Looking for the company Steady CRM? We have our own web site now at www.SteadyCRM.com.

Why we have to notice when capitalism goes off the rails, as in fake markets like Facebook and Uber

  • I've spent my last dime with Amazon (they would take it if they could get it). I just used up a gift card, and future gift cards will be given away to someone desperate. 
  • I'm considering giving up on Facebook, but I think I'll just do my best to avoid letting them make any money. (Also my policy toward any media owned by Rupert Murdoch.)
  • Divorcing Google will be the most difficult. They've insinuated themselves into the infrastructure of my business. But I will start using search engines like DuckDuckGo. 
  • I'm not giving up Apple products, but I will not become a 'sheeple' as my son warns. 

Anil Dash brilliantly points out that these fake markets appear to offer businesses the chance to become sustainable but then exploit them ruthlessly, driving their profits to zero. 

"I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore." I'm not going to fall for the lure of convenience, and you shouldn't either. Choose to consume goods and services from people you know and trust. 

A Blog About Making Culture: Tech and the Fake Market Tactic, 2071-Mar-1 by Anil Dash

Worse, we’ve lost the ability to discern that a short-term benefit for some users that’s subsidized by an unsustainable investment model will lead to terrible long-term consequences for society. We’re hooked on the temporary infusion of venture capital dollars into vulnerable markets that we know are about to be remade by technological transformation and automation. The only social force empowered to anticipate or prevent these disruptions are policymakers who are often too illiterate to understand how these technologies work, and who too desperately want the halo of appearing to be associated with “high tech”, the secular religion of America.

It’s essential we develop a vocabulary for talking about these issues...

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How things, including organizations, change

I tend to think that organizations won't change unless forced, but 'org designer' Kathryn Maloney reminds us that's actually not true. Managing and leading are more about steering change that instigating it. 

Another striking thought below: living systems (including organizations) naturally differentiate themselves. What if that need to differentiate drives a lot of change that seems useless? 

The Ready: Change as a Force of Nature, 2017-Feb-27 by Kathryn Maloney

Where change management may apply change to or attempt to manage change within a system, org designers are focused on unlocking capacity and potential within a system. We aim to leverage change as a natural, expected, and needed force. We believe in flow and emergence. We don’t actually believe in control and management....

According to modern science (biology, chemistry, evolutionary cosmology, quantum physics, etc.), living systems operate according to three basic principles:

  1. All living systems are interrelated and interdependent,
  2. All living systems have the capacity to self-organize, and without constraints, have the capacity to develop and evolve, and
  3. All living systems operate according to the principle of differentiation, in that to exist is to be different.

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Unhealthy growth

We seem to have a growing awareness that unbridled growth is not healthy. 

Signal v. Noise: Exponential growth devours and corrupts, 2017-Feb-27 by David H. Hansson

As Douglas Rushkoff says, we need a new operating system for startups. The current one will keep producing the same extractive and monopolistic empires we’ve gotten so far. No, what we need is a new crop of companies that are institutionally comfortable with leaving money on the table. Leaving growth on the table. Leaving some conveniences and some progress on the board, in order to lead the world into a better direction.

The solution isn’t simple, but we’re in dire need of a strong counter culture, some mass infusion of the 1960s spirit. To offer realistic, ethical alternatives to the exponential growth logic. Ones that’ll benefit not just a gilded few, but all of us. The future literally depends on it.

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We gotta find better ways to decide public policy. Maybe this will help...

The fact that polling is broken and easy answers are so infernally popular has me looking for ways to improve decision making. Maybe this will help...

Nature: A solution to the single-question crowd wisdom problem, 2017-Jan-26, by Drazen Prelec, H. Sebastian Seung, and John McCoy

Here we propose the following alternative to a democratic vote: select the answer that is more popular than people predict. We show that this principle yields the best answer under reasonable assumptions about voter behaviour, while the standard ‘most popular’ or ‘most confident’ principles fail under exactly those same assumptions. Like traditional voting, the principle accepts unique problems, such as panel decisions about scientific or artistic merit, and legal or historical disputes. The potential application domain is thus broader than that covered by machine learning and psychometric methods, which require data across multiple questions. 

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We don't realize how much we're all used to getting along without facts...

So here's another reason why facts don't change our mind... We're used to getting along without them. 

New Yorker: Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds, 2017-Feb-27 by Elizabeth Kolbert

When it comes to new technologies, incomplete understanding is empowering.

Where it gets us into trouble, according to Sloman and Fernbach, is in the political domain. It’s one thing for me to flush a toilet without knowing how it operates, and another for me to favor (or oppose) an immigration ban without knowing what I’m talking about.

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Communicate your value proposition with a 'solution reflex'

The 'solution reflex' is a cool tool for any business person who frequently has to introduce their business model. 

Steady CRM:

  • Problem: Businesses lose track of their customers.
  • Solution: Loyalty and/or communications programs that systematically touch customers.
  • Market: Medium-sized companies that are outgrowing their original systems.
  • Business model: Installation and support of customer relationship management tools and processes. 

Not great but it's a start. 

VentureBeat: Your Business Summary is in the Wrong Order, 2016-Nov-13 by Dave Bailey

An effective summary answers questions in four ordered categories; Problem, Solution, Market and Business Model. I’ve used this approach to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding from angel investors and VCs. It works really well.

Starting with the problem grounds your business real-world context. It presents your business as purposeful, urgent, and user-centered. But something else happens when you tell someone a problem. It triggers a “solution reflex”: When people identify with problems, they instinctively want a solution. Activating the solution reflex is a powerful way to hold someone’s attention.

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The truth we can't find

To some extent, I think the rise of 'fake news' or propaganda, or whatever it is, relates to our inability to handle uncertainty. We hear something we don't want to believe, we worry it may be true, then we look for disproof. When we see something we like, we decide that must be true. 

We are too ready and willing to stop searching. Real truth is an evolving reality. We have to be searching constantly, scanning  in places we haven't look before. 

Points: The Inescapability of Uncertainty: AI, Uncertainty, and Why You Should Vote No Matter What Predictions Say, 2016-Oct-31 by Jennifer Wortman Vaughan and Hannah Wallach

Rather than conceal the assumptions and uncertainty in their predictions, AI systems should enable users to understand the roots of this uncertainty and provide them with ways to reason about it more effectively. Longer term, this is an education issue. We need to acknowledge that uncertainty is here to stay and equip future generations to embrace it. In the mean time, though, remember that regardless of how precisely stated, there are hidden assumptions behind every prediction.

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