitoring

Imagine my delight when I saw that The New York Times magazine ran a cover story by Gary Wolf with the same title and theme as one of my recent posts: "The Data Driven Life". It's a thoroughly researched piece about the trend of self monitoring, which, it turns out, has become a sizable sub-culture.  I have to admit that this came as a joyful epiphany to me. Wolf's central    - - Read More - -

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

I was talking to Andy McMains of AdWeek today who asked me if "thoughtful blogger" wasn't an oxymoron.  I hope not. I found Clive Thompson's recent Wired post on "Why We Should Learn the Language of Data" thoughtful. He argues that being "statistically illiterate" is bad for your health, and everyone else's too.  (Shouldn't that be  "innumerate", talking of literacy?)  Understanding the realities of global warming, the benefits of    - - Read More - -

Culture Carrier


Our latest Doublethink video is an interview with David Art Wales, Prime Minister at the Ministry of Culture. I’ve known David for over a decade, and in that time he has become something of a fixture on the New York alternative research scene.  I bumped into him again at a discussion between Moby and Walt

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