Marketing Report
[Column] Michiel Frackers: Smart tips tricks and hacks for a better life

[Column] Michiel Frackers: Smart tips tricks and hacks for a better life

It's tempting to get caught up in news about the gadgets, tricks and gimmicks that the technology sector showers upon us every day. That is why this time we look beyond the issues of the day, looking for insights that can improve our lives. With fewer links, but references to longer articles, videos and podcasts: in short, less to more. Starting with the most important problem: how do we spend more time on the important things and less time on nonsense?

Not what is meant by the Eisenhower Matrix, but I like it.

On a typical workday, it can feel like everything needs to be done immediately. The Eisenhower Matrix helps categorize the flood of tasks by organizing them based on importance and urgency. President Eisenhower never seems to have said it literally, but  this way of thinking, which he names, leads to a very effective increase in productivity . A real  productivity hack , in turbo language.

Laugh and learn about tech

The mainstream media, even the comedy shows, have discovered technology as a hot topic and, not unimportant in the age when Google and Meta are gobbling up hundreds of billions of advertising dollars worldwide that used to belong to media companies; it clicks like crazy. This week, The Daily Show (Comedy Central) and Last Week Tonight (HBO) devoted extensive airtime to the influence of technology on our lives. With relevant warnings and tips.

Jon Stewart is back on the Daily Show Monday night and  broke down the AI ​​revolution . Not so much the technology, but the tech leaders' annoying habit of promising everyone a better future, while at the same time building technology that plays a major role in our lives in an opaque way.

Looking at the item, you wonder whether the gentlemen at the top of the tech companies would pass the neighbor test: would it benefit you if this guy moved in next door?

John Oliver describes meal delivery services as  'the millennial lifestyle subsidy ' . He rightly concludes that many restaurants and delivery companies suffer from delivery services, which nevertheless hardly make a profit. Who will win then? The consumer, but there are rough edges to that victory. Something to think about when the next rained-out delivery person arrives at your door. Oliver calls for a standard five-star rating, including a nice tip.

Elad Gil may not be a household name in football canteens and birthday parties, but he invested in and advised more than forty unicorns, companies with a market value of more than a billion dollars, including Airbnb, Coinbase, Pinterest and Stripe.  In this video, Gil provides insight  into his method of analysis from which we can all learn something.

Writing is better than talking

Stewart, Oliver and Gil clearly have the gift of communicating their opinions on complex topics to the audience simply and clearly. The makers of Basecamp software shared in a blog post how they "keep everyone in the company informed, without interfering with everyone."

It's a  long piece, but worth  reading, especially if you're working with people in different locations. Things I take away: writing is more important than talking and asynchronous communication (not live) is more effective than live.

Those who follow the advice and write more than talk during work will benefit greatly from these  strict tips for self-editing . Everyone has a colleague, especially a manager, who should follow these tips.

GaryVee deserves all the attention

Gifted talker  Gary Vaynerchuk  explains in  his podcast  why LinkedIn  is crucial  for your organization in 2024. Vaynerchuk struggled to finish high school and then worked in his father's liquor store, where he started making videos about wine that he posted on a then unknown site: YouTube.

That experience formed the basis for a meteoric career as a marketing guru, after which Vaynerchuk emerged as a successful investor (including Facebook, Twitter and Uber) and a kind of life coach avant la lettre. The lyrics of ' GaryVee ' sometimes seem clichéd, but they are thought-provoking, on any medium. Especially in the US, a statement like  'how you earn your money is more important than how much you earn' is  a special thought, especially as the son of poor immigrants from Belarus.

Learning from failure

Sometimes you learn more from a mistake than from a success, which is why  this article about how Hertz blundered  with the transition to electric cars is downright fascinating. Customers rarely charged cars after use, resulting in too few available, and Tesla cars were also found to be involved in accidents four times as often as traditional cars powered by dinosaur blood.

If everything goes wrong, this is the item  to have ready. Handy in times with more extreme weather and for me, living in an area in Asia with several possible natural disasters, it is useful advice to  better pack the go bag with practical tech gadgets.

Spotlight 9: guarantee to the corner!

To my considerable shock, a reader reported yesterday that she was disappointed  “in my tip to buy Snowflake stock, because it had fallen significantly.”  That is why I would like to emphasize again that I do not provide investment advice.

What is the case? The reader in question turned out to have purchased my entire AI Spotlight 9. When I came up with that completely arbitrary AI index,  I wrote the following :

“These companies are either a driver of AI developments such as Nvidia and Super Micro, or a major 'profiteer' of AI technology, such as Palantir and Snowflake. AMD, Broadcom, Crowdstrike, Gigabyte, Microsoft, Nvidia, Palantir, Snowflake and Super Micro have already increased an average of 48% this year!

Please note: I do not give investment advice, I only try to follow developments and, if I am in a clear mood on Sunday morning, to interpret them. This is emphatically not purchasing advice. So much for the service announcements.”

By the way, the rest of these stocks appeared to have outperformed the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500, but again: think of it as a match analysis of a football match. If I were to write that a certain right winger scores remarkably easily, that would not be an incentive for a club to buy that player. Please only invest with money that you do not need to live on and realize that you can lose on investments. And never listen to me.

Striking: Ethereum was a better investment than Nvidia

Every day I am bombarded with questions about crypto and tech stocks, whether Solana is better than Ethereum and which memecoins I own. Precisely because people tend to blame you when something goes down, and congratulate themselves every time it rises, I never comment on this.

I am working with a friend to create a kind of investment section in which people can follow our investment portfolios, but we will do that, just like this newsletter, 'for education and entertainment' and not as investment advice. (By the way, I'm curious how  Weglot , the translation module I use, will translate the last sentence.)

That said, Grandpa Frackers especially wants to point out to young readers like my smart nephews the performance of the largest cryptos versus the largest tech stocks in the world over the last five years.

Even Nvidia shares, the absolute killer among tech companies, have performed less well than Ethereum. I don't know anyone who predicted in 2019 that Ethereum and Nvidia would dominate this list, so what lessons can be learned from this? In any case, not that ETH and NVDA will experience the same rise in the coming years.

The mistake that is often made is trying to predict the future based on the past. As a water sports reporter in the 1980s (water in both liquid and frozen form), I always received the comment: 'who does snowboarding? Nobody knows that, people love skiing.'

In the 1990s I started as an internet entrepreneur and for five years I heard: 'who has a computer and what do you do with the internet? You can already fax.' I had to hear the same line from lesser minds about mobile phones ('only drug dealers use mobile phones') and the last ten years about crypto: 'what can you buy with crypto?'

So once and for all: the average person doesn't have to buy anything with crypto. Just like the average person doesn't throw an Nvidia Hopper GPU into their basket at Lidl on a Saturday afternoon.

But anyone who can withstand the delusions of the day and has a slightly longer investment horizon than the next summer holiday, will not be shocked by a dip more or less like last week.

I am convinced that in the long term, and I mean years and not weeks or months, both Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana are lucrative investments. Just as I expect Microsoft, Apple and Nvidia to remain solid investments. The main question is which other cryptos and tech companies will break through in the next five years. Before you invest with your wallet, I recommend that you first invest in a lot of reading and listening. And not base your investments on solicited or unsolicited advice from others.


Michiel Frackers  is Chairman of  Bluenote  and Chairman of  Blue City Solutions.