Martin Soler

Marketing, Design and Tech enthusiast. At work I help travel tech companies create better marketing strategies. Martinsoler.com

19 Followers | 18 Following

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Martin Soler

29 days ago

The bit revolution hasn't happened yet. There is a certain tranquility with selecting items on a screen with a mouse at one's speed. Something that bots can't do. The stress of having to make a choice NOW sort of breaks that comfort. Adding bananas to the shopping list and trying to formulate the request so it can be understood is just not a relaxing experience. Whereas clicking on an image of bananas is just so easy. So maybe bots won't replace everything.

Chatbots were the next big thing: what happened?

medium.com

Martin Soler

53 days ago

There are only a few entrepreneurs and businessmen that I would consciously classify as a force for good. Those whose haven't flipped into the world of power and money for the sake of money. Niel is one of those, he has single handedly made mobile internet and prior to that home internet affordable for millions. He uses his money to make change in areas where he can and is ready to take massive risks to do so. Worth following.

Meet Xavier Niel, The Tech Billionaire Turning France Into A Startup Mecca

forbes.com

Martin Soler

61 days ago

A great overview of artificial intelligence and all the buzzwords we're being hit with (and will be hit with in the next few years).

Artificial Intelligence

sas.com

Martin Soler

73 days ago

I've never been a fan of the brand. But I admire the success and persistence to succeed beyond the tragedy. Fashion is one of those mysterious worlds where creativity, money, fame and ridicule all find a way to fit together. And I never really understood how.

The Excessive Vision of Donatella Versace

gq.com

Martin Soler

73 days ago

GE is probably not quite as complex and hairy as Enron was. But every time I read about companies that have developed opaque and complex accounting systems am reminded of the vast complexities that Enron had devised to create a company that no longer was about serving their customers but satisfying Wall Street.
In the end a company is there to make great products for customers. When trying too hard to satisfy owners or Wall Street the goal is lost and we end up with companies that have loose the plot.
Full disclosure: This is easy to write as a bystander that doesn't have owner problems to solve.

“Complexity hurts us,” he said in November. “Complexity has hurt us.” He’s betting on a future where GE doesn’t require management wizardry to run properly, because wizards turn out not to exist.

How GE Went From American Icon to Astonishing Mess

bloomberg.com

Martin Soler

73 days ago

An incredibly detailed account of how a major merchant ship sailed into a hurricane and sank. To think this happens twice a week is more than a little concerning. In art they say God is in the details. On ships I think they say the Devil is in the details.

Disasters at sea do not get the public attention that aviation accidents do, in part because the sea swallows the evidence. It has been reported that a major merchant ship goes down somewhere in the world every two or three days;

“The Clock Is Ticking”: Inside the Worst U.S. Maritime Disaster in Decades

vanityfair.com

Martin Soler

89 days ago

An interesting description of the Michelin system. Would love to see more and maybe a comparison to other systems. Is it the best system out there? Or just the most famous.

More mysterious than the Michelin Guide’s criteria for selection are the people who make those decisions.

What It Means for a Restaurant to Get a Michelin Star

travelandleisure.com

Martin Soler

96 days ago

Every algorithmic prioritization system will get hacked. Google SEO have been the best at finding ways to make the hacking harder. But every system before them and since them has been getting hacked for discoverability. They eventually create pay-per-click/view/listen systems to get rid of the hacks and give a change to the little guys to come out on top. It's interesting how Spotify became the victim of this as well.

Inside the booming black market for Spotify playlists

dailydot.com

Martin Soler

106 days ago

I'm not sure Facebook's future is quite as dystopian as explained here. Google AdWords had similar issues when they started. Snake-oil salesmen selling fake medicine and viagra on AdWords. In fact one can argue that early adopters on most tech platforms are the dodgy businesses who have to hustle every day. Systems eventually get put in place to keep them in check and the world moves on. The history of advertising industry is plagued by snake-oil ads. As one famous band once said, This too shall pass.

If Zuckerberg picks #2, his business would shrink by tens of billions of dollars. It’d still be an awesome business, and he’d probably be a lock for Man of the Year. But it’d get his assed sued into oblivion by angry shareholders.

Facebook Can’t Be Fixed.

shift.newco.co

Martin Soler

123 days ago

Tony Fadell on how technology with/should evolve. What is interesting with Tony's view is he is halfway between the pure entrepreneur and those who are in the big companies. So we're above the conspiracy theorist and below the white collar executive. In other words, real life.

He has lobbied Apple and Google to introduce a “digital scale” function, to help us track our smartphone habits. “They’re tracking our physical well-being. Why don’t we have the same thing for our digital life?” At Future Shape, he’s pushing founders to think about impact early.

Tony Fadell Wants to Disrupt Silicon Valley

surfacemag.com

Martin Soler

133 days ago

An interesting overview of GDPR and what it means. Aside from opening and forbidding crazy tracking it means that the internet is now going to be full of pop ups which is going to make browsing incredibly annoying. Maybe that's a reason to start buying paper news again.

Expect panicked consolidation in adtech as networks realise they can’t simply sit in the middle; they must somehow own the customer relationship to control consent.

A techie’s rough guide to GDPR

cennydd.com

Martin Soler

133 days ago

Beyond the hype. Here's the history of AI and how it came to be what we now know as a happy buzzword for fundraising and startup tech firms. Understanding the history of helps put all the hype into perspective. A recommended read for those who are on the receiving end of the marketing hype.

The pioneers of AI were quick to make exaggerated predictions about the future of strong artificially intelligent machines. By 1974, these predictions did not come to pass,

The Birth of AI and The First AI Hype Cycle

kdnuggets.com

Martin Soler

152 days ago

When what we see is controlled by a single company we begin to have issues of conflict of interest. When said company then also begins to create competing products we see bigger issues like this.

Google abused its market dominance

Google’s nemesis: meet the British couple who took on a giant, won... and cost it £2.1 billion

wired.co.uk

Martin Soler

152 days ago

A thorough look into Facebook and how it impacted the US democracy. The biggest point here is that while it is impacting the US democracy it can be regulated by the US. However what about all the other countries. How will we manage these global platforms in a country by country world. Facebook executives get called before the senate. But rarely before other smaller country government bodies. Is the solution then to start disallowing political and other such emotionally charged topics? But then will it just turn into a vanilla network where everyone is happy and sharing the best selfies?

Inside Facebook's Hellish Two Years—and Mark Zuckerberg's Struggle to Fix it All

www-wired-com.cdn.ampproject.org

Martin Soler

168 days ago

I still have a twitter account and consult it sometimes. But having deleted the app from my phone turns out to be a great thing. Unfortunately the volume of negativity and controversy that twitter foments is just not working for me. I check it on desktop every other day. Reply to any questions etc. I miss the few people that were fun and interesting but I guess that is the trade off.

Being on Twitter felt like being in a nonconsensual BDSM relationship with the apocalypse. So, I left.

I Quit Twitter and It Feels Great

nytimes.com

Martin Soler

213 days ago

Hopefully a wake up call to the Silicon Valley culture that is turning into what Wall Street was in the 1980s: Wonder boys that made a lot of money doing dubious deals, not because they should but because they could.
But it is unlikely that those within the bubble will see it. The "need" to make quick money turning over a weird business plan into raised capital has far surpassed the innovation that Silicon Valley outputs. As to the article, it isn't very factual and generalizes way too much. Unfortunately for the writer (and possibly the world) the rest of the world doesn't see things like you do. The world isn't turning on Silicon Valley, the media is. Because it is a "better story". The David and Goliath roles have switched, that's about all that happened.

their geek genius founders made better heroes than the greedy Wall Street jerks that had just tanked the economy.

wired.com

Martin Soler

226 days ago

The Outline uncovers the least hidden secret in the media world. This is being shared like it is a revelation. Almost all media mentions are paid today. The startups "hack" the system with paid mentions like this. The bigger companies pressure editors through massive ad budgets and exclusives. Then there's the influencers and the "shock" that some discover there's exchange for mentions. It's not right, but it's not news. People need to stop pretending like this is breaking shocking news. The media professionals are sharing this like a huge bit of investigative reporting when it has most probably been happening in their offices for years. #rant

How brands secretly buy their way into Forbes, Fast Company, and HuffPost stories

theoutline.com

Martin Soler

228 days ago

These kind of actions are pushing mainstream media down a slippery slope. After crying about the fake news problem that got current president elected that they publish fake news like this in behalf of Monsanto, an already not so loved company, just throws their credibility out the window at a very fast rate. Just how much of current mainstream media industry is just paid content?

Monsanto Spin Doctors Target Cancer Scientist In Flawed Reuters Story

huffingtonpost.com

Martin Soler

232 days ago

It's great when people who actually do things write. Even though I find this piece particularly hard to read since it is almost an advert for Snapchat, rather than a deep dive into the effects of social media and a real solution. Not sure the concept of individual based feeds and algorithms really answer many questions. I don't quite see how that will solve the tunnel issue of fake news.

Exclusive : Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel blasts social media

axios.com

Martin Soler

235 days ago

Some ideas of what happens after irreplaceable paintings like the Da Vinci get sold. While we're on the topic of irreplaceable, isn't any handmade object irreplaceable? It's just how much we agree it is irreplaceable that makes the value.

In the movie version of the event, as soon as the hammer comes down, the auction house sends out decoy trucks and spreads disinformation on the dark web to thwart potential gangsters waiting to seize the work for their mobbed-up bosses.

So You Just Bought a $450 Million Leonardo da Vinci Painting. Now What?

news.artnet.com

Martin Soler

255 days ago

The Weinstein story is going to trigger a witch hunt in the movie industry. It is a scary thought. Scary that it could remain confined to the movie industry. I've heard similar stories in the hotel industry and I am sure every industry has predators. The only thing we must make sure is that we separate recurring offenders from those who might have made a mistake 20 years ago. They're not the same. Even though they're often really closely related. But other than that, bring it on. It should be easy to report these offenses. A system to verify the validity needs to be built though.

Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies

newyorker.com

Martin Soler

270 days ago

An old story well explained. A behind the scenes look at Warren Buffett's trip to Wall Street.

Warren Buffett’s Wild Ride at Salomon (Fortune, 1997)

fortune.com

Martin Soler

273 days ago

When telling hoteliers they should start investing into voice it is often met with skepticism. And it is understandable since this isn't going to change over-night but here's a taste of how it is changing. Again, it is always safer to look next door.

Mark Ritson: Voice search spells trouble for both brands and retailers

marketingweek.com

Martin Soler

273 days ago

When telling hoteliers they should start investing into voice it is often met with skepticism. And it is understandable since this isn't going to change over-night but here's a taste of how it is changing. Again, it is always safer to look next door.

It’s not going to happen straight away. As with any technology, it starts with a few geeks in Hoxton and a range of minor, thoroughly underwhelming capabilities. But it’s coming, and with it the very real possibility that P&G and Unilever and the large supermarkets may lose ground and that the usual cabal of tech companies find another market to enter, dominate and plunder.

Mark Ritson: Voice search spells trouble for both brands and retailers

marketingweek.com

Martin Soler

279 days ago

We've often referred to these as Operating System companies. But Hub companies might be a more appropriate name. The dangers and opportunities of these companies and their responsibilities for the rest of the economy.

And this is where the hub firms will most likely leverage their large and growing lead—and cause value to concentrate around them.

Managing Our Hub Economy

hbr.org

Martin Soler

294 days ago

An interesting view on the Hillary thing.

The Real Reason Hillary Can’t Just Shut The Fuck Up And Go Away

medium.com

Martin Soler

330 days ago

I'm not sure what surprises me the most. The fact that money and power hungry Silicon Valley people are essentially just a carbon copy of the 1980s Wall Street Traders or how they treat women. I just can't believe how primitive this all is.

Then the CEO switched topics. To sex workers. He asked Ted what kind of “girls” he liked. Ted said that he preferred white girls — Eastern European, to be specific.

This Is How Sexism Works in Silicon Valley

thecut.com

Martin Soler

341 days ago

The caprices and challenges of working in the luxury service industry. Thankfully most guests are wonderful people who neither need nor want any more than what's on the menu. But the weird exceptions make for great reading and party talk.

12 Shocking Things I Learned by Working as a Butler at the Plaza Hotel

bloomberg.com

Martin Soler

343 days ago

Airports are complex, high stress environments that can always be improved. The less time we have the more we feel every tiny level of bad design. But we rarely praise the 99 things that were well designed.

12 Ways Airports Are Secretly Manipulating You

mentalfloss.com

Martin Soler

346 days ago

Despite not being American, the Simpson trial always fascinated me. How could something go this wrong. But that is another story. This one is about one of the main Lawyers in the case and how it all turned out in the end. I guess it depends on one's life goals.

I decided I was going to live my life and let the candle burn, because you never know when it will get snuffed out. Some would call it indulgence, but I had a thoroughly good time.

The Rise and Fall of F. Lee Bailey, the Lawyer Who Set O.J. Simpson Free

townandcountrymag.com

Martin Soler

348 days ago

An interesting look at how the major magazines need to rethink their positions. Now is as good a time as any to review how where they need to go.

Thus, the glossy magazine doesn’t have the power it once did. While Vogue transports the reader to a fantasy world of high fashion – in much the same way watching a film offers an escape from the everyday – and is still seen by many as the bastion of high-end style, the magazine’s influence has nevertheless been diluted.

Does the fashion industry still need Vogue in the age of social media?

theguardian.com

Martin Soler

348 days ago

An interesting look at the economics of retail fashion industry and what could be improved. Hoteliers suffer from a different but equally difficult issue of inventory management.

Op-Ed | The Cost of Dead Inventory: Retail’s Dirty Little Secret

businessoffashion.com

Martin Soler

348 days ago

Before Jobs there was Disney. One of the most fascinating business leaders of all time. An interesting story from on of the guys who worked with him.

No, no, you don’t tell Walt you didn’t know, you found out [how].

Marty Sklar Discusses Working With And For Walt Disney

disunplugged.com

Martin Soler

395 days ago

For all the uselessness in some of these sports. Not to mention the pollution, it is still an amazing feat of mechanical and human work.

2017 Le Mans: A 200-mph Race for the Future of Automobiles

wsj.com

Martin Soler

400 days ago

Getting closer to understanding what AI and ML are and how they work.

Here’s The Unofficial Silicon Valley Explainer On Artificial Intelligence

fastcompany.com

Martin Soler

401 days ago

Geeking out on iPhone history. Really pleasant read on the real and gritty and life that built the magic of the mobile computing.

The secret origin story of the iPhone

theverge.com

Martin Soler

412 days ago

Fun to watch a system so based on trust actually work, in a country with so big a population.

Lost: Struggling to cope with millions of unclaimed items in Tokyo

japantimes.co.jp

Martin Soler

427 days ago

An interesting look at someone who most probably represents Americans in the most stereotypical way. To the point where even the thought of the world being different to what they had previously imagined is met with surprise and disbelief.

Exclusive Excerpt: Roger Ailes Off Camera

vanityfair.com

Martin Soler

443 days ago

It's a marketing fact that the more times something is seen the more people become addicted to it. The music industry releases singles because they know this will happen. Still an interesting read.

The more we’re exposed to the good and the bad, the better we are at telling the difference. The eclecticists have it.

Why the Mona Lisa stands out

1843magazine.com

Martin Soler

472 days ago

An astonishing and plain account of the Adderall problem. Kind of scary to think that our future generations have grown on such drugs. The long-term effects this will have is hard to measure. How this will affect politics, business and so forth nobody seems to be thinking about.

Generation Adderall

nytimes.com

Martin Soler

478 days ago

There change this will bring to the way we work and live is going to be quite big. The change this will bring to the way marketing works is going to be huge. Less spam and less money wasted for broad and useless advertising is another one. But how should we prepare for it? How can the little guys prepare for this?

The Great A.I. Awakening

nytimes.com

Martin Soler

496 days ago

The majority of the world lives with trust, and it works rather well. The philosophical fallacy of a world needing no trust is also a world needing no people. Is block chain just another restraint rather than fixing the trust issue?

Blockchain enthusiasts crave a world without bankers, lawyers or fat-cat executives. There's just one problem: trust

aeon.co

Martin Soler

497 days ago

Interesting to see such a prominent figure state things that are still considered fringe material. But then aren't all of the prominent figures, thinking and opinionated people like the rest of us?

Winston Churchill’s essay on alien life found

nature.com

Martin Soler

501 days ago

Getting product market fit is a crazy hard task. No matter how good you are, there will be a good deal of bad surprises along the way until it is found. I consider myself lucky enough to have managed to successfully find it twice. But I must have failed at least 5-6 times before. The only thing I can say that most people miss (but this too isn't a silver bullet) is go to the market and live like the market as much as you can to understand how they think.

In the early days of a product, don’t focus on making it robust. Find product market fit first, then harden

12 Things about Product-Market Fit

a16z.com

Martin Soler

536 days ago

Organizing and structuring tech organizations the systems and concepts that worked and that didn't work at Microsoft.

Functional versus Unit Organizations

medium.learningbyshipping.com

Martin Soler

540 days ago

Getting the inspiration for a good pitch, a great deck, a way to present a company or product is not easy. Trying to begin with a blank page each time works in utopia. In reality we're always working from a model, in our minds or elsewhere. These startup pitch decks "models" are better than many other models in that they worked. And in most cases we can relate to the products which helps.

A collection of real fundraising decks from real startups.

Startup Pitch Decks

attach.io

Martin Soler

540 days ago

How much money to do we need? When is it too much? A very interesting article. What is doesn't explain is the anatomy and cure for greed. But that's probably coming soon.

Transcendental money is the amount of money required to transcend time. It makes just enough money to satisfy all your reasonable needs, wants and desires, but no more. You can do the math yourself, factor in the cost of living where you live, or want to live, it's just arithmetic to determine what your transcendental money number is.

Transcendental Money

scripting.com

Martin Soler

546 days ago

A brilliant analysis of moving on and how to that best. Should be mandatory reading for people working with software engineering.

One of the hardest things in life is to know when to keep going and when to move on.

The 3 Stages of Failure in Life and Work (And How to Fix Them)

jamesclear.com

Martin Soler

546 days ago

Some very interesting data in here for presenters.

The Shape of My Perfect Keynote?

linkedin.com

Martin Soler

546 days ago

Because we have become so accustomed to the friction on travel booking things like separate booking engines exist on hotel websites. We still think with odd paradigms in which it seems totally ok that people are bouncing around upward of 30-40 websites over a period lasting days before booking their hotel. But when that paradigm changes and we find one that dramatically reduces friction, we should embrace it. Voice and chat will change travel for the better.

The definition of a great platform is that it allows you to do something that wasn’t possible before.

Chat is the New Browser

medium.com

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