Technical details don’t seem to matter.

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Image by prawny/Pixabay

With its $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin, analysts estimate that Tesla is “on a trajectory to make more from its Bitcoin investments than profits from selling its EV (electric vehicle) cars in all of 2020.” However it is ironic that Tesla, whose mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, is benefiting from a cryptocurrency that has a carbon footprint comparable to that of New Zealand.

But the association worked anyway.

On the surface, a digital currency like Bitcoin seems like a natural progression for the brand that is pioneering the digital transformation of the automobile industry. Matt…

When Cultural Assets Levitate to the Moon — a technical and cultural roundup.

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Photo Credit: Pezibay/Pixabay

Dogecoin is having a moment. As of writing this post Dogecoin rallied 65% in the past 24 hours to a record high of $0.083745. This rise is also in part due to recent tweets and statements by Elon Musk, who has been a long-time supporter.

According to CoinDesk data a year ago, the coin was trading at $0.002493 falling to $0.001582 in March 2020. In July DOGE almost doubled from $0.002286 to $0.004543 in the space of a few days. It then slipped to $0.002961 and had trended down to $0.002503 by early November 2020.

“But fate loves irony,” Musk…

Memes are moving markets and we need to pay attention.

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The Pandemic Primed Us to View Contagious Ideas as Viruses

Throughout the past year, we’ve been primed with the viral spread of COVID-19 to such an extent that the gravity of the GameStop surge last week appeared less pronounced that it actually was. The viral frenzy thrived through a complicated web of cultural and social fibers, forming an abstract network of impassioned traders as it spread.

Daily dosage of exponential COVID-19 rates have caused us to subconsciously ascribe any contagious packet of information with the properties of a virus. Just like viruses ideas replicate, fuse, and even mutate.

The viral contagion of GameStop’s upward and downward ride is fascinating because…

From the branches of the mighty pioneer to the roots of Palantir

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You know the feature in WhatsApp where you can ‘star’ a message? I came up with that idea during my time at BlackBerry. BlackBerry owns the patent for it. When WhatsApp introduced the feature in 2016, BlackBerry didn’t do anything about it.

What could BlackBerry do? Politely ask WhatsApp to license the patent? Sue in patent litigation court?

Yes. That’s what I thought BlackBerry would do to protect the intellectual property developed by its impassioned engineers who believed till the very end that the smartphone keyboard would reign supreme. …

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Photo by Rachel Hisko on Unsplash

An anecdote in Disney PIXAR’s movie Soul captures 2020 beautifully. “I heard this story about a fish, he swims up to an older fish and says: ‘I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.’ ‘The ocean?’ the older fish says, ‘that’s what you’re in right now.’ ‘This’, says the young fish, ‘this is water. What I want is the ocean!’”

This anecdote is striking because 2020 made us realize that we’ve all been like the little fish at some point this year. …

TikTok is more of a game than a social network.

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Photo by Juan Camilo Navia on Unsplash

When new technologies emerge we have a tendency to pin it to a frame of reference within our comfort zones. TikTok is often regarded as a social networking app. Its popularity has given rise to many theories trying to explain the cause of the meteoric rise.

Numerous articles on TikTok branding strategy tend to emphasize that brands should ‘be authentic’ on TikTok. Authenticity, however, is table stakes at this point. We had established very early in the pandemic that tone-deaf posts that highlighted celebrity lives didn’t cut it any more.

The pandemic brought about a serious shift in how we…

The sweet irony of pumpkin spice.

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Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Picture a crisp fall morning. Orange hues from the morning sun fall on a carpet of leaves that are resplendent in their transformation to warmer shades of amber. The leaves rustle so loud they drown out incessant social media notifications. It’s ASMR without the screens. The beauty can trap you into a rare predicament between saving the sight for yourself and capturing the perfect fall IG post.

Why the predicament? There exists a belief in the deep depths of our consciousness that the presence of a smartphone, a succinct amalgamation of everything capitalism has to offer, will somehow disturb the…

Why Quibi is out of sync

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Photo by izayah ramos on Unsplash

“I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus,” founder Jeffrey Katzenberg told the New York Times. “Everything. But we own it.”

The WSJ reported that with missed subscriber targets, disappointed advertisers, a patent lawsuit from a well-capitalized foe, and stiff competition, the problems for Quibi keep piling up.

Quibi launched their ad campaign during the Superbowl earlier this year with commercials that told a very distinctive story. We saw ads featuring a pilot using the app when his plane couldn’t find a gate, or when a bank robber had some free time before getting picked up. …

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Photo by Keith Misner on Unsplash

In times of a great disruptor like this pandemic, our attitudes, behaviors, and routines have become a window into our collective psyche. As these attitudes and behaviors evolve, it serves our inner anthropologists to take snapshots of the zeitgeist to make sense of it in hindsight.

Making sense of the situation in the current moment is like landing a plane on a moving runway. In what feels like a global social experiment, brands are striving to find their voice in the cultural conversation.

Making sense of the situation now is like landing a plane on a moving runway.

Netflix and…

Why the “deep story” is so important.

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Photo by 青 晨 on Unsplash

A Google Trends search on ‘Am I Racist?’ can reveal some interesting insights. People are increasingly asking Google the following:

  • ‘racist test’
  • ‘am I a racist’
  • ‘I am not a racist’
  • ‘Am I racist quiz’

People are looking to Google to tell them whether they are racist because their intentions seem to be in dissonance with their actions. Is it likely that both anger and helplessness towards a situation could surface as actual or perceived racism?

Karlyn Borysenko recently wrote an eye-opening piece about how her experience at a Trump Rally broadened her perspective of the right. She wrote, “The…

Tabarak Khan

I write about the psychological, emotional, and cultural factors that affect our decisions. Engineer | Brand Strategist | Curious

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