Sunday, June 06, 2010

"CBS Sunday Morning" does branding

"CBS Sunday Morning" on 6 June 2010 had its cover story on zappos shoes. The boss Tony Hsieh (Harvard grad) was featured and observed that he viewed his call center (in Las Vegas, not Patna) as a branding opportunity. There was discussion of Hsieh's book,
Delivering Happiness, which not coincidentally, will be published on June 7.
From the book, related to poker:

In a casino, each poker table seats up to ten players. As long as at least one of the players is not playing in the mathematically optimal way (and usually it's several players that aren't), the players who are playing correctly will generally end up winning in the long run.

Learning the basic math behind limit hold 'em poker was not actually that hard. I bought and studied a book called Hold 'em Poker and started going to card rooms in California several times a week to practice what I was learning from the book. (Although California is a generally no-gambling state, card rooms are allowed because poker is not a game against the house.) Within a few weeks, I felt that I had mastered the basics of the mathematics behind playing hold 'em.

Understanding the mathematics behind hold 'em and playing against players who didn't was like owning a coin that would land on heads one-third of the time and tails the other two-thirds of the time, and always being allowed to bet on tails. On any individual coin flip, I might lose, but if I bet on tails a thousand times, then I was more than 99.99 percent guaranteed to win in the long run.

One of the most interesting things about playing poker was learning the discipline of not confusing the right decision with the individual outcome of any single hand, but that's what a lot of poker players do. If they win a hand, they assume they made the right bet, and if they lose a hand, they often assume they made the wrong bet. With the coin that lands on heads a third of the time, this would be like seeing the coin land on heads once (the individual outcome) and changing your behavior so you bet on heads, when the mathematically correct thing to do is to always bet on tails no matter what happened in the previous coin flip (the right decision).

On branding:

•Act weak when strong, act strong when weak. Know when to bluff.
•Your "brand" is important.
•Help shape the stories that people are telling about you.
•The players with the most stamina and focus usually win.
•Differentiate yourself. Do the opposite of what the rest of the table is doing.

New Jersey appeared in the Almanac feature, with 6 June 2010 being the 77th anniversary of the first drive-in in Camden.

Later, Sunday Morning talked about the patenting of the Murphy bed. (Murphy in-a-dor beds). The St. Francis in San Francisco has Murphy beds.

***The final story was on a dancing cockatoo (Watch the Birdie). Contrary to the suggestion of the story, cockatoos dance to music all the time.

A scientific sensation that really rocks. Snowball, a 13 year old, sulfur crested cockatooo.

Patel and Everson of San Diego studied the viral video, and found the headbobs were synched. First nonhuman animal documented to dance to a synchronized beat, keep to a rhythm.

Snoball redefines avian intelligence. The "ability of speak" is shared between humans and cockatoos.

"Current Biology"

"Who says white guys can't dance?"

Jarvis was also interviewed.

**Erich Jarvis on Avian Intelligence


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