The “Stairway to Heaven” Lawsuit: How Permanent a Victory?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Led Zeppelin's successful defense of "Stairway to Heaven" against an accusation of copyright infringement over the song "Taurus" is a victory for creativity -- but how permanent a victory? The opening notes of "Stairway to Heaven" share, at best, a passing similarity to a brief chord progression in "Taurus," written by ...

Augmented Reality at Cedar Point: First Impressions

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Virtual reality is grabbing the headlines right now, but augmented reality has a bigger near-term future. My recent experience with a new AR-based game at Cedar Point Amusement Park illustrates how AR can make an already excellent customer experience better. The Augmented Reality Boom By 2020, augmented reality is expected to be ...

How Facebook and Google Are Bringing Virtual Reality to the Masses

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

When a hot startup launches a virtual reality product, influencers and investors notice. When Facebook and Google bet on virtual reality, the whole world notices. Recently these two market makers unveiled their VR visions and plans at their own bellwether events, Facebook F8 and Google I/O. Both their plans are ...

This Is the World Uber Has Made

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Uber has become so pervasive that the company is changing our vocabulary. In everyday settings, we use Uber as a verb (as in "I'll Uber to the ball game tonight"). In business settings, we use the term "uberization" or "uberfication" to refer to companies creating on-demand services such as home delivery ...

Paul Wrote “Hey Jude” for Me

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

You don't listen to great songs. You experience them personally. They feel like they were written just for you. They take on different meaning each time you experience them because as your life changes and the context of the song changes. Sometimes even a song you've heard a million times can ...

Facebook’s Media/Entertainment Roadmap

Monday, May 16th, 2016

(Image source: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times) Facebook has hit a few speed bumps lately as the world's largest social network heads down the path of becoming a media/entertainment business. About a week ago, company was accused of suppressing content from conservative news outlets in its Trending Topics news feed. Then, on May ...

When Brands Mess with Our Emotions

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Jess Goulart of BTRtoday recently asked me how I think branding has changed over the years. I told her that although businesses are sharing their brand stories in more inventive ways than ever before, some of the traditional elements of a successful brand remain unchanged. For instance, a company's name and ...

You Don’t Have to Hug Your Fans

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

  Building fan love doesn't mean pandering to your audience. Radiohead, which dropped its new album A Moon Shaped Pool digitally May 8, builds fan devotion by challenging and even confounding its audience, which is the right approach for a group whose music has always been one step ahead of everyone. Radiohead's actions in ...

Beyoncé Finds a New Muse

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Was anyone ready for the new-look Beyoncé? After creating a body of work that celebrated self-empowerment through sexuality, Queen Bey has released searing music that tackles themes such as black femininity, social inequality, spirituality, and marital politics. In other words, she has become culturally relevant. Striving to be culturally relevant does ...

The Coachella 360-Degree Live Stream Disappoints

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Hey, Coachella: I want my glorious live stream back. For years, the Coachella music festival has set the gold standard with event live streams largely because its camera crews make you feel like you're right on stage with the artists. Last week, for instance, the live streams of Ice Cube, Grimes, ...