Daniel Kjellsson

I tell other people’s stories. Founding partner @SydneyStockholm

June 1, 2014

Your health records are worth more than your credit card

I’ve been using the Jawbone fitness band for about six months. Without heading into any kind of in-depth review I’ve sort of lost interest at this point and I keep coming back to the conclusion that to have to wear (and charge, sync, etc) anything more than my phone is a hassle.

The data we collect and share (with these products), though, is golden. According to a recent research report from IHS Electronics and Media, on the black market, electronic health records can be worth 20 times as much as stolen credit card data.

There’s really no richer source of personal information about a person than their medical chart. It may include insurance details, past home addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, as well as a patient’s entire medical history — plenty enough to commit insurance fraud or identity theft.

Yahoo Finance has got the story “Risks of using fitness bands and apps”.

January 26, 2014

Superheroes and superbloggers: The blockbuster personalities of our time

I pass this store on my way to work; it’s something like a nerd’s nest with a careful selection of books, films and records. Unsurprisingly, the store owner also seems to have a weak spot for comics. Lately, both 75 Years of DC Comics – The Art of Modern Mythmaking and Marvel: The Untold Story have been sitting front row in the store window.

These almost historical blockbuster personalities (Captain America alone is 73 years old) still capture the attention and fascination of new generations. In a time when a youngster’s attention is tougher to crack than crack itself. Sydney Stockholm – the digital publisher we run – has got one sole core target: Create and commercialise influential individuals. The blockbuster personalities of our time. But why are we all continuously so fascinated by them?

Photo: JD Hancock

Last year Anita Elberse, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, effectively explained the commercial aspects of this in her book Blockbusters. It looks at what drives success in the entertainment industry and how these lessons can be translated into other sectors.

According to Elberse, the notion of smaller bets being safer is a myth. It is safer to make bigger bets because they are likely to have bigger outcomes. That’s not to say that every effort to make a blockbuster succeeds but rather that scale brings marketing advantages. Additionally, the blockbuster strategy fits the way consumers behave – they want to be able to talk with others about what they watch, listen and read.

Likewise, companies seeking spokespeople are better off betting on the A-list stars. Pepsi paying Beyoncé $50 million for a multi-year “partnership” is, in fact, a safer bet than recruiting a less expensive B-level star. But that move makes it more pressing for the strategy to succeed. Elberse finds, that in most cases, these “big bets become self-fulfilling prophecies” because companies and individuals understand how high the stakes are and are more driven to produce great outcomes.

In the world of bloggers and social media stars, we often encounter what I call the “candy store strategy” – brands approaching us with the ambition to collaborate with a certain influencer on one piece of content, one Instagram update or similar. Small bits and pieces here and there that usually lead to nothing. They all risk being merely small, scattered and unnoticed bets in a very crowded space.

Combining those small bets into one large and focused investment, however, will allow everyone involved to roll up their sleeves and dig in. This is happening all around you already; the biggest clubs can afford the biggest DJ’s, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show has turned into a blockbuster event thanks to a roster of blockbuster personalities and Red Bull is, well, sending a blockbuster guy to freaking space.

November 1, 2013

Me and my Stan Smith’s

I dress remarkably shoddy for someone who’s spent his life in and around fashion journalism. My only supporter for this “shabby chic” thing I’ve got going on is FELLT contributor and Harper and Harley creator Sara Donaldson, although it might very well be pity.

But not even she approves of these sneakers.

Adidas Stan Smith

I love my Adidas Stan Smith’s, though. Older than I can remember, holes everywhere, glued together at certain places and they’ve bared with me through a bunch of affairs. I ran away with Common Projects, was swept away by Buttero and flirted with Converse.

But I always came back and truth be told, no one ever came close to these bad babies. They’re not even the same colour; the left one is green and the right one is blue (more about that in the story linked below). But you can’t really tell anymore, anyway.

These once-white Vietnam made compadres were recently featured on sneaker blog I Dig Your Sole Man. My thanks to Lester Jones for, combined with his everyday coolness, also encouraging the weak.

September 13, 2013

The No Cluetrain Manifesto: Getting things wrong, missing points

I was just about to write an immensely analytical piece (yeah, really) about the future of journalism. It was handed to me on a silver plate, too. Some days ago David Weinberger (Harvard researcher, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, etc) was live-blogging from a Digital Riptide forum.

Tim Armstrong (AOL), Caroline Little (Newspaper Association of America) and Arthur Sulzberger Jr (The New York Times) were all on stage in a panel discussion and a no-status media fanatic like yours truly couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to piggyback off of other people’s thoughts and ideas.

Weinberger started off his reporting with this note:

Live blogging: Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.

I should use that as this blog’s official tagline. More importantly, after having read that note, nothing that followed was relevant. A little “young people don’t seem willing to pay on the web”, some pieces of “authority is about accuracy” and the obligatory “are bloggers journalists?”.

But Weinberger had already showed us what’s really the challenge for traditional media; personality. Or their lack thereof. Someone to connect to, relate to, befriend. The future of journalism doesn’t belong to media brands but to personal ones.

September 12, 2013

Jim Koch, the Boston Beer billionaire, on his secret sales strategy

Jim Koch, Boston Beer Co. Photo by ZagatBuzz, flickr.com/photos/zagatbuzz

Armed with a family recipe and a flair for marketing, C. James “Jim” Koch popularized craft beer in the U.S. and turned Boston Beer Co. into the third-largest American-owned brewery. It also made him a billionaire, as sales of his flagship Samuel Adams brand helped Boston Beer shares double in the past year and reach a record high Friday (Sept 6).

For more details on Koch’s story head straight to this Bloomberg piece. It’s a fascinating read at 1,500 words, although one single sentence completely stood out:

This week, Koch will travel to Los Angeles and Maine, where he will go bar-to-bar trying to persuade beverage managers to carry Sam Adams, something he has done since he started brewing beer in his Newton, Massachusetts, kitchen in 1984.

I mean give me a break. If someone had told me that they were going to walk place-to-place for 30 years trying to persuade shopfronts to carry a certain product, I’d say that that individual would become a billionaire regardless of the product. I’m drinking Sam Adams from now on.

September 10, 2013

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on why entrepreneurs should be terrified, but for the right reasons

Fear is a part of running your own company. Fear of running out of cash, fear of making the wrong decision and fear of losing key employees. Fear of disappointing the people that have faith in you, fear of any competitor out there – dead or alive. Fear of outside innovation and evolution leaving you and your idea behind.

I imagine Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos knowing a thing or two about fear, even though often acting fearless. MG Siegler recently reposted one of my favourite quotes of Bezo’s:

You should wake up worried, terrified every morning. But don’t be worried about competitors, because they’re never going to send you any money anyway. Let’s be worried about customers and stay heads-down focused.

Just after the burst of the Internet bubble, Bezos said this to his then 150 employees who were facing increased competition from Barnes & Noble and its 30,000 employees. Stay heads-down focused.

September 6, 2013

Marissa Mayer knows enough to be dangerous

I couldn’t write something smart about logo design even if I wanted to. But it seems Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer can.

One of the most shared blog posts during the last couple of  days is her “Geeking Out on the Logo”, a brief and personal examination of her (and her team’s) work on the new Yahoo! logo. Even if I can’t judge the end product with confidence, I’m impressed by her energy and the fact that she seems to have a true and pervading understanding of what her Yahoo! is. From her blog post:

We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo – whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud.

Followed by:

We didn’t want to have any straight lines in the logo.  Straight lines don’t exist in the human form and are extremely rare in nature, so the human touch in the logo is that all the lines and forms all have at least a slight curve.

When a corporate CEO cares this much about a logo redesign – I’m pretty confident the rest of the business will be alright too. Or as she says herself: “I know enough to be dangerous.”

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