The Non-Obvious Insights Blog. Non-Obvious Insights
The Non-Obvious Insights Blog.

Dedicated To Helping Readers
Be More Interesting
Since 2004.

As Featured In:

Whiny Millennials, Selfie Payments and Yelp Sells Its Data

This past week included the biggest event in mobile tech in Barcelona, the continuing #OscarsSoWhite drama about lack of diversity at the Academy Awards and our long awaited permission from Facebook to have emotions other than “Like” to describe how we feel. Going beyond the obvious is the focus every week in this newsletter, so rather than rehash the biggest stories you’ve already heard, read on to see my curated list of the most impactful (and perhaps underappreciated) marketing stories of the week.

Want these insights before anyone else? Join my email list to receive a curated list of top non-obvious stories of the week and useful insights every Thursday!  Click here to subscribe >>

Unlocking Yelp Data

In a move that some suspect was due to financial pressures, Yelp sold access to its full database to social media analytics firm Sprinklr for an undisclosed amount. The move has huge implications for marketers because of how Sprinklr can now integrate and mine the sentiments and reviews from Yelp to build consumer insights and let brands engage with brand fans and detractors alike.
Read the full story on AdAge >>

Does Your Brand Belong On Pornhub or Playboy?

This week online porn leader PornHub set a milestone by attracting large fashion brand Diesel as an advertiser. Along with Playboy magazine’s announcement that it would no longer publish nude photos (and seeing ad pages grow 55.5%), these two moves illustrate that plenty of brands are rethinking how previously untouchable sex-based content might offer untapped advertising potential in the right situations.
Read the full story on Adweek >>

Mastercard Verifies Identity With Selfies

In what might seem like the biggest example of unnecessary innovation since push button ignitions in cars, Mastercard announced an payment verification option using selfies. While a 41 year old dinosaur like me may not see why selfies are better than fingerprints, the move actually underscores the importance of understanding the diversity of consumers. For 20 year olds accustomed to snapping selfies, verifying identity this way might actually be faster. Unless they retake it six times to get the duck lips just right …
Read the full story on CNN >>

An Open Letter To Whiny Millennials

Last week an “Open Letter” post on Medium from soon-to-be-fired Yelp employee Talia Jane complained about the soaring costs of living in the SF Bay area and ended with her asking for donations via Venmo. Soon after a slightly older Millennial named Stefanie Williams posted a scathing response critical of whiny entitled “millennials like Talia.” The ensuing battle in comments and viral reaction to both letters perfectly illustrates that the truth behind this demographic debate may not be as one sided as either of these letters makes it out to be.
Read the original “Open Letter To My CEO” from Talia Jane on Medium >>
Read the “Open Letter To Millennials Like Talia” response from Stefanie Williams >>

Facebook Users Seek Dislike, Choose Love Instead

After years of users asking for a “Dislike” button to balance out the “Like” button – it was a fascinating sign of hope that early data shows the
“Love” emoji seems to be the most popular. Hopefully it stays that way … at least until the US election comes around in November and the “Angry” or “Sad” emojis most likely take over.
Read the full story on The Independent >>

Video Of The Week – The Rise Of Underwater Art

Several months ago I first read about a fascinating project to create man-made artificial reefs through pH-neutral concrete sculptures. In this brilliant short 11 minute TED talk, the inventor of the process Jason Decaires Taylor talks about installments he has created around the world and how it may offer a unique permanent solution to the rapid erosion of the world’s coral reefs.  It is hopeful, original, and a story worth knowing and sharing.
Watch the full TED Talk >>

Book Release of the Week – Dealstorming by Tim Sanders

There is no shortage of sales books on how to close deals, but this new one released this week from Tim Sanders is worth a look for the simplicity and originality of its premise. In a world where we often hear that great sales is all about emotional intelligence or understanding the nuances of brain psychology, Tim shares the unique premise in his book that the key to big deals is better internal collaboration and bringing in diverse viewpoints. The book title, a merging of deal making and brainstorming, gives an inside look at the techniques that Tim has practiced and used with some of the largest organizations in the world. Already a legend and personal hero of mine for the elegance of his book The Likeability Factor more than a decade ago – he is exactly the sort of person worth learning from and I highly recommend his latest book!
Learn more about Dealstorming >>

How are these articles chosen?
Every week I review hundreds of articles to curate the best stories of the week – and share some quick insights about why they matter for business and marketing. I call these “Non-Obvious Insights” and this is the third week I am sharing them. If you would like to see these insights a full day before anyone else, please join my email subscriber list here to get the insights every Thursday directly in your email inbox!

Leave a Comment

The Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter. Non-Obvious Insights
Layer 97
The Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter
Layer 118

Skip the obvious and anticipate the future with our weekly newsletter. Join over 25,000 subscribers and start receiving the stories (and insights) you’ve been missing.

All Books

#1 WSJ & USAToday Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

Vector Smart Object


Have a Question or Inquiry?

Just fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

About You

What Are You Contacting Us About*:

Your Message