Addiction, ludic loops and why smartphones are mobile ‘Skinner boxes’

Posted by Mike Walsh

Oct 2, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Natasha Schull


With every new connected device, messaging application or digital service that enters our lives - it becomes increasingly difficult to resist the seductive lure of technology on our attention. For Natasha Schull, a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, the addictive nature of devices, whether slot machines or smart phones, is no accident. In her recent book, ADDICTION BY DESIGN: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, she explored the relationship between technology design and the experience of addiction. Her next book, KEEPING TRACK: Personal Informatics, Self-Regulation, and the Data-Driven Life concerns the rise of digital self-tracking technologies and the new modes of introspection and self-governance they engender. Meeting up in Soho, New York - we spoke about the nature of addiction and what makes the design of a particular technology so enthralling, the strange trance-like states that gamblers experience, the quantification of work and life, and why smartphones are a kind of ‘Skinner box’.


CATEGORY: Research, Customers

Sharing, authenticity and the art of staying human

Posted by Mike Walsh

Jul 8, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Bryan Kramer


Bryan Kramer is one of the most social people around - not only in person, but with over 300,000 fans and followers, a maven in the personal branding and marketing space. His latest book, “Shareology: How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy”, explores the history, art and science of sharing, and illustrates why sharing is what gives us a unique competitive advantage as individuals and brands. In a unique sharing experiment conducted in his recent TED Talk @ IBM titled “Why Sharing is Reimagining Our Future”, Bryan witnessed the true power of sharing when inspiration combined itself with reach and technology. The results were stunning – 21 million impressions in just 4 hours, spanning the globe to over 10 countries. We caught up to chat about why remembering human values is so important for brands and leaders, as they try and design authentic communications.


CATEGORY: Marketing, Customers

Head-fi, the emotional impact of analogue music and the birth of Shinola Audio

Posted by Mike Walsh

Jun 16, 2016 12:00:00 AM



Alex Rosson is a legend in the music business, having founded one of the world’s best headphone brands, Audeze, and is now responsible for starting up a new audio division for Detroit based watch and lifestyle brand, Shinola. I met up with Alex at the famous Village recording studios in West Los Angeles. The Village has been home to most of the greatest names in rock, from The Doors to Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay to Lady Gaga. The room we recorded this interview in was the same used to produce the classic album, Aja by Steely Dan. Alex and I talked about the origins of digital cinema, the rise of the head-fi movement, why listening to analogue music is good for you, and his plans for the launch of Shinola Audio. Listen out for the fun cameo from Alex’s uncle (the owner of the studio) and who makes a grand entrance at the end of the interview.


CATEGORY: Customers, Media & Entertainment

The future of books, female entrepreneurs and why more kids should play Minecraft

Posted by Mike Walsh

May 13, 2016 12:00:00 AM



When I wrote my last book, ‘The Dictionary Of Dangerous Ideas’, I wanted to find a platform that represented the future, rather than the dusty past of publishing. That brought me to Blurb, and many years later to their offices in San Francisco where I met up with their founder, Eileen Gittins. Starting her career in imaging at Eastman Kodak, Eileen left to found a number of successful digital companies before coming up with the idea of creating a simple digital platform for authors to produce high quality books. We spoke about where books will go in the future, how games like Minecraft help teach kids computational thinking, and what can be done to encourage more young women to become entrepreneurs.

CATEGORY: Customers, Media & Entertainment

Spotting trends, why experiences are viral and the algorithms that run Swedish rail

Posted by Mike Walsh

Mar 18, 2016 12:00:00 AM



Henry Mason spends his days trying to figure out what consumers might want next. Author of the book ‘Trend-Driven Innovation’ and head of the research firm, Trendwatching, he and his team scour the world for new ideas, business model innovation and the impact of disruptive technologies. Over a cup of tea in London, we spoke about the viral impact of great experience design, how to look outside your frame of reference, why the most powerful trends cross demographics, and the human needs that will shape the future of virtual reality, AI and machine learning.


CATEGORY: Marketing, Customers