matt tillotson

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Star Wars: Wallet's Edge

My daughter Avery and I were fortunate enough to visit the newest Disney Parks creation: A Star Wars-themed land called Galaxy’s Edge, which opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last week (and at Disneyland last May). I have thoughts, in three areas: (1) Quick first impressions, (2) Defining “success” for Galaxy’s Edge, and (3) A interesting brand partnership

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Referral Madness

Referral marketing is powerful. It can: Lower your customer cost-of-acquisition (CAC), by providing a steady stream of low-cost or free referrals from customer and partner networks. Increase the lifetime value of a customer (LTV), who can refer an unlimited amount of new business to you.

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WeWould run very far away from this IPO

orget the talk of inverted yield curves as the harbinger of recession. We have a clearer signal.The story of WeWork shows we have reached the apex of hubris in this growth cycle, and, as in the late stages of every growth cycle, we have also lost our minds.

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Alcohol tourism, hurray!

Northern Michigan has a thriving wine tourism scene: the Traverse City area alone has more than 40 wineries. So as part of our visit to the Michigan motherland, we plotted an alcohol touring day (because alcohol tourism is the best tourism) which included a couple of wineries and a tour of local whiskey maker Traverse City Whiskey Company.

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A long, strage trip

Every year, our family makes a summer sojourn from Florida to the Michigan homeland. We venture north, celebrating family and America’s independence—even as we curse mosquitos and black flies the size of Pomeranians. Normally, Nikki captains this trip by herself. This year, with no employment to encumber my wandering, I drove up with Nikki, teen and tween Maddie and Avery, and two dogs, Lucy and Finn.Six living beings and one vehicle. 19.5 hours and 1,098 miles of asphalt-enabled travel await us.

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Never Split the Difference, by Chris Voss

In the Christmas classic* Die Hard, Harry Ellis hatches a scheme to negotiate with Hans Gruber, who has taken the Nakatomi Plaza office tower by force, holding Ellis and his co-workers hostage. Ellis portrays all the stereotypes we think of in a business negotiation. He’s slick-talking, self-interested, intellectually arrogant, aloof, and insincere—and those are his better qualities. Ellis fast-talks his way into being murdered by Gruber’s henchmen. In most business negotiations, we are afraid the other side will behave like Ellis—being brash, evasive, and trying to get one over on us. So we raise our defenses. We focus primarily on our wants—and what we want to say next—so we don’t listen and don’t learn. Usually, end up with a worse outcome than we could have had.Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, has another way.

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The “Shift List”: Books That Altered My Course

A good book creates a shift. The shift can be as small—just your mood—or much bigger, changing your perspective forever. This is a list of books that created a shift in me. Call it a “Shift List,” and pronounce it carefully in polite company. 

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