What we read this week (28 June)

Infrastructure fiction, life lessons from Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, Booz Allen and its relationship with US intelligence, barriers for growth in emerging markets and using data more effectively in marketing.

Quote of the week

Focusing on a clearly identified destination is highly overrated.

Adam Brault

We owned the devices, but they owned the servers. They won.

Shoshana Zuboff

Articles of the week

  • An Introduction To Infrastructure Fiction
    Writer, futurist and infrastructure researcher Paul Graham Raven in a piece for Superflux, in which he describes how the thought processes of design fiction can be used to work on serious, though perhaps less sexy, infrastructural problems, with the goal of creating a more sustainable way of living. Some great argumentation, complete with helpful Douglas Adams metaphors.
  • Six Things We Learned From Patagonia’s Founder Yvon Chouinard
    A refreshingly direct Chouinard on making the world better through pessimism, the importance of connecting to nature and taking things slow, avoiding consumerism and cheating, and other life lessons.
  • Booz Allen, the World’s Most Profitable Spy Organization
    More on the Snowden saga, this time with a portrait of the company he worked for, Booz Allen, its cooperation with government intelligence agencies, and how this relationship inadvertently made room for events like the recent leaks to happen.
  • Emerging Markets, Hitting a Wall
    “Sustained, meteoric growth in emerging economies may no longer be possible,” as this New York Times article explains, as a result of increased automation, global supply chains, greater economic gaps and aging populations, and why this all means that developing countries may never fully develop.
  • The ‘Big Data’ Fallacy
    Eoin Townsend makes the case for a operating system of sorts for marketing, which would combine Data Management Platforms (DMPs), Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) and other sources of data to ensure that the data isn’t simply collected, but put together in such a way as to be useful in developing strategies.

Author: Igor

Igor likes to connect the dots. As a strategic consultant in an increasingly complex world, he favours broad knowledge over specialisation. In the last five years, he helped shape strategic decisions at large corporations like Deutsche Postbank AG and Deutsche Telekom AG as well as at startups like Amen and refund.me. In his work he is focusing always on finding the appropriate solutions as well as the people who will be executing upon his advice. Beside the consulting work, Igor speaks at international conferences on variety of topics (SXSW, PICNIC, re:publica, etc.).