Game of Thrones Fights Piracy, Why Writing Skills Matter, and Lockheed Martin’s School Bus To Mars

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I am sitting in an airport lounge in Zurich and putting the final touches on my selections for the most under appreciated stories of this week navigating through stories about perhaps the greatest underdog sports story in soccer history, YouTube’s ongoing plans to kill the cable television industry and Budweiser’s slightly desperate attempt at relevance by renaming its beer for the US election season. My five selections this week, however, span from an amazing virtual experience from an unlikely B2B brand to the real time piracy fighting efforts from one iconic TV show that may transform how IP is protected online. Read on to see this week’s non-obvious insights

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Why Writers Rule The World

This week a fascinating profile of the “aspiring novelist who became Obama’s foreign policy guru” took readers inside the rise of Ben Rhodes and offered a high profile case study for how important writing can be in building a promising career and reputation. It was perfect timing considering plenty of young people are graduating from college this week and are entering the workforce for the first time.  The bottom line takeaway: being a great writer can not only help you communicate but also lead you into all sorts of promising careers.  Just one more reason I am extraordinarily proud of having been an English major in college …. :-)

Read the full story on NY Times >>

Lockheed Martin Creates Augmented Reality Mars Experience

Imagine you boarded a regular school bus and were transported onto a Mars mission. That was exactly the idea behind this amazing experience first launched by Lockheed Martin several weeks ago as a part of the 2016 Science and Engineering Festival. While I sadly did not get to experience this first hand while I was at the Festival, the idea of bringing space exploration to life for kids in this way and inspiring them to dream of big things (like colonizing Mars) is exactly the kind of thing the world needs brands to do.  Note – I first discovered this story thanks to smart curation from the team at The Future Of Storytelling.

Read the full story on VR Focus >>

Game of Thrones Wages Real Time War on Piracy

When you produce any content, piracy can be an issue … but how can you stop it around one of the most popular and secretive shows in the world today?  This article offers insights from the efforts of HBO and Game of Thrones to fight piracy in real time.  The tactics they are employing, from takedown notices to real time tracking of piracy as it happens will likely become an industry template that others follow to fight back against those who would repost content or attempt to share it illegally.

Read the full story on Business Insider >>

The Dalai Lama’s Ambitious Attempt To Map Human Emotion

In 2014 at the request of the Dalai Lama, renowned US psychologist Daniel Eckman uncovered through research that there were five universal human emotions. The resulting “Atlas of Emotion” website visualizes our emotions clearly.  While simply reading the words may not inherently be enough to change someone’s emotional state – the fact that it is mapped out so logically should at least offer comfort to any visitor of the site that their emotions are natural and human … and experiencing them makes us all more alike than we realize.

View the Atlas of Emotion Website >>

Siri Co-Creator Unveils Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Called Viv

Usually I am a skeptic about the hype cycle around technology – particularly when it happens to be announced at an industry insider event like TechCrunch Disrupt NY and covered on a publication called “HypeBeast” … but the demo behind the new artificial intelligence powering Viv (the next generation potential replacement of Siri) is worth watching. Mainly because it is a sign of the increasing focus from tech brands on creating voice activated products with “zero UI” that mimic more human like interactions. While many are still heavily dependent on humans – the potential of this demo is really interesting, and worth tracking.

View the full story on Hype Beast >>

Influential Marketing Book Of The Week: TED Talks: The Official TED Guide To Public Speaking

Some books are easy to imagine exploding into narrative form from an Author’s lifetime of work. Then there are the books that probably took years of cajoling from well intentioned friends before they finally come to fruition. This book seems like the latter. In a quiet signature style, TED founder Chris Anderson takes readers behind the scenes of some of the most well known moments from the iconic TED stage and what it took for those speakers to get there. Before TED Talks, the idea of a 17 minute non-fiction talk going “viral” with millions of views would have been unheard of. The point this book makes over and over again is that this is the real power of a great talk in the right moment. It can turn companies around and inspire people like nothing else. The premise of delivering an actual TED talk may seem like the most intimidating way to try and improve your speaking skills. The vaunted position TED talks take in our consciousness could make it seem like an unapproachable ideal. Yet reading this book, the one belief that comes through loud and clear is that being a powerful speaker is a skill that is within reach for anyone. Rather than sharing a secret formula for an ideal TED talk, Anderson offers tips and techniques that TED speakers use, but which could be applied for anyone. Aside from having delivered 2 TEDx talks myself, I also currently teach storytelling and speaking at Georgetown University. I will be recommending this book to my students – and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking an actionable and entertaining book on becoming a more persuasive speaker as well.

Buy This Book On Amazon >>

How Are These Stories Chosen?

Every week I review more than a hundred data sources to curate the best and most under appreciated marketing stories of the week. The aim of this email is to spotlight these “non-obvious” stories, along with a quick take on why they matter for you. I hope you find this email interesting and useful … and am always open to your suggestions on how I might make it better!

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