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Bennett's Five Links #064
Siri and Michael Porter contemplate the meaning of life, the universe, and everything
Hey Siri, read me a bedtime story ..
Presumably most of my audience will have toyed with audiobooks by now. If you haven’t, let me tell you, the wireless headphone + audiobook combo can change your life. You should get on that train.
So I’m particularly excited to see Apple now offering a service to convert an author’s e-book into an audio book by having a robot read it out loud. At least I assume that’s how it works.
And you may be thinking - as I was thinking - that this will never work. That not enough credit is being given to the narrator, who has an important role in reading the book in a way that is easy to listen to.
Well, Apple has also released a few samples of what their robot narrators sound like and, I gotta say, I was blown away impressed.
Click on the link and have a listen yourself.
Porter would be mortified ..
When I was completing my MBA a few years ago (read: setting fire to $90,000) the lecturers used to love banging on about South West Airlines and how great an organisation it was. It was the go-to case study for all things Porter Strategy Wank.
So this thread, which debunks the organisation and talks about all the ways South West is falling apart, gave me a kind of second-degree-schadenfreude. Not so much delight in the failings of the organisation itself — it’s sad to see employees and customers suffer — but I must confess to a bit of gloating as I reminisce on all those lecturers who lazily repeated the same examples that had been offered to them as they were studying, without actually checking on whether their paragon was still virtuous.
Slips right off ..
I’m a long way from being a respected author. To be frank, I’m struggling to get this pithy newsletter out, and this thing is simply links to other peoples’ work. But even I connected to some of these reflections from awarded author Douglas Adams.
He was one of the most wildly imaginative writers of any generation but even for Douglas Adams writing could be a torturous process, requiring a “general note to myself” that he would finally get pleasure from it. “Writing isn’t so bad really when you get through the worry. Forget about the worry, just press on. Don’t be embarrassed about the bad bits. Don’t strain at them,” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author wrote to himself. “Writing can be good. You attack it, don’t let it attack you. You can get pleasure out of it. You can certainly do very well for yourself with it!”
Absolute genius ..