Daft Punk’s back to the future: how to manufacture a music summer hit with old fashioned marketing, live studio recording and analog taping.
[Reproduced from Bloomberg Business Week]
Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky': How to Build the Song of the Summer
[By Eric Spitznagel | 06.27.13]
Get Lucky, the new single from French electronic duo Daft Punk, is on its way to becoming the official summer anthem of 2013. Since its release on April 19, it’s sold 838,000 digital downloads in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan (NLSN), and shot to No. 1 on digital charts in 55 countries. It also set a Spotify record for first-day streams and has since been heard on the service more than 40 million times.
The success of Get Lucky upends many truisms in the music business about artists, taste, and marketing. Most huge summer hits come from familiar names: Katy Perry’s California Gurls, the Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling, Kid Rock’s All Summer Long. Another fresh face, Gotye, who had last summer’s unstoppable Somebody That I Used to Know, took almost a full year of media saturation (constant radio airplay, performances on American Idol and Glee, supportive tweets from celebs like Ashton Kutcher) to become a certified hit. How did two obscure, older French guys—their biggest previous single, 2000’s One More Time, peaked at No. 61 on the Billboard chart in the U.S., and they had limited Internet presence and no live performances in 2013—record a disco-inspired song that’s become the most buzzed-about tune of the summer?
Today’s behavioral science is showing that Machiavelli was partly right. Once you establish your warmth, your strength is received as a welcome reassurance. Your leadership becomes not a threat but a gift.
[Reproduced from the Harvard Business Review]
Connect, Then Lead
[by Amy J.C. Cuddy, Matthew Kohut, and John Neffinger | 06.28.13]
Is it better to be loved or feared?
Niccolò Machiavelli pondered that timeless conundrum 500 years ago and hedged his bets. “It may be answered that one should wish to be both,” he acknowledged, “but because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.”
Now behavioral science is weighing in with research showing that Machiavelli had it partly right: When we judge others—especially our leaders—we look first at two characteristics: how lovable they are (their warmth, communion, or trustworthiness) and how fearsome they are (their strength, agency, or competence). Although there is some disagreement about the proper labels for the traits, researchers agree that they are the two primary dimensions of social judgment.
Why are these traits so important? Because they answer two critical questions: “What are this person’s intentions toward me?” and “Is he or she capable of acting on those intentions?” Together, these assessments underlie our emotional and behavioral reactions to other people, groups, and even brands and companies. Research by one of us, Amy Cuddy, and colleagues Susan Fiske, of Princeton, and Peter Glick, of Lawrence University, shows that people judged to be competent but lacking in warmth often elicit envy in others, an emotion involving both respect and resentment that cuts both ways. When we respect someone, we want to cooperate or affiliate ourselves with him or her, but resentment can make that person vulnerable to harsh reprisal (think of disgraced Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski, whose extravagance made him an unsympathetic public figure). On the other hand, people judged as warm but incompetent tend to elicit pity, which also involves a mix of emotions: Compassion moves us to help those we pity, but our lack of respect leads us ultimately to neglect them (think of workers who become marginalized as they near retirement or of an employee with outmoded skills in a rapidly evolving industry).
To be sure, we notice plenty of other traits in people, but they’re nowhere near as influential as warmth and strength. Indeed, insights from the field of psychology show that these two dimensions account for more than 90% of the variance in our positive or negative impressions we form of the people around us.
Boosting employee health: Corporate values are changing from cost and productivity to mindfulness and alignment. Employees, particularly millennials, are not willing to compromise on work-life balance and wellness anymore. Quite a few start ups today are targeting employers with workplace social wellness solution that boost employee health and engagement.
[Reproduced from GigaOm]
A corporate wellness program that’s actually fun?
Keas nabs $8M to make health social
[By Ki Mae Heussner / 06.25.13]
Keas, a San Francisco startup that offers employers a social service for boosting employee health and productivity, has raised $8 million.
Health tech startup Keas seems to have finally found its footing. Launched in 2009 by the former head of Google Health, the company was initially intended to be something like a “Mint.com for health,” but later pivoted into a gamified employee wellness service. Earlier this year, the company evolved further with a new management team and strategy meant to make the product feel even more consumer- oriented. And it looks like its twists and turns may be paying off.
In the last year, the company said it’s doubled its count of registered users and enterprise clients and, on top of that, it said Tuesday that it has raised an additional $8 million in venture financing. The funding, which brings Keas’ total amount raised to $26 million, came from Ignition Partners and Atlas Ventures. With the additional funds, the company said it plans to ramp up product development and expand to new clients.
“We want to make health social and mobile and really engaging for employees,” said Keas CEO Josh Stevens, who took the helm last year (founder Adam Bosworth is now CTO).
As health care costs climb and health-related productivity losses continue to mount, Keas targets employers with a workplace social network that boosts employee health and engagement. Through the platform, companies’ HR teams can broadcast messages about flu shot programs and other wellness initiatives and employees can share updates about their health-related activities– from eating to daily exercise. All employees are divided up into small teams with the goal of using light peer pressure to nudge users into better habits and more engagement.
The service seems to be doing its doing its job — Keas said the average employee engages with the site 12 times a month and that the number of monthly active users for each company tends to be triple that of users on incumbent sites (which are usually barely-trafficked portals offered by health plans).
i blog about the things I love: fitness, hacking work, tech, Experiences and anything holistic.
> Head of Product and VP Engineering