In The Great Reset, Richard Florida asks the question that all policy makers should be asking: what happens after a Depression?
This shockingly simple question opens the door to look at history as a guide for what is to come for the U.S. economy. Florida reviews two different economic slowdowns in American history, the Long Recession of the 1870s, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, and compares those to our most recent financial meltdown of 2007-present.
While there are a number of accounts of what went wrong, and whose fault it was that the economy tanked (Big greedy banks! The dollar-hungry, exchange-rate fixing Chinese! Government’s insatiable quest for higher levels of home ownership! Homeowners’ binge-spending, house-as-ATM profligacy!), Florida largely leaves the causes of the crisis aside. This is really for the better. Florida is a metropolitan sociologist – primarily concerned with what makes cities, and what makes them better.
But, Florida hits on a larger theme that has so far been ignored by most Great Recession books: what now? Continue Reading »
Grant McCracken‘s book, Chief Culture Officer, makes a bold declaration: corporations must institutionalize the study of culture in order to make things that resonate better with consumers. He proposes doing this by creating a new C-level executive: the CCO. The CCO is responsible for keeping the corporation in touch with culture, and to find ways to align the corporation with the culture of the moment. In that way, the corporation can affectively integrate with larger cultural moments, connect in an authentic way, and increase its own profits.
This framework sounds wondrous: the public gets a corporation more attuned to what they want. The corporation gets a larger customer base. And the CCO gets to sit on top of the pile.
But, you know what they say about things that seem too good to be true, right? The sad reality is that the type of role that McCracken defines would surely be doomed to failure. Continue Reading »
Clara Shih gives a good overview of what Facebook is good for in The Facebook Era (affiliate link). Of course, this book suffers from what all books, increasingly, suffer from: the fact that they’re books. By the time they are edited and published, 25% of the information is outdated. Continue Reading »
Chris Anderson’s new book, Free: The Past and Future of a Radical Price, will scare you. And it should. If you’re in the business of selling anything, you need to think about how you might be able to give it away. Because if you don’t, someone else will. Continue Reading »
Lizabeth Cohen, author of A Consumers’ Republic, is a good resource for marketers looking at how we will start to emerge from the current recession and how the new consumption landscape may be different on the other side. Recently, she was interviewed forAdAge. Continue Reading »