Tag Archives: Washington Post

Do You Know Martin Lindstrom?

On Friday, August 5, I present a synopsis of the best-selling business book, Small Data:  The Tiny Clues that Unocover Huge Trends” (New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 2016) at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.  You can register by clicking HERE.

But, you may not know much about the author, Martin Lindstrom.  Here is a bio from the Washington Speakers’ MartinLindstromPictureBureau that represents him (see citation below).

“Martin Lindstrom was named one of TIME magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Influential People” and is the author of several New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling books, including Buyology (Doubleday, New York, 2008), Brandwashed (Crown, New York, 2011) and Small Data (St. Martin’s Press, 2016). He is a trusted brand-and-innovation advisor to numerous Fortune 100 companies, including McDonald’s Corporation, PepsiCo, American Express, Microsoft, Nestlé, The Walt Disney Company and GlaxoSmithKline.

 “Lindstrom is recognized as one of the world’s leading brand experts, having pioneered the introduction of brands on the Internet (1994), using our five senses in branding (2004), introducing neuroscience in advertising (2007) and exploring the next generation of subconscious communication (2010). He was named a top “Thinkers50 Global Management Thinker” in 2015.

 “Due to his groundbreaking work, Lindstrom often features in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Economist, Harvard Business Review, The Independent, The Guardian and Der Spiegel. He regularly appears on ABC, CNN, CBS, FOX and the BBC.

 “Buyology was voted “pick of the year” by USA Today, and it appeared on ten of the Top 10 best seller lists in the U.S. and worldwide, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. His book BRANDsense was acclaimed by The Wall Street Journal as “…one of the five best marketing books ever published.” His books on branding have been translated into more than 50 languages and published in more than 70 countries worldwide.

 “Lindstrom is a regular contributor to Fast Company, TIME and NBC’s Today with his popular “Main Street Makeover” TV series.”

Source:  https://www.washingtonspeakers.com/speakers/biography.cfm?SpeakerID=4168

Woodward’s Secret Man Reveals the True Story of “Deep Throat”

Secret Man CoverI interrupted my reading of John Dean’s new book, The Nixon Defense, to tackle a 2005 best-seller by Bob Woodward of The Washington Post.Bob Woodward picture

Woodward, as you know, met with a character named “Deep Throat” in a parking garage during the Watergate saga.  Before he died, at age 91, Mark Felt identified himself in a Vanity Fair article as “Deep Throat.”  Felt was # 2, but he never made it to the top of the FBI, a position he greatly coveted.  You can read the article, published on July 1, 2005 by clicking here.

This book is entitled The Secret Man:  The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat (New York:  Simon and Schuster), and includes a “reporter’s assessment” by Carl Bernstein.

Although I am reading this nine years late, and had to purchase it through third-party sellers as it is out of print, I find the story intriguing and revealing.  I particularly enjoy the corroboration of Woodward’s recollections with the factual Nixon recordings, his own notes and memos, and FBI file reports.

Perhaps more than anything else, I am moved by the personal reactions that Woodward had before, during, and after these sessions with Felt.  And, the fact that while Felt could no longer remember others in that era, he could still remember Woodward.

To be clear, Dean obviously held Felt in great contempt.  In his new book, he calls him highly manipulative.  I don’t think Woodward would disagree with that assessment.  Felt gave Woodward what he wanted to give him, in his own way, on his own terms, and sometimes, not at all.  Felt was often very early, very late, or even a no-show for the scheduled parking garage meetings with Woodward.

I will go back and finish the Dean book now.  I think I am better prepared as a reader having made this quick diversion.

By the way, these are two pictures of Mark Felt.  The one on the left is from his FBI days.  The one on the right is from the day he announced himself as “Deep Throat” for the Vanity Fair article.

MarkFelt1    MarkFelt2

Privacy Concerns for Social Media Increase

A recent study conducted by Pew Research published on Friday, February 24 in the Washington Post, and distributed nationally by the Associated Press, indicated that Social Media users are “managing their privacy settings and their online reputation more often than they did two years earlier.”  You can read the entire article by clicking here.

Nearly half of respondents said that they deleted comments from their profile, where two years ago, only 36 percent indicated the same thing.

Here are some other findings, published here directly from the article, that may interest you.  The paragraph labels in red are my own.

Women.  Women are much more likely than men to restrict their profiles. Pew found that 67 percent of women set their profiles so that only their “friends” can see it. Only 48 percent of men did the same.

Education.  Think all that time in school taught you something? People with the highest levels of education reported having the most difficulty figuring out their privacy settings. That said, only 2 percent of social media users described privacy controls as “very difficult to manage.”

Privacy.  The report found no significant differences in people’s basic privacy controls by age. In other words, younger people were just as likely to use privacy controls as older people. Sixty-two percent of teens and 58 percent of adults restricted access to their profiles to friends only.

Young Adults.  Young adults were more likely than older people to delete unwanted comments. Fifty-six percent of social media users aged 18 to 29 said they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile, compared with 40 percent of those aged 30 to 49 and 34 percent of people aged 50 to 64.

Men.  Men are more likely to post something they later regret. Fifteen percent of male respondents said they posted something regrettable, compared with 8 percent of female respondents.

Regrets. Possibly proving that with age comes wisdom, young adults were more likely to post something regrettable than their older counterparts. Fifteen percent of social network users aged 18 to 29 said they have posted something regrettable. Only 5 percent of people over 50 said the same thing.

Here is how the study was done.  Pew Research conducted a phone survey of 2,277 adults in April and May 2011. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. The data about teens came from a separate phone survey Pew conducted with teenagers and their parents.

Are you surprised by this?  Is your own use in line with these findings?   What would you have said if you were surveyed with the same questions?

Let’s talk about it really soon!

What Does Warren Buffett Know That Steve Jobs Didn’t?

I thought it was interesting when Warren Buffett made a major turnaround and chose to invest in a traditional newspaper.  On November 30, Berkshire Hathaway, where Buffett is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, purchased the Omaha World-Herald Company, publisher of six daily papers in Nebraska and Iowa.  Such a deal is counter to the flow of his investment history, and represents a shift from his position about traditional papers.  In 2009, he stated that “we would not buy them at any price.”  You can read a summary of this transaction from the Wall Street Journal by clicking here, and view expert analysis in a video by clicking here.

There is something that Warren Buffett knows that Steve Jobs did not.  Buffett is one of the richest and most successful investors in business history.

In the Wall Street Journal, L. Gordon Crovitz recalled what Jobs said about the future of newspapers in his column entitled “Steve Jobs and the Future of Newspapers” (October 9, 2011).  Jobs said, “The only problem is that the [Wall Street] Journal is a newspaper and so is printed on newsprint.”  Further, he recalled Jobs saying “Whenever I have the time to pick up the printed version of the newspaper (sic), I wish I could do this all the time, but our lives are not like that any more.”  Crovitz summarized Jobs’ position by writing “he predicted that in five years there would be no more printed newspapers.”

That conversation was in 2006, so Jobs’ deadline has passed.  Sorry – there are still newspapers printed, delivered, purchased, and read in the traditional manner.  Since then, many newspapers have disappeared and many others are in financial trouble.  Some have pushed their emphasis to online editions, and now charge for access.

One of the great supporters of the traditional newspaper remains Donald Graham, the Chairman of the Washington Post Company, who said in a corporate news column in the Wall Street Journal, published on December 3-4, 2011 (p. B3), that he would neither sell nor spinoff the flagship newspaper or any of his company’s core businesses.

There is no question that reading online content from newspaper sites, such as the Huffington Post, is trendy, popular, and convenient.

To be sure, however, there are enough advertisers and enough subscribers to keep many printed versions going.  There are still plenty of people who want to get their paper from the front lawn, get their coffee, get back under the covers, and fold the pages to explore the content.  There are still enough people who spend enough time using digital devices who refuse to carry this mode into their treasured leisure time.  They want to sit in their easy chair, hold a paper, turn it, and even clip out articles of interest to them.  I subscribe to the Dallas Morning News and Wall Street Journal print versions, as well as the Wall Street Journal online edition.  The amount of time I spend with the online edition is about 2% compared with the traditional version.

I don’t think that Warren Buffett throws money away.  Something hit him to invest money in a paper whose weekday circulation has fallen 24% since 2006.   Maybe he wanted a challenge.  Maybe it links to his childhood occupation of delivering the Washington Post to homes in weathly neighborhoods.  I don’t know.  But, I do believe that he knew something about traditional newspapers that Steve Jobs didn’t.  And, for me, I will be under the covers reading my paper and sipping my coffee.  I’ll be digital during the day soon enough.

What do you think?  Let’s talk about it really soon!

In Pursuit of Elegance – What about the Enthymeme?

My book for July, 2009 at the First Friday Book Synopsis is In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing by Matthew May.

The book covers many areas and numberous examples of the power of the missing element. To quote the author, “The full power of elegance is achieved when the maximum impact is exacted with the minimum input” (p. 6).

I find it surprising that the author does not include a chapter on Elegance in Argument. Some of the most powerful arguments are those that fail to include all of its components, leaving it to the recipient to fill in the blanks.

This type of argument is called an enthymeme. Popularized by Aristotle in ancient Greece, the enthymeme is a syllogism with an implied premise. You are well aware of the famous syllogism: “All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal.”

When the premise is implied rather than provided, the argument becomes an enthymeme. Here are two you likely remember from recent advertising:

“This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” (The Partnership for a Drug-Free America)

“Want him to be more of a man? Try being more of a woman!” (advertising slogan for Coty perfume)

Therefore, in an enthymeme, the speaker builds an argument with one element removed, leading listeners to fill in the missing piece. Listen to how Paul Waldman in the Washington Post, September, 2003 illustrated this well: “On May 1, speaking from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, President Bush said, ‘The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001, and still goes on. . . . With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got.’ This is classic enthymematic argumentation: We were attacked on Sept. 11, so we went to war against Iraq. The missing piece of the argument–‘Saddam was involved in 9/11’–didn’t have to be said aloud for those listening to assimilate its message.”

In his book, May explains why what is not there often trumps what is. It is unfortunate that he does not extend his case to introduce the enthymeme to his readers.

Remember that one of the most powerful effects of persuasion is when the recipient believes that your idea is his or hers, or when he or she reaches a conclusion that you want, without your own input. The enthymeme is a powerful and elegant tool to do exactly that.

What do you think? Let’s talk about it!