Sparksheet’s Top Three Reads for October 2015

By October 19th, 2015

This month, we travel to Japan to witness the royal treatment shoppers receive immediately upon entering a store (a level of service extending far beyond the average Walmart greeter’s friendly welcome). Defined as the art of selfless hospitality, Omotenashi is ingrained in Japanese culture and is proving to provide a competitive advantage for Japanese brands like Uniqlo and Muji. Jeffrey Spivock, a Tokyo-based marketing strategist, takes in the experience and examines what it means for global brands.

Speaking of different ways of doing business, Warby Parker, the online and in-store eyewear company that donates a pair of glasses for every pair bought, is suffering the plight of many a dot-com company: a high level of success that is difficult to translate into profit. Jeff Swystun takes a peek at the billion-dollar company to see what he can find.

Neil Sharman takes a look into the evolving and already very active world of robo-journalism. That’s right, robots are replacing reporters and they aren’t feeling sorry about it, either. Adept at data analysis and personalization, robo-reporters can break news at a breathtaking pace and work around the clock. Find out how they’re rewriting the future of journalism.

Finally, we wish a fond adieu and much success to editor Jake Bleiberg, who has moved on to write for

Omotenashi: The Secret of Japanese ServicePresident Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan talk with sushi master Jiro Ono, owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant, during a dinner in Tokyo, Japan, April 23, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
Jeffrey Spivock digs into Omotenashi, the Japanese philosophy of service, that the island nation’s retailers are using to gain an edge on Western brands and bringing to a store near you.




New sunglasses!Warby Parker: The Brand and Business
Jeff Swystun looks at how Warby Parker is disrupting the eyewear industry by blending online and in-store commerce, even while the company struggles to profit.




‘The Robot Took My Job!’: Journalism EditionRepro Smoking Spaceman Robot – Ha Ha Toy – Silver - Front
As newsrooms continue to cut journalists, ‘robo-reporters’ are picking up the slack, using data and language analysis to break news at a breathtaking pace.