WYWW (LIVE) Ep. 5 – Bitcoin, Experiments & Recommendations

Bitcoin and Blockchains, Recommendation Engines

In and of itself, keeping up with all the marketing innovations and news that impacts your business can be a full-time job. Information overload doesn’t discriminate. So we’ve sifted through and picked out what deserves your attention most.

With all the news this week, we’ve gathered up 4 articles that discuss how experimenting with emerging technology and trends will be the ultimate driver for your business.

WYWW Live Article Links

1. Priorities: What College Admissions Really Want From Your Kid

I was reading a New York Times piece about college applications – tis the season – and the idea that colleges want everything. The main idea was that it’s not completely your fault if you’re not accepted. It’s no longer good enough to have all A-s and a bunch of AP courses. Because it’s really hard to check off so many competing objectives.

It feels like a lot of the business and marketing news this week had that theme: So often we get paralyzed by an inability to prioritize or focus on emerging areas we didn’t see coming.

2. Blink and you’ll miss it:  Blockchains Explained in Two Minutes

If you’re wondering what the actual difference between Bitcoin and Blockchain is, you’re not alone, for now.

For the past few weeks the news has been about Bitcoin achieving a record high. Then a couple days later it breaks another record. Last I saw one bitcoin had surpassed a value of $7,000. Now you probably fall into one of two camps: you know how to mine bitcoin and what all that entails… or you don’t have a clue. I’m actually in the camp of needing a clue, but the reason marketers like you should care is that it’s one of the first successful uses of blockchain. And while it’s still a little bit of the wild west – think early internet days –  it’s something you need to know about. Wired put out an easy-to-understand video that can help you get started. The power of blockchain has the promise of transparency, being fraud-proof and completely accurate… all things our industry is clamoring for. This is not something you’ll want to take you by surprise.

3. “I love guessing,” said no one: The Growth of Recommendation Engines  

As consumers, we have to prioritize and focus what we consume. Amazon and Netflix have changed our expectations forever learning what we care about. Recommendation engines provide a great way to prioritize billions of hours of content. Even the Rogue team consuming data and boiling it down to just a few things to focus on each week in WYWW(Live) gets at the same principle. It gets hard though because it’s not a one-time improvement. It’s ongoing, it always changes and it’s easy to be paralyzed by the idea that you’re not doing as well as the other guys who’ve been doing it a lot longer. That’s why experimenting with those new technologies is so crucial. The time to get started is NOW and you’ll want to resist comparing your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20. This week’s martech article shared great case studies and benefits on the ROI of implementing these recommendation engines, not the least of which include an ability to learn faster, improve cart value… and maybe most importantly engagement and delight.

4. Take it from the Karate Kid: 10,000 Hours of Practice vs. 10,000 Experiments

Most of us have heard that you need 10,000 hours of practice to be great at your craft. It’s only kinda true though. It’s most true for fields that change slowly or not at all like music and sports. But 10,000 hours of practice in fields that change – like ours – is next to useless. What this article advocates for is 10,000 experiments versus hours. Constantly tweaking and trying new things. Superstars produce a ton of bad ideas, but they just produce so many more ideas in general that they get more hits. But here’s the interesting insight – our businesses value productivity and have next to no patience, which squelches experimentation. This article makes a terrific case for more creative success hinging on more experimentation.

For more on these topics, check out our post-show discussion: