Barcelona, Riyadh, Mindfulness, Category Creation, Globalization *** Marc Ross Daily

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Barcelona, Riyadh, Mindfulness, Category Creation, Globalization

Marc Ross Daily
March 26, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Global Business News at the Intersection of Politics + Policy + Profits

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✔️ Clashes in Barcelona after Catalan leader is held

✔️ Saudi air defence intercept missile over Riyadh

✔️ A technology cold war that’s freezing over

✔️ Globalization’s backlash is here

✔️ Cricket ball tampering


The Times: Clashes in Barcelona after Catalan leader is held

Catalan ex-leader’s capture in Germany sparks mass protests: AP reports, five months after going on the run from Spanish authorities, Catalonia’s former president was detained in Germany on an international warrant Sunday by highway police after the ardent separatist crossed the border with Denmark.

Catalan ex-leader, wanted for sedition, is held in Germany: NYT reports, Carles Puigdemont had been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since he led a referendum in October that backed Catalonia’s unilateral secession from Spain.

AFP: Saudi air defence intercept missile over Riyadh: state media

LAT: Russia wants to erect a statue in one North Carolina city. Result: a
mini Cold War

Nikkei: Abe's approval rating plunges to 42% as scandal takestoll

China appeals for cooperation as it warns of ‘trade war’: AP reports, a top Chinese official warned Sunday that a “trade war” would harm all sides but gave no indication of Beijing’s possible next move in a spiraling dispute with President Donald Trump over steel and technology. Speaking to global business leaders at a development forum, Vice Premier Han Zheng appealed for cooperation to make economic globalization “beneficial for all.”

FT: China confident it can keep US trade clash in check

Why Trump's latest steps heightenrisk of a global trade war: AP reports, President Ronald Reagan once likened trade wars to the pie fights in old Hollywood comedies. One pie in the face leads to another. And then another. Pretty soon, Reagan said in a 1986 radio address, "everything and everybody just gets messier and messier. The difference here is that it's not funny. It's tragic. Protectionism becomes destructionism. It costs jobs." Trade groups are already lobbying the Trump administration to seek diplomatic solutions to the disputes. China's all-powerful leaders face no such public pressure. "If this gets the two countries back to the table to talk about this, then that is a good outcome," said Erin Ennis, senior vice president at the US-China Business Council. "If the idea is to inflict sufficient pain so that China feels it has no choice but to change its policies, then I'm skeptical."

For the US and China, a technology cold war that’s freezingover: NYT reports, a cold war is being waged across the world’s most advanced industries. And it just got a lot chillier. Recent tit-for-tat trade actions could deepen what has become a global contest for technological dominance between the United States and China, home to the planet’s largest population of internet users and a flourishing community of start-ups and innovative companies.

China renews pledges to open economy, protect IP rights: Reuters reports, China pledged on Sunday to press ahead with market opening and reforms while reiterating that it will treat domestic and foreign firms equally and protect intellectual property rights. John Frisbie, president of the US-China Business Council told Reuters China “has been promising market-opening measures and protection of intellectual property for some time, but what the US business community is waiting for is action.”

Liu He, the man in charge of China’s economy: FT reports, this low-profile adviser steps into the spotlight as the US ramps up trade war talk.

Wang Qishan — The pragmatic patriot at Xi Jinping's side: DW reports, the National People's Congress has officially made Wang Qishan, Xi Jinping's crisis manager, the second most powerful man in China. DW's Frank Sieren says Xi's future depends on Wang's success as vice president.

China splits top jobs at central bank, adding another reformer: NYT reports, less than a week after naming Yi Gang as the governor of China’s central bank, leaders in Beijing have unexpectedly put a different man above him as the Communist Party secretary at the central bank, five people familiar with the decision said on Sunday. Guo Shuqing, already the country’s top banking and insurance regulator, has been selected as the new party secretary, said the five people who were not authorized to discuss the decision publicly. While Mr. Guo and Mr. Yi both have reputations as avid

They may ask in Beijing, ‘Who lost America?’ Americans have been warning China that a backlash was coming. Longtime experts on China, led by Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California at San Diego, and Orville Schell of the Asia Society, argued in a report that China was benefiting far more from its relationship with the United States than vice versa. Shirk, Schell, and dozens of other American China experts launched a full-court press with Chinese friends and interlocutors, trying to alert them that China was pushing America too far. WP - John Pomfret 

China started the trade war, not Trump: Unlike with steel and aluminum tariffs, economists see merit in Trump’s trade case against China. WSJ - Greg Ip


The top 15 Democratic presidential hopefuls for 2020, ranked

NYT: Trump won’t hire 2 lawyers announced only last week

California farmers, winemakers kick dirt over Chinese tariffs
: LAT reports, California's vintners and growers fumed Friday at the growing prospect that wine, nuts, fruit and other Golden State exports would become collateral damage in a trade battle between President Trump and China. The $47-billion industry, which largely backed Trump, has been buffeted repeatedly as the Trump administration has halted or reopened trade talks and proposed punitive tariffs aimed at protecting American jobs.

US businesses seek clarity on Trump tariff plans: FT reports, companies ask for uncertainties to be removed as some nations win tariff exemptions

LAT: Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin says Trump's tariffs won't harm economy

Globalization’s backlash is here, at just the wrong time: NYT reports, The world economy became more interconnected in the 1990s and 2000s, delivering immediate pain to rich countries, along with benefits that only now are starting to be more apparent.

The places in America most exposed to a trade war: WP reports, export-related jobs are everywhere, which means many of America’s cities have a lot to gain — and a lot to lose.

Costs from Nassar case likely to exceed $500 million for Michigan State: WSJ reports, the tally includes possible settlements with about 250 victims, legal fees associated with an army of law firms representing the university and fines.


Reuters: EU antitrust chief keeps open threat to break up Google: report

Nikkei: Uber's exit to further tighten Grab's hold on Southeast Asia

Reuters: Polls show Facebook losing trust as it apologizes in ads


Russia, Skripal and the reality of modern-day spying: Putin has learned that in espionage, it’s the reaction of the public, media, and politicians that matter.
FT - Simon Kuper

Mindfulness meditation is huge, but science isn’t sure how, or whether, it works


A senior’s intense, 14-day sailing lesson — from scratch — off the New Zealand coast

How ‘high tech’ became the architectural style of globalization: FT reports, industrial structures like the Pompidou and Lloyd’s Building seem nostalgic for a bygone age.


a16z Podcast: Creating a category, from pricing to positioning: What do Klennex, FedEx, and Coke all have in common?

All three products are now universally used to describe a whole suite of competing and secondary products or services.

Kleenex is the word for numerous paper-tissue products.

FedEx is the word to for all overnight delivery.

Coke is the word for hundreds of soft drinks available.

Simply put, don't copy, create. 

It is better to create a new category where you can set price than try and improve a category where the price has already been established.

Creation means there is less competition and more riches to be had.

In this episode of the a16z podcast, general partner Martin Casado, who helped create the category of “software-defined networking” and Michel Feaster, CEO and co-founder of Usermind, who previously defined the category and discipline of “technology business management,” share their insights, in conversation with Sonal Chokshi. 

Category creation is all about creating a net new problem and a net new solution to that problem. This matters because if you create a category, you can set the price, the market size, and set the buying environment.

Of course, this isn't easy. You are asking customers to say yes to something that is new, possibly unproven, not trusted, or well known in the marketplace.

Speakers in this podcast suggest, "it isn’t just about making a dent in the way companies work and changing what people do every day… it’s about setting the price. And with that, comes creating the concept in people’s heads, defining the value, and setting the rules of the game."

As Henry Ford said, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

Sometimes you need to create and lead.

For me, I find pricing to be the biggest challenge of running my business. And frankly, I have done a horrible job. From underpricing service offerings and products due to lack of confidence, knowledge, and experience. Coupled with working in categories with well-established rules and competitors selling "Kleenex, FedEd, and Coke."

When it comes to pricing so far, I have made every mistake.

From these failures, thankfully I have acquired new knowledge. I am firmly committed to the idea that setting the price point is vital because I want to guide the customer to what is good and what is bad. I want to control the customer from having the ability to make a comparison. I create the category. 

Simply put, being an entrepreneur and thought leader.

To do this, you need to execute these two things: First, you have to create the concept in the customer's brain - you need to get the customer to think about the problem and realize you have the solution. Second, you need to set the value by setting the price.

Creating an environment where the customer sees the world differently, recognizing there is a problem, and leading them to your tool to solve this irritation. That's the winning sales cycle.

Think like a storyteller and use narrative: Frame the problem, then make it top of mind, and finally set the value (price) to fix the problem.

Reinforcing with the marketplace that your differentiator is the right way to go - how you solve this problem is unique, better, and different and your unique, better, and different is defensible against the competition. 

Ultimately you want to create a buying environment where the customer sees you as the only solution to the problem, and there are compelling reasons why it is you.

When you realize business is a long game, and you can build a model that lets you survive long enough, coupled with teasing apart the signals from your first customers, and finally nailing some key moves early by setting the buying requirements… you can win.


Cricket ball tampering: Australian PM expresses shock as authorities launch probe

Guardian: PSG hold talks with Antonio Conte’s representatives over summer move

Ligue 1 side willing to offer Chelsea manager £10m a season.

The surfer who swapped waves for humanitarian aid: Outside reports, former pro Jon Rose was chasing the biggest swells in Sumatra when the 2009 earthquake hit, and he spent the next decade providing clean water in remote disaster zones. Last fall his Waves for Water crew was in Saint Croix when Hurricane Maria struck, so the team did what came naturally: got to work.

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.