• Chasing Culture
    As companies strive to attain the definition of business success - profitability, notoriety, market leadership, market share -- there's still one elusive target: company culture. At its best, a vibrant company culture feeds loyalty, collaboration, productivity, innovation and more. While they are a start, zealous leadership and great hiring alone do not create a culture.
  • Christchurch Earthquake Shatters Sense Of Stability
    Once again, my home city of Christchurch, New Zealand has been rocked. And, while we were shaken badly in last September's 7.1 quake, this time the damage is unfathomable.
  • Future Of Ad Technology: Revisiting Bill Joy's Six Webs
    Online advertising technology gets a bad rap with venture capitalists these days. Many don't want to back "adtech" start-ups now, because they believe that the sector's best days are behind it. I disagree. I believe that we are going to see some really big ad tech companies built over the next five years. For perspective, I draw on the vision of legendary technologist and futurist Bill Joy.
  • How To Prepare For The 'Money Ball' Era Of Marketing
    On Feb. 20, 2002, I wrote my first column for the Wednesday Online Spin, entitled "The Beginning Of A Renaissance." The very first paragraph of that article was, "Advertising is witnessing the beginning of a renaissance! As the economy starts to right itself and advertisers look towards ways to expand their customer bases, advertising will benefit from an increased examination on how we can effectively reach an audience." It's a little ironic - and a nod to my prescience -- that on February 23, 2011 I can start an article with the exact same words.
  • It's Not All Changing, But Nothing Is Going To Be The Same
    For over four years now I have been writing every week on the impact of shifting media, and things have never been more exciting. The way people consume, interact with and communicate through media is impacting everything from the entertainment industry to national revolutions. But while we have new tools, it does not mean everything is changing. It is important that among all the change we balance our perspectives to appreciate that much of the key to how things will be, can be learned from the lessons of how they have always been. The problem is seems to be that ...
  • Three Gamification Lessons From Engage Digital
    At the Engage Digital conference this week, we heard about everything from game design at Zynga to social media usage at McDonald's. Here are three lessons I picked up.
  • Why I Love Groupon
    I love Groupon, and I've never even used the service. I love Groupon, and I've never even been to its Web site. Why do I love Groupon? I love it because, for the first time since Netflix, we have a "digital company of the moment" that's not just about some new whiz-bang technology. To me, Groupon represents the beginning of a new trend in digital marketing companies. Here's what I mean:
  • If It Looks Like A Bubble, And Smells Like a Bubble...?
    We're now well into 2011, and it's starting to look and smell a little bit like 2000. Once again we have M&A activity, consolidations and IPOs taking place on a weekly basis that generate mass coverage. The news is out there, led by Huffington Post being acquired by AOL, and followed closely by news of Linkedin and Pandora filing for IPOs. Meanwhile, we see angels and VCs once again throwing money at companies with a vengeance not seen since, well... mid-to-late-2000! But does this wave of hype and excitement signal an impending collapse based on overvaluation, as we saw in ...
  • The Google Mystique
    We've known Google for a long time now. We were charmed by him, back when he was just a humble, unadorned newcomer. As we watched him become less awkward -- and constantly transform himself as perhaps the defining digital business and cultural enterprise of our times -- we've maintained a love-hate regard and resigned ourselves to mixed emotions. Isn't this always the case with power and popularity?
  • Groupon, KC And McDonald's Piss People Off, But Does Anyone Care?
    Let's face it: the Groupon ads were lame.

    Forget offensive, inappropriate, or out of context. They just weren't any good. And the main reason they weren't good is that the story they told went in exactly the wrong direction: from heart to wallet. They started us thinking about serious topics, began to evoke our higher selves and deeper principles, and then turned the tables to show how they really perceive us: as shallow beasts who will happily sacrifice a couple million acres of rainforest to save a few dollars on a bikini wax.

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