Jargon watch: HENRYS

A new label for what would be considered millennial yuppies.

High Earning, Not Rich Yet

Via Goldman Sachs and Quartz

More information
Here is your dumb new acronym for moneyed millennials: HENRYs | Quartz

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Is RSS Dead? A Look At The Numbers | MakeUseOf – interesting stats on RSS – a very-much alive format

Adidas Group Forecasts 15 Percent Annual EPS Growth Through 2020 | Team Business – interesting definition of open source

Kraft and Heinz Merger a Cost Cutting Story | Euromonitor International – cost cutting could also be from a marketing perspective

Facebook Unveils Immersive 360-Degree Video for News Feeds | WIRED – interesting moves to come up with immersive (non game) content

Messaging Apps Offer Do-It-All Services in Bid for Higher Profits – NYTimes.com – interesting article on how WeChat and LINE are blazing the trail for western OTT messaging platforms in terms of innovation and business models (paywall)

Homegrown smartphone brand beats Samsung in the Philippines | Techinasia – part of a wider story about how Samsung is getting rolled back out of high growth markets in smartphones

“Dressing down” is only a status symbol for the elite – Quartz – flagged up by our Becky

WeChat is how content goes viral in China | Resonance China – from a marketing perspective this confirms the decline in Weibo as a platform. It also provides challenges due to the lack of visibility for brands in comparison to Weibo

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that have made my day this week:

Time lapse video of flowers blooming

Vintage British Airways advert from 1984 that sampled Beastie Revolution from the Cooky Puss debut single of the Beastie Boys

Amazing new footage from the forthcoming film instalment of Ghost In The Shell

Nike design legend Tinker Hatfield on the roots of the Nike Air Max Zero

Great explanation of how DLP MEMS chip works

Genius social media tone-of-voice

Waterstones Oxford Street realise that their customer base probably comes from the hipster sub-culture and working in the media sector. A mix of social media management in-jokes and grammar faux pas’ ensues. Here is an example of their posts.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

BlueFocus FY 2014 profit up 62.8% | PR Week – Sir Martin Sorrell will be concerned

Founding Fuel Hunting with the hounds – Indian consumers, by and large and across product categories, gravitate towards lower prices and more features instead of passionate brand loyalty

Keacher.com » How I introduced a 27-year-old computer to the web – interesting article, especially since he has to use at least two pieces of external tech to pre-process required applications to develop a web connection and render the web content itself. It puts into perspective how powerful a smartphone is

That Jeremy Clarkson post (or lies, damn lies and sentiment analysis)

It isn’t often that my thoughts turn to Jeremy Clarkson, mainly because being a car-less resident of London (and late of Hong Kong), I don’t really have much reason to pay attention to Top Gear. Secondly, there is only one Stig and that’s my childhood sporting hero – rally driver (and probably Sweden’s fastest pensioner) Stig Blomqvist.
Stig Blomqvist - Lada VFTS 1600cc
But I couldn’t avoid the fracas when it exploded as a story across the media.

I was particularly struck by PR Week’s coverage of the story: Jeremy Clarkson’s popularity on social media plummets after BBC ‘fracas’. Yeah, right! The problem with stories like this is about how you slice the data and interpret it.

Social media conversation as a mode of popular measure

The very nature of a conversation is the ebb-and-flow. Mr Clarkson would need to be more worried if he no longer was a topic of conversation as it would indicate that his celebrity had run its course. If everyone was unified in agreement when the volume of conversation would be lower, but it doesn’t necessarily measure popularity, but polarity of sentiment.

Sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis is worthy of a post in of itself. Machine sentiment analysis is generally no more than 65% accurate. That sounds pretty good until you see the results. When done properly it is usually supplemented by manual analysis, to pick up on colloquial language, sarcasm or complex sentence construction – all of which can fool the smartest systems. So any argument built on sentiment as a key indicator is built on a foundation of sand.

Social following

If we look at the amount of followers on Jeremy Clarkson’s Twitter account using social media monitoring tool Sysomos MAP; we see numbers that suggest his popularity on social has surged rather than declined as he became embroiled in controversy.
The story we are actually seeing is a polarisation of opinion with detractors becoming increasingly vocal and fans becoming firmer in their support. As a brand marketer, having a client that stands for something is the jumping off point for great creative. You are not constrained by having to please everyone and so great marketing can happen:

  • Red Bull – Gives You Wings
  • Hooters – Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined
  • Mid-1980s – 90s Guinness – Pure Genius
  • Audi – Vorsprung durch Technik

At the moment, Mr Clarkson probably doesn’t have a lot to worry about in terms of his social popularity; so long as the lawyers don’t get too involved his popularity is likely to sustain him in media work of some sort for a while yet.

More information
Jeremy Clarkson’s popularity on social media plummets after BBC ‘fracas’ | PR Week
Stig Blomqvist

Links of the day | 在网上找到

What’s missing from this 13-year-old girl’s iPhone home screen? – Quartz – interesting but not necessarily scientific. It does make me wonder why color coding doesn’t happen in app groupings UI specs

China’s slowdown has suddenly become a “fiscal shock” | Quartz – interesting economic data, the property price change doesn’t surprise me

‘We Came to Sweat’ Tells the Story of New York City’s Oldest Black-Owned Gay Club | VICE – interesting artefact of club culture

Venture investor Bill Gurley predicts startup failure – Fortune – we may not be in a tech bubble, the venture capitalist said, but we’re in a risk bubble

No, Really, the PC Is Dying and It’s Not Coming Back | WIRED – dramatic title, 5 per cent drop in PC sales numbers

Ex-NSA director: China has hacked ‘every major corporation’ in U.S. – CNN Money – strident allegations, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 5Is have also done the same thing

China Focus: Top political advisor highlights CPC leadership, “Four Comprehensives” | Xinhua – comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform, advancing the rule of law and strictly governing the Party

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that have made my day this week include:

The Story of the “Save the Memory Project” | Ricoh Global – impressive dedication and process salvaging lost and damaged photographs from the Great Tōhoku Earthquake.

Possibly the most amazing film trailer ever

Clock (Paul Hartnoll of Orbital, rather than Stu Allen’s mid-1990s Eurodance act) and Cillian Murphy in a dark Chris Morris-esque pop video

CeBIT opening speeches, fast forward to Jack Ma of Alibaba’s keynote at 1:09

Vice magazine on the rise of e-sports with some nice Korean team profiling

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Why I changed my mind about the new MacBook | VentureBeat – nice run down on the MacBook’s limitations

4 steps to getting your business model ready for emerging markets – interesting that The Economist’s tongue-in-cheek Big Mac Index is used as a serious pricing reference point in this article

How Jony Ive made Apple a luxury goods company – Business Insider – interesting technology is a substitute product for luxury sector goods argument made at the end of the article

Tinder Users at SXSW Are Falling for This Woman, but She’s Not What She Appears | Adweek – sci-fi film Ex Machina uses a bot on Tinder to market the film at SXSW

German duo to be caned, jailed for spraying graffiti on Singapore train | South China Morning Post – and they weren’t good graffiti artists either. Singapore has public spaces laid aside for graffiti

The Story of the “Save the Memory Project” | Ricoh Global – impressive dedication and process

iPhone 6s specs rumors: SiP processor reportedly in the works | BGR – computing power is likely to be below what an iPhone 6 would need, but interesting

80% of Bitcoin is exchanged into and out of Chinese yuan | Quartz – capital flight or something more criminal in nature?

I am 11

Eleven years ago rc started under it’s own name. The first post under the rc moniker was ‘Are we too complex’ which was a brief post that pointed to a longer piece I wrote at The AlwaysOn Network on Dan Geer. Dan Geer is a computer security and risk management expert who did a lot of work around the economics of security and how this all relates to technological complexity. The AlwaysOn Network had been newly formed by Tony Perkins, a founder of dot.com cheerleading magazine Red Herring. At the time it was a kind of proto-social network and Huffington Post for digital thinkers. I met my good friend Ian Wood on it.
Apollo 11 Launch
I had got into blogging mainly because I had Aljazeera as a client for a while. George W. Bush was about to send the US forces into Iraq after weapons of mass destruction and Aljazeera was a lot less respected in the west as a media outlet. I found it hard to get media coverage so decided to go directly to the prospective audience that we wanted to reach. The rest as they say is history.

Some 11 years later, Always On is a more prosiac seller of networking events and op-eds, but less of salon style community compared to what it was back in the day. At the time it was built on a proprietary CMS by a company NetModular that has since disappeared into the ether of technology as other off-the-shelf social platforms came along.

The blog went from exploration with a specific client end in mind to become an aide memoire and scratchpad for ideas. This exploration through writing inspired the name: renaissance chambara:

  • renaissance – as in renaissance man to indicate that the blog would cover a lot of different ideas
  • chambara – after my love of Japanese samurai films, in particular Akira Kurosawa’s work with Toshiro Mifune – I was curious about East Asian culture, the nascent Hallyu movement in Korea, Hong Kong and Chinese cinema and pretty much anything coming out of Japan

Over the subsequent decade I got invited to contribute to two books and got at least two of my roles because of the content and prominence of this blog. Even though I never monetised it, it always seemed to contribute and pay me back in some way or another.

Things have changed, social platforms, tools and gurus have come and gone. Media spend has risen in prominence and brand marketing has declined. What surprised me was the slow rate of change within the PR industry and time it took for media and ad agencies to gain the whip hand. I had expected that mobile and desktop experiences would be less divergent in nature as screens grew (I had been using a Nokia Communicator E90 in the late noughties) which meant that Google’s lead in search was much sharper than I expected.

I never had a plan for the blog, it has always been in the moment. Blogging isn’t dead, this one now sits in a spiders web of social properties rather than front-and-centre. It is no longer a conversation but a contributor to dialogue that usually happens on Twitter. The posts are collated alongside other people’s work on my feed. The process has taken on a life of its own. I have note books were ideas germinate, tens of thousands of bookmarks of reference material and look at the RSS feeds from 954 blogs or websites for inspiration.

This process forces me to be continually curious about my field-of-work. I have posted from three continents and some 11 or so countries. I don’t know if I will be writing the post ‘I am 21’ in ten years time, but I don’t currently see any reason why I won’t.

More information
Are we too complex (hosted on Blogspot)
AlwaysOn Network

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

These are some of the things that made my day this week:

All the ghostly sounds that are lost when you compress to mp3 – this has been quite well publicised but there is something about it that sends shivers down my spine each time I listen to it.

Benjamin Von Wong’s superhero series of pictures are amazing

This week I have mostly been listening to this mash-up album of FKA twigs and Biggie Smalls

TJ Fuller’s animated GIFs of psychedelic animals are tremendous

A History Of Gundam, The Anime That Defined The Giant Robot Revolution – as if this needs any explanation

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Wednesday. Hump Day. Peak of the week. – great way to bury the competition by O2

BBC News – Technology helps visually impaired navigate the Tube – interesting where 2.0 project on the London Underground

The Apple Watch Is Time, Saved | TechCrunch – watch as context dependent screen for iPhone

Apple Watch vs. Samsung Smartwatch: No new Gear announcement at MWC | BGR – a lot of supposition here but it was interesting that Samsung kept all the limelight for the Galaxy S6 models

The Apple Spring Forward (aka Apple Watch launch) Event Post

I started this post a few hours after watching Tim Cook and company launch a number of product revisions. The most anticipated of which was the Apple Watch. I was in full Post Traumatic Apple Event Disorder mode. I have collated some of my thoughts about the event below and tried to order them into some sort of cogent narrative.
Apple TV connections

The reduction of cost in Apple TV hardware was an interesting move. Apple has decided to go for market share rather than margin with the device and the incumbent HBO Now service might be just the catalyst to drive adoption. That Apple is leading with a HBO streaming service tends to imply that Apple has likely given up on trying to build its own ‘cable channel over IP’ offering. It does raise another interesting question about how other studios will want to handle their content in iTunes or via a an app similar to BBC iPlayer. Apple is passing on to consumers the cost benefits of using the older silicon design that powers the Apple TV. It also means that the Apple TV is the least powerful computer in Apple’s product range – including phones and tablets. The AppleTV is an egalitarian device rather a luxury brand product and a vote against widespread 4K adoption; unless the price discount is making room for a premium 4K capable device at a later date?

Social Enterprise

Apple’s moves at becoming a ‘social enterprise’ were interesting. For an organisation so polished at presenting itself to the outside world, the ResearchKit announcement and the case study with Christy Turlington felt awkward.  ResearchKit was delivered in a flat manner and didn’t explain how the product fitted in with Apple’s position on user privacy. Turlington’s appearance was like a particularly sycophantic Charlie Rose interview. There was a lot to talk about without having to ‘over-reach’ for celebrity endorsement.

Apple needs to work harder picking the spokespeople to burnish its reputation, the nature of the projects and the deliver to be less cringeworthy. The very nature of the product and design story means that Apple already has a certain amount of implicit moral imperative and the company should be more in-tune with that.
Apple Watch app
Apple Watch

I am deeply conflicted by a lot of the discussions around the Apple Watch, for a number reasons:

I haven’t used an Apple Watch, but watching others use it in the demos made me think that it is fiddly and dare-I-say-it: hard to use. It could be un-Apple in nature

Scott Galloway point to the Apple Watch and describe Apple as having transitioned to a luxury brand. The Edition watch maybe a luxury product, but not all of the Apple product range are luxurious – the AppleTV at a new price point of $69 implies ubiquity. This maybe a specific choice to get scale for the media content that other luxury Apple devices need to function. Just in the same way that quality newspapers couldn’t survive solely on sales to luxury consumers. What does this mean for those Apple customers who use the the devices as professional or creative tools?

Much of the debate revolves around what luxury consumers want by people who can’t afford to buy the Edition version of the watch. Do the kind of luxury shoppers who wouldn’t care about a $13,000+ watch have a smartphone, or a smart person to organise their lives? An astute reader of Popbitch will soon realise that the celebrity accessory to have is a personal assistant, not a bejeweled Vertu. Secondly, not being available is a luxury as privacy and time are the preserve of the reach in an always-on world

Many of the more positive predictions depend on the Chinese luxury market. The luxury market is changing in China. Luxury goods are used as tools in China; if you look successful, you are more likely to be successful in a culture that relies on high-touch personal relationships to facilitate business. However, consumers are becoming more sophisticated and moving away from at least some of the gaudier products. The Middle East may be a more opportune market for Apple.

A second use case in the Chinese luxury market is that of a compact storage of value for capital flight or making a payment. The culture of payments for favours is being clamped down on my the Xi administration which has been made visible by a 20%+ drop in luxury watch sales. I don’t know the way plutocrats would likely jump on the gold Apple Watch.

‘Apple Watch is just an iPhone remote control‘ Craig Johnson senior analyst at Piper Jaffray – heard on Bloomberg TV. ‘Luxury watches are a store of wealth, an Apple Watch isn’t‘. Which is probably true for many people on Wall Street, but may not true for the truly rich.

Apple MacBook

The MacBook carried the biggest dissonance for me. For long time Apple customers, MacBook means entry level laptop. They used to come white polycarbonate shells that matched the iMac G4 and Apple eMac. Instead the MacBook seems to reflect status:

  • A price point above the MacBook Air, but less powerful and less adaptable
  • Good battery life, but underpowered for many tasks
  • Three finishes including a gold colour that screams status in the iPhone line
  • A single port which made many of geek friends freak out with anger. The morning after one of my friends posted on Facebook about the single port: I am still angry. I use a Retina MacBook Pro at work and suffer from a lack of ports for external drives (including an optical drive), Ethernet, a secondary display and a card reader for multimedia work. The MacBook has a single port which replaces the MagSafe with a USB connection. For business users or creatives the machine is gloriously impractical and destroys their investment in things like the Apple Cinema display. I currently an Apple TV and have tried to screen-cast over Wi-Fi to it for presentations, it doesn’t like video at all. When I travel I usually present, for business users who travel regularly like me the MacBook feels like a pig-in-a-poke. Is the MacBook then decided to be a luxury consumer device?

The trackpad which is being rolled out across other Apple laptop models looked attractive to me. The next generation of keyboard seems to be less convincing. I suspect its attractiveness will be inversely proportional to your touch typing speed due to the lack of haptic feedback from shorter key travel.  Despite the price point difference, I suspect that the MacBook is actually designed to cannibalise some Apple iPad sales as an executive toy – I don’t know whether it will.

More information
Jargon Watch: Post Traumatic Apple Event Disorder
On Smart Watches, I’ve Decided To Take The Plunge
The Watch Post
Size Zero Design | 厌食症设计
Questions I Have About Apple’s Business | Apple 业务挑战
CES Trends
Waking from an Apple Watch hangover « Observatory
New Apple Stuff and You | The Wirecutter

Links of the day | 在网上找到

China’s Factories Are Building a Robot Nation – Caixin – it is amazing how manual things like smartphone manufacture is

Google and Apple may be forced to pay more tax in Russia | Gigaom – it makes sense

Pablo by Buffer – Design engaging images for your social media posts in under 30 seconds

Satya Nadella is cleaning up Microsoft’s ‘dirty little secret’ (MSFT) | Business Insider – the challenge is how do you give enough cloud away to encourage trial and adoption. It was easier with package software or OS where you just targeted C-suite and management consultants. I don’t think is necessarily that negative a story for Microsoft

Vince Vaughn and Co-stars Pose for Idiotic Stock Photos You Can Have for Free | Adweek – genius collaboration with iStockPhotos

Fund that hasn’t picked a stock in 80 years beats 98pc of peers | SCMP – Voya Corporate Leaders Trust Fund

What Is the Future of Chinese Trade? | Yale Global – interesting analysis of the Chinese economy

Brands must target digital strategies to local culture in Japan | Luxury Daily – great insights from L2

China manufacturing shrinks again in Feb. | WantChinaTimes – partly down to the timing of spring festival

Chinese shoppers are angry that their luxury Japanese toilet lids are made in China | Quartz – which says a lot about ‘brand China’ for its own consumers

AirCloset is a subscription fashion box startup with a twist | Techinasia – interesting wear-and-return model

Panasonic Developing ‘VR Goggles’ – Nikkei Technology Online – interesting that they can be worn as glasses implying a major reduction in weight in comparison to competitors