Nudge meets Hooked in a practical approach to designing products and services that change behavior, from what we buy to how we work.
Deciding what to create at modern companies often looks like an episode of Mad Men: people throw ideas around until one sounds sexy enough to execute and then they scale it to everyone. The result? Companies overspend on marketing to drive engagement with products and services that people don't want and won't help them be happier and healthier.
Start at the End offers a new framework for design, grounded in behavioral science. Technology executive and behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert argues that the purpose of everything is behavior change. By starting with outcomes instead of processes, the most effective companies understand what people want to do and why they aren't already doing it, then build products and services to bridge the gap.
Wallaert is a behavioral psychologist who has led product design at organizations ranging from startups like Clover Health to industry leaders such as Microsoft. Whether dissecting the success behind Uber's ridesharing service or Flamin' Hot Cheetos, he underscores with clarity and humor how this approach can improve the way we work and live.
This is an essential roadmap for building products that matter--and changing behavior for the better.
Going Back to MIT with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
The course of my life was significantly changed by the internet.
My business, my life in Asia–all a product of the freedom and opportunity that the internet has provided. It’s there for the taking if you’re willing to work.
This week I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with someone who’s life path was also significantly altered by the digital revolution. Mike Jackness is the CEO of Terran, an eCommerce company that builds and operates unique brands and content sites. He is also the cofounder of Ecom Crew, a blog and podcast dedicated to showing what goes on behind the scenes while running a seven-figure eCommerce brand.
Getting his start in the online poker world over a decade ago, Mike ran one of the largest poker affiliate companies in the world until new legislation brought the whole industry to a halt. From there, he ventured into ecommerce with Treadmill.com, which he then sold in 2014. Since then, he has started multiple other ecommerce brands with total revenues over $7 million annually.
Earl Weaver, AI and Motivation with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
One of the most successful companies of the digital age, The Alibaba Group, are obvious innovators when it comes to utilizing emerging technology in business strategy. Their Executive Vice President, the former Chief of Staff and strategy advisor to founder Jack Ma, opens up on how the new landscape is shaping how value is created.
Dr. Ming Zeng has conducted extensive research on e-commerce, the growth strategy of Chinese companies, the competition and cooperation between Chinese and multinational firms, and how the emergence of Chinese competitors is changing global competition. He knows the landscape of digital business and has contributed to creating a global powerhouse that is reshaping how businesses operate.
With access to the latest technologies, Zeng has seen first-hand how artificial intelligence, machine learning, the mobile internet, and cloud computing are redefining how value is created. He explains how Alibaba and companies like them are using these technologies to automate decisions, develop new products, and plan strategic positioning.
Smart Business: What Alibaba's Success Reveals about the Future of Strategy is his simple, overarching framework to guide strategy formulation and execution in this data-rich and highly interactive environment. It’s accessible and written to shed light on these successful companies to those outside of the technology industry and startups.
Ming Zeng was chief strategy officer of Alibaba Group from January 2008 to 2019. He joined the company in August 2006 as executive vice president of strategy, and served as acting president of China Yahoo! from November 2006 to December 2007.
Feynman Teaches Us All with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
One of the start-up world’s most in-demand executive coaches—hailed as the “CEO Whisperer” (Gimlet Media)—reveals why radical self-inquiry is critical to professional success and healthy relationships in all realms of life.
Jerry Colonna helps start-up CEOs make peace with their demons, the psychological habits and behavioral patterns that have helped them to succeed—molding them into highly accomplished individuals—yet have been detrimental to their relationships and ultimate well-being. Now, this venture capitalist turned executive coach shares his unusual yet highly effective blend of Buddhism, Jungian therapy, and entrepreneurial straight talk to help leaders overcome their own psychological traumas. Reboot is a journey of radical self-inquiry, helping you to reset your life by sorting through the emotional baggage that is holding you back professionally, and even more important, in your relationships.
Jerry has taught CEOs and their top teams to realize their potential by using the raw material of their lives to find meaning, to build healthy interpersonal bonds, and to become more compassionate and bold leaders. In Reboot, he inspires everyone to hold themselves responsible for their choices and for the possibility of truly achieving their dreams.
Work does not have to destroy us. Work can be the way in which we achieve our fullest self, Jerry firmly believes. What we need, sometimes, is a chance to reset our goals and to reconnect with our deepest selves and with each other. Reboot moves and empowers us to begin this journey.
The founder and CEO of Reboot.IO, Inc. Colonna is a certified professional coach, Colonna draws on his wide variety of experiences to help clients design a more conscious life and make needed changes to their career to improve their performance and satisfaction. He established his coaching practice in 2007. Prior to this work, Colonna was venture capitalist focused on investing in early stage technology-related startups.
In 2002, Colonna became a partner with J.P. Morgan Partners (JPMP), the private-equity arm of J.P. Morgan Chase where he led the firm’s investments in companies such as ProfitLogic Inc. Colonna served as a director at ProfitLogic until its purchase by Oracle Inc.
Getting Rich The Smart Way with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
Christian Terwiesch is the Andrew M. Heller Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is Co-director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management, and also holds a faculty appointment In Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. From small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, Christian has helped companies become more innovative, often by implementing innovation tournament events and by helping to restructure their innovation portfolio.
Nicolaj Siggelkow is the David M. Knott Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a Co-Director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management. Having spearheaded groundbreaking research on strategy, Nicolaj has been named a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society, the world’s leading association of strategy researchers. He has run strategy workshops for Fortune 500 organizations and small firms alike, helping develop and analyze their strategies.
Today the professors join Michael to posit the question: What if there were a way to turn occasional, sporadic transactions with customers into long-term, continuous relationships–while simultaneously driving dramatic improvements in operational efficiency? What if you could break your existing trade-offs between superior customer experience and low cost?
This is the promise of a connected strategy. New forms of connectivity–involving frequent, low-friction, customized interactions–mean that companies can now anticipate customer needs as they arise, or even before. Simultaneously, enabled by these technologies, companies can create new business models that deliver more value to customers. Connected strategies are win-win: Customers get a dramatically improved experience, while companies boost operational efficiency.
Nicolaj Siggelkow and Christian Terwiesch reveal the emergence of connected strategies as a new source of competitive advantage. With in-depth examples from companies operating in industries such as healthcare, financial services, mobility, retail, entertainment, nonprofit, and education, Connected Strategy identifies the four pathways–respond-to-desire, curated offering, coach behavior, and automatic execution–for turning episodic interactions into continuous relationships. The authors show how each pathway creates a competitive advantage, then guide you through the critical decisions for creating and implementing your own connected strategies.
Dinosaur Hunting with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
The Godmother of Silicon Valley, legendary teacher, and mother of a Super Family shares her tried-and-tested methods for raising happy, healthy, successful children using Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness: TRICK.
Esther Wojcicki—“Woj” to her many friends and admirers—is famous for three things: teaching a high school class that has changed the lives of thousands of kids, inspiring Silicon Valley legends like Steve Jobs, and raising three daughters who have each become famously successful. What do these three accomplishments have in common? They’re the result of TRICK, Woj’s secret to raising successful people: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness. Simple lessons, but the results are radical.
Wojcicki’s methods are the opposite of helicopter parenting. As we face an epidemic of parental anxiety, Woj is here to say: relax. Talk to infants as if they are adults. Allow teenagers to pick projects that relate to the real world and their own passions, and let them figure out how to complete them. Above all, let your child lead. How to Raise Successful People offers essential lessons for raising, educating, and managing people to their highest potential. Change your parenting, change the world.
Note: Her husband is Stanford University professor of physics Stanley Wojcicki. They have three daughters: Susan (CEO of YouTube), Janet, a Fulbright-winning anthropologist, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and researcher, and Anne (co-founder of 23andMe).
Wake Up and Think with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio. A special mega episode!
Art Markman is the Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also the Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations. The HDO program brings the humanities and the social behavioral sciences to people in business. Art’s research explores thinking. He has studied the way people form and use analogies, the mechanisms of decision making, the modes that allow people to form categories, and the influences of motivation on reasoning. Art is also the executive editor of the journal Cognitive Science and is a former executive officer of the Cognitive Science Society.
If you’re in a job interview, how should you think about the mindset of the interviewer? If you’ve just been promoted, how do you handle the tensions of managing former peers? And what are the telltale mental signs that it’s time to start planning your next career move?
We know that psychology can teach us much about behaviors and challenges relevant to work, such as making better decisions, influencing people, and dealing with stress. But many popular books on these topics analyze them as universal human phenomena without providing real-life, constructive career help.
Bring Your Brain to Work changes all that. Art Markman focuses on three essential elements of a successful career–getting a job, excelling at work, and finding your next position–and expertly illustrates how cognitive science, especially psychology, sheds fascinating and useful light on each of these elements.
To succeed at a job interview, for example, you need to understand the mindset of the interviewer and know how to come across as exactly the individual the company wants to hire. To keep that job, it’s critical to master the mental challenge of learning every day. Finally, careers require constant development, so you need to be able to sense when it’s time to move up or out and to prepare yourself for the move. So many of the hurdles you face throughout your career are, first and foremost, psychological challenges, and Markman shows you how to use your different mental systems–motivational, social, and cognitive–to manage them more effectively.
Integrating the latest research with engaging stories and examples from across the professional spectrum, Bring Your Brain to Work gets inside your head, helping you to succeed through a better understanding of yourself and those around you.
Social Control Arrives with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
Jeff Dyer (Ph.D UCLA) is the Horace Beesley professor of strategy at Brigham Young University as well as professor of strategy at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Before becoming a professor he spent five years as a consultant and manager at Bain & Company, a top management consultancy. His book “The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators”, with Harvard professor Clayton Christensen and MIT professor Hal Gregersen, identifies the behaviors of the world’s best innovators to demonstrate how individuals can enhance their own innovator DNA and increase the innovation capabilities of their organizations.
Today Jeff and Michael discuss his newest book Innovation Capital. You see, great leaders of innovation know that creativity is not enough. They succeed not only on the basis of their ideas, but because they have the vision, reputation, and networks to win the backing needed to commercialize them. It turns out that this quality–called “innovation capital”–is measurably more important for innovation than just being creative.
The authors have spent decades studying how people get great ideas (the subject of The Innovator’s DNA) and how people test and develop those ideas (explored in The Innovator’s Method). Now they share what they’ve learned from a multipronged research program designed to determine how people compete for, and obtain, resources to launch new ideas.
How you can build a personal reputation for innovation. What techniques you can use to amplify your innovation capital. How you can garner attention for your ideas and projects and persuade audiences to support them. What it means to provide visionary leadership and how you can achieve it. Featuring interviews with the superstars of innovation–individuals like Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Elon Musk (Tesla), Marc Benioff (Salesforce), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), and Shantanu Narayen (Adobe)–Jeff dives in deep.
Cheerios and Failure with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
After a lifelong fascination with financial markets, Steve Burns started investing in 1993, and trading his own accounts in 1995. It was love at first trade. A natural teacher with a gift for cutting through the bull and making complex ideas simple, Steve took to blogging and social media by founding New Trader U in 2011.
Since then, New Trader U has attracted hundreds of thousands of visits a month, becoming the go-to resource for people who want to build a strong trading foundation. New Trader U offers an extensive blog resource with more than 1,000 original articles, as well as online courses and best-selling books covering a variety of topics.
Steve and Michael get together once again on the podcast–an ongoing conversation going back to 2013!
Keep Going with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
David Weinberger is an American technologist, professional speaker, and commentator, probably best known as co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto (originally a website, and eventually a book, which has been described as “a primer on Internet marketing”). Weinberger’s work focuses on how the Internet is changing human relationships, communication, knowledge and society.
Artificial intelligence, big data, modern science, and the internet are all revealing a fundamental truth: The world is vastly more complex and unpredictable than we’ve allowed ourselves to see. Now that technology is enabling us to take advantage of all the chaos it’s revealing, our understanding of how things happen is changing–and with it our deepest strategies for predicting, preparing for, and managing our world. This affects everything, from how we approach our everyday lives to how we make moral decisions and how we run our businesses.
Take machine learning, which makes better predictions about weather, medical diagnoses, and product performance than we do–but often does so at the expense of our understanding of how it arrived at those predictions. While this can be dangerous, accepting it is also liberating, for it enables us to harness the complexity of an immense amount of data around us. We are also turning to strategies that avoid anticipating the future altogether, such as A/B testing, Minimum Viable Products, open platforms, and user-modifiable video games.
Through stories from history, business, and technology, philosopher and technologist David Weinberger finds the unifying truths lying below the surface of the tools we take for granted–and a future in which our best strategy often requires holding back from anticipating and instead creating as many possibilities as we can. The book’s imperative for business and beyond is simple: Make. More. Future. The result is a world no longer focused on limitations but optimized for possibilities.
A Beijing Journey with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio. You have not been yet? Go. See it.
Based on eight years of research visiting dozens of startups, tech companies and incumbents, Harvard Business School professor Thales Teixeira shows how and why consumer industries are disrupted, and what established companies can do about it—while highlighting the specific strategies potential startups use to gain a competitive edge.
There is a pattern to digital disruption in an industry, whether the disruptor is Uber, Airbnb, Dollar Shave Club, Pillpack or one of countless other startups that have stolen large portions of market share from industry leaders, often in a matter of a few years.
As Teixeira makes clear, the nature of competition has fundamentally changed. Using innovative new business models, startups are stealing customers by breaking the links in how consumers discover, buy and use products and services. By decoupling the customer value chain, these startups, instead of taking on the Unilevers and Nikes, BMW’s and Sephoras of the world head on, peel away a piece of the consumer purchasing process. Birchbox offered women a new way to sample beauty products from a variety of companies from the convenience of their homes, without having to visit a store. Turo doesn’t compete with GM. Instead, it offers people the benefit of driving without having to own a car themselves.
Illustrated with vivid, indepth and exclusive accounts of both startups, and reigning incumbents like Best Buy and Comcast, as they struggle to respond, Unlocking the Customer Value Chain is an essential guide to demystifying how digital disruption takes place – and what companies can do to defend themselves.
A Wild Takeoff and Bezos the Trend Trader Revisited with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
Amy Webb is an American futurist, author and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute. She is professor of strategic foresight at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and was a 2014-15 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
Her new book is “The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity.” It is a call-to-arms about the broken nature of artificial intelligence, and the powerful corporations that are turning the human-machine relationship on its head.
We like to think that we are in control of the future of “artificial” intelligence. The reality, though, is that we–the everyday people whose data powers AI–aren’t actually in control of anything. When, for example, we speak with Alexa, we contribute that data to a system we can’t see and have no input into–one largely free from regulation or oversight. The big nine corporations–Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Microsoft, IBM and Apple–are the new gods of AI and are short-changing our futures to reap immediate financial gain.
In this book, Amy Webb reveals the pervasive, invisible ways in which the foundations of AI–the people working on the system, their motivations, the technology itself–is broken. Within our lifetimes, AI will, by design, begin to behave unpredictably, thinking and acting in ways which defy human logic. The big nine corporations may be inadvertently building and enabling vast arrays of intelligent systems that don’t share our motivations, desires, or hopes for the future of humanity.
Eyes Wide Open Brain on Neutral with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
Michael interviews Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic about his new book “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It).” He is currently the Chief Talent Scientist at Manpower Group, co-founder of Deeper Signals and Metaprofiling, and Professor of Business Psychology at University College London and Columbia University.
There are three popular explanations for the clear under-representation of women in management, namely: (1) they are not capable; (2) they are not interested; (3) they are both interested and capable but unable to break the glass-ceiling: an invisible career barrier, based on prejudiced stereotypes, that prevents women from accessing the ranks of power. Conservatives and chauvinists tend to endorse the first; liberals and feminists prefer the third; and those somewhere in the middle are usually drawn to the second. But what if they all missed the big picture?
In Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s view, the main reason for the uneven management sex ratio is our inability to discern between confidence and competence. That is, because we (people in general) commonly misinterpret displays of confidence as a sign of competence, we are fooled into believing that men are better leaders than women. In other words, when it comes to leadership, the only advantage that men have over women (e.g., from Argentina to Norway and the USA to Japan) is the fact that manifestations of hubris — often masked as charisma or charm — are commonly mistaken for leadership potential, and that these occur much more frequently in men than in women.