The RIBS Test
A message succeeds when people remember it — when it sticks. This is crucial not only to get press, but to raise funding from the best firms, hire the best people, and attract the best advisors. Getting strong press feeds all of these needs, too.
To develop a compelling message, Marooney advises running it through the RIBS test (will your story “stick to your ribs”?). In short:
People are inherently petty. We’re more likely to hold on to minor grudges and forgive major offenses
Why do people forgive the guy who burned their house down, but still hate that one relative who had a nasty tone while thanking them for a birthday present? Here’s why we nurse grudges about small things, but forgive the big ones.
Our real lives are not exempt from this. We can nurse a grudge against someone who gave us a dirty look for years. When someone we love screams at us, we forgive them in a few days.
Equations are beautiful. Mathematicians’s brains respond to elegant formulas the way the rest of us respond to works of art
Investigating mathematical beauty allowed the researchers to test the role of culture and learning in aesthetic appreciation. The scientists hypothesized that while people with no musical or artistic training can still appreciate Beethoven’s and Michelangelo’s works, only those who understand the meaning behind certain mathematical formulas would find them beautiful.
Signs of deflation in the euro zone. Analysts expect February’s producer price index to decline 1.3% from last year
January producer price index [Expected down 0.1% on the month and down 1.3% on the year vs. up 0.2% and down 0.8% respectively]
Downward trends in euro zone consumer price data have raised worries that the single currency region could slip into outright deflation. Soft producer price numbers are unlikely to mollify those concerns.
Business in emerging markets: Emerge, splurge, purge
This year Western firms’ giant bet on the emerging world will come under more scrutiny. Most multinationals are far more profitable in emerging markets than Vodafone. American firms made a 12% return on equity in 2012, roughly in line with their global average. But having grown fast, profits are now falling in dollar terms. There has been a long bout of share-price underperformance as investors have lost their euphoria. An index run by Stoxx, a data firm, of Western firms with high emerging-market exposures has lagged the broader S&P 500 index by about 40% over three years. And the recovery in the rich world will mean there will be more competition for resources within firms.
Rather than being the panacea envisioned by many Western firms during the boom, emerging markets are governed by the oldest business rule of all—survival of the fittest.
Why the Fed Can Ease Up on the Gas
The latest jobs numbers “showed that the growth in average hourly pay continues to accelerate, another piece of evidence that the time may be right for the Federal Reserve to begin raising interest rates.”
Solving inequality will be the biggest issue for democracies. Technology is both the cause and the solution
First, support startups. “When you look at the solutions to the problems that you’re describing, which ultimately lead to severe joblessness, they all involve creating fast-growth startups.”
Second is “more education, more information, more connectivity.
Third, those who lose out will need government assistance, society needs a “safety net” for those who lose their jobs so they can “at least live somewhere and have healthcare.”