Smaug Stories: Tales From The Research Mines

At Dephion, research is the backbone of the monster we have built and other monsters we will create. But digging up the good stuff is an art form in and of itself, and we needed a specialist to take the lead. Good thing we have Smaug on our side.

Mike Neergaard has gone further into the depths of systematic investigation than any other head of Research has ever gone before (nevermind that he’s the first one), and brought something better than a t-shirt back. He bears the treasures of knowledge, wisdom, and gorgeous graphs.

But, why are we talking about “Mike and Research” and not “Mike and Data”? How could this happen? Why did no one tell us? Do we literally have to grow beards and low-key start hating elves now?

“We established a capability focused on research in support of our continuing commitment to developing cutting-edge AI solutions,” Mike explains.

Ah, okay. That makes sense.

Through a series of seminars that he has specifically designed for select teams, he’s ready to show each group how Research pertains to their work.

The first team to get invited into the boardroom will be from Content. And this is just a taste of what you can expect:

“I would like to purchase a small TV.”

“A small TV? That’s a great idea. I have a small TV, and I’m so glad I bought it. I’m not the next salesman in the rotation, but will you let me help you today?”

“Yes, I’m glad I ran into you! Show me some small TVs!”

“Well, here is a small TV, but 90% of people who looked at this TV actually bought this bigger TV instead, because it’s a better deal. Higher quality for the price.”


“Sure, and if you upgrade to the Mach 4 Quantum Field Display at a very reasonable price, we will throw in a free fiber optic audio cable.”

“A free fiber optic audio cable?”

“Yes. You have to act fast, though. I can only offer that to special friends behind my boss’s back and he is due back in ten minutes.”

“I see!”

“Also, if you buy speakers to hook your new fiber optic audio cable into, you can become a platinum member.”

“A platinum member?!”

“Yes, so shall I take all your money now, or would you like to buy that on credit?”

You may not be familiar with Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion, but you recognize them from your interactions with salespeople and online retailers. In fact, you hate them. You pride yourself on not being fooled by these cheap tricks. You hate them in part because they are designed to push you into a single decision that you will regret later. This presents Dephion with a tricky challenge. We need to nudge users toward healthy behaviors repeatedly, openly, and respectfully…

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Intrigued? Confused? Excited? Well, we shall present you with some good news too, folks! You’ll get to hear what comes next whether you are in the boardroom or not. Each session will be televise—ahem—available on Zoom for any Dephioneer who wishes to attend virtually on January 18th at 10:00. In fact, connect on time and get a FREE Arkenstone replica! (Okay, not really. But, can we at least have a t-shirt that reads, “Smaug Stories: Tales From The Research Mines” pretty please?)

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