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October's Essential Reads

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Our CEO, Anant Sharma, rounds up his best reads of the month, from a luxury boutique that only exists in a messaging app to keeping it real with AI.

I thoroughly enjoyed the overview of Vice’s history. I had no idea it became so large it was ranked the 10th highest valued private company in the States at one point. That’s nuts. Check out this post on Medium from New York Magazine.

I was pretty intrigued by Threads – a startup that raised 20m for a startup boutique aimed at the luxury market. Interestingly, the entire app only exists within a messaging function. It’s a brave business model, and an article worth a read in Techcrunch.

On a similar thread (sorry), have a gander on how luxury brands are using AI and keeping it real. They had me at the title…

This latest partnership between Klarna and H&M marks a new era in elevated retail experiences, where technology powers a “frictionless checkout” across all channels. Evidencing some of the themes of our latest retail whitepaper, this read was especially interesting.

It’s not the shortest read, but a wonderfully proleptic view on the long term impact of electric vehicles in Bloomberg.

As we approach the last quarter of the year there’s always a moment of reflection — that back to school moment of diligence before the the build up to the Black Friday retail frenzy, quickly eclipsed by Christmas hedonism. I very much enjoyed this eConsultancy roundup on trends before the barrage hits, charting hits and misses with a decent level of pragmatism.

On that note, another eConsultancy article I enjoyed this month was around anti-personas. A bit of a practitioner focussed piece, but equally useful to consider for general business leadership and (particularly in our case), when we’re looking to elevate a brand. In addition, in light of Brexit, many of our international clients are looking to shift audience base to decrease their reliance on the UK (eek) — and it got me thinking that in many situations it’s worth considering who you aren’t for, first. Often this provocation can be easier to consider than narrowing down your primary target.

On a business note, a lovely piece in Harvard Business Review on the Art of the Elevator pitch, that makes a nice comparison between the VC deck and the art of the screenplay. It seems the West-Coast has always had it down when it comes to a pithy summary…

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