What do you miss? McKinley Valentine on newsletters in general and BookRiot in particular

I kind of wanted to put the entire medium of newsletters as my tool because I do love them, but I’ve chosen Book Riot’s science fiction and fantasy newsletter, which I think comes out about twice a week… It just gives recommendations of science fiction and fantasy books, pretty much. It has the cover, it has the blurb – they’re…

Crossing bridges

There’s a reason that most marketers advise us to sell things to people who are already buying: getting something important into the hands of people who have never had it – and doing it in a way that makes a sustainable difference – is difficult. An incremental improvement on a single axis is unlikely to be enough: You’ll need to…

Overcoming barriers

With this in mind… How does what you offer reduce the barriers to people consuming something important to them? In other words, how do you make it easier (or even possible) for them to get the job done? How do you (dramatically) lower the price? How do you make it available in places where it hasn’t been before? How do…

Efosa Ojomo on market-creating innovation and overcoming barriers to consumption

This is a powerful lens for thinking about how to unlock possibilities and bring about change, drawing on the work of Clayton Christensen. Market creating innovations are innovations that transform complicated and expensive products into products that are simple and affordable so many more people can afford them. Those people who historically could not afford existing products on the market…

Network theory: Matthew O. Jackson on four types of connectedness

Recommended – link below. 1. The most basic [type of connectedness] that we all think of is just popularity: how many people you connect with. And that’s very natural – we count how many friends we have on Facebook or how many followers you have on Twitter. And that gives a some idea of the reach of a person… and…

McDonald’s miracles and me

McDonald’s gets a lot of stick, much of it deserved. But critics of McDonald’s are often blind to the value it adds – in large part because we never knew (or have forgotten) the context it emerged in. In the pre-McDonald’s era, I suspect more so than now, the quality of food and service available in local restaurants across small-town…

Ready-made and the alternative

Most of the time buying something that’s been ready-made by professionals is cheaper – especially if you count the cost of your time – and gets you a better result. You pay your money, and in return you get your problem solved. But it might be that you buy other things by choosing to make something yourself: fun new technical…

Deirdre McCloskey on liberty and human flourishing

The real ability of the poorest to buy goods and services rose, 1800 to the present, by 3,000 percent. Literally. A factor of thirty. … I take it you value human liberty and human flourishing. (If you do not, we have nothing to discuss, and can go straight to fighting it out in the streets.) You will know that the…

The onion strikes back: Maggie Koerth on the nested problems of Covid-19 testing

Covid-19 testing has been a mixed bag: Singapore and Korea seem to have been able to get on top of things quickly, while the UK and US (to pick too) have – at least in comparison – seemed barely able to get their act together at all. Maggie Koerth‘s discussion of the issue with Kevin Kelly and Mark Frauenfelder points…

Contextualising best practice: one size does not fit all

Here’s another example of how “best practice” is context dependent, this time in responses to the Covid-19 crisis: What’s the point? The point – especially for those working with poor or marginalised communities – is that standard “best practice” from other contexts is unlikely to transfer directly to where you’re working. Education, health services, housing policy and politics don’t occur…