The Inevitable Rise of Programmatic



Point: The trend is interesting and he raises some good points, but I disagree with his central theme that programmatic will take over the world. It’s like saying high frequency trading will take over the stock market. It’s an overstatement to say that computers/programmatic/algorithmic will take over knowledge based tasks. We’re still a decade or two away from true AI. In the meantime, we need humans to contend and strategize on media and most other knowledge based industries.

Every once in a while you’ll get a chain email among people in the industry making jokes about major goofs that the technology makes. Latest one was an apple ad running along the missing Malaysian airline story in the NYTimes.

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Mesh, Tools, Data and don’t be shy to teach me

Yesterday I attended at #Meshcon – or the Mesh Marketing Conference 2013 – in Toronto hosted at the brain-stimulating Toronto Reference Library. A quick note on libraries: that place is beautiful and in the afternoon when I was leaving, it was packed. Every table had a group of students working at it, every computer – and there are many – was occupied, and all of it was flavoured with that delicious dusty aroma of stacks of real touch-them feel-them books. Long live libraries!

Ok, calm down.

After the first few sessions in at Mesh I actually started to feel more observer than attendee Continue reading

Superman slept through “Jumper”

This is in reply to Existentialism and the “Man of Steel” by Narain Jashanmal:

 “making the choices that will lead him to become the Superman that we know”

Ones choices are ultimately not events but a product – a culmination – of the choices made that preceded each successive choice. Whether you’re deciding coffee or tea, or Krypton or Earth, no choice is solitary and no chooser is in isolation. Therefore, when Clark/Superman chooses to save Earth over the survival of his ancestors’ bloodlines we are expected to believe that he is making this choice freely. Again, no choice is made freely in that no choice is free of outside influences and the iterative outcomes of choices we made in the past.

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Bye Reader, Love you @Feedly

It took me a while, but I have definitely, definitively, and finally come to terms with Google Reader shutting down. I have held off of passing judgement on my new solution for managing and accessing content feeds, but I have a new winner.

I have been a loyal power user for about 6 years. Google Reader has been my online discovery hub. My move online has been to browse favourite sites, dig deep and broadly into cross-linking, and essentially discover new content sources by virtue of this interconnected affinities. One content source led to the next, and if the current and past content was appealing, it ended up as an add to my Google Reader list. Over time I ended up with several hundred feeds and actually used Reader to overcome content overload.

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the sewing-machine-to-closet movement

Lately I’ve been working through the next incarnation of my online shopping style-hunt. I’m probably similar to most guys in that we never feel like we can find exactly what we want when we’re shopping – even for those of us that actually enjoy looking for clothes – so we end up buying seven pairs of the thing we don’t really want, but which at least puts our dysfunctional shopping experience out of its misery: all in shades of blue, grey, heather, chocolate, pink and manly yellow.

If e-commerce is about a about optimizing the USP mix of price, convenience and availability, then my 1.0 online shopping experience back in the early 00′s was weighted heavily toward availability Continue reading

What It Takes to Build a Successful Daily Deal Site


Dan Stuart, co-founder of GoNabit (now LivingSocial), offers insights into the daily deal business, discussing GoNabit’s values, how the culture at GoNabit was maintained after its acquisition by LivingSocial, what it takes to start a daily deals site, the challenges of cash-on-delivery, and what trends we’ll see in the coming year.

The key factor in success for daily deal site is scaling, he says. “If you’re not operating at scale, it’s hard to be profitable. And it’s hard to get to scale and try to be profitable. So if you’re a new entrant, it can be really hard.”

This post originally appeared on Wamda

Focus on each step, but keep the goal in sight

A former English literature teacher and a telecoms guy walk into a coffee shop… The punch line is that a year later they sell their e-commerce start-up in the first M&A deal in this space in the short history of Middle Eastern e-business.

GoNabit was born out of recognizing both opportunities and hurdles. In December 2009, I was tracking a number of businesses both successful and fledgling in other regions, looking for inspiration to start my first business. My recent experience was in the online recruitment space so I was focused on doing something online. I looked deeply into the business models of many different e-businesses, but seeing the model of Groupon and later LivingSocial gaining major traction in North America, I took to the seeming simplicity of implementation, clear business model and Continue reading

Why hatin’ on @Path is pretty short-sighted

Ok, riddle me this: I’m working at Facebook as the evangelist of the Facebook Platform, looking at how Connect is adding a social layer to other websites while at the same time probably more commonly exploited as an easy online credential rather than really providing much social context. I clue-in to the fact – like most of us at Facebook – that people’s friends on FB aren’t truly and purely their friends…they’re a mix of high school and elementary school classmates from way back, some current friends, family members if you’ve coaxed them onto the site so they can see pics of your kid, or they’re your young cousins, maybe some co-workers, and whole bunch of random people that have added you but who you really don’t know or care to know. You look at Connect as something that extends a login credential – and the take-up is huge – but it’s more of a way to get data back into the FB homeworld than a way to Continue reading

The State and Opportunity for E-commerce in the Middle East

When was the last time you bought something online from the Middle East? For many of us who are comfortable shopping online in general – and have also experience e-commerce in this region – the answers will range from rarely to occasionally. For many others the answer is never, or even more likely that there’s not really that much to buy online from/in the Middle East…what are my options?

The honest answer revolves around some variation of the fact that there really isn’t much to buy online in the region. I contend that the reason is not because those of us here don’t have credit cards, or don’t feel comfortable buying  online, but that there is a dearth of opportunities to buy online here and this is fuelled by the challenge in Continue reading

better pass boldy