The Principles of Post-Advertising

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If brands and advertising have become less useful as tools to both companies and consumers, how can businesses grow?

Five factors are changing the types of products that succeed today and how they engage with their audiences.

Marketing has become an arms race that’s led to hollow value and stifled innovation. Bad products with lots of media muscle can steamroll good ones with less resources. The competition of overcrowded categories creates brands trying to outspend each other with ads that grow increasingly detached from reality.

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Solving the Gender Wage Gap Is Hard. Here Are Four Things You Can Do Today.

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On April 5, U.K. companies with 250 employees or more were required by law to reveal their pay data. The goal: Narrow the gender wage gap.

In response, many people across the world have shared their personal experiences, data, and opinions regarding gender pay differences. An Inc.com columnist, Heather Wilde, wrote about being paid 60 percent less than her male colleagues at the same level. The 2016 U.S. Census revealed it takes a woman one year, three months, and 10 days to earn what her male peer earns in one year. I personally quit a job once over a $5,000 gender wage gap.

Now that we’re really talking about this, let’s solve the gender wage gap once and for all. I believe achieving equal pay for equal work is possible. It takes time and effort and it isn’t easy, but it is a solvable problem. Creating true equal pay requires two things:

  1. Commitment to a system that evaluates each individual relative to their peers.
  2. Fluidness within the system created.

Through decades of trial and error, I believe I’ve found a system that works. It’s achievable by teams both big and small. It’s likely to raise a few eyebrows, and that’s OK. Sometimes, doing the right thing is hard.

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Presenting: The Shift Forum Ignite Series

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NewCo Shift Forum 2018

Four remarkable and unique voices on the future we all share.


If you’ve never heard of Ignite talks, you’re in for a treat, as they’ve spread to hundreds of cities around the world and range across a heady set of topics. They’ve been called “TED talks on speed,” and feature a unique creative box: each presenter gets 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and impactful experience. At this years Shift Forum, as we did the year before, we partnered with the founder of Ignite, Brady Forrest, who curated four of the best Ignite talks around the theme of “the future of work.” We’ve now published each one, and curated them here as well. Each is worth your time and attention. Special thanks to Ignite founder Brady Forrest for curating these extraordinary talks.

Susan Mernitt — Hack the Hood

Karla Monterroso — CODE2040

Jen McClure — Consultants Collective

Brandon Santiago

https://upscri.be/9ca96e/

The Future of Advertising Is In the Hands of Ad Blockers

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Young adults are hungry for the ad industry to be better. They are right.


“I block ads because I believe ads can be so much better.”

This was a direct quote from an advertising student at the University of Texas. I visited campus recently and had the opportunity to talk informally with advertising students from the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations. What I learned affirmed my faith in the future of advertising. I also walked away with a strong sense that these young students, if given the chance to practice the craft the way they see it, would upend the whole industry.

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Beware Of Loneliness as You Manage and Lead

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Loneliness is a powerful shadow that clouds our judgment.

By John O’Sullivan and Michael VanBruaene


It’s common for managers and leaders to feel alone. When we make decisions, particularly those for which there is no easy answer and the outcome is uncertain, we gather information, discuss the issue with colleagues and weigh alternatives. And depending on the nature of the decision we may have to be alone with our thoughts to make the decision. However, feeling lonely is different than being alone. When we experience loneliness there can be harmful repercussions to our organizations. Loneliness is a signal that it’s time for introspection.

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A Magic Shield That Lets You Be An Assh*le?

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NewCo Shift Forum 2018

Now that digital platforms drive physical consequences, what does “free speech” really even mean anymore?

Cindy Cohn Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Carol Christ Chancellor, UC Berkeley, and moderator Nellie Bowles of The New York Times

It’s the first amendment to the US Constitution, but it’s also deeply misunderstood. Free speech seems an inviolate right, but when practiced at public institutions like UC Berkeley, or within private corporations like CloudFlare or Starbucks, the concept of free speech is both tested and proven. Join UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn, and moderator Nellie Bowles of the New York Times for a challenging and timely conversation on the role of speech in our roiling democracy.

Nellie Bowles: Hi. We are here today to talk about free speech and the corporation, a nice, relaxing topic for a Tuesday afternoon. [laughter] I know you two both have a lot of interesting things to talk about. To just jump right in, when we talk about free speech right now, that term and that concept, it feels like it’s changing radically. I don’t really understand if the shift in how the term “free speech” is being used is political or it’s about platforms or if it’s generational. If you could both just give me a sense of what has changed in the last year with this concept?

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Do You Have The Essential Credibility To Successfully Lead And Manage?

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Key behaviors for establishing your credibility.

By Michael VanBruaene and John O’Sullivan

Credibility is a key factor in your success as a manager and leader. If you’re not credible, you won’t be respected, making it impossible to achieve your potential as an effective manager, and leader. Be aware — daily — of how your behavior affects your co-workers and others who are relevant to your work. Be deliberate and strategic in choosing your behavior.

This article is devoted to four essential management and leadership behaviors. You should consciously engage in these behaviors every day to build and sustain your credibility. They are:

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Fix Boards, Fix Capitalism

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NewCo Shift Forum 2018

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy argues that boards are utterly broken. Fixing them isn’t as hard as it might seem. And it’s urgently needed.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy during NewCo Shift Forum 2018

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy has nearly two decades of executive leadership experience at consumer and internet companies, including Google, Amazon, Yodlee, Polyvore and Joyus. She’s also an accomplished board member — serving on both public and private boards in a range of industries. In the past two years, Cassidy has focused her energy on theBoardlist, a platform that connects accomplished women to board opportunities. But Cassidy didn’t focus her time at Shift Forum on the issue of diversity in boards. Instead, she exhorted the audience to think about the power and the responsibility of boards, and the role a truly high functioning board can have in changing the culture of business. Below is an edited transcript and the video of Cassidy’s inspiring talk.

(For more on the role of boards, see It All Starts with the Board)

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Put The Damn Phone Down and Do Something

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NewCo Shift Forum 2018

Pinterest wants its users to get offline. And that’s a pretty good thing to be about these days.

Ben Silbermann during NewCo Shift Forum 2018

Ben Silbermann is a founder and CEO of Pinterest, one of the most misunderstood platforms ever born in Silicon Valley. I’ve written about the company extensively, and earlier this year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben at the Shift Forum. Find out why I’m an unabashed fan in the video and transcript below.

John Battelle: I’ve found Ben to be one of the most thoughtful, humble, and non-typical valley founders out there. Please join me in welcoming the founder and CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann, to Shift Forum.

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Advertisers to Democracy: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Its most significant business crisis to date fails to tarnish Facebook’s earnings. Perhaps it’s time to admit something about ourselves we don’t want to face.


Facebook earnings just came out, and as it has nearly every quarter, the company crushed it. Many (including myself) were expecting at least some measurable effect on the company’s performance from the Cambridge Analytica train wreck, but the company seemed instead to pick up steam, booking a 63 percent increase in earnings year on year and beating Wall St. estimates by an astounding 34 cents a share. “Up yours, haters!” may not have been overtly stated on the earnings call, but I am quite certain there was plenty of that sentiment going around One Hacker Way today. In America — particularly Trump’s America, nothing washes away sins like unmitigated success. Oh, and money — lots and lots of money.

Facebook stock is already trading more than five percent up in after hours, and will likely pop on the open, as the investing public hastens to ride it back up to its pre-Cambridge Analytica highs. And why not? It’s Facebook’s time, after all. The company has taken its licks, apologized, and promised to do better. Zuck went to Washington, and new features seems to roll out almost daily — each promising one more “fix” for whatever was originally broken about the service.

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