ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

What Siri creator Norman Winarsky thinks of Apple’s Siri now — Quartz – not terribly surprising

What are creative strategy craft skills? – David J Carr – Medium – well worth a lunchtime read

But Where Will the Mall Walkers Go? – Racked – interesting how malls public private space role isn’t discussed that much in the retail apocalypse

Best smartphone cameras: iPhone X, iPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy S8 – Business Insider – this must be a blow to the likes of Huawei, I’d consider using this in attack ads depending on market dynamics

Geneva Auto Show – Own goals | Radio Free Mobile – I’d also argue that the exclusive focus on Li-ion batteries rather than hydrogen fuel cells is also an issue

BlackBerry suing Facebook for patent infringement | CNBC – “Blackberry’s suit sadly reflects the current state of its messaging business. Having abandoned its efforts to innovate, Blackberry is now looking to tax the innovation of others. We intend to fight,” Facebook general counsel Paul Grewal said – you see Facebook has sucked the blood out of other businesses for too long. I have little sympathy with them in this suit. It will be interesting to see how robust BlackBerry’s patents are and whether it would be cheaper for Facebook to pay them off or buy the business outright. The question is who is next after Facebook in Blackberry’s legal sights?

Range Rover’s $295K SV Coupe Has 2 Doors, Makes Some Sense | WIRED – I’d personally prefer an old Range Rover CSK, but it makes sense

Toyota set to end production of diesel cars | RTE – hydrogen fuel cells make more sense than lithium ion batteries

Japanese “mommy” team gives wake-up calls to adults so they won’t be late for work【Video】 – inspired idea by Japanese mobile network Au

This Chinese billionaire felt lost in US without WeChat, mobile payments | South China Morning Post – The chairman of Legend Holdings, the controlling shareholder of Lenovo, said China was now comparable to Japan and ahead of the US in terms of mobile internet technology, digital content and innovative business models.“If you haven’t stayed abroad for a long time, you might not understand [the difference],” said Liu, citing his recent experience in the US.
His insights give credence to how Chinese technology companies have cultivated a hi-tech universe so large that it exists almost exclusively on its own – sustained by the country’s 1.4 billion people – but cut off from the rest of the world by Beijing’s Great Firewall, which blocks content not approved by the government. – the problem is that Chinese systems are ‘Galapagos’ technologies

Time for news to fight back | The AustralianMark Ritson arguing that that agencies may be pushing clients into digital media because it can result in greater commissions for the agencies — in some cases almost 3 times greater than for traditional media (paywall)

Trinity P3 and Mark Ritson analysis: Digital commissions more profitable for media agencies – Campaign Brief Australia – commission-based fees, incentives, free ad space and bonuses media agencies can earn as a percentage of an advertiser’s ad spend range from about 7 per cent to 10 per cent with Google and Facebook on average, whereas television, radio, newspapers and outdoor media pay about 3 per cent.

That’s the key finding from an analysis of regional and global agency deals by global marketing management consultancy Trinity P3 and Mark Ritson

Balenciaga is Putting its Money Where its Logo-Covered Hoodie Is for F/W 2018 | The Fashion Law – garments on the brand’s runway bore a phone number, +33156528799, which turns out to be Balenciaga’s “new hotline.” Call the number and you can answer a 20-question survey, inquiring about your age, primary language, height, and shoe size, as well as your favorite form of transportation, type of music, season, taste (your options are: Bitter, Salty, Sour, Sweet, or Umami), and so on.

A way for Balenciaga to better understand its customers? Maybe. Considering that the message is ends with the following note: “Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. All data will be erased now,” I, for one, am guessing this is more interactive experience than fact gathering mission. If we have learned anything over the past several years, it is that “experiences” are everything to the modern-day consumer – I can imagine a choir of marketers howling in a symphony of pain about this

Alibaba rival JD.com posts first annual profit as a public company | TechCrunch – The company’s fiscal profit was helped by a surprise $35 million profit in Q1 and a lucrative Q3 quarter in which it posted a RMB 1 billion ($151 million) profit thanks to its own efforts on Single’s Day, China’s online shopping bonanza. The company posted a RMB 909.2 million (US$139.7 million) loss for Q4, but that marked a 28 percent decrease year-on-year.

While Alibaba has a higher profile — with enormously profitable quarters — JD.com has quietly built out its e-commerce by expanding into financial services, offline retail and more

Silicon Valley Is Over, Says Silicon Valley – The New York Times – In recent months, a growing number of tech leaders have been flirting with the idea of leaving Silicon Valley. Some cite the exorbitant cost of living in San Francisco and its suburbs, where even a million-dollar salary can feel middle class. Others complain about local criticism of the tech industry and a left-wing echo chamber that stifles opposing views. And yet others feel that better innovation is happening elsewhere – like Shenzhen? I think a lot of the problem with Silicon Valley is that it doesn’t build hardware any more. Bright people are mobile for the right pay, what you can’t easily do is the kind of commercialisation and manufacturing speed as a feedback loop like you see in Southern China

Smartphone users are spending more money each time they visit a website – Recode – The amount of money people spent per visit to online retailers has increased 27 percent since the beginning of 2015, according to new data from Adobe Analytics. Meanwhile, the length of smartphone website visits has actually declined 10 percent

World Consumer Rights Day is Back. Prep Your PR Team | Jing Daily – it will be interesting to see who the government wants to lash out at this year, there is expectations that it will be luxury brands

Meet the billionaire millennial pouring money into British fashion… and she’s only 27 | Telegraph Online‘My generation has completely different shopping habits,’ says Yu. ‘People born in the 1960s and ’70s buy into established brands such as Dior and Chanel. For them, it’s about showing status and where they fit into society. But my generation isn’t into logos – it’s not cool, it’s too obvious. [And] we prefer to shop online. We’ve become very interested and hungry for young, emerging designers.’

P&G’s Marc Pritchard calls for ‘fewer project managers’ at agencies as he vows to destroy ‘maze of complexity’  – “For media, data and analytics is enabling us to bring more media planning in-house, replacing multiple layers,” said Pritchard. “When it comes to buying, our purchasing people can negotiate with the best of them, so we’re doing more private marketplace deals in-house. And if entrepreneurs can buy digital media, why can’t the brand team on Tide, Dawn and Crest be entrepreneurs and do the same? They can, and they will.”

He explained that P&G wants and needs brilliant creatives, and will invest in such talent. But “creatives represent less than half of agency resources, because they’re surrounded by excess management, buildings and overhead.”

Where Millennials end and post-Millennials begin | Pew Research Center – defining gen-y and gen-z

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Things that made my day this week

Techmeme Ride Home by Techmeme on Apple Podcasts – nice summary of the biggest stories in the tech sector on a 15 minute podcast

HomePod — Welcome Home by Spike Jonze — Apple – FKA Twigs dances along in a mind bending video that’s part LSD trip and part old time Hollywood musical. Just a shame that its advertising the HomePod.

Stephen Hawking Voice Generator (play/download) ― LingoJam – kind of like the Speak n Spell you had when you were a kid but more adaptable

Let’s Go Twitter – I haven’t watched a film at the cinema in a while so am probably way late to this creative. I ended up being really confused by this advert. I love Twitter but good lord do they honestly think that advertising will solve what they seem to have diagnosed as a UX issue in on boarding for a new account?

Supermarket chain REWE empowered shoppers to choose the sugar content of its own-brand chocolate pudding. During the campaign, REWE distributed puddings that had 20%, 30%, and 40% less sugar alongside its original formula; the favorite formula (30% won!) will be permanently available for sale at the supermarket. via Trendwatching.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

The great big Spotify scam: Did a Bulgarian playlister swindle their way to a fortune on streaming service? – Music Business Worldwide – this also shows how topsy turvy the economics of Spotify are

China is quickly becoming the dominant force in startups | Quartz – makes you wonder about Silicon Valley

Opinion | The Tyranny of Convenience – The New York Times – Americans say they prize competition, a proliferation of choices, the little guy. Yet our taste for convenience begets more convenience, through a combination of the economics of scale and the power of habit. The easier it is to use Amazon, the more powerful Amazon becomes — and thus the easier it becomes to use Amazon. Convenience and monopoly seem to be natural bedfellows. – great article by Tim Wu

WPP Vows to Do Better After Weak Results, Nervous Outlook Send Shares Plunging – The New York Times – WPP plans to accelerate a programme to simplify the business by aligning digital systems, platforms and capabilities to provide bespoke teams for its clients as opposed to the different agencies that currently compete with each other to win contracts.

Smart homes and vegetable peelers — Benedict Evans – interesting starting point, but I think that there should be a second layer. Can the intelligence be local (like lighting sensors based on movement and presence in office buildings) or does it need cloud computing? Why can’t smart lightbulbs be at the edge rather than in the cloud. Why does a Nest thermostat need to be in the cloud?

WeChat New Year Data Report 2018 – China Channel

WSJ City | Five signals sent by China’s Anbang takeover – Reining in big spenders (spending capital abroad in an untargeted manner), reduction of systemic financial risk, concern over complex short-term high-yielding wealth products

Wealthy Chinese Women Are Unique in APAC: Agility Research | Jing Daily – interesting dissonance between Hong Kong and Chinese high net worth consumers

Levi’s Invented A Laser-Wielding Robot That Makes Ethical Jeans | Fast Company – the laser and chemical free treatment remind me a lot of the work that Frontline Clothing in Hong Kong have been doing for years in association with their Chinese supply chain partners

Struggling Esprit to close more than 40 shops in Europe | South China Morning Post – it plans to close more than 40 “heavy loss-making” shops in “core” European countries, or make around a 10 to 15 per cent reduction in its controlled space in these countries

Amazon Has Officially Invaded The Advertising Industry | Forrester Research – the bit this misses is that consumers already use Amazon’s search page as a first port of call for things

Huawei distances itself from executive’s comments that rivals using politics to keep it out of US | South China Morning Post  – Huawei did not authorise Yu to make comments about the US on behalf of the company, and does not agree with his views, Chen said. Yu did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comment – Richard Yu is known for going off-piste with media

LittleThings online publisher shuts down, blames Facebook’s algorithm – Business Insider – not terribly surprising, one only had to look at the games companies that built their businesses on Facebook and got eviscerated

Burson Cohn & Wolfe – SixtySecondView – like any other business merger the focus will keep the eye off the ball at a time when the PR industry is seeing exceptionally low growth rates. I have friends and former colleagues on both sides of this in both Asia and Europe; so I hope it works out well.

Samsung says it’s going to stop pumping out features and start making devices good instead – BGR – “We developed mobile phones earlier than China, and we were obsessed with being the world’s first and industry’s first rather than thinking about how this innovation would be meaningful to consumers,” Koh said. “Being the first turns out to be meaningless today, and our strategy is to launch something that consumers believe meaningful and valuable at a right time.” – this reads like a slap in the face to Huawei’s approach on innovation and features

Tea Turns Up Temperature in Fight Against Coffee – WSJ – what tea misses is ritual

Daring Fireball: Berkshire Hathaway’s 2017 Annual Report (PDF) – they know how to play to small town audiences well

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Things that made my day this week:

A cheap facsimile of the classic Nokia 8110 managed to upstage the launch of of a range of premium Android phones at MWC.  Nostalgia is powerful, but I don’t think what’s going on here. I could see this as a weekend phone allowing consumers to wind down at the weekend and go cold turkey on the app economy.

nokia8110traditionalblack3 png-257014-original

I think that the model of a single form factor based on common reference designs is broken. Apple managed to elevate the build quality of all smartphones as contract manufacturers moved towards an armada of CNC machines and advanced manufacturing. But in the process, the common designs, common components and new baseline in product integrity has homogenised and commoditised Android handsets to such a decree that only scale and advertising budgets are differentiators.

Amazing selection of music from the sound tracks of classic kung fu movies over at Shaolin Chamber 36.

Roni Size talks about the music that influenced him

Frank Herbert talks about creating the science fiction epic Dune

digitalethnography | Field Note Painting Booklet – done by Xinyuan Wang, a UCL social anthroplogist in a lower tier Chinese city. Ms Wang wrote a really good monograph on social media in industrial China.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

After Anbang Takeover, China’s Deal Money, Already Ebbing, Could Slow Further – The New York Times

Hello, mobile operators? This is your age of disruption calling | McKinsey & Company – lots of buzz words, diagnosis but not a glimpse of a way forward

Edelman Revenue Up 2.1% In 2018 To $894m | Holmes Report – given that all the global PR groups have had exceptionally low growth or even declines

How Douyin became China’s top short-video App in 500 days – WalktheChat

Nokia on 5G at MWC, what struck me is the sales pitch was more like an enterprise software company like IBM or Oracle than a telecoms vendor. There is lots of tech in the networks but there isn’t a recognisable killer app. His warnings about 5G upgradeable products ring true though.

Asian Boss do some really nice street interviews in different Asian cities and this one about Apple iPhones in Korea is particularly instructive. Samsung is seen as the default as they assemble phones (mostly for Asian markets) in Korea. Whereas in Europe all of the are made in China.

The iPhone seems to have won out on product design amongst younger people.