Weekly Roundup: 21 Nov 2014

The world keeps moving faster and faster. It’s increasingly hard to filter out the most important signals from the noise with the time we have available. Below is a summary of the most interesting and relevant topics that have passed through my signal filter in the past week. Take a look, and don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter.

In last weeks roundup, I featured a lot of insights into the death of the traditional web as we know it, and changes to the app economy. This week continues this trend. Firstly, Taylor Davidson writes an insightful article about the shift away from apps as destinations to apps as delivery systems.

To see this in action, check out Wildcard. They just launched their card based browser for mobile, and I have to say the experience is pretty simple and intuitive.  

"The most interesting companies in advertising [tech] today were built for people first". Taylor Davidson explores the future of adtech, and the need for a new 0-1 step change innovation.

In light of some big profile disasters, a lot of government agencies are getting very savvy with 21st century methods of delivering digital products and platforms (and openly sharing these findings). The great thing is that this information can become a bootcamp of sorts for regular businesses. First up, Code of America publish their evolving Principles for 21st Century Governments. 

The US Digital Services Playbook provides a great framework for delivering digital products, including simple checklists and some key questions to ask the organization.

For a similar perspective across the pond, check out the UK Government Playbook, with some great examples.

Speaking of good user interfaces, Good UI is publishing a growing list of ideas to make stickier digital interfaces. Take a look at your website experience through this lens, and see if you need to experiment with new layouts or features.

Employee happiness is at an all time low. This HBR article explores three simple strategies to keep your employees engaged and happy, so they do their best work and stay with you.

Fortune magazine release their Top People in Business 2014 list. While numbers 1 & 2 are no real surprise, it's great to see some exceptionally smart and creative businesswomen climbing the ranks. 

While they may be garnering some very negative press at the moment due to their handling of journalists, when you dig into Uber's financials, the numbers are staggering. Why Uber isn't going to disappear anytime soon, and the power of disruptive software.

In light of Taylor Swift pulling her catalogue from Spotify and the negative press around artist royalties, the company hits back with a very insightful look at the other side of the coin. Is Spotify the enemy, or is piracy the enemy? Making money in the digital age can often get very murky.

This caught me by surprise. The McDonald's CMO in Australia admitted that the short term tactical campaigns employed by QSR's do nothing but create noise and deliver little long term value (finally!). Interesting to see a big hierarchal organization grapple with some systemic ingrained mental models, and shifting focus towards digital transformation.  

Note, for some frameworks on transformation, check out my Slideshare on the topic, or my essay on the Kotter 8-Step Process for Change.

Did Snapchat just inadvertently monetize sending dick pics? The company have partnered with Square to introduce a simple way for friends to share money via a new service called Snapcash. The 'make it rain' feature is hilarious, and spot on with the target market.  

Forget the supposed crappy movie being made based on Tetris the game, the story of the guy who originally developed it is far more interesting. Motherboard have a fascinating interview with the creator on his journey from the Soviet Union to America.

Finally to finish up, some great stoic advice from Antoine de Saint-Exupery.