In the Spring of 2017, my business partner arranged for us to meet Adam Alter, a marketing professor at NYU. Adam had written a book, Irresistible, that addressed some issues that my new business, FokisOn, is working on. While we had hoped that Adam would do some work for us, he did not have enough capacity at the time. However, he graciously left the door open to stay in touch.
A couple months later, I saw another professor at NYU, Scott Galloway, on a television broadcast speaking about branding and loyalty. Thinking that Scott could help us, I asked Adam if he could introduce us. Adam responded that Scott was extremely busy with his consulting business and a new book he had written, The Four, in addition to his responsibilities at NYU. Adam suggested I e-mail Scott, referencing our relationship. I did. As expected, I did not hear back from Scott.
I saw Scott a couple more times on business shows, started following him on Twitter, and attended a webinar where he was the featured speaker. During the webinar, questions were taken from hundreds of people and the few that were posed to Scott, were rewarded with his book. My question was taken, and a few weeks later I received an autographed copy of Scott’s book.
Back to Adam Alter. I have interacted with Adam on email but had only met with him twice over the next year and a half. In concluding our meeting in October 2018, the dialogue went something like this.
“Adam, my next meeting is at The World Trade Center. Left to my own devices I would walk west several blocks on 4th Street and take the E subway line. What do you think?”
“I would do the same thing,” he continued. “However, let me check an app. It says walk east a block and take the R or W. That would be much closer.”
I said, “Thanks I will give it a shot.”
I hopped on the R train downtown for four stops to Cortlandt Street. The train was practically empty and moving quickly. An the 2nd stop, Canal Street, a man, dressed totally in black with a black knitted cap on, boarded and sat down next to me. He looked like a Ninja warrior except he was carrying a plain black satchel. I stared at him for a second and said, “You look like Scott Galloway.” He said, “I am.” I replied that I had just come from a meeting with his colleague, Adam. For the remaining 3 minutes of my ride, Scott and I had a nice chat about work and our improbable meeting.
If you are interested in device addiction and the impact that Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are having on us and our culture, I recommend both Adam’s book, Irresistible and Scott’s book, The Four.