Personality crisis, opportunities in product world

“The personalized web” is a theory of modern tech that I should see more Morrissey ads on the internet if I like the Smiths.

Boring. It hasn’t proved actionable. Netflix “you might also like” and other shallow stuff.

But this did prove actionable — the digital strategy used by Brexit and Trump in their campaigns in 2016 —

Read it and be afraid if you believe in the Good Guys.

But don’t forget Eisenhower’s line “If a problem is too hard, enlarge it.” (Hat Tip to Amory Lovins of Rocky Mountain Institute for his amazing talk on climate change solutions.)

Here is what that link says:
– personality theory is real. People are different in real ways.
– it is quantifiable in concrete psychometrics. The Big Five “OCEAN types give you ten ways to influence people.
– it is learnable FAST, based on shallow signals like “Do you like Morrissey?” (Open, Conscientious, Introverted, Less Agreeable, More Neurotic) — i.e. Your tweets and Facebook can tell analysts what they need to type you.
– it prescribes ways of persuading on any topic. Climate Change — true or false? The arguments depend on who is listening. To the Open, present science. To the Closed, present our ancient duties to our community and environment. To the Open, present change. To the Closed, preserving our way of life.
– it also says this was used to both stimulate behavior and inhibit it. Suppress voters, raise negative attitudes, issue by issue.

So how can you use these ideas?
– the Left should be negging the Brexit and Trump campaigns digitally, using personality-based messages. Run ads showing disappointment on unkept promises, move polls.
– if you do ad-tech you can be developing the next big data-matching product
– if you do ad-generation or creative, you can be developing a system to create/select messages based on how they hit different segments
– if you are in a small selection category, eg Coke and Pepsi, seems to me you should be negging the opposition. Why don’t people do this?

Amol Sarva, Ph.D. // [email protected] // 530-727-8277 // @amol
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