Making ads for people that hate ads, Facebook's total addressable market & more

Startups and the capitalists dilemma

In his ground-breaking theory, The Capitalists Dilemma, Clayton Christensen argues that the wider global economy incentivises companies to make sustaining innovations over disruptive innovations. Disruptive innovations change the dimensions of performance and drive wider economic benefits - the car created work for factory employees but also demanded infrastructure. Sustaining innovations drive marginal improvements within the current dimensions of performance - Tesla overcame incumbent automotives through a series of sustaining innovations.

Initially companies like Uber and AirBnb might seem hugely disruptive and to the taxi and hotel industries, they are. When viewed from Christensen's lens of wider economic impact they could be seen as detrimental. They are increasing the yield of existing infrastructure rather than building anything. At the same time they are removing employment stability from the wider market through contracting (Uber) or removing (AirBnb) the workforce required to run the incumbent industries (taxis and hotels).

A company whom I feel has turned the corner into being disruptive at a macro-level is Netflix. They began by aggregating existing content, however, starting with House of Cards they are producing an extraordinary amount of new content. By doing so they are fueling the careers of a new breed of writers, directors actors etc. Here's hoping some of their peers follow suit.


1. What's Facebook's total addressable market?

From the blog An exploration of Facebook's monopolistic standing and how they portray their total addressable market externally.


2. K-HOLE 5 released

Trends A must-read report on wider economic trends. K-HOLE takes a subjective point of view but their reports are always insightful and will force you to think differently.


3. The ethics of modern web ad-blocking

Trends People often argue that running ad-blocking software is violating an implied contract between the reader and the publisher: the publisher offers the page content to the reader for free, in exchange for the reader seeing the publisher’s ads. And that’s a nice, simple theory, but it’s a blurry line in reality.


4. Building the next New York Times recommendation engine

Data informed This is a three-part challenge: How to model an article based on its text. How to update the model based on audience reading patterns. How to describe readers based on their reading history.


5. How Casey Neistat succeeded in making ads for people who hate ads

Trends Years before he would become famous, Casey Neistat was a 16-year-old high-school dropout with a pregnant girlfriend and no real career aspirations. Today, at 34, he’s a YouTube sensation who’s helping to reinvent the way advertising is done on the Internet.


6. The future of mobile retail apps

Retail Mobile spending is projected to grow from $9.7 billion in 2015 to $53.6 billion by 2024 s according to recent research published by Barclays. From the report, "half (42.4%) of all retail sales will involve a mobile device in some way or another, making mobile the fastest growing retail segment."


7. Asia's digital disruption

Trends A white paper by The Economist on how technology is driving consumer engagement in the world's most exciting markets. "The marketing profession has seen more change in the past five years than in all of the 50 years before that. And there is plenty more change to come."


8. What New York Times content is popular on Facebook?

Content An analysis of 33,000 New York Times Facebook posts going back to March of 2009.


9. Beats rides #straightoutta right onto viral video chart

Campaign The #StraightOutta campaign, which directed people to a website where they could fill in the blank in "Straight Outta ____" with their own city (or anything else for that matter) and add a photo, was viewed 8.6 million times last week.


10. Buzzsumo

Tool of the week Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Find the key influencers to promote your content.