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What I've Learned From My Trip To New York

If you opened this e-mail -> Thank you! The subject line is cheesy and one in a million, I know, b
What I've Learned From My Trip To New York
By Dries Bultynck • Issue #37 • View online
If you opened this e-mail -> Thank you! The subject line is cheesy and one in a million, I know, but last week (hence no update last week) I spent 8 days in NY, Manhattan and … these are the things that struck me the most (sort of). I’ve added some eye-candy as well. 
Not interested? Skip to the reads of this & last week if you want.

What The ACTUALLY F...
24/7/365 is real! It’s insane how this city is alive. Shopping at 22pm on a Sunday? No problem. Need a carwash wednesday night at 01 AM? No problem! Need milk in the middle of the night? No problem! Need a cab, right now? Just call, it will be there within a few minutes, even in the rush hour at friday afternoon 16pm (where we got stuck in).
The 24/7/365 way of life makes it possible to do more than two or three jobs as well. A self fulfilling prophecy of offer and demand. After two days, you adapt very quickly to this level of comfort. That struck me the most actually. That & the extreme low barrier of payment options.
Mobile Payment Is For Online Only
We all claim that mobile is the future. And it probably will be, although payments offline are still, in the city of dreams and diversity, Credit & Debit Card first with a rate of 3,5% up to 5,8%! CC’s everywhere. CC ads everywhere as well. The only I saw people sliding CC’s, all day long. Even the metro is CC-terminal first orientated. No mobile tickets possible, whatsoever. And this is the main transportation in NY, you know. Even Taxi’s dropped Apple Pay (I asked - too curious to know): “no one uses Apple pay”.
It makes also sense that the US has a more fast-moving economy as CC’s are the main payment method in these larger cities. Didn’t see much cash passing by unless it was for tips.
No mobile payments, but ... the phone is everything!
As marketer, we have a fairly good idea of what is currently evolving in the landscape of marketing & online, but I didn’t expect this. People live in their phone and it’s bigger than you think it is. Clients of agencies and companies have no clue. They simply don’t act on this mobile shift (to my opinion). This goes further than mobile-first. This is branding/ego first.
Guess the price of the iPhone 7 at the Apple Store at 5th Avenue?
Come on.
Make a guess.
$300?
$400?
Nope.
Full price!
$700+ and more
$45 unlimited mobile internet
$45 unlimited mobile internet
Simple cab drivers, young teenagers, even some homeless people had an iPhone! Samsung is being used as tablets/phablet for commercial usage only. Apple is big in NY. And expensive. And their on their phone all-day-loooooong. All-day! While walking, while on the subway, while eating, while waiting for that cab, while biking, … and what app? Facebook & Instagram. Almost every time I spotted a screen, it was FB or Insta. Ear-plugs in. All the time.
The average person invests in only one device: the phone, ‘cause he uses it all-day-loooooong. It’s their connection to information, leisure and is part of their lifestyle now, lead by apps like Facebook (network & info, leisure) & Instagram (ego). 
Our cabdriver watched the news while driving & calling at the same time, all the way from JFK to our hotel. I KID YOU NOT! Not on TV. Not on a website. Within Facebook. By CNBC. By short snippets of video. Custom made for the platform, highlighting the news facts. Tailor & above all ready made. Headlines & some side notes.
TIP: want decent pictures? don’t ask that other (older) couple to take your picture but ask their kids ;-) Really! They KNOW how to take decent pictures (Instagram baby!). Instead of one, they take up to 3 or 5, 6 pics with different angles. You KNOW they KNOW BEST. Use it.
City Of Dreams ... or is it Nightmares?
I’m not sure yet which is the correct title that should be on that plate on the highway you get to see when entering Manhattan. Is it a city where dreams can come true? Or where your worst nightmare can happen overnight? I think both. I saw filthy rich people (I guess) driving Ferrari’s and Porsches, middle-class people (most of them) and then also people that really need help. Financially as well as Medically (mainly for mental support/health). The amount of people having a tick or talking to themselves (they weren’t on the phone, I checked) is scary. 
I really do believe that this city is THE city to make things happen thanks to networking.
Not located in the City? You simply don't exist
All brands are there. Literally, all the brands. Apple, Louis V., Nike, Adidas, Jimi Choo, Rolex, Sketchers, H&M, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, … and even Hard Rock Café, Disney and… WTF, even a full M&M store & Microsoft, straight up from fifth avenue till Times Square! And if you’re not able to be there, be there where the eyeballs are. On Time Square. Like Budweiser, Samsung, Snapchat, Netflix, …
I wonder how much money has been made on that night alone by showing all these ads. But than again, if all those tourists take pictures and spread them online, … yet get the idea. Strategically & branding related, a clever thing to do, if you can afford it.
Big City Life = Expensive Life?
I had a great dinner at some small restaurant and talked for a while with the waitress about “how’s life treating her”. These are the things that she came up with:
  • Wages very different per type of job - As a waitress in a restaurant, she was earning more than being a waitress at a hotel.
  • People in New York do live of tips (if the job is to some extent an average low pay-check job)
  • You can earn up to $100K/Year for pay-check jobs (if you want)
  • A decent aka, and I quote, “no dump”, one room apartment at the edge of Manhattan, close to Harlem costs $1900/month
  • Average spend per week per metro is $30 to get to work
  • A simple ‘healthy’ meal in the city can range between $12 and $25 excl. tip per day
  • She doesn’t own (and need) a car (subway-first)
Although we’re not used to these kind of prices in Europe, rent and monthly earnings are a 3x equivalent from what we here have to deal with. Prices of real estate makes more sense in NY (outside of Manhattan) as it comes to monthly earnings. Or is the other way around? 
My (our?) image of America is wrong
Dumb Fat Americans? Not in NY. Have seen a handful of fat people, that’s it. And they were assertive & clever. Our waitress talked French & got a degree in Mathematics. Nothing you see on TV. 
All electric drive? Nope. Almost all fossil fuel-driven transportation, except for the metro. 
NY is a big big big city that runs on CC’s, Office life, Tourists & extreme diverse labor and tips that comes with it.
The one thing that triggers me is the amount of cool things happening every day. There’s a reason why cabdrivers don’t ask for names ‘where to go to?’ because the city and the events move that fast. The only thing that stays are the crossings of avenues and streets.
IBM Watson supported Artists with Cognitive data to make "Portraits"
IBM Watson supported Artists with Cognitive data to make "Portraits"
Perception: up tempo music driven by negative lyrics - Red dots are sad smileys
Perception: up tempo music driven by negative lyrics - Red dots are sad smileys
Extra eye-candy
Snapchat store was a pop-up just on the corner on Fifth Avenue, next to Apple
Snapchat store was a pop-up just on the corner on Fifth Avenue, next to Apple
Take a bike tour on the second day - best tip I ever had to disco
Take a bike tour on the second day - best tip I ever had to disco
Bike tour at the beginning of every city trip I do to get to "know" the city
Bike tour at the beginning of every city trip I do to get to "know" the city
Skyline of Manhattan & New Jersey as seen from the Staten Island Ferry
Skyline of Manhattan & New Jersey as seen from the Staten Island Ferry
A last word
Although it might seem a great city, it has also it downsides. A lot of poor people on the street begging for food and money. Lots of people having mental issues as well. Every news bulletin of local news about Brooklyn or Queens seen on television was about dump housing, overdosed deads, theft, shootings and more … Some American people really need help! 
And the law 
Although the “LAW” is strong in NY … they might dump these.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Dries Bultynck

The internet is the best thing that ever happened to me. Really! It helps me to better understand the world we live in and learn as much as I can, as fast as I can in order to be Creative with Intelligence as wide as the box can get. @Parafixio is my playground.

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