Summary of “How artificial intelligence is revolutionizing customer management”

A few years back, cloud computing transformed customer management, giving every small and medium business access to unified data and communication platforms without the need to make heavy investments in IT infrastructure and staff.
This time around, the next revolution in the space is being driven by artificial intelligence algorithms that help businesses automate customer outreach and make optimal use of data.
AI-powered tools are now helping scale the efforts of sales teams by gleaning useful patterns from data, finding successful courses of action, and taking care of the bulk of the work in addressing customer needs and grievances.
Main providers of Customer Relationship Management solutions have started to invest in the added value of AI. Last year, SalesForce, the leader in the CRM industry, announced Einstein, an AI assistant that, when launched, will be omnipresent across its platform.
The AI Offers app merges data from the company cloud and the Oracle Data Cloud to extract contextual insights into individual customer behaviors and provide personalized offers as visitors browse websites powered by the Commerce Cloud.
Over time, as these solutions continue to process company and customer data, they become more efficient in their functionality.
Amelia is a virtual customer assistant that uses natural language processing to understand customer queries and provide answer based on data gathered from previous interactions and the company knowledge base.
AI-powered customer support and management will surely result in more satisfied and less frustrated customers, and more productive sales teams.

The orginal article.

Summary of “10 free online courses you can take to learn to be more productive”

Invest some time in one or more of these courses to help increase your productivity.
Having a less stressful morning can make you more productive throughout the day.
Having a productivity system that works for you is perhaps your best tool to increase productivity.
Once you have a system, you can spend less time organizing and planning and more time doing.
Highbrow’s course is tailored to those who do not have much free time - each portion of the course is delivered in small chunks directly to your e-mail.
In this Highbrow class, a fun emoji helps you learn strategies to help you prioritize faster and smarter, so you can save valuable time.
Once you learn how to sit less and be more active, you will have more energy to be your most productive self throughout the day.
Perhaps you need to focus more on time management to increase your productivity.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Do we all need a little time simply to sit and think?”

The American Time Use Survey found that although 95 per cent of respondents said that they did at least one leisure activity during the previous 24 hours, 84 per cent had spent no time at all relaxing or thinking.
A recent study by psychologists at the University of Virginia asked subjects to simply sit in a room and ‘just think’ for 6 to 15 minutes.
The researchers found that the majority of subjects would rather electrocute themselves than just sit quietly and think.
With distraction always at our fingertips, it seems that we are in desperate need of a little more time to think.
We unfolded the deckchairs, propped up the sign reading ‘Stop, sit down and just think’, and I lowered myself into one of the chairs.
Despite the invitation to sit down and just think, people could not resist digital distraction.
My pop-up philosophy experiment invited people to sit and think.
Certainly in the dozens of hours I spent with pop-up philosophy, sitting on a deckchair around London, I did more thinking than I had in years while in my university office.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy”

Then several years ago I realized that a company called Bonobos was making shirts that fit me nearly as well, that were often sold three for $220, or $73 each, and that would arrive in two days.
Bonobos became my main shirt provider, at least until recently, when I learned that Amazon was trying to get into the upper-end men’s shirt game.
The firm’s “Buttoned Down” line, offered to Amazon Prime customers, uses high-quality fabric and is a good value at $40 for basic shirts.
I’m on the fence as to which company will provide my next shirt order, and a new deal this week makes it a doubly interesting quandary: Walmart is buying Bonobos.
More and more businesses in the modern economy, rather than reflecting those diminishing returns to scale, show positive returns to scale: The biggest companies have a huge advantage over smaller players.
The apparel industry isn’t that extreme – the price of making a shirt is still linked to the cost of fabric and the workers to do the stitching – but it is moving in that direction.
Perhaps in the future, rather than manufacture a bunch of shirts in Indonesia and Malaysia and ship them to the United States to be sold one at a time to urban office workers, a company will have a robot manufacture shirts to my specifications somewhere nearby.
What isn’t is this: The decision by Amazon and Walmart to compete for my grocery business – as well as for space in my closet – is a tiny battle in a war to dominate a changing global economy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I left my corporate job, and these 8 things became clear”

After more than two great decades at Procter & Gamble, I made the leap – a planned exit from corporate life to go all-in on my former side hustle of writing, speaking, and teaching.
It’s less about being impressive, and more about making an imprint.
In the corporate world, it’s easy to spend too much time worrying about how you come across in meetings or what your boss thinks of you.
For me, leaving corporate life has meant working a much more flexible schedule.
I honestly think if I were still at Conglomerate Inc., I’d find a flexible work schedule 10 times more motivating than a huge pay raise.
Being outside of a highly stressful corporate environment has lowered my defenses, and raised my interpersonal IQ. I’m more relaxed, less preoccupied, and more fully present with others.
Corporate life can be synonymous with sacrifice, often of the mental and physical kind.
I’m thankful for everything that corporate life taught and gave me.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Those who leave home, and those who stay”

Putting those sentences next to each other implies there is something wrong with people who don’t leave home.
There’s nothing wrong with people who want to stay close to their family and friends – people who “Really value kinship and close ties,” as Cromartie put it.
The responses showed very little demographic difference between people who left and people who stayed – even along partisan lines.
It paints the picture of people who are so insular that they won’t leave their hometown, even when economic conditions are subpar.
He told me, “There is a value judgment often made with people who don’t leave their hometown – that there’s something wrong with that decision. Sometimes people don’t have opportunity to leave.”
It shows people in their late teens and early 20s are the most likely to migrate – and they generally leave their smaller towns and suburbs to live in the urban core, whether for school or work.
The people who go back home One way to think about leaving home is that it puts you in a position to accrue more economic and intellectual resources.
So the primary way non-urban towns benefit from those resources is when people come back home.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why you should manage your energy, not your time”

For ten years, Lisa Congdon’s days were packed like a “Can of sardines.” Juggling between five and 20 projects at any one time, the artist and author, based in Portland, Oregon in the US, tried to squeeze as much into her daily work schedule as she could.
Knowing something had to give, Congdon began to adjust her approach to work and restructured her day to achieve the same amount of output, without working around the clock.
Getting rest within her workday helped lower stress levels and therefore achieve better results within the allotted time for working, Congdon found.
There are a number of approaches to mastering the art of deep work – be it lengthy retreats dedicated to a specific task; developing a daily ritual; or taking a ‘journalistic’ approach to seizing moments of deep work when you can throughout the day.
“At any given point, I should have deep work scheduled for roughly the next month. Once on the calendar, I protect this time like I would a doctor’s appointment or important meeting,” he writes.
I protect deep work time like I would a doctor’s appointment or important meeting.
In the past, Justin Gignac, co-founder of freelance network Working Not Working, left little room in his routine to be lazy.
Now, he believes it is important to build time to kick back and let his brain think by itself, and is one of many successful people debunking the myth that working more equals working best.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Seduction of Pessimism · Collaborative Fund”

Pessimism is intellectually seductive in a way optimism only wishes it could be.
Pessimism can be hard to distinguish from critical thinking and is often taken more seriously than optimism, which can be hard to distinguish from salesmanship and aloofness.
Siegel sidesteps pessimism not because he thinks bad stuff doesn’t happen, but because he has a longer time horizon than most.
The difference between pessimism and optimism often comes down to time horizon.
Since short-term shocks are more frequent and recent than long-term gains, pessimism usually sounds smarter than optimism because it’s easier to recall.
All of these could be reasons for pessimism if you assume no future change or adaptation.
Convincing ourselves of future change is hard to do, so pessimism is easy to latch onto.
Pessimism reduces expectations, narrowing the gap between possible outcomes and outcomes you feel great about.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Persistence of Prog Rock”

People called it progressive rock, or prog rock: a genre intent on proving that rock and roll didn’t have to be simple and silly-it could be complicated and silly instead. In the early nineteen-seventies, E.L.P., alongside several more or less like-minded British groups-King Crimson, Yes, and Genesis, as well as Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd-went, in the space of a few years, from curiosities to rock stars.
Most of these musicians took seriously the “Progressive” in “Progressive rock,” and believed that they were helping to hurry along an ineluctable process: the development of rock music into what Jon Anderson, of Yes, once called “a higher art form.” Even more than most musicians, the prog rockers aimed for immortality.
In the past twenty years a number of critics and historians have argued that prog rock was more interesting and more thoughtful than the caricature would suggest.
His new history of prog rock is called “The Show That Never Ends,” and it begins with its author embarking on a cruise for fans, starring some of the great prog-rock bands of yore, or what remains of them.
“We’re not American Negroes, so we can’t really improvise and feel the way they can.” In a thoughtful 2009 autobiography, Bill Bruford, a drummer who was central to the development of prog rock, noted that many of the music’s pioneers were “Nice middle-class English boys,” singing songs that were “Self-consciously British.” Genesis was formed at Charterhouse, a venerable boarding school in Surrey; the band’s album “Selling England by the Pound” was an arch and whimsical meditation on national identity.
Yet Romano is right: there is something inspiring about the indigestibility of prog, which still hasn’t quite been absorbed into the canon of critically beloved rock and roll, and which therefore retains some of its outsider appeal.
What can disappear-what long ago disappeared at least among rock bands-is the ideology of progress in pop music: the optimistic sense, shared by all those early-seventies pioneers, that the form was evolving and improving, and that prog rock offered a sneak peek at our future.
Of course, prog rock was not the future-at least, not more than anything else was.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Podcasts, Analytics, and Centralization – Stratechery by Ben Thompson”

Probably the first modern podcast was created by Dave Winer in 2003, although it wasn’t called a “Podcast”: that was coined by Ben Hammersley in 2004, and the inspiration was Apple’s iPod.
Still, while the media had a name, the “Industry”, such that it was, was very much the wild west: a scattering of podcast creators, podcatchers, and podcast listeners, finding each other by word-of-mouth.
Over the ensuing years the typical podcast sponsor was a bit less of a name brand – unless, of course, you were a regular podcast listener, in which case you quickly knew the brands by heart: Squarespace, Audible, Casper Mattress, Blue Apron, and recent favorite MeUndies.
The data part is obvious: while podcasters canreport download numbers, no one knows whether or not a podcast is played, or if the ads are skipped.
New extensions to Apple’s podcast feed specification will allow podcasts to define individual seasons and explain whether an episode is a teaser, a full episode, or bonus content.
These extensions will be read by the Podcast app and used to present a podcast in a richer way than the current, more linear, approach.
3 More pertinently all of the current podcast advertisers know exactly what they are getting: X amount of podcast ads results in Y number of conversions that result in Z amount of lifetime value.
For what it’s worth, Exponent has a much different profile: Apple Podcasts has about 13% share, while Overcast leads the way with 26% share, followed by Mobile Safari with 23% [↩]This shows why Casper mattresses are the exception that proves the rule: mattresses are not a subscription service, but they are much more expensive than most products bought online, which achieves the same effect as far as lifetime value is concerned [↩]I’m less worried about the fact other podcast players may not offer similar analytics: the Apple Podcast app will be used as a proxy, although this may hurt podcasts that have a smaller share of downloads via the Apple Podcast app [↩]It’s Google’s challenge in building a real hardware business in reverse [↩].

The orginal article.