The Nudge Theory of Everything

Drug development and launch has traditionally followed a well-trodden path. Pharma Company discovers a promising asset in a disease area of focus, they test it, and they develop a target product profile to inform us how the drug performs on key clinical parameters. Once all of this is fixed they begin the sequence of understanding “demand” for the product by measuring adoption, testing brand names and developing positioning platforms as a means of communicating the benefits of the product to the end user.

In other words, the product “leads” the development and all attempts to drive adoption. A problem but not necessarily a knock-out blow as the Pharma Company will hire agencies skilled in insight generation, value strategy and scientific communications to align the product benefits with the needs of users (“here’s how this will work for you!”). There are inherent risks in this approach, not least that the needs of users may end up being retro-fitted back to a fixed view of the product leading to poor alignment and modest impact of the product and associated promotional campaign. Continue reading

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How much is enough?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/11348222/Do-I-have-enough-to-retire-in-my-50s-on-50000-a-year-plus-luxury-holidays.html

This “Money Makeover” caused a bit of a stir over at the Telegraph. Basic premise: couple in late 50s with no dependents and £2.6 million in available assets apparently* (*unless the Telegraph made the whole thing up) need advice on whether they can start to take things a bit easier without running out of money.

I can’t possibly tell you what I think of them (you persuaded me, they’re pretty stupid – do the maths) but the article indirectly raises an interesting point about the tension between saving and spending. It’s a favourite subject of mine and I’ll cover it in more depth in a future entry.

The cult of young journos

http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/rosamund-urwin-we-dont-have-to-be-in-thrall-to-the-cult-of-parenthood-9994663.html

Depends how you define neglect, Rosamund. The rhetoric of helping “hard working families” is not really reflected in actual policy. And bribing mothers to become economic participants (i.e. getting someone else to look after the kids whilst you work) doesn’t meet my definition of family friendly. And in any case, politicians have no clout compared to the most powerful pressures in the world – the combined forces of peer pressure and global capitalism & marketing. And I don’t see much of that aimed at careworn parents. “Take a break to Dubai – you deserve it!” “Go out tonight to this groovy restaurant!” “Be spontaneous!” Yeah right, we wish.

Getting started

Getting started with a few topics that I plan to muse over in the coming months, in no particular order or theme:-

  • Authenticity – has it been eliminated from modern life?
  • Bucket lists
  • The death of moderation and rise of extreme social behaviour
  • The effects of long-term government policy that actively encourages economic participation over family life
  • The “want it all” generation
  • Planning and outcome visualization