Morning Advantage: When A Little Ego Is a Good Thing

Research participants were more likely to be honest if they were told the study they were taking part in was about "cheaters" than if they were told it was about "cheating," a finding that dovetails with prior research showing that people are more likely to respond to messages telling them to be "voters" than simply to vote. "It's only when we say, 'Don’t be a cheater,' that it stings their ego at some level," says Stanford professor Benoit Monin, "And that's when everybody is suddenly acting like a choirboy."

The "cheaters" findings suggests that people’s desire to give themselves positive labels can be a powerful force — a lesson that both marketers (as opposed to people in "marketing") and leaders (as opposed to people "in leadership positions") should take to heart.


Can the Intelligent Toilet Take on the World? (AFP)

Japanese company TOTO has found a place in local consumers’ hearts with its Washlet toilets, which provide water jets, heated seats, hot-air dryers, ambient music. But so far, only 14% of the company’s revenue comes from overseas sales, mostly from countries with cultures similar to Japan’s. Can the company break into the Western mind-set, where consumers have shown little interest in such amenities, partly because of embarrassment over bodily functions? Now that a Swiss company is selling a similar product, the Japanese company is setting its sights on Europe.


Internet Homesteaders Head for the Kansas Citys (Kansas City Star)

Google’s experiment to provide ultra-high-speed connectivity to the Kansas Citys (both the one in Missouri and the neighboring one in Kansas) is starting to draw would-be entrepreneurs like 20-year-old Mike Demarais, who arrived from Boston with his MacBook, a few clothes, and an idea for a web startup that he hopes will revolutionize manufacturing. Civic and government leaders, development groups, colleges, foundations, and task forces are rolling out grand plans to capitalize on the first-in-the-nation Google Fiber hype, and techies are talking up the possibilities of a fiber-optic-linked cyberspace that will run at speeds up to 1,000 times faster than commonplace internet. And for coders with nothing but a big dream, a laptop, and a hoodie, the area is much more affordable than Silicon Valley or Boston. Stay tuned.


Why, Oh Why?

Why We Build Fiscal Cliffs (
Creative Destruction in a World of Locavore Production (Network for Business Sustainability)
What You Can Learn from Your Customer's Customer (MIT Sloan Management Review)

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