Warren Buffett’s best investment advice

Generally speaking, investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. They can run up huge deficits and the dollar can become worth far less. You can have all kinds of things happen. But if you’ve got talent yourself, and you’ve maximized your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return ten-fold.

AllTopStartups

I keep a separate personal development account. Each month I deposit a set amount of funds that I use towards books, online courses and betterment.

All the apps you’ll never use

Hammer meets nail courtesy of Charlie Warzel at Buzzfeed.

We’ll wait hours in line in the cold/heat/rain/snow for a shiny new piece of Apple hardware, but once we get it, the first thing we do is fill it with third party services.

I’m sure Apple understands that a majority of their users will never pay for or venture to the app store for an alternative to the default apps. The apps that come with the phone are more than enough for most.

…Monday’s WWDC keynote, there was something noticeable lacking: namely, the notion that any of the new technologies on stage were truly transformative and thereby a convincing reason to buy any deeper into the Apple ecosystem. Instead, WWDC’s highlights felt perfectly competent but hollow: table stakes in a game with a bottomless pot.

Look at it this way. Because Apple’s default apps are so bad, it does open a market for developers (where Apple takes a 30% cut). But, how long can Apple stay in the game with just superior hardware?

Buzzfeed

See Twitter follower demographics, interests and behaviors with Audience Insights

Twitter unveiled Audience Insights last week. The new tool can help marketers better understand the audience interacting with them on the social network. The Audience Insights dashboard provides information about a variety of characteristics, categorized by demographics, interests, lifestyle, purchasing behavior, mobile use and TV viewing behavior.

Audience Insights are available to any advertisers or analytics users. To access your information go to analytics.twitter.com and click on Followers. 

Analytics and Attribution via Google Insights

The case for using analytics and attribution

Analytics alone do not tell the full story of your customers. To make the most of mounds of data, you need to combine analytics with attribution.

Analytics help you understand your customers’ engagement points. Attribution tracks the value of each touchpoint (that lead to a desired outcome).

By combining both analytics and attribution, you can establish a universal measurement plan that better manages your marketing mix/spend and motivates your audience to the places where they convert.

At a high level, customer analytics provide an understanding of your customers’ experience—primarily across sites, apps, and other customer engagement points (call centers, for instance).  These insights can then be used to inform targeting, marketing, and product decisions. Although these insights are critical, customer analytics alone do not tell the full story.

Brands using more than one or two channels to reach their target markets may be missing vital details about the many touchpoints across the full customer journey and throughout their marketing mix. Data-driven attribution tracks and values all touchpoints that lead to a desired outcome (regardless of whether the customer ended up on a brand’s website).

think with Google

Additional reading:

Facebook Instant Articles

What you need to know about Facebook Instant Articles

What are Instant Articles?

  • Instant Articles are stories from big-name news outlets that appear within Facebook’s iPhone app in their entirety rather than simply as a link to elsewhere on the web. [Wired]
  • Facebook is working with nine launch partners for Instant Articles: The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild. [Facebook Media]
  • Facebook allows publishers to control the ad sales, branding and content; sell ads on the articles and keep all the revenue; and get data on their readers. [Digiday]

How do Instant Articles work?

  • The app is using the same technology Facebook has used to get photos and videos to load quickly. It pre-loads the story as you approach it in your News Feed, and is able to show you the top of the story as soon as you tap. On the web, publishers typically lard their pages with dozens of modules for serving advertisements and analytics; one reason instant articles load faster is because they strip most of those out. [The Verge]
  • Instant Articles makes use of a tool called AsyncDisplayKit. By tapping into the iPhone’s multi-core processors, the user interface is quick and responsive. [Ben Cunningham]
  • Facebook lets publishers use their own publishing tools, and then converts stories automatically into a format that works on Facebook’s app. There are bells and whistles, like a photo- and video-panning feature Facebook imported from its Paper app. [Re/code]
  • Essentially, the social network reads special tags coded into the story to reformat it, but refers back to the underlying link so that reading it counts as a mobile web view [The New York Times]
  • You can “like” individual elements of the story, follow the authors or the news organization on Facebook and even share the story on other platforms, such as Twitter. [The New York Times]
  • The Instant Article experience is only available on the Facebook app for iPhone. Those using Android will see the article in their news feed the way it normally would. [The New York Times]
  • ComScore gives Instant Article publishers full credit for any traffic those stories generate on Facebook’s app. [Re/code]

Why is Facebook doing this?

  • As more people get their news on mobile devices, Facebook wants to make the experience faster and richer on Facebook. The articles are hosted on Facebook’s servers, are well designed and create a better experience than the typical 8-second wait for an article to load on the mobile web. [The Verge]
  • Facebook is taking a 30 percent cut if the ads are sold through the Facebook network. [Contently]

What concerns do publishers have about Instant Articles?

  • In this deal, Facebook retains sole control of its news feed algorithm. [NPR]
  • Facebook is working to solidify itself as the default place where millions or possibly even billions of people go to get their news . The risk is that it will wind up helping Facebook more, and that eventually Facebook—a for-profit company that has shown no evidence that it actually understands or cares about “journalism” per se—will become the trusted source of news for millions of users, rather than the publications that produce content. [Fortune]
  • Facebook will becomes the de facto solution for publishers’ mobile challenges, publishers effectively limit their business to content creation and could become dependent on others to deliver their audience. [VentureBeat]
  • Once news sites join Instant Articles, they’ll lose their leverage and Facebook will impose more and more unfavorable terms on them. [Vox]
  • By publishing on Facebook, publishers may cannibalize their in-house ad sales teams. [VentureBeat]
  • What happens when Facebook goes away? Are today’s publishers, by then, just portable content generators ready to be passed to the next platform? Or have they been replaced by something else entirely? [The Awl]

Who worked on Instant Articles?

  • Project Manager Michael Reckhow and designer Mike Matas are part of the team behind Instant Articles. These are the same guys behind Facebook’s Paper app. Matas came to Facebook when Push Pop Press was acquired in 2011. [TechCrunch]

The Hollywood model and what it means for your career

The marketer’s CMO, Dana Anderson, wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year that AORs (agency of record) are “no longer the pathway to Oz for clients or agencies.” She said that digital has “created thousands of new mediums,” so “it is just not possible for one agency to be expert in all these areas.”

…creative agencies were once viewed as the “custodian” for brands. But that notion is getting “circumnavigated” by the “two-way conversation” occurring on social media directly between brands and consumers

AdAge

Work is making a grand shift towards the Hollywood model. In the not too distant future you’ll see ad hoc teams assembled of different people with parallel skills carrying out large and elaborate problems. They’ll work together for as long as is needed to complete the task then dissolve.

The Hollywood model is far more adaptable for today’s business world. Employees that are proven, reliable and have highly-sought-­after skills will have leverage. Those that don’t have marketable skills will be forced to compete against the robots.

How do you make sure you’re one of the first picked in this new economy? Be curious. Remain teachable. Educate yourself (and not necessarily through a traditional college). Develop your soft skills and communicate clearly. Flex your creative muscles.

Instagram launches @music channel

Instagram launches @music – their first dedicated vertical channel focusing on popular and emerging artists.

By creating exclusive editorial content, Instagram hopes to become a full-service destination for music lovers, and to enhance its position as a critical ally for artists and labels.

Buzzfeed News

Could we be headed for @movies, @videogames, @books….? Is this an extension of Instagram and the start dedicated channels? Maybe it’s the start of Instagram creating exclusive content for their platform ala YouTube’s Creator Space. Down the rabbit hole of speculation.

When it comes to music, Roots drummer and “Tonight Show” bandleader Questlove (@questlove) is all about the highs and lows. Take DJing, for instance. Give the crowd too many hits and you’ll numb them into the ground; too many non-jams and you’ll drive them off the dance floor. “When I first started, I was just desperate,” he says about the lack of pacing in his shows. “I was like, this is a hit, this is a hit, this is a hit. And you get addicted to the adrenaline rush of, ‘OH MY GOD THIS IS MY SONG.’ You kill them so much. I realized that now I am more obsessed with the opposite. I will put a bad song on and actually watch them filter out the floor. And I will wait two minutes [then play] ‘Uptown Funk’ –– ‘OH MY GOD IT’S MY SONG’ –– and then the scream is bigger than before. –Instagram @music Photo by @questlove

A photo posted by Instagram @music (@music) on

Start with why, not what

Cal Newport has a great take on the Apple Watch and its role in your life. He believes that people work backwards. Instead of  what they need, they’re more concerned about what’s hot. Here are two bits of inspiration from his post.

…once you start letting other people tell you how to invest your limited time and attention, you’re almost certainly going to stray from the things you find most important.

Decide what matters to you; seek out the tools that most directly and obviously help you accomplish these things; then get down to work.

Cal Newport

Being a full-stack employee

…the full-stack employee has a powerful combination of skills that make them incredibly valuable. They are adept at navigating the rapidly evolving and shifting technological landscape. They make intuitive decisions amidst information-abundance, where sparse facts mingle loosely with data-drenched opinions. Full stack employees are capable of speaking design lingo, know that using Comic Sans is criminal, and are adept at making mocks in Keynote, Sketch, or Skitch (if it comes to that). And they know the difference between UI and UX.

Medium

The open source algebra textbook

Sarah Hagan's students at Drumright High School in Drumright, Okla., don't use traditional textbooks — they make their own. They begin with blank composition notebooks and each day, Hagan hands out a lesson she's written herself or open-sourced from other teachers across the country. It's usually printed on colored paper and requires some kind of hands-on work: drawing, coloring, cutting. "The point is, we shouldn't have to be like, 'Oh, yeah, there's that chart on page 763 that tells me how to classify something.' They should think, 'Oh, that's on that blue paper that we did a few days ago, and I doodled in the corner,' " Hagan explains. The link in our profile takes you to the full story. (Credit: @elissanad/NPR) #50GreatTeachers #education #npr #oklahoma

A video posted by NPR (@npr) on