Yi-Tan Tech Call 288: Blink Click Nudge Sway Drive Switch

July 13, 2010

We’ve seen a spate of recent books with one-word titles that are about perception and persuasion, including:

  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Click: The Magic of Instant Connections, by Ori and Rom Brafman
  • Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
  • Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, by Ori and Rom Brafman (again!)
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Dan Pink (watch this sketchcast!)
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Dan and Chip Heath

Ori and the Heath Brothers have been on Yi-Tan before. These authors are all drawing on recent research in sociology, psychology, anthropology, neuroimaging (fMRIs), plus the disciplines of behavioral economics, neuroeconomics, influence, positive psychology and several soon-to-be-named fields.

Together, let’s discuss:

  • What do these books collectively tell us about human nature? about systems design?
  • What does this work mean for our future as customers? as citizens?
  • Can we weave a coherent narrative through these books? Do they build on one another or not?

Here’s the podcast: Blink Click Nudge Sway Drive Switch

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 287: The Total Surveillance Society

June 30, 2010

Does your mobile have a cool GPS feature? Do you shop with credit or debit cards? Would you like to be able to pay for things with your mobile instead? How convenient, no?

This is just one of many trends that leave behind breadcrumbs that are superfood for analytic people like Jeff Jonas, one of the world’s premier data puzzle masters.

For a taste of where we’re headed, read these two posts of his:

With Jeff, let’s discuss:

  • What privacy invasions are already possible that we considered impossible?
  • Is there any scenario in which this surveillance society doesn’t happen? Can we step out?
  • How will life be different? Is there a book or movie that captures it well?

Here’s the podcast: The Total Surveillance Society

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 286: Holy Water and More

June 22, 2010

After a career as an ad executive, James Othmer recently published his third book, a comic novel titled Holy Water (a review).

In it, he skewers the worlds of globalization, marketing and more, drawing many insights from the discrepancies between how things seem and how they all-too-often really are.

With James, let’s discuss:

  • What inspired this novel?
  • Is any company really “marketing with meaning” yet? How does that work?
  • How is life in the book industry, compared to the ad world? (Watch his awesome Adland video.)

Oh, and my apologies if you hoped this call would be about Catholic sacraments and such….

Here’s the podcast: Holy Water and More

You can also download the podcast:  here.

Here’s the podcast: Facebook, Privacy and “Like”

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 285: Facebook, Privacy and “Like”

June 17, 2010

Facebook keeps pushing the envelope. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you have to admire their chutzpah, agility and strategic brains.

The company’s privacy adventures are already the stuff of legend and infographic, with some framing Facebook itself as the most ambitious phishing scheme ever and others starting a “leave Facebook movement” that hasn’t really caught fire. Ah, the excitement.

Between opening up everyone’s data (the Open Graph) and crafty features such as the “Like” button, Facebook is trying to make itself a permanent part of the tech infrastructure. Maybe we should watch the movie or read the book.

With our awesome colleague Al Chang, let’s discuss:

  • What is Facebook’s strategy? What is the end game they seek?
  • Why don’t people seem to care so much about their privacy?
  • What’s the genius behind Facebook’s Like feature? What’s the Open Graph?

Here’s the podcast: Facebook, Privacy and “Like”

You can also download the podcast:  here.

Yi-Tan Call 285: Facebook, Privacy and “Like”

Yi-Tan Call 284: The Quantified Self

June 8, 2010

We’ve talked about Participatory Medicine and DIY in various ways, but we’ve only scratched the surface of what people are starting to do by collecting and sharing their health-related information.

If you read Gary Wolf‘s recent New York Times Magazine cover article, The Data-Driven Life, you’ll enjoy this call. He and Kevin Kelly recently started the multiparty blog The Quantified Self, where they (and Alexandra Carmichael, who just joined the fray) are describing the many facets of QS.

With Gary, let’s discuss:

  • What is QS? Your favorite examples? Will everyone call it QS?
  • Why is it taking off now? What sectors will it affect most?
  • What dangers lurk in QS?
  • What’s the best thing that QS enthusiasts might do to advance the discussion?

Here’s the podcast: The Quantified Self

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 283: Speed Round 2010

June 3, 2010

We haven’t done a Speed Round call in a long time, so let’s have a quick, broad conversation on a series of topics that are top of mind these days, such as the effects of the Gulf oil spill, Facebook’s privacy (mis)adventures, the iPad’s repercussions, a flurry of Android phones (and more!) and Venter’s artificial critter (ok, not quite a critter yet).

Have strong opinions on any of these? Jump in!

Together, let’s discuss:

  • Where might the oil spill saga go next? nuke it?!?
  • How do you feel about your privacy online? Have you acted on it?
  • Has the iPad eclipsed other e-readers, or is there hope?

Here’s the podcast: Speed Round 2010

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 282: The Future of Movies

May 26, 2010

Are you a Netflix customer, or do you download from BitTorrent? Did you watch the 3D version of Avatar, with the special glasses on?

There’s a battle on for our movie-viewing eyeballs. The most optimistic players hope that “enhanced” versions of movies will become the default, the way Starbucks turned the corner diner’s $.25 coffee into a $3 experience. The future of on-demand home viewing is also up in the air.

With Coburn Ventures’ Brynne Thompson and Dave Bujnowski, let’s discuss:

  • Is 3D a passing fad? Will movie theaters be around in 10 years?
  • How will we be viewing movies in five years?
  • Where do Coinstar, CinemaNow, BestBuy, HBO and others fit?

Here’s the podcast: The Future of Movies

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 281: Buddha’s Brain

May 19, 2010

We don’t have enough Yi-Tan calls about well-being.

Now, with neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, co-author of Buddha’s Brain, we have a wonderful opportunity to make up for lost time — or just not suffer about it and enjoy our new landscape.

It turns out that Buddhism mixes nicely with neuroscience. Neurons that fire together wire together. Why choose to strengthen the neural pathways of suffering? Instead of suffering Paper Tiger Paranoia, we can consciously wire ourselves toward Natural Happiness.

With Rick, let’s discuss:

  • Why do we get stuck in negative thought spirals?
  • How does our brain’s wiring and chemistry contribute to this?
  • What practical things can we do to enhance our well-being?

Here’s the podcast: Buddha’s Brain

You can also download the podcast: here.


Yi-Tan Tech Call 280: Social Media Storytelling

May 18, 2010

(This invite text from Michael Margolis, our guest.)

Are you conflicted about social media? Many of us are.

You know it’s a total game-changer. And yet, social media probably leaves you overwhelmed, confused and even a little freaked out. We’re afraid of becoming a social media douchebag: the loud, obnoxious person who bothers people with irrelevant nonsense. Or we just don’t have the time to take social media on.

Social media is relationship technology. What we’re missing is the right mental model for using the tools in a mindful and purposeful way. Approaching it from the perspective of storytelling, personal branding and way-finding can transform these tools’ practical relevance.

With Michael, let’s explore the intersection of storytelling and social media:

  • Why can a narrative point of view shift your relationship to social media?
  • How does social media evolve the process of cultural consumption and creation?
  • What are the implications to branding your thought leadership and ideas?

Here’s the podcast: Social Media Storytelling

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 279: The Flash War

May 17, 2010

One topic is frothy and interesting enough that we’re adding a special call this week to tackle it.

A year ago, Adobe’s Flash seemed to be on top of the world. Now, thanks to Steve Jobs’ direct assault (plus plenty of progress on HTML5 and other factors), Flash appears to be on its way down and out.

Of course, some think one walled garden isn’t much better than another. (For a more detailed description of what’s up, check Webmonkey’s post.)

Is this war really about crashiness and battery life, or is it about world domination?

With our observant friend Al Chang, let’s discuss:

  • What do parties other than Apple and Adobe think? What does this mean for the Web?
  • How might this play out? Does Android help Adobe? What about Ogg Theora?
  • Where do developers stand? customers? platform vendors?

Here’s the podcast: The Flash War

You can also download the podcast:  here.


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