Weekly Reading

Keeping things short this week, I'm still reading Scott Galloway's The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, which is excellent and insightful so far.

Brick and mortar’s troubles have been laid at the feet of digital disruption. There is some truth to that. However, digital sales are still only 12 percent of retail. It’s not stores that are dying, but the middle class, and the stores serving them. Most that are located in, or serving, middle-class households are struggling. By comparison, stores in affluent neighborhoods are holding strong. The middle class used to be 61 percent of Americans. Now they are the minority, representing less than half the population … the rest being lower or upper income.

More to come once it's finished.

I kicked this week off reading about the fragility of Silicon Valley's VC's, specifically, their inability to deal with important and valid criticism. I wonder how we'll see this one play out with the unfolding WeWork drama.

I've done a lot of job hopping over the years, so I found this article by Quartz fascinating, and led to a fair bit of self reflection on just why I'd chosen to leave certain employers. I think that'd have to be the subject of a whole other article if I were to go into it though.

Spend any amount of time playing video games and you're likely to come across a whole range of user interfaces, but video games can provide inspiration outside of their own context, as Scott Jenson wonderfully explains.

Google search is broken, would it be possible to bring trust back into the equation?

I love the idea of bespoke clothing, but is it worth it? I guess that depends on what your definition of it is.

I'm writing this from a personal website, so I guess it shouldn't come as any surprise, but I really enjoyed reading Tobias Van Schneider's love letter to the personal website

At the risk of sounding religious about this, and maybe I am, our personal websites are our temples. They remain the one space on the internet where we decide how we are introduced to friends, potential employees and strangers. It’s a place where we can express, on our terms, who we are and what we offer.

I got my first job in email marketing in October '11 and one of the first resources I came across was Laura and Steve Atkins' Word to the Wise. Ever since, it's been a great resource I've used to stay on top of what's going on in the world of deliverability, even if a lot of it mostly goes over my head. Articles like this one on what to do if you can't get a response from a postmaster team provide great actionable advice you absolutely should learn from.

The hills are alive with the sound of money. Ever wondered what your credit card sounds like? The answer lies in those old Square dongles.

This probably comes as no surprise to the #emailgeeks community who've seen me banging on about yoga for a year - but it turns out yoga practitioners may not be as chill as they like to claim they are.

artnet published their third report on the latest trends in the art market. There are some real insights in here worth looking into.

$46,281 The average price of an artwork sold at auction in the first half of 2019—28 percent less than in the equivalent period last year, when the average price hit $61,699. What happened? For the first time in several years, the number of works sold at auction is going up while total sales are going down. There are simply fewer high-priced outliers to drive up the average price.

Sticking to the subject of art, I can already hear the gnashing of teeth over but her emails...

I don't know anything about concrete, but I know I like this type. I think a trip to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is in order if I ever find myself in D.C, the building expansion looks incredible.

You've got until December 13th to enter the DPN Rosemary Smith Award for Responsible Marketing. If you or your team are fighting the good fight and trying to engage in effective marketing while protecting the data rights of your customers you could stand to win £1,000.