Category: Strategy & Planning

The Most Popular Non-Obvious Stories of 2022 (Based On Reader Feedback)



Every week for the past year, I’ve curated the most fascinating stories every week in my weekly email Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter. This year the newsletter was honored in the prestigious Webby awards too. It’s always interesting for me which stories seem to resonate most with readers based on how many email responses I get, how frequently a story is shared on social media and how frequently the link to the full story is clicked. Based on this combination of quantitative and qualitative data, here is a partial list of some of the most popular stories of the year, based on what my readers shared (scroll down to read the full stories):

  1. The Surprising Forgotten Medieval Habit of “Two Sleeps”
  2. Does Science Need To Be Dumbed-Down To Make It Meaningful?
  3. Why Humans Learned To Laugh (and Naming the Uranus Mission)
  4. The Predictable Failure of Unlimited Vacation Policy
  5. The Backstory of the Bookshelf That Converts Into a Coffin
  6. Is It Ever Possible to Avoid Buying More Stuff For Your Stuff?
  7. The Science Is In. Wearing Your Shoes In the House Is Disgusting.
  8. Oslo’s Secret Future Library Holds Books To Be Published In 100 Years
  9. Why Do So Many Media Personalities Use Our Hate As A Popularity Test?
  10. Why I Just Became A Noble Citizen of the Micronation of Ladonia

Note – Some of the most popular links are to stories that have photo collections such as the winners for the World Press Photo collection to TIME magazine’s best photos of the year (Read more...)

Why Are We So Unprepared For Predictable Things?



Non-Obvious Story of the Week from Rohit Bhargava

It’s been exactly a week since Queen Elizabeth II died and my newsfeed is still filled with a combination of mourning and criticism as Britain grapples with the loss of its longtime monarch and figurehead for decades of colonialism. The story that captured my attention, though, was the plight of more than 800 brands that had the “royal warrant” from the Queen to use the British coat of arms in their marketing because a member of the royal family had used their product for more than five years. Now those warrants are automatically invalidated and all of those brands have to reapply for the same permission from King Charles III.

And they have to change all the currency with the King facing the opposite direction. The thing is, we all knew the Queen wouldn’t live forever. So this day was obviously on the horizon – and yet no one seems prepared for it. In a world where we spend a lot of time worry about disruptions that we can’t see coming, this whole week should be a reminder that there are some disruptions we clearly know are coming. So when they do happen, being unprepared is no one’s fault but your own.

Monopoly Makes Kids Angry, For Their Own Good



“Throwing the Monopoly board across the room has the potential to strengthen your relationship with your family.” That’s the unusual insight at the heart of a new brand advertising campaign from Monopoly that showcases kids raging after a turn doesn’t go their way.

I really wish I was in the room when they presented the insight behind this campaign to Hasbro. It’s bold, clever and deep in a way you don’t expect marketing to be. If it hasn’t already, this is sure to win some industry awards. And definitely make the Scrabble team jealous. I mean, for kids and adults alike, that’s a way more frustrating game than Monopoly ever was.