How do you find the things you love? Films, music, products, people, food? More and more, we're turning to the internet to find pretty much anything. Or, we may not even be looking for things anymore. Amazon, Google, Spotify, Netflix are all recommending things, to varying degrees of success. Social apps recommend people we would like to follow. I presume that dating apps are showing you profiles based on a similar model, trying to connect you to people you would be more likely to choose.
Often, I scratch my head at recommendations, wondering what signals I provided that led to whatever the app has sent me. I am pleased when a song Spotify introduces me to a song that I never heard before and I love it. It's delightful the one-in-twenty times that iOS suggests I want to set an alarm clock and I actually do.
So far, I haven't experienced a recommendation so memorable, that I can recall it now. As with a lot of the brain power I've outsourced to software, these moments remain there, hovering in the code. No Spotify recommendation has replaced the sensation of a friend telling you that you should listen to X the moment they learned you loved Y, or the mythical record store clerk (sorry Millennials and younger, I am old. You missed this entirely.)
When Spotify does nail it, and recommends something I love, like this, I'm at a loss. I would share it with my friends who love music if I could figure out exactly why Spotify chose it for me.
The context around the thing can make the thing itself more important. That's why I wanted to speak to Jeff Gomez of Starlight Runner Entertainment. He's been working on taking stories we know, and building on them. Adding context. Connecting them beyond their initial container.
You can read a transcript of this episode here at adampierno.com