skip to Main Content

The Decade in Review (Thinks Out Loud Episode 269)

Decade in review: Group of customers using mobile devicesLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.

The Decade in Review (Thinks Out Loud Episode 269) — Headlines and Show Notes

Welcome to my (I think) last podcast episode of the 2010's and (I think) last blog post of the 2010s. Almost 2,600 posts. Almost 270 podcast episodes. What have I learned over the last decade? What’s changed for me? And for you? How will those changes shape where we go in the 2020’s?

This isn’t a trip down memory lane. It’s a glimpse into a future path, one that will influence your business for years to come.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you.

Relevant Links — The Decade in Review (Thinks Out Loud Episode 269)

Mobile and the Changing Customer Experience


Google and the rest of the Frightful Five

Thinking Strategically


Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast:

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 43s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Transcript — The Decade in Review

Well, hello again everyone and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. This is episode 269 of the big show and as ever, thank you so much for tuning in. I think we've got a really cool show for you. This one's going to be a little different than what I normally do.

This is in all likelihood, the last podcast episode of the year, which means that it's the last podcast episode of the 2010s. It's also probably the last blog post of the 2010s. And obviously that's got me reflecting on the end of the decade and you know, what all we've done here at the blog and what we've done on Thinks Out Loud as a podcast over the last, you know, 10 years or so and, you know, since we started altogether. So, you know, I think it's a really interesting thing to look back and say, how has this decade shaped where I am, where you are, and how is that affecting where I go from here, where you go from here.

There's been a lot of change for me over the last decade. I suspect there has been for you too. In 2009 and 2010, depending on where we want to time this from, I was working for The Leading Hotels Of The World. I ran digital globally for the company, technically for a subsidiary of the company. I was the managing director of that subsidiary, and we ran digital globally for the company as well as about a hundred of its member hotels, plus some other stuff — an online travel agency and some other things. I actually wouldn't start Tim Peter & Associates. It's under these auspices that I do the podcast and the like until April, 2011. And most of the content on the site prior to that really focused on lessons I'd learned working for larger companies that small business owners can apply to their businesses.

This podcast wouldn't start until a year after that, September 2012, so just over eight years ago. But in that time, we've produced roughly 32 episodes a year, so about three a month pretty much every month for the last eight years-plus. And it's remarkable to look back and think about what changed during that time. And much as I talk about in the lessons you can learn from Jeff Bezos, what hasn't changed? And the answer is a lot.

One of these days, I'm going to go through some of the old podcasts and some of the old blog posts, and I will hold myself accountable by saying, "You know what? Here's some predictions that really didn't go well, but that I was confident we're going to be a big deal or something everyone should pay attention to that turned out to be, you know, not so much."

But for today, I want to talk about what went right. So what's, what's interesting to me is that next month the iPhone turns 13 years old. And in fact, the project that led to the iPhone actually started in 2005, making the phone — in concept anyway — almost 15 years old. 2005 coincidentally is when I started this blog.

Mobile and the Changing Customer Experience

And what's really fascinating to me is that I've been talking about the mobile web — and I have to say, it sounds adorable to talk about it that way to mean now — but I was talking about the mobile web a lot in 2009. And one of the things I think I got really right was this idea of how mobile would change the customer experience. There are a host of, you know, either blog posts or podcast episodes — I will link to these in the show notes; I'm not going to recount them all now — but a host of of items that really talked about how mobile would change the way your customers interacted.

And some things that I think are really interesting in that list are, you know, there was a blog post that talked about, "Do you think the mobile web is bogus? Think again" and "Is this the year of mobile?" which was published in 2010 — January, 2010 — and I made the argument at the time that really 2009 probably was the year of mobile, almost certainly because of the iPhone, but it led to thinking about how that changed customer experience. There was a post that I wrote, oh geez, somewhere in 2015 that said, it's not mobile first, it's customer first. We have to think about how our customer evolves and expects things to work. And that of course, led a couple of years later to a post, to our podcast episode I reference all the time about how "customer experience is queen and what does that mean." And then around the same time, a blog post that talked about why personalization starts with a person. And just how we have to think about our customer overall and how their behavior shape what we do. There's a whole bunch of posts that really get to thinking about those strategies. You know, one called the forgotten social network and how customers use email and why that's still important to us.

That was originally published way back in 2010 but was most recently updated in October of this year. I got a new update in there, so we can talk about it in a more relevant way of where we are right now, but stays true. But there's all these fun things about, you know, does your business depend on your customer's stupidity from 2010 where people are talking about how they're going to keep information away from their customers — you know how they're going to depend upon an information disparity, which today just seems ridiculous than anyone thought that way. But it still does matter.

And of course, that led to probably one of the most popular posts I've ever written about the race you can't win and why it is you can't depend on an information disparity favoring you when it comes to pricing. Because again, people carry the internet in their pocket. They know everything they need to know about your product or service because it's so critical to them. So this isn't something that is new or something that I just started talking about last week. You know, we've been talking about this for quite a while.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft

Of course, the companies that really get it right. In terms of doing this would be Google and the rest of the frightful five, or as I named them back in 2013 “AGFAM” — Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft — and the fact that they really get it and are using data to understand our customers and understand how to provide them a better experience.

See how these things all tie together. And this clearly is something that's been on my mind for a long time. Ah, that episode of the podcast was episode 30 so that was 2013 that was, gosh, six years ago, but still is relevant today. And what I thought was really interesting as I went back through some of the archives was there is a blog post from 2011 called "Why the mobile web scares Google to death" and how it was really important to them to make sure that they got people to continue to search instead of using apps.

Oh, there's another very popular post as part of the Travel Tuesday series I've run for a long time about "the big myth about hotel metasearch" and how metasearch isn't a product. It's really just a feature that's part of search and that's something we've seen play out in the last few weeks with Expedia and all the problems they are having, which I will again link to in the show notes.

That's what I've been talking about the last two weeks here on the podcast. So it's interesting to me that these ideas of mobile and how that shapes customers' behaviors and how Google and the other members of the frightful five respond to that and how that has to change our strategic thinking.

AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Of course, that leads to, we need to collect sufficient data such that we can personalize for our customers and so that we can create Better experiences for them, and so that we can power some AI and some machine learning that enables better experiences. So, you know, how do we use these tools in a way to compete?


And that leads to the last topic and one that I'm probably most proud of. If you look over the course of the history of the blog and the history of the last decade, you know, one topic I've come back to again and again and again is this idea that we need to keep learning. Probably my most favorite post about this goes back to 2012 and it was called "The most important skill" and is all about how we have to keep learning. I did a podcast episode a hundred episodes ago in 2016 about how to keep up with technology as a marketer: the quick and dirty guide. What Amazon's Jeff Bezos can teach you about digital marketing and how we need to, as my friend Mike Moran likes to say, "do it wrong quickly" so that we can learn and continue to improve and continue to create better and better experiences for our customers.

And I think that's a great place to wrap it up.

Of the things that I think I've done well over the last bunch of years, over the last decade, and that I absolutely think I have to keep doing and would encourage you to keep doing as you go into the 2020s is keep learning because that's the way you'll be able to compete as customer experience continues to change.


You know, maybe something comes along that will take the place of mobile, whether it's wearables, whether it's, you know things like the air pod, whether it is things like the watch or glasses or something else. I don't know that we know, but we know that the customer experience will continue to change.

We know that Google and the rest of those frightful five are going to continue to try to adapt quickly. We know that we have to think strategically about how to address our customer's needs, and that always comes back to customer experience. AI undoubtedly is going to play a significant role.

Now we'll see in 2030 if that prediction holds true, but I'm going to say AI is going to play a pretty significant role throughout the 2020s in how we do that.

And the companies that learn fastest and learn best are the ones that are going to be really great shape when we're looking back 10 years from now to today.

So that's what I want to leave you with, whether the predictions I made a decade ago turn out to be right a year from now or two years from now, or five years from now. The one that I feel really confident about is if we just keep learning, you're just going to keep winning.

Now we are coming into a couple of short weeks here at the end of the year. Next week is Christmas. The week after that is New Year's. I don't know if I'm going to get another episode in before the year is out. So if this is the last time I speak with you before the holidays, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, a terrific Hanukkah, a terrific Christmas, a wonderful new year.


As I like to say, looking at the clock on the wall. We are out of time together for this time, but I do want to thank you so much for tuning in. I really do appreciate it. I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode as well as an archive of all the past episodes, all 269 of them by going to Again, that's Just look for episode 269.

While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to you every single week. You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcast or Stitcher Radio or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Tim Peter Thinks , Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or Thinks Out Loud. We should show up for any of those. While you're there, as ever, I'd really appreciate it if you could provide us a positive rating or review. It helps new listeners to find the show and figure out what they're in for before they start listening. So it makes a huge difference for us and it really means a ton to me.

You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to You can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. And of course you can email me using that forgotten social network by sending an email to Again, that's

One big difference over the last 10 years since we started the podcast was we have a sponsor and I'd like to thank SoloSegment. SoloSegment focuses on AI-driven content discovery and site search analytics to unlock revenue for your business. You can learn more about how to improve your content, increase your customer satisfaction and make your search smarter by going to

With that — I know I said it already — but I really do want to say thanks so much for tuning in. I very much appreciate it. I would not have done this show for the last eight years. I wouldn't have done the blog for the last 15 without you taking the time to read and respond and listen. It means so much to me.

I hope you have a great rest of the week. I hope you have a tremendous holiday season. I hope you have a happy, healthy, and wonderful New Year and I will look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until we talk again, please, as ever, be safe, be well and take care everybody.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top