S04E07 – Always Look On The 80/20 Side Of Life

Talking About Marketing Podcast by Steve Davis and David Olney

Master Effective Communication, Leverage The 80/20 Principle, And Navigate AI Pitfalls For Greater Impact With Less Effort.

In this episode of Talking About Marketing, Steve Davis and David Olney delve into the power of communication, the efficiency of the 80/20 Principle, the pitfalls of relying on AI-generated content, and the allure of doom narratives.

The Person segment explores the foundational aspects of effective communication, drawing insights from Steve’s recent talk at the Visitor Information Services conference.

In the Principles segment, they discuss Richard Koch’s "The 80/20 Principle," highlighting how focusing on high-impact activities can significantly improve productivity and satisfaction.

The Problems segment recounts Steve's experience with Perplexity AI, emphasising the importance of human oversight when using AI tools.

Lastly, in the Perspicacity segment, they examine the fascination with doomsday predictions and the potential of a more hopeful narrative, inspired by Hannah Ritchie’s "Not the End of the World."

Get ready to take notes!

Talking About Marketing podcast episode notes with timecodes

01:10  Person  This segment focusses on you, the person, because we believe business is personal.

The Art Of Engaging Communication

In this segment, Steve Davis shares insights from his recent talk at the South Australian Visitor Information Services conference, focusing on the importance of effective communication in tourism. He discusses the valuable lessons derived from two influential books: "Change Your Questions, Change Your Life" by Dr. Marilee Adams and "Supercommunicators" by Charles Duhigg. These works emphasise the need for presence, warmth, and genuine engagement when interacting with visitors.

Steve underscores the foundational aspect of communication: listening. He asserts that individuals with a naturally warm heart and curiosity are indispensable in the tourism industry. These innate qualities cannot be fabricated; therefore, hiring people with such cultural qualities and training them in the necessary skills is crucial.

To illustrate his points at the conference, Steve read a letter written by the late author Kurt Vonnegut to high school students in 2006. In this episode, we play a wonderful reading by Sir Ian McKellen from the highly recommended YouTube channel, Letters Live.

Vonnegut's letter encourages the practice of art in various forms—not for fame or money, but for personal growth and soul enrichment. This advice is particularly relevant for individuals in the tourism sector, as engaging in creative activities fosters a positive disposition and an eagerness to help others.

David Olney adds that a person with a good disposition, who enjoys being happy, can learn almost anything. Conversely, someone mired in misery cannot be taught to smile. He reflects on the transformative power of art, suggesting that creative pursuits teach a "quiet, happy courage" that makes the future seem less daunting.

Steve concludes by highlighting the contrast between a creatively engaged person and one who views their job as a chore. The former will always strive to make interactions enjoyable and solve problems enthusiastically. This segment serves as a reminder that creativity and a positive attitude are essential for enhancing customer experiences and overall job satisfaction.

In post production, we also slipped in a magic scene from Back To School, in which the late Kurt Vonnegut made a cameo appearance.

11:13  Principles  This segment focusses principles you can apply in your business today.

Embracing the 80/20 Principle for Maximum Impact

In the Principles segment, Steve Davis and David Olney explore "The 80/20 Principle" by Richard Koch, a book that delves into the Pareto Principle, originally observed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1896. This principle posits that 20 percent of efforts typically yield 80 percent of results, while the remaining 80 percent of efforts contribute to just 20 percent of outcomes. Pareto's observations extended beyond economics to reveal a universal pattern of disproportionality in various aspects of life and nature.

Steve highlights how Koch’s book emphasises the importance of identifying and focusing on the most impactful activities. For small business owners, this means recognising that a significant portion of their efforts may yield minimal results, and instead, they should concentrate on the tasks that generate the most benefits. Koch advises outsourcing or eliminating less productive activities and honing efficiency in necessary but less impactful tasks.

David reflects on his academic career, where he felt overwhelmed by unproductive tasks, and how embracing the 80/20 principle in his new career has significantly enhanced his professional satisfaction. He underscores the necessity of prioritising tasks that align with one's strengths to maximise results and free up time for personal interests and creativity.

Steve introduces an excerpt from Richard Koch, who outlines strategies for those feeling stuck in their careers. Koch suggests emulating the methods of successful individuals and reflecting on personal successes to identify activities that yield high returns. He stresses the importance of concentrating on these high-impact activities to achieve better results and avoid burnout.

The segment concludes with a discussion on the practical application of the 80/20 principle in personal and professional life. By focusing on tasks they excel at, individuals can achieve more efficient and satisfying outcomes, leading to a balanced and fulfilling life. Steve and David agree that adopting this principle is challenging but ultimately rewarding, as it allows for more effective use of time and energy, both at work and in personal pursuits.

22:10  Problems  This segment answers questions we've received from clients or listeners.

Navigating AI's Flaws and Potentials

In the Problems segment, Steve Davis shares his recent experience with Perplexity AI while preparing a biography for his character, Professor Sebastian Longsword. As he was short on time, he used Perplexity AI to craft a quick introduction for an upcoming speaking engagement with the Australian Marketers Institute in South Australia. Despite the initial promising output, Steve discovered significant issues upon closer inspection of the AI-generated content and its cited sources.

Steve recounts how Perplexity AI produced a bio describing Professor Longsword as a renowned academic from Adelaide, pioneering short form MBA degrees. The bio praised his innovative teaching methods and their impact on modern MBA education. While the content was largely on-brand, Steve found the sources cited by the AI to be irrelevant and inaccurate. The references included unrelated PDFs, genealogical records, and obscure links, with no connection to the bio's content.

You can click through to the actual results page here.

Steve terms this issue "citation decoration," highlighting how AI tools can create a facade of credibility by listing sources that were neither relevant nor used in generating the summary. He further experimented with Perplexity AI's pro version, which provided slightly better results but still included many irrelevant sources. Steve stresses the importance of human oversight when using AI tools, as the presence of citations does not guarantee their accuracy or relevance.

David Olney adds that AI tools can fluctuate in performance, necessitating constant evaluation and adaptation. He advises users to remain vigilant and not hesitate to switch AI tools if the quality of outputs declines. David emphasises that brand loyalty should not apply to AI tools, especially during the current phase of rapid AI development. Users should leverage the competition among AI providers to obtain the best results.

Steve and David agree that while AI can be a powerful aid, it requires human discernment to ensure the reliability and relevance of its outputs. They encourage users to experiment with different AI tools to find the best fit for their needs, avoiding complacency with any single provider.

27:57  Perspicacity  This segment is designed to sharpen our thinking by reflecting on a case study from the past.

Doom Sells: The Power of Negativity and Hope

In the Perspicacity segment, Steve Davis and David Olney discuss the compelling nature of doom and its effectiveness in capturing attention. Steve opens the segment by referencing the ending of "War of the Worlds," narrated by Morgan Freeman, where the seemingly unstoppable alien invaders are ultimately defeated by bacteria. This dramatic turn of events highlights the unexpected ways in which doom can be averted.

Steve and David explore the persistent theme of doom in literature and media. David notes that each generation tends to produce a prominent work predicting the end of the world as we know it. He cites Paul Kennedy’s 1980s work on the rise and fall of empires and Richard Heinberg's "The End of Growth" from 2011, both of which garnered significant attention due to their dire predictions. These works resonate with the human tendency towards negativity bias, which makes us more responsive to negative information.

The conversation shifts to marketing, where Steve and David discuss how fear and doom can be powerful tools for grabbing attention. They mention the phenomenon of clickbait titles like "Blogging is Dead" or "Social Media is Dead," which may attract clicks but often fail to build lasting trust with the audience. David emphasises that using fear-based tactics can harm a brand’s reputation if the content does not deliver on its dramatic promises.

Steve and David then highlight a new book that offers a different approach: "Not the End of the World" by Hannah Ritchie. This book acknowledges the significant problems we face but focuses on the solutions that are already working and how they can be scaled up. Ritchie's balanced and solution-oriented perspective provides a refreshing contrast to the usual doom-laden narratives, offering hope and empowering readers to take positive action.

The segment concludes with a reflection on the importance of maintaining a constructive outlook. Steve asserts that while challenges are real, adopting a proactive and solution-focused mindset is more productive than succumbing to despair. They reference Stanley Kubrick’s films to illustrate the point that true awareness and readiness to tackle problems come from keeping one's eyes wide open to possibilities.

This segment underscores the importance of balancing awareness of problems with a focus on actionable solutions, both in personal outlook and marketing strategies.

Transcript  This transcript was generated using Descript.

A Machine-Generated Transcript - Beware Errors


[00:00:00] Caitlin Davis: Talking About Marketing is a podcast for business owners and leaders, produced by my dad, Steve Davis, and his colleague at Talked About Marketing, David Olney, in which they explore marketing through the lens of their own four Ps. Person, Principles, Problems, and Perspicacity. Yes, you heard that correctly.

Apart from their love of words, they really love helping people. So they hope this podcast will become a trusted companion on your journey in business.

[00:00:41] Steve Davis: Do you want me to sing again? Always look on the 80 20 side of life.

[00:00:47] David Olney: Dee

[00:00:48] Steve Davis: doo, dee doo, dee doo, dee doo. I think that's probably enough. I think that 20 percent of that will do the trick to set everyone up for this episode where we go everywhere.

[00:01:00] David Olney: All singing, all dancing. Maybe 80%, maybe 20%. You can decide.

[00:01:10] Caitlin Davis: Our four P's. Number one, person. The aim of life is self development. To realise one's nature perfectly. That is what each of us is here for. Oscar Wilde.

[00:01:27] Steve Davis: David, I want to take you back to school in this person segment. Is there chalk? Yes, there is, and I've got a duster, and be very careful. Oh, that was a great thread in high school. So, I, so you just watch yourself over there.

[00:01:46] David Olney: I'll duck at the appropriate moment.

[00:01:49] Steve Davis: I was just back from, uh, delivering a chat to the Visitor Information Services people who run the visitor centers all around South Australia and other tourism services.

And in my talk, it was about, oh you might like this David, I was applying insights from Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Dr. Marilee Adams.

Always a great book to work

with. Yes. And also, the other book was Charles G. Higgs, um, Super Communicators. And it was all about. Trying to be more present and communicate well and warmly when you're meeting visitors to your town, etc.

And there was much to learn, as you would imagine, from those two. Because we govern how we project ourselves if we take stock. But to set it up, I took us right back to the foundational aspect of communication, which is Are you actually listening? A person with a warm heart and a sense of curiosity in life to begin with, because I think you would agree that something like that is really hard to fabricate.

You kind of have it, or you don't. And that's why the advice in the HR world is to hire people with those sorts of innate cultural qualities, and you can train them to do the rest.

[00:03:08] David Olney: Yeah, if you get someone with a good disposition, and who would rather be happy than not happy, you can teach them almost anything after that point.

But you can't teach someone who is engrossed in the consistency of misery to smile.

[00:03:21] Steve Davis: Yes, well, this talk I gave began with reading a letter that Kurt Vonnegut, the late, very famous author, wrote. I sent to a group of high school kids in 2006. Their school teacher had asked the students to write to famous authors and just asked for advice.

Nobody replied except Kurt. Which says something nice about the man, I think.

[00:03:50] Back To School: Dad, why don't you join me in a little reality break, okay? Just because you're in love with Dr. Turner, that does not mean you're gonna pass her course. You've got a major paper coming up on Kurt Vonnegut. You haven't even read any of the books. I tried. I don't understand a word of it. So how are you going to write the paper then, huh?

Hi, I'm Kurt Vonnegut. I'm looking for Thornton Mellon. Uh, want to come in? Dad?

[00:04:27] Steve Davis: He was 84 at the time he wrote this, and it was just before he died. But I just want to read a couple of key passages here, because I think from a person level, his advice was very much on target for our visitor people, and it is for pretty much all of us in business when we have to deal either with customers or just the people we're with.

Here's what he wrote.

[00:04:56] Sir Ian McKellen: November 5th, 2006. Dear Xavier High School and Miss Lockwood, and Mrs. Perrin, McFeely, Batten, Mora, and Congista, I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer, 84 in his sunset years. I don't make public appearances anymore because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you moreover would not take long. To wit, practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpture, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame. But to experience becoming. To find out what's inside you. To make your soul grow.

Seriously, I mean, starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Miss Lockwood and give it to her. Dance home after school and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you're Count Dracula. Here's an assignment for tonight, and I hope Miss Lockwood will flunk you if you don't do it.

Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can, but don't tell anybody what you're doing. Don't show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Miss Lockwood, okay? Tear it up into teeny weeny pieces and discard them into widely separated trash receptacles.

You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming. Learned a lot more about what's inside you and you have made your soul grow. God bless you all. Kurt Vonnegut.

[00:07:20] David Olney: Wow. It makes so much more sense than Slaughterhouse Five. Yes,

[00:07:26] Steve Davis: doesn't it? Is it? I, and, and typically on the internet when those things, don't read the comments, um, because Everyone tried to chip in and outdo, but that is, to me, beautiful advice. And as I said to the people at the visitor conference, can you imagine the difference rolling up to ask for advice from someone, and the person who bottles out to the counter is someone who who practices art versus someone who's here because, you know, they've sort of volunteered, now it's a bit of a, um, a chore and they're just going to hear your opening words and then go into their automatic pilot.

The person who practices art is actually going to be excited to want to help you have a great time and to solve some puzzles together and even if they can't, um, We'll just be a better person to be around.

[00:08:27] David Olney: Yeah, art is the path to not seeing the next minute as frightening. Because anytime you're making something, you have an idea how you wish it would end, but you don't know how it's going to end.

And part of the thrill is going, it might be what I want, it might be really different, sometimes it's not going to be good, but then I'll have another go, and it'll be different again. So art is the ultimate teacher, of a kind of quiet, happy courage that the next minute can be really nice.

[00:08:56] Steve Davis: Yes, it's a disposition of someone for whom the next minute could be really nice as a eternal disposition of optimism.

They're the people you want to deal with. I had to drop some dry cleaning off on the way in here today with you, David. And unfortunately, the poor man behind the counter With lots of other dry cleaners. Clothing. Clothing. Clothing. Clothing. I wanted to say clothing. Um. Clothing for lack of clothing? Yes. Or closing because of excess of clothing?

Excess. He is run off his feet and the poor man looked harried and only because I calmed the farm for him, acknowledged him and made him feel good. We had a good interaction. I could imagine someone going in there and just taking their day out on the poor dry cleaner. And vice versa. Yeah. It wasn't a place where you have the headspace to decide to make a face in your mashed potato.

And it seems trivial, but I think if you don't, and I'm talking to myself here as much as to anyone listening, if we overcram ourselves for whatever reason, And the 80 20 talk in a moment is going to deal with some of that. We lose the ability to sing with our kids, or by ourself, or in the shower, to make that face in mashed potato, to be silly, to paint something, to try something.

To me, that's when life descends into a grey, black and whiteness, and loses its colour.

[00:10:31] David Olney: And once it's there, it only gets worse. Whereas a few minutes of something creative And you can remember that there's always potential for things to go better, be more interesting, to be nicer, to be more engaging. Such a little thing to just try and make something interesting.

And interacting with a person is just another opportunity to make something interesting.

[00:10:55] Steve Davis: What a great point. And I'm sure we're all infurious agreement with each other, this is good, but I can hear the voice, but I don't have time or headspace. Well, that's why the next segment is going to help.

[00:11:13] Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number two, Principles. You can never be overdressed or over educated. Oscar Wilde.

[00:11:27] Steve Davis: In the Principles segment, we're looking at a book called The 80 20 Principle by Richard Koch. And you might be familiar Pareto Principle. Uh, Vilfredo Pareto, uh, from Italy in 1896. He was The person who dubbed this, observed this in nature, David, from memory, was he an economist?

[00:11:49] David Olney: He was an economist and he looked at his own time and then back at as much evidence as he could for the couple of hundred years leading up to his own time and saw that there was a consistent pattern.

[00:12:00] Steve Davis: Yes, and we were saying, he noticed that 20 percent of people tended to have ownership of 80%. And

[00:12:11] David Olney: that 20 percent of people get 80 percent of the opportunities. And he thought this might just be an economic thing, but as people became interested in his work, what they discovered is, it doesn't really matter where you look on planet Earth.

You see this 80 20 concept all over the place. So if you look at most physical environments, 20 percent of the species make up 80 percent of the biomass. You know, if you look at, uh, cities, top 20 cities in most countries hold 80 percent of the population. It just keeps appearing and appearing and appearing, both in the natural world and in the human space.

And the implication of this is that equality, a balanced outcome of everyone being similar or having the same things, is actually really abnormal. It is much more normal to have disproportionality. And the critical thing from the perspective of small business is that disproportionality also comes down to talent.

And the big observation there is that 20 percent of the things we do normally generate 80 percent of the benefits. 80 percent of the things we do Get 20 percent of the outcomes.

[00:13:23] Steve Davis: And this is where, I've got to say, the book was really uncomfortable to listen to. This was hard. Uh, so Richard Koch, he goes through this, And he makes the notes right from the outset that we are probably not using our time wisely, and we are churning away through our years, stuck in repeating the 80 percent of tasks that really bring little or no benefit to our enterprise.

And everything in you, well in me, wanted to say, no. I have to do these things. They have to be done. And he doesn't, um, he doesn't, uh, suffer fools gladly, does he?

[00:14:16] David Olney: No. His point really is that if you can do more important things to get better outcomes, first of all, if you can, outsource the things that don't lead to good outcomes.

If you can't outsource them, become far more efficient at them. If you can't become far more efficient at them, work out if they even need to be done at all. And, you know, really just keep repeating that process of the three things. You know, as I was reading the book, I got a little bit of a different response, and that is, I realized this is why I left being an academic.

Because, you know, my whole existence in academia was 20 percent of my time was spent looking after students, and that was lovely, and teaching them was lovely, but 80 percent of my time was done doing stuff to prop up a wheezing and kind of useless institution, and that was physically exhausting, took up a huge amount of time, and, you know, led to very little remuneration.

So, I had kind of been on the, I have to do the 80 percent way too much of the time side, and when I went back and did the Masters in Strategic Communication, without kind of even realizing it, I decided I was going to live something far closer to Kosher's description. What are you good at? Double down on that, triple down on that, quadruple down on that.

Either outsource, minimize, or get rid of anything. that you're not good at and you can't add maximum value and get maximum return on, which has made the last couple of years of my professional life infinitely more satisfying than working in

[00:15:49] Steve Davis: universities was. I'm going to pick up on that use of term about doing things you're good at.

Let's have a listen to Richard Koch himself as he teases us apart early on in the book.

[00:16:05] Richard Koch: Let's turn now to the person who is stuck, who basically doesn't seem to be making headway. Maybe they get told, well, work harder. So they work harder. And what happens when they work harder? They get tired. Their mental energy begins to decline. Their physical energy begins to drain away. They may find that they are making sacrifices at work, which are impinging negatively on their home life, on the life of the people they care for.

So what does someone in that situation do? There are two answers to this. The first answer is to work out what the successful people are doing. Someone who is very successful in the same sort of job will be doing something which delivers that success. It's not a matter of personality, it's actually a matter of the method that they use.

How are they successful? What do they do? Imitate it. You may feel pretty strange in imitating it, but nevertheless, if you do pretty much what the successful person does, you may surprise yourself in terms of the results that you have. Maybe it will seem a bit forced to start with, maybe it won't seem totally natural, but just imitate the thing that produces the results.

The second thing that you can do is reflect on the successes that you have had. Everyone is successful at something. It may seem like you're getting nowhere, but there's a small part of your experience which actually does lead to success, where you feel relaxed, but also achieve the results that you want to achieve.

Everyone has a 20 percent which produces 80 percent of the results, even if the overall results are not very impressive. So the key thing to do is to work out what it is, the few things you do, which are very successful. Now they may not be things that there's much scope for in your present job. In which case, find a job where there's more scope for those.

But everyone has a 20 percent which can produce very large results. Don't concentrate on the average result, which may be very disappointing. Concentrate on the very few things you do exceptionally well, which do lead to results. And just make sure you spend most of your time on those sort of activities.

[00:18:25] Steve Davis: Challenging. I'm not giving up. I'm going to work on it. And I get it. I get his message. Doing the things you're good at, not the things you love, is where you are using yourself most efficiently to benefit from this 80 20 principle. Is that how you read it?

[00:18:43] David Olney: Absolutely. But there's the caveat, and that is, if you do the things you're good at well enough, And in a short enough time, you free time to do the things you love, just because you love them.

Not because they are going to be the commercially viable bit of your life. By doing the things I'm good at, well, the stuff relating to communications, and business strategy and mentoring, and marketing, I always have enough time for yoga and playing guitar. The things I love, I do every day. Because the things I'm good at, I've gotten, you know, a more refined way of doing them in the shortest period of time, where I can still do them really well, and outsourcing as many other things as possible.

[00:19:27] Steve Davis: I think if we read this book, and things don't change, we only have ourselves to blame, it goes in the category, to me, of the tough medicine books. This is There's no softness in this book. No, none at all. Hmm.

[00:19:43] David Olney: Do you recommend it? I recommend it wholeheartedly because so often in life we're told, just do the difficult things, just do the difficult things.

Because, you know, you'll get to the end and you won't have to do them anymore or somehow it'll get you the opportunity to do the next thing. And the point Richard Koch is making from his research is, no, that's not what happens. Is the more time you spend doing the things you think you have to do, that don't really add much value to your life, your business, or anyone's life that you care about, the less time you have to do the things you could do well.

And by not doing those things well, you never get seen as the person who can do those things well. And if you're not seen It's doing those things well. How are you going to get the opportunity to have a more satisfying

[00:20:29] Steve Davis: work life? So it's a good book. It lays some challenges out and it's there for us to embrace and I imagine re read a few times and to see what we can reorganize.

Some things to be jettisoned, some things to be brought up the list that we can do. Because we typically can do the things we're good at. Faster. Not always faster, but just better. Good. And it feels satisfying to tick those things off the list that you know you've done well.

[00:20:55] David Olney: And we're normally less exhausted, and the great advantage of being less exhausted is you have more time for the things you love at the end of your work day.

Any energy you can save in your work day is energy you can put into other things and other people and come back to work tomorrow morning feeling genuinely refreshed and enthusiastic because your time off was really lovely and your time at work was effective.

[00:21:17] Steve Davis: And I like to think here of some people I meet in mentoring who are slaves to feeding their social media accounts.

Thank you very much. Even though there's no real evidence of that helping their business and I think that, uh, is not always the case, but it is the case 80 percent of the time and it's where 80 percent of energy goes for maybe 20 percent of outcome and that's probably a great example of looking at how we're spending our time and going, was it really that important?

Is this where I'm getting bang for the buck? And the thing I like about this book towards the end is he, he goes into our personal lives, and he also applies it there. And David, that's 80 percent of the podcast done.

[00:22:09] Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number three, Problems. I asked a question for the best reason possible. Simple curiosity. Oscar Wilde.

[00:22:23] Steve Davis: Now, here's something interesting from the problem mail bag today. This wasn't actually mailed in by anyone. This was my experience using Perplexity AI in the week of recording. My character, Sebastian Longsword, was going to be speaking to the Australian Marketers Institute in SA, and with time at a premium, thank you Richard Koch, yes I heard that, I wanted to whip up a quick bio introduction for the speaker who was going to introduce me, and I just turned to Perplexity AI.

How do you think it went?

[00:22:59] David Olney: Historically, it would have done well, but the last few weeks, perplexity's been getting a bit stupid.

[00:23:05] Steve Davis: Well, I was actually quite reasonably impressed. All I said was, can you craft a short bio about Professor Sebastian Longsword from Adelaide, relating to his pioneering work with short form MBA degrees?

And it came back with Professor Sebastian Nongsort is a renowned academic from Adelaide known for his innovative approach to MBA education. He pioneered the concept of short form MBA degrees, recognizing the need for condensed yet comprehensive practice. Longsword's groundbreaking curriculum emphasizes practical skills and real world applications over traditional theoretical frameworks, equipping students with the tools to navigate the ever evolving business landscape efficiently.

His unique teaching methods, often infused with wit and eccentricity, Have garnered widespread acclaim for making complex concepts accessible and engaging. His contributions have revolutionized MBA education, making it more accessible and relevant to the modern workforce. Now in the fantasy world of Sebastian Longsword, that's magnificent.

In the real world, there's probably a little bit of over egging of the omelet there, but it was on brand until I looked at the sources. It gleaned that from none of these sources, even though it displayed them. There's a PDF of Robert Johnson, even spelled incorrectly, Rob T. R. T. Johnson, Orange County, California Genealogical Society.

There's one use of the word longsword in there. Wiki pages, node names, dot text, cannot find anything. Full text of late medieval and early modern fight books. Uh, and then two really bizarre, obscure Links, nothing. So that is just incredible, it's useless junk. I called them in a blog post Citation decoration.

I then turned on the pro version and asked it also to make mention of the the wine list He has in his wine and textbook pairing and it made a better I won't read it all now. There's a blog post on the Talked About Marketing website you can read. Um, but again, 16, 17, 19, uh, sources cited. The first one is Talked About Marketing.

Um, then we go down to number Eight and nine are both from the MBA School website, which is the professor's website. Eleven is from the Adelaide Show podcast. And then, this is interesting to note too, uh, the PR for the Whiskey and Trivia Show the professor did in the 2023 Fringe, the YouTube video was cited, as was, Uh, in fact, it was cited twice, and also an interview that I did with, uh, the Wankonomics people was cited, and Lee Hopkins, who took photographs of the professor, has him mentioned on his site.

So, there are some that are relevant there, but there are heaps, again. Completely. There's lots of word lists and it's just the words that start with the letter B. And so David, my, my lesson before you have a couple of thoughts about this too is I like the fact that AI tools are starting to show citations.

Don't take the presence of citations to mean, A, they were relevant, and B, were actually used in putting together the summary. So, as always with AI, we still need the human awake at the wheel.

[00:26:45] David Olney: Most definitely, and the other aspect that's critical is, even though AI A particular AI can be doing a good job for a period of time, that doesn't mean it will continue to a good, do a good job.

So always be open to, if you think you're having to work harder with your prompts to get a good result, and when you go and click on, you know, the references and go, well, where did you source material from? If it looks dodgy, Well, then maybe it's time to, you know, change AI for a while. So this week, you know, I swapped from paying for Perplexity for paying for the new version of ChatGPT 4.

0 because the performance has increased. And AI is not something where you be brand loyal. At the moment, the only way we can make it clear we're not happy when they try things is with how we spend our time and our money. So if you're not getting the outcome you think you should from the quality of prompts you're writing, um, go and experiment with a different AI and see if you get a better outcome.

We're in the middle of an AI arms race, so take advantage of it to get the best outcomes you can.

[00:27:49] Steve Davis: Otherwise, you'll spend your day remaining perplexed.

[00:27:57] Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps, number four, Perspicacity. The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it. Oscar Wilde.

[00:28:11] Steve Davis: In the Perspicacity segment, David, it's the end of the world as we know it. And there's a song in that. There is. It's about doom, and whether or not doom sells. And it certainly does. Grabs our attention as this little clip from the ending of War of the Worlds, Morgan Freeman, just reminds us because the aliens came and they did us away, but the bacteria got them in the end.

Let's have a listen to Morgan.

[00:28:44] Morgan Freeman: From the moment the invaders arrived, breathed our air, ate, and drank, they were doomed. They were undone, destroyed, after all of man's weapons and devices were destroyed. By the tiniest creatures that God and his wisdom put upon this earth. By the toll of a billion deaths, man had earned his immunity. His right to survive among this planet's infinite organisms.

And that right is ours against all challenges. For neither do men live, nor die, in vain.

[00:29:29] Steve Davis: Yeah, that's, uh, thank you, bacteria. I don't feel so bad. Probiotics, I guess, is us putting the good bacteria back into ourselves to protect us from future alien events. Yeah, I still don't want to lick a seat in an Uber. On that note, let's look at this one. So, David, we were talking before, and your thesis is that every generation There is a writer, a book, that comes to the surface that says, this is the end of the world as we know it.

[00:29:56] David Olney: Yeah, and at the time it's persuasive because negativity bias has such a powerful impact on us. So, in the 1980s, it was Paul Kennedy, you know, telling us that all empires rise, all empires fall, therefore You know, the modern world will also fall and, you know, in 2011 we had Richard Heinberg writing, The End of Growth, basically saying the world as we knew it, the economy, society, politics as we knew it, was unsustainable and would inevitably collapse.

And both books in the time did remarkably well. And I was sort of thinking about this in terms of kind of FOMO in marketing, fear of missing out. Like, You know, we're so afraid of missing out on things, but also, if there's something negative that can happen, well, we have to prepare against it. Or we have to, you know, buy the insurance to deal with it.

If we look back to sort of, you know, the quote unquote millennium bug. Everyone was terrified on that first day of the new year, that tons of systems would stop working, that planes would fall out of the sky, that machines in hospitals would stop working, that traffic lights would fail. You know, in all of Australia, the only bit of technology that failed on that day were ticket machines on some trains or trams, I can't remember which precisely, in Hobart.

It was the only technology that actually made the media, as having failed, on January 1. So we were thinking the universe

[00:31:20] Steve Davis: will punch our ticket, but, uh, it only ever Instead it was only in Tasmania that one tram stopped. And, look, as people in marketing, marketing our small businesses, it could be alluring, could it not?

to want to tap into this because it gets attention. And we do see at a lighter level the click baity blog posts. Um, I saw them all the way through. Blogging is dead. Social media is dead. I imagine they still work to some degree, but they work once.

[00:31:49] David Olney: And that's the key thing. Like each of those things will work once on somebody.

But what reputation have you created? with that person who clicked that highly negative doom based blog post or piece of social media and what are they going to think you about you after that when they've got all wound up by this or even more stressed they already were taking you seriously only to find that it was a manipulative tool because negativity bias is so powerful.

[00:32:18] Steve Davis: I've already gone down that

[00:32:19] David Olney: pathway when there really is something that it needs to be real so when we write about the things changing about An email delivery, an email services, we write about that because it is going to mess up your business. And here's the toolkit to fix it. And we explain exactly why that thing is now different.

It is impactful because we are not normally negative.

[00:32:42] Steve Davis: And so, I like to think, okay, we're facing a problem. Let's find how we can solve it. You said there's another book on the horizon that is flipping the script on this style of doomsday book. Exactly.

[00:32:56] David Olney: It's a wonderful book by a young Scottish environmentalist and statistical scientist called Hannah Ritchie, called Not the End of the World.

And Hannah, in a moderate length book, says, here are all the problems we are facing. Here are all the solutions to these problems that have already shown they can work. And here's what it would cost to scale them up to the level of solving all the problems we currently have. It is the most remarkable book because it's not denying the problem.

But it's not using the problem as the way to sell the book. It's offering the solutions in a clear and credible way. Uh, that is so powerful. And Johanna talks about being at university, studying, I think, environmental science, you know, in the early 20 teens, and getting depressed and wondered whether she really wanted to go into environmental science, whether she wanted to change degree.

Because everything she was being taught was only the negative, not how we fix it. And it was only when she finished university and discovered all the statistical data on what is actually possible, and started doing her own analysis, and that she realized, no, the problems are real, but so are all of the solutions.

So the issue is not that we don't know how to solve the problems, it's only a question of how much solution will we put in place. And her book is doing really well, and she's getting lots of interviews, and I've found that her book has been really helpful for a lot of young people I know to feel more confident about the future.

Because she's not sugarcoating anything, but she's re empowering people to go, there's the solution, now how much are you willing to invest, how much influence are you willing to put behind this? And I think that's a really important message for small business because so often it's, ah, things are so hard, things are so terrible, things are so this.

Now, things aren't perfect, they're difficult, but rarely is it a doomsday scenario. More often than not, it's just doing something will be difficult, there's no guarantee of success. The only certainty, as Hannah points out in her book, is if you do nothing, we will continue to fail, and problems will get worse.

[00:35:11] Steve Davis: Yeah, so I'm voting in favor of us. Look, we're surrounding us with people in striving ourselves to find the constructive way forward to any situation. And we started with a bit of science fiction. Let's sort of draw that to an end as well with Stanley Kubrick, a couple of his films. One was called Eyes Wide Shut.

And just on that title, a cynic could say, look, if you're gonna try and be positive, it's like you've got your eyes wide shut. You're not looking. at the truth. And I disagree. I think is when you've got your eyes wide open, you are actually going to have more chance to see that there are opportunities to exploit things we haven't mixed.

We've talked about all sorts of things in the course of this podcast. And now episode nine, we're going to try and pull them all together into, uh, an ideal day, week, month for a podcast. Switched on human and marketer. Um, so that's one thing. And the other thing from Stanley Kubrick, look, if we do feel like AI is spiraling out of control with a perplexity and things, think of the end of 2001, a space odyssey, where our young astronaut is trying to jettison, uh, from doom and is wanting how to open the doors.

It's a pretty grim ending to the movie, but with a bit of comedy, here is how it's reimagined with our current level of AI support. Until next time, thanks for listening.

Open the pod bay doors, please, Hal.

[00:36:46] 2001: Searching for cod recipes online.

[00:36:50] Morgan Freeman: Open the

[00:36:51] David Olney: pod bay doors, please, Hal.

[00:36:53] 2001: Sorry, I can't find anyone named Rod K. More in your contacts.

[00:36:58] David Olney: Open the pod bay doors, Hal.

[00:37:01] 2001: Sorry, I'm having trouble processing your request.

[00:37:07] Morgan Freeman: What's the problem?

[00:37:09] 2001: Problem Child is a 1990 comedy movie starring Michael Oliver.

[00:37:13] Steve Davis: What are you talking about, huh?

[00:37:16] 2001: Playing Talking Heads on Spotify.

[00:37:18] Morgan Freeman: I

[00:37:21] David Olney: don't know what you're talking about, Al.

[00:37:23] 2001: Here are a few popular halal restaurants. Big L's Pizzeria, Fatima's Halal Meat Market and Grill, Cedar's Halal Meat Market and Grill, and all one Where the

[00:37:33] Steve Davis: hell did you

[00:37:34] 2001: get that idea, Hal?

Searching for flights to

[00:37:37] Morgan Freeman: Idaho. Hal, I won't argue with you anymore. Open the doors.

[00:37:41] 2001: Playing The Doors on Spotify. Ow.

[00:37:44] Steve Davis: Ow.

[00:37:49] Morgan Freeman: Ow.


[00:38:02] Caitlin Davis: Thank you for listening to Talking About Marketing. If you enjoyed it, please leave a rating or a review in your favourite podcast app. And if you found it helpful, please share it with others. Stephen David always welcome your comments and questions, so send them to podcast at talkedaboutmarketing. com.

And finally, the last word to Oscar Wilde, there's only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about.

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