Short Term Thinking. How reliance on formula reduces innovation. American Business is increasingly reliant on short term thinking and ‘templates’ or formulaic approaches. The least revolutionary kind of innovation – improvements in finance, procedure, cost controls and personnel – are increasingly the only kind of innovation in the corporate world. Meanwhile, innovations that create new products, new markets and revolutionize thinking are in short supply. What started as a conversation between two old radio friends about the broadcasting business sparks some ‘slash and burn’ thinking about business in general. Why do some businesses rely on formula so much? When are formula’s good. When is it best to trash the formula and let the inmates take over the asylum? (Editors Note: The best jobs I’ve ever had in radio, the best experiences as a creative person in broadcasting happened when the inmates were running the asylum. In fact, that used to be our business model!) These days it seems like formulaic thinking has invaded politics, movies, radio, music, television … really almost everything. And, we’re choking on it. Is it possible one of the reasons so many people remain out of the work force for extended periods of time is because they’re sick of implementing plans from the corporate office? Maybe what we all need is to throw the formula out and start doing whatever we want. To be sure, there will be mistakes, and failures, but there might also be some great successes. Some of the things business does, it does because of formulas developed 20, 30, 40 even 50 years ago. Back in the day, those formulas may have made sense but now they bear little resemblance to new market contours. If the United States wants to maintain its position in the world, we’re going to have to set our workers free; Free to think, free to make mistakes and free develop the kinds of new strategies that revolutionize markets. The response to almost every truly revolutionary idea has always been, ‘You can’t do that’, or ‘It sounds like crap’, or ‘Why would anyone want that?’. Or worse, ‘That’s not the way we’ve always done it’. Our strength has always been in the skunk works, the garage, the basement and backyards, and with the so called ‘crazies’. Rules are made to be broken. Why don’t we start breaking some? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by Depotstar.
ASMR. Say what? How has communicating on the radio changed over the years, from the glory days of AM Rock Radio, to Progressive FM Radio, to today’s Talk Radio Ghetto on AM. Are internet delivered on-demand-audio broadcasts changing how we communicate? Autonomous sensory meridian response is a fancy name for getting tingles when you hear certain people speak. ASMR is pretty big on You Tube, with ASMR ‘artists’ garnering millions of views and shares, and likes, for their ASMR videos. Some of them talk about issues, some of them role play, some of them tell stories. One thing is for sure. They don’t yell and pound, and they don’t take calls. With public radio stations in many major markets now garnering a higher share than commercial news and talk radio, it may be that a softer vocal approach, while delivering information on heavy issues, delivered on-demand, over the Internet is ‘The New Talk’. (Editor’s note: I certainly think so!). This podcast includes a sample of favorite ASMR artists, plus some audio nostalgia, with air checks of the Late Great Larry Lujack at WLS in the early 70′s, and George Michael at WFIL around the same time period. Plus, a bonus sample of early – and rare – ‘Progressive’ FM Radio Giant, KSAN-FM in San Francisco, in 1969. Some people laugh at ASMR artists, but they’re using the new tools, in a completely different way, to have fun with sound, and media, and technology, and they’re clearly speaking to a new generation of ‘audio’ listeners. Are offerings like ASMR changing the way we communicate with media? How might that eventually change what we see and hear from politicians, cable news channels, podcasts, broadcast and internet radio, and each other? Time for a fun podcast about something new. Sponsored by X Government Cars, and by Depot Star.
2014 Election Coverage. One month away from Election 2014, The Bob Davis Podcasts begins its coverage. All the pundits and big networks have developed story lines for the election this year: What’s going to happen on election night. What is Bob Davis’ story line for the evening of November 4th, 2014, when election results start pouring in across the country. Will it be a Republican Wave? That’s the story line. Is it true? What about Minnesota state elections for state-wide offices and the legislature? How do ‘regular’ people decipher what the polls say, and what they mean? Does any analyst have a handle on what people are thinking going into this election. While voters are dissatisfied with President Obama, they are also dissatisfied with the House of Representatives, the Republican Party and the US Senate. Moreover, with 435 local congressional district elections, 1/3rd of the Senate and local elections across the country, the results may depend on local personalities and local issues. Republicans point to leads in some states they hope to pick up Senate seats in, but are those leads wide enough to overcome democrat turn out advantages. Do Democrats really have a turn-out advantage? And what about those polls? Are they to be believed? Is there a rule of thumb observers can use? Where to go to find the polling data, and the averages all in one place. What will be the big story on election night? Republican take over of the US Senate? Or will the Democrats hold? Will Republicans win state-wide races and the legislature in Minnesota? We welcome your comments and suggestions regarding coverage via the comments section at the Bob Davis Podcasts. And, introducing the over-the-top theme for Election 2014 coverage from the Bob Davis Podcasts. Sponsored by X Government Cars!
The Negative View of Technology. It seems as though the pessimistic view of the world takes precedence these days, especially when it comes to technology and the future. Autonomous machines, robotics, driverless cars, the Internet, smaller (and larger) personal devices are portrayed as the villain. What happened to the formerly optimistic view of the future as portrayed in ‘Star Trek’, the original TV Series? The Hollywood Lens of tech today makes ‘Blade Runner’ look like a romantic comedy! On a beautiful fall afternoon, The Bob Davis Podcasts escapes the bunker for coffee at a ‘joint’ full of hipsters, working on their wireless devices, and portable computers. As technology frees some, apparently it imprisons others. Or so some commentators would have us believe. Do we view the present, and future, too darkly? With technology on most factory floors of the late 90′s vintage, advancements in technology associated with data storage, energy, materials, 3D printing and the like, there’s plenty of room for growth just doing upgrades! It’s time for an optimistic view of what we can do with science, and technology to produce a better country and a better world. What kind of political system, economic policy and foreign policy do we need to unlock and promote innovation and economic growth, while maintaining security. How are we pushing toward the future, while some parts of the world push toward the past? Why do commentators and reporters have a tendency to take something terrible happening in one small part of the world, and turn it into a crisis everywhere? How can we change our thinking about tech and the future? Finally, when will we develop an intuitive and ‘smart’ ATM? One that won’t charge us 4 dollars to get a hundred? Sponsored by Baklund R&D.
Skype Call In. Still getting great response to the ‘Road Trip’ or ‘On The Road’ podcasts chronicling the Bob Davis Podcast’s journey from Chicago to Phoenix, through Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota. With all the major news going down these days; The resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder, the airstrikes in Syria and Iraq and an election, one would think people would want to talk about the issues. Nope. There’s still a definite ‘escapist’ bent in people’s minds. Maybe because of the dying summer. Maybe because we know winter is coming again in the Upper Midwest. Some great conversation about travel experiences, when we were young, and old. Memories of heading to Florida from Chicago in the ‘way-back’ of the old Chevy Wagon, by way of Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Florida. What does travel when you’re very young, especially travel by car across the country, teach a person about life, and travel in the future? You learn to chill out and take it as it comes, because trying to batter your way through, really doesn’t work on the road. Bonus discussion about social media and the tools the Bob Davis Podcasts can use to get calls into the podcasts. Do you use Skype? FaceTime? Yahoo Chat? Some other tool? Let us know. Too bad we can’t stream on FaceBook or Twitter. Still — the main reason to do these ‘call in’ podcasts is to be prepared, and let listeners know the Bob Davis Podcasts is prepared to give you a chance to share your opinions and views, when a major story breaks, as one inevitably will, that people are burning to talk about. (New software makes the calls sound even better, which is one reason we love us some Skype). Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Being Right. An email sparks some thoughts about the political discourse in The United States. Should a person who puts themselves out in the public eye as a commentator always be right, as in ‘correct’? Should everything they say be required to be proven ‘correct’ at a later date? Should a major league ball player leave the game if he fails to make an important catch? What does it mean to take a risk? What lessons have been learned in almost twenty years of talk radio? Political figures, writers, musicians, actors, comedians, and especially talk and podcast hosts take risks and put themselves ‘out there’ everyday. Should a person decline to use their talents because they are afraid of being ‘wrong’? Moreover, does the country gain from the increasing practice of demonizing and trying to destroy people who say things others disagree with, or are ‘shocked’ by? How has talk radio, and cable television (which has stolen the talk radio format) turned the body politic into tribes that demand their point of view, and only their point of view, be heard. Why radio and TV managers are suddenly terrified by opinions. How podcasting is changing this. And, a pitch for contributions to the Bob Davis Podcasts for the Podcast Van. Sponsored by Baklund R & D.
News Cleanse Days 3 & 4. What happens when a news junkie quits cold turkey? No news. No Cable. No Talk Radio. No Newspapers, No Internet News. No Political Conversations. And by the way, the News Cleanse also includes TV Weathercasters. Continuing to get questions about whether I will talk about politics (yes) and ‘sociology’ (yes). “Is this forever?” (no). Late night, in the backyard of the bunker, as the neighbors sit around their bonfire, the last few planes on final approach at MSP, and lots of thoughts about the last two days without filling them up with news scanning, printing and reading. Without the anxiety and angst. Without the screaming and shouting. Spending time touring manufacturing companies, hanging with friends, and finding everyday Americans being quite creative. Which is better? Suburbia, exurbia, or the City. Saving money by shopping volume. How to blanch vegetables. A salmon recipe of sorts, discussion about Talk Radio, Media, and the future of media, including Podcasting. Getting some great email and questions about the News Cleanse, and seeing some great comments on the comments section at The Bob Davis Podcasts, and finding out many people listen to the podcasts right on the page. Suburban manufacturing warehouse availability and a tease on some new developments coming for the Bob Davis Podcasts. Sponsored by Autonomouscad.com
News Cleanse Day 1. Joined by local radio producer and friend of the Bob Davis Podcasts, ‘Tam’. You’ve heard of colon cleansing? Flushing out the brain after a Winter, Spring and Summer of non stop news coverage. That means drinking a lot of water, doing a lot of yoga, and staying away from CNN, Fox News, and the Drudge Report. More on the ‘News Cleanse’ in the podcasts this week. Meanwhile, dinner and a podcast, is in order. ‘Tam’ and Bob Davis have been through a number of adventures over the years, from using illegal scanners to ‘police call’ to obsessing about diets that do not exist. Bob interviews ‘Tam’ and ‘Tam’ interviews Bob in this podcast. Tam works at a station that features pop culture news. While they are different disciplines, the pop culture ‘talk’ world is similar to the News Talk world. Does she ever get tired of it? What is Tam still obsessing about. Tam wants to share some stories about how weird Bob is, some of which are funny, and some of which involve loss and death. Finally, an idea for the State Fair that probably won’t fly. It’s amazing what you can talk about these days when you put down Politico for five minutes. Who cares about Rick Perry, Barack Obama, Paul Ryan, Vladimir Putin and Chuck Todd’s new job, when you have the bean diet? Sponsored by X Government Cars.
Ferguson – The Rush To Judgement. A very late podcast for Bob Davis, and a very early Friday morning podcast for you. Updates for your weekend start with the controversy surrounding a police shooting and subsequent death of an 18 year old. Is the media fanning the flames? Should President Obama be interrupting his vacation to comment on the situation? Tensions have calmed somewhat with the introduction of State Police Security and the removal of a militarized local police force, at the request of Missouri Governor Nixon. Are our police too militarized? Some first hand memories of Saint Louis and surrounding communities may help people who have never been there visualize what is happening; Saint Louis is an aging industrial city, dealing with many different problems at once, with several surrounding small communities suffering as well, on the North Side. Might incompetent policing be at the core of this controversy and tragedy? Moreover, is it possible the root causes of discontent are economic, not racial? With economic growth stalling around the world, retail numbers dropping here in the US, are the policies directed at solving our economic problems working? If you watch television (broadcast or cable) these days, how would you know? What passes for ‘analysis’ is pure comedy, most of the time. Television short circuits your ability to reason, exciting your reptilian, emotional brain. Of course, the vast wasteland that has become broadcast talk radio, only seems to play on those emotions as well. Music by Brian Just. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Alcoholism. Some final thoughts on Robin Williams’ suicide. Aside from the idiocracy on Social Media, the vast wasteland which has become talk radio, there are people interested in what happened to Robin Williams, and what is happening to ‘older’ men in this country. New data indicates white men in their sixties who have suffered a loss of a job, struggle with addictions, or depressions are at high risk for suicides; which is a LOT of men sixty plus. How habits you adapt in your thirties and forties can ruin your life in your sixties. Should you listen to doctors? What about all those studies saying coffee is bad for you, the fact that french fries taste really good, and pancakes, pastries, cheesecake, donuts and other goodness. There is no reason why men in their sixties shouldn’t be robust, athletic and kicking ass. As Carlos Slim says, “60 is the new 40″. Meanwhile, the ‘depression’ motif has been extended to the ‘mood’ of the nation. Another spate of articles about the United States losing its MOJO. Its time to Buck Up Little Mister! We’re just living through the administration of the worst President in US History, and one of the dumbest Congresses! Plus floods, drought and the catastrophe of the coldest summer in 40 years. Goodbye Global Warming, we hardly new ye! Sponsored by Autonomouscad.com