We’ll Always Have Paris… How The Business of Sequels Destroyed America’s Youth

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They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. That may be true, but it is also the greatest impediment to progress.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a certain business sense to imitation – and I don’t mean outright theft of intellectual property. I’m referring to the “variation on a theme” that has become a successful marketing trope since well before Beethoven, Bach, and The Beatles.

Companies use the goodwill (and good publicity) generated by a top selling product, give it a tweak here and there, then come out with a “new” product that borrows heavily from the theme of the original. Rarely, however, does this sequel product ever reach the heights of its predecessor.

Here’s an example. Following the tremendous success of Continue Reading “We’ll Always Have Paris… How The Business of Sequels Destroyed America’s Youth”

The Dark Side: A Review of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert B. Cialdini et al

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Luke: …Is the Dark Side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?
Yoda: You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

In his first book, Robert Cialdini, psychology-professor-turned-marketing-guru wrote of his desire to learn “How to Say No” to itinerant marketers, aggressive solicitors and various other ne’er-do-wells. As a result, (and as I explain in my review of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion), Cialdini goes out of his way to show readers why we say “yes” when we don’t want to and how to say “no” when we should. Furthermore, in his follow-up book (see my review of Influence: Science and Practice) Cialdini extends his discussion of the six principles of persuasion to specifically include Continue Reading “The Dark Side: A Review of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert B. Cialdini et al”