Category Archives: Randy’s blog entries

Entries by Randy Mayeux

Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway – Here are my five lessons and takeaways

Post Corona• I view things through the lens of business. That’s the core of this book—how the pandemic will reshape the business environment. …I examine how the pandemic has favored big companies, and big tech most of all.
• I begin with two theses. First, the pandemic’s most enduring impact will be as an accelerant. While it will initiate some changes and alter the direction of some trends, the pandemic’s primary effect has been to accelerate dynamics already present in society. Second, in any crisis there is opportunity; the greater and more disruptive the crisis, the greater the opportunities.
• There is a saying attributed to Lenin: “Nothing can happen for decades, and then decades can happen in weeks.” It wasn’t Lenin, but Scottish MP George Galloway (great name). 
• Whether the U.S. is headed for a Hunger Games future or something brighter depends on which path we choose post corona.
Scott Galloway, Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity 

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We are not at the end. We are not near the end. But, maybe, hopefully, we can see the end.

I’m talking about the pandemic.  The numbers are still so high. So, so many have caught the disease. So many have died from the disease. So many more will die.

But, the vaccine looks like it will work.  And, as Melinda Gates described in her book The Moment of Lift, once technology brings us the solution (the vaccines), now the challenge is the delivery challenge. And we are in the midst of that imposing challenge.

So, it is not too early to think about life after the pandemic.  I have now presented three books that can help us do that.  One of them, written before the pandemic, is Digital Transformation by Thomas Siebel.  This book explained that the world is becoming more and more digital; a becoming that has truly accelerated during the pandemic.Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World

The second book is the new one by Fareed Zakaria, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World.  This is a terrific book, and I have now presented my synopsis of this book to quite a few groups.  It is quite a big-picture book.

The third one is the just-published Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway.  I presented my synopsis of this book at the January First Friday Book Synopsis.  It is a good book, dealing more with specifics of business realities post-corona.

In my synopsis, I always ask What is the point?  Here is what I wrote is the point of this book:
• Things were already changing. The global pandemic accelerated the change(s). Dramatically. What will the business world look like when we come out on the other end. There will be:  big winners; and digital everything. 

And I ask Why is this book worth our time?  Here are my three reasons for this book:

#1 – This book is quite an overview history of the rise of big tech; and why big tech will keep rising.
#2 – This book provides some frightening warnings about the challenges – the survival challenges – for many companies and brands.
#3 – This book provides an example of, and a call to, a true big picture/big context look at the world in pandemic, and post pandemic.

I always include Quotes and Excerpts from the book – the “best of” my highlighted Passages. Here are quite a few of the ones I included from this book in my synopsis:

• For decades, companies invested millions of dollars in equipment for virtual meetings, hoping to diminish distance. And for decades, not much happened. Multimillion-dollar video conference systems didn’t work, and faculty resisted any tech more complex than Dry Erase or PowerPoint. Then, in weeks, our lives moved online and business went remote.
• Opportunities are not guarantees. 
• OVERCORRECT For those with a path to the post-corona future, however narrow, the watchword for how to respond in a crisis is overcorrect.  Was the poisoning J&J’s fault? No. Did the company overreact? Yes. Did it assure the health of the public and restore the credibility of the company? Yes and yes. 
• …severance. You can’t protect jobs, but you can protect people.  You have to be fairly Darwinian and harsh around job cuts, but then do everything you can to provide good severance.
• For every business, this is a good time to forget what you’ve learned and make the hard changes necessary to position yourself for a post-corona world.
• The gig economy is attractive for the same reasons that it’s exploitative. …Is this a failure of character and code on the part of Uber management and their board, or an indictment on our society, which has allowed these cohorts of vulnerability to form in the millions? The answer is yes. 
• Apple made a phone that was so much better than everyone else’s, they spent the next decade suing the competition for blatantly ripping it off.  …and Facebook made social media into a social network. • All of these companies saw daylight and dashed ahead before anyone else.
• Amazon was a bookstore, just online. …Except it wasn’t, not at all. Amazon was, is, and always will be a technology company.  What Jeff Bezos knew all along was that very soon, technology companies would no longer merely make technology infrastructure for other firms. Instead, technology companies would be in those businesses themselves.
• Mr. Bezos increased his wealth by approximately $35 billion in 30 days.
Leadership is the ability to convince people to work together in pursuit of a common goal. 
• A firm’s ability to control the end-to-end customer experience by controlling as much of the value chain as possible. … Take Apple. By controlling the App Store and the iPhone, the firm takes a cut of every dime spent on third-party apps. 
• Our declining life expectancy is mostly due to deaths of despair (drugs, alcohol, suicide).
• Nobody wants to die in a hotel fire, but after a long day of meetings, we aren’t going to inspect the sprinkler system before checking in.

Here are some of the points and insights I gained from this book:

  • The great acceleration:
  • Ecommerce began taking root in 2000. Since then, ecommerce’s share of retail has grown approximately 1% every year. At the beginning of 2020, approximately 16% of retail was transacted via digital channels. Eight weeks after the pandemic reached the U.S. (March to mid-April), that number leapt to 27% . . . and it’s not going back. We registered a decade of ecommerce growth in eight weeks.
  • Negative trends may have accelerated at a greater rate.
  • The forced embrace of telemedicine promises an explosion in innovation.
  • The great, and growing, gap…
  • Households with income below $40,000 were hit hardest…
  • It took the last 10 years to create 20 million jobs and 10 weeks to destroy 40 million.
  • Sixty percent of jobs that pay over $100,000 can be done from home, compared to only 10% of those that pay under $40,000. — Post corona, the benefits of increased flexibility that come with remote work alternatives will flow to the already well off. 
  • Things will be changing…
  • We’ll be dumping business travel, business dinners, and business golf (thank god) in favor of more efficient email, phone, and video communication, and what we all need more of—dinner at home and time to unwind.
  • And a thought about regulation:
  • Government’s charge is to stop GM from pouring toxic waste into the river. Indeed, by outlawing the wanton disposal of toxic waste, we allow GM to process waste in a more enlightened fashion, because we remove the threat that its competitor will take the cheaper route. 
  • Disruption is here, is coming, and will increase and accelerate
  • health care will be different – distance medicine; and so much more…
  • higher education will be different – “distance learning” 
  • A call to care about us all; the commonwealth….
  • (During World War II); At every level, and in every field, voices were raised in support of the commonwealth, rather than in defense of personal property and a perverted sense of freedom. Where is that shared purpose  today. We are fighting an enemy three times as lethal to our population as the Axis powers, yet today Americans don’t want to wear masks and expect the government to send them more money. Resistance to sacrifice and dismissal of community is framed as “liberty.”
  • Our commonwealth didn’t just happen, it was shaped.

And here are my five lessons and takeaways:

#1 – This pandemic has changed things; and will continue to change things.
#2 – One message is clear:  the move to digital is ongoing, and accelerating.  If turning all or part of a business to digital is possible, it will be done.
#3 – The better the remote platforms get at emulating in-person interactions, the more that such remote platforms will replace in-person interactions.
#4 – The big (the strong) will keep getting bigger (stronger).  The inequality gap will very likely keep getting greater.
#5 – Concern for and commitment to the Commonwealth may increase, and make things better. From the environment, to health care, to…

This is a good book. But my suggestion is this:  don’t read just this book:  put it together with the Zakaria book mentioned above, (and maybe, books soon to arrive).

And this is the worst thing I have to say in this post, and I do not like it  Here is my assumption; something close to a prediction; we had better get ready for the next pandemic.

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My synopses for all three of the books I mentioned, and many, many more, are available to purchase (this one will be available soon).  Each synopsis comes with the audio recording of my presentation, plus my comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout. Click on the “buy synopses” tab at the top of this page to search by title.  And click here for our newest additions.

My Synopsis of The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates is today, Jan. 21, 2021, on Zoom – Come join us!

Moment of LiftThis is a terrific book by Melinda Gates. It is about women across the world, with insight about women in the workplace. This is a book that will teach you, and touch your heart.

I will present my synopsis at 12:30 today — Thursday, 12:30 pm, Central Time — over Zoom. All info below. If you attend; and if you print out the handout, and follow along; I promise you will learn. My synopses are thorough, and my handouts are comprehensive. I think you will find this useful.

Download the synopsis handout
Please join us today at 12:30, CST – 
if you can. All details below.

 

{Did you miss my UEBC presentation of Caste by Isabel Wilkerson? Click here to watch the video. The link includes the handout download link.

Here is the video of my synopsis presentation of Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, from the December, 2020 Urban Engagement Book Club}.

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Click one handout image to download the full handout

Click one handout image to download the full handout

TODAY! — January 21,2021 — 12:30 (Central Time)

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes The World by Melinda Gates
Today: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 12:30pm (central time)
Come join us!

Urban Engagement Book Club
When:  Thursday, December 17, 2020 — From 12:30 pm to just after 1:30 pm
Synopsis of: The Moment of LIfe by Melinda Gates
Presented by Randy Mayeux

If you can join us, click here to download the handout.

 

And, here is the Zoom link to join our gathering. 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84429014067

 

———–

 

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: UEBC, Jan. 21,2021
Time: Jan 21, 2021 12:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84429014067

 

Meeting ID: 844 2901 4067

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Meeting ID: 844 2901 4067

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdWKULcrQI

Hope you can join us.

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson; and How I Built This by Guy Raz – Coming for the February 5 First Friday Book Synopsis (On Zoom)

Feb, 2021 FFBSFirst Friday Book Synopsis, Friday, February 5, 2020 — on Zoom
Time: 7:30 am (Central Time)

1) Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson. PublicAffairs. (April 28, 2020)

2) How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (September 15, 2020)

Zoom link below
Please invite one and all to participate in this session.

During Pandemic Season, we have continued to average well over 100 people gathering each month on Zoom for the First Friday Book Synopsis..

On February 5, I will present my synopses of two very good books.  One of them, Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson, is a big, big-picture work by a renowned Harvard professor.

The other, How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz, is chock-full of insights and counsel from the best entrepreneurs of a generation.

If you are like many, you do not have time to read all of the books you would like to read.  The First Friday Book Synopsis is designed for you.

Of course, it would be better if you read the books on your own. But, my synopses are comprehensive, surprisingly thorough, and they will give you plenty of the key content.  You will learn, and be able to ponder the ideas in a useful way.  And, if you have read the book, my synopsis will help you remember more of what you read.

Come join us.

Mark the date, Feb. 5, in your calendar, and save the Zoom info.

——————

Here’s that Zoom info:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Feb. 5, 2021 – First Friday Book Synopsis
Time: Feb 5, 2021 07:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83984386711?pwd=a0ZnWktSOURlNHVUNzk4VGl4US84QT09

Meeting ID: 839 8438 6711
Passcode: 204724
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Dial by your location
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Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kq5DZXWzy

Here is the New York Times list of Best-Selling Business Books for January, 2021 – Atomic Habits by James Clear again/still at Number One

The New York Times has published its list of best-selling business books for January, 2021.Atomic Habits

And, yet again, during this great pandemic, Atomic Habits is at the #1 spot.  This book has been on the top spot for many of the months of the pandemic.

Of the ten books on this month’s list, I have presented synopses of six of them at our monthly event in Dallas, the First Friday Book Synopsis.  And, my former colleague, Karl Krayer, presented one other.  So, we have featured seven of the ten books on this month’s list.

Of the ten books, there is only one written by a woman author; Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead.  It is common for women authors to be underrepresented on this list, but only one woman-authored book for the month is quite a low point.

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic WorldOf the seven we have presented, I presented my synopses of:  #1, Atomic Habits; #3, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World; #4, Dare to Lead; #6, Extreme Ownership; #8, Post Corona; and #9, Range.  I chose Range as my selection for the best business book of the year in 2019.  Please read my blog post: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein is my Business Book of the Year for 2019 – (Loonshots by Safi Bahcall is runner-up).

In addition, my former colleague Karl Krayer presented his synopsis of Thinking, Fast and Slow quite a few years ago.

Worth noting:  plenty of the books on this month’s list have been around quite a while. But both the Zakaria book and the Galloway book, dealing with the pandemic, are quite new.  I presented my synopsis of each of them pretty much right after they were published.

Here is the list of the ten best-selling business books on the New York Times list for January, 2021.  Click over to their site for links to NY Times’ reviews of three of the books.

#1 – Atomic Habits by James Clear
#2 – Pappyland by Wright Thompson
#3 – Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria
#4 – Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
#5 – Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
#6 – Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
#7 – Edison by Edmund Morris
#8 – Post Corona by Scott Galloway
#9 – Range by David Epstein
#10 – I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Second Edition by Ramit Sethi

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We make our synopses available to purchase.  Each synopsis comes with the audio recording of our presentation, plus the comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout.  Click on the buy synopses tab to search by title.  And click here for our newest additions.  (My synopsis of Post Corona will be uploaded in the site in a couple of week).

Download the two Synopses Handouts for tomorrow’s First Friday Book Synopsis, January 8, 2021 – Post Corona and The Obstacle is the Way

You are invited
First Friday Book Synopsis
Friday, January 8, 2021, 7:30 am (Central Time), 
on Zoom
I hope you can join us.

 

NOTE: ZOOM NOW REQUIRES A PASSCODE. 

IT IS BELOW, WITH THE LINK!

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Post Corona, cover

Click on image to download synopses handouts for Jan. 8

A very appreciative thank you to all who participate financially in this event. 

The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”

But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12.00 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

 

 

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Well over 100 people have been joining us on our “Remote” First Friday Book Synopsis gatherings. We have had participants from all over the country. Please share this word far and wide — all are welcome!

Friday, January 8, 2021 – Zoom – (the second Friday of January)
Two Book Synopses: 
1) Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway. (2020)
2) The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday (2014).
Where: on ZOOM
When: This Friday, January 8, 7:30 am (Central Time)
The presentation will conclude shortly after 8:30 am
Speaker: Randy Mayeux will deliver both synopsis presentations.

Click here to join in on Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83833445781?pwd=S3llUnNLMURTVSs5TXQycG41UHY3Zz09

Meeting ID: 838 3344 5781
Passcode: 833454

————————

We are all set for Friday’s Remote First Friday Book Synopsis.

#1 — Download, and print both synopses handouts by clicking here. If you have ever attended our event, you know that I am handout intensive. You really will be able to follow along better with physical copies of the handouts in front of you. So, if you have a printer, please print the handouts.

#2 — Come on in for conversation whenever you can. I have enabled the “enable join before host” button. You will arrive in the waiting room, and be let in quickly. So, you can come in, and talk to folks. I will plan to join the meeting around 7:00, and we will begin the program at 7:30. And, I will not “end the meeting” for a while after, if you want to continue conversations with others after we officially conclude.

#3 — Here is the info, with the link to join the gathering:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Jan. 8, 2021 First Friday Book Synopsis
Time: Jan 8, 2021 07:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83833445781?pwd=S3llUnNLMURTVSs5TXQycG41UHY3Zz09

Meeting ID: 838 3344 5781

Passcode: 833454

One tap mobile
+13462487799,,83833445781#,,,,*833454# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,83833445781#,,,,*833454# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 838 3344 5781

Passcode: 833454

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kb1gny5lFK

—–

Reminder: The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”

But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12.00 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

(Note: you can also send money through Zelle, at Randy’s e-mail address).
(Randy’s e-mail address for PayPal, and Zelle, is ).

Please help spread the word far and wide; help make this a success.

——————–

You might want to read this post. It has a printable one-sheet reminder on how to make the most of your remote learning experience.
Remote Learning 101 – Read this before attending your learning session.

Don’t just read something – write something down – a very doable New Year’s Resolution, that might make a bigger difference than you realize

In the old days, I read books on paper – you know, the kind that you would keep on a book shelf.

Now, I read books on my Kindle App on my iPad.

Page from Never Eat Alone

Here’s a page from Never Eat Alone – marked up by me

When I read the physical books, I would underline passages with a pen (I never much liked highlighters). And I would write in the margins.  With words underlined, and stars and explanation points and question marks. (My best examples, alas, are put away in storage. I’ve been reading in Kindle for quite a few years now).

This was my way of taking notes on the books I read. And there is a long-verified finding that taking notes will help you remember.

I could, and would, literally remember passages in books by remembering my markings in the margins.

It made reading an active activity, not a passive one.  I would agree with, and argue with, the author.  He or she didn’t know it; but I did.

Now, in my current life, I take all of my Kindle highlighted passages, and edit them down into my synopsis handouts for the First Friday Book Synopsis and the Urban Engagement Book Club (and plenty of client presentations).  My handouts are 10-12 pages long, usually.  They are comprehensive.

But for my presentations, I write in the margins; a lot.  I write instructions to myself; points to emphasize.  It is, again, a very active process.

Therefore…

I have a strong recommendation for you in 2021.  Write things down.  On some kind of physical paper.

There are plenty of ways to do this:

Keep a journal
Keep a diary
Keep a list of books you read
Keep a list of presentations you heard

Write short notes in your lists, beside each item. Like:
“I learned to/was reminded to…write personal thank you notes.”

Once a month, or so, glance thorough your list, noting your few but important action items.

Keep a list of new things you learned.
Keep a list of things you already knew, but were reminded of, and should be doing.

But,
WRITE SOMETHING DOWN; ON PAPER; PHYSICALLY; IN A PLACE WHERE YOU KNOW YOU CAN FIND IT; AND RETRIEVE IT; AND REMEMBER IT.

This, by the way, is one of the insights from David Allen in his classic book on time management, Getting Things Done.  In other words, writing things down, on paper, is a way to get more done.

So, here’s a simple New Year’s Resolution for 2021; one that is easy to do, and follow. One that might make a bigger difference than you realize.

WRITE STUFF DOWN!

Happy New Year!