A sunny day in Portland, Oregon on Thursday April 7, 2022.
It’s one of those weeks where I’m still easing back after being on holiday, the kind of holiday with young children where you need a holiday from the holiday. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the holiday… just that I’m also tired.
A quick reminder: Things That Caught My Attention, Volume 1 collecting the 50 best essays from episodes 1-50 is out now. You, my three thousand-odd subscribers, can get a copy with 20% off.
Paid supporters and subscribers get a free copy, so imagine I wrote an upsell here that wasn’t cheesy and maybe become a paid supporter/subscriber.
Much smaller bits today. Let’s go!
The ‘visible tangibility’ of the book is important for the content, as is the experiential ‘staged moment’ of buying it in a shop. (Filming a click on an ecommerce site doesn’t make good content, right?) – Anna Rafferty, Twitter
Caught my attention because: this is a great example of TikTok’s stitching and reacting, but mostly because of Anna’s question about what publishers might want to do to support readers, to which my question was: are publishers already doing anything like keying effects against print book covers? I love the idea of having an actual thing you’re holding up and waving in front of a camera and showing off, and yes there’s all the usual stuff about the print design. Just thinking about how print+digital works together. The shit version, of course, would be “stick QR codes on books”, and once you’re keying digital content against a physical book cover, well, it’s just a hop skip and a jump to whatever digital content you want.
Yes, this is the same as any regular Snapchat lens or whatever that’s a million years old now. But what’s different, I think, is that this would be tied to/supporting existing organic behavior. OH MY GOD I’M SOUNDING LIKE A BAD STRATEGIST DECK.
In the NYT yesterday: U.S. Says It Secretly Removed Malware Worldwide, Pre-empting Russian Cyberattacks2.
Caught my attention because: the U.S. government got a bunch of secret court orders, collaborated and coordinated with other governments around the world and “disconnected” botnets from G.R.U. controllers. More specifically: “The court orders allowed the F.B.I. to go into domestic corporate networks and remove the malware, sometimes without the company’s knowledge.” (my emphasis)
I mean, COME ON.
Friends were talking about Yet Another Subscription Service (fine, Taskmaster’s SuperMax+, see the Deadline piece) and how it’s Yet Another Streaming Subscription Service.
Caught my attention because: I had the idea for a credit card company subscription management feature:
As soon as a subscription payment starts on your account, it would email you with something along the lines of:
Hey, you just started a subscription with TaskMasterSuperMaxPlus. We can automatically cancel it for you after a certain date, would you like to do that?
Here’s the tweet where I just blurted it out loud.
Reasons why this might not happen: credit card companies I assume are still more on the side of “features that help you spend money” and less so on the side of “features that help you manage your money”, see Amex’s Plan It feature which adds yet another layer of payment plan on top of a regular credit card!
But, if you’re a credit card company that’s actually, you know, focussed on what your users might want/need/appreciate, then “taking control of subscriptions” is a good thing and you already have the data before anyone else. Sure, it sherlocks independent subscription management features but hey, sucks to be them.
My other beef here is that I feel like the way product management and product development is set up at Companies These Days is that this kind of thing might be so left-field (tell me I’m wrong!) and doesn’t fit inside traditional Product Or Service Management Strategy. Where are the OKRs that might nurture something like this?
Okay, that’s it today. Another short one.
How are you?