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Leadership Insights - April 2021

“Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself,

and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others.”

Pablo Picasso

Crypto Trust and Scarcity

In a recent post to his “No Mercy, No Malice” blog NYU Professor Scott Galloway explores what for many is the new world of crypto assets and the revolution they portend.

It started as just being about bitcoin but now other crypto assets are emerging. The digital artist Beepie recently sold an NFT (non fungible token) associated with his work for $69 million which designates it as the original. That’s right; $69 million for a virtual asset.

Galloway does a much better job than I can of exploring how two fundamental drivers of value, Trust and Scarcity, are being found in the world of crypto assets. As these drivers are fundamental to value in our businesses as well, we must learn more about this development. As Galloway says; “Crypto is a $2 trillion disruptive force.” It’s not going away.

If you’re behind on things crypto and want to start understanding this, check out this TED Talk on Blockchain, the underlying technology of the crypto world. More in future newsletters.

The Faster Horse Fallacy

Henry Ford famously dissed market research when he remarked that “If I asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses.”

A customer may not always be able to tell you what they want until you they actually see it, but that doesn’t mean that market research doesn’t pay off….you just have to do it right. This guide from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern offers Five Ways to Know Your Customer Better than Your Competitor Does.

How biased is the information you rely on?

Leaders have an obligation to provide clarity and accurate information. In the absence of information our teams, being human, will fill in the gap with inaccurate information. It's more important than ever that we leaders have accurate information before we share.

This short article offers 7 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Misinformation a good article to share with your team. And here's a provocative “Media Bias” graphic that visually displays the ‘Bias” (Left vs Right) and “News Value and Reliability “ for many of the better known media outlets.

Obviously, the accuracy of this graphic depends on the objectivity of the analysts but personally, I found it intuitive based on my own media preferences and is prompting me to think that I need to make sure I expose myself to some sources deemed reliable (even if not aligned with my political preferences) in order to “vaccinate myself” against becoming a “Superspreader” of misinformation.

Econ Recon

It’s Baaaaack(?): If you had any doubts about the recovery, look at prices. Year over year, lumber is up 300%; houses 12%; aluminum up 56%, oil 89%. Many have thought these price surges due solely to a supply chain trying to get back to normal. Not so says Dr. Brian Wesbury in a recent 5 minute Wesbury 101 video: INFLATION! Higher prices are back and he thinks they will be here for a while. His graph of the money supply and interest rate forecast is scary. However, on the good news side, he believes that the economy is sound and that “Yes, Stocks are Still Cheap.”

But maybe not for a while…. According to ITR Economics’ Taylor St. Germain the issues around debt and inflation are real, but not immediate. Check out his 5 minute Trends Talk (with accompanying text version) as to when the US National Debt and inflation become truly problematic.


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