Super Cities №224—From Fox's Mouth to the President's Ears

Brendan Hart

Secrets are cool. Secrets that make you happier, healthier, or wealthier are game-changing.

Many of the world's most successful people believe asymmetric information – making decisions or influencing events based on exclusive access to reliable, high-quality information – is a compounding advantage.

This asymmetry drives financial markets, investing, and most forms of business.

Since 2014, Peter Thiel – tech billionaire and Facebook board member – has claimed that Google is a monopoly. He didn't seem to convince many people.

A few days ago, Thiel extended his charges against Google. He called for an investigation into its "seemingly treasonous decision" to work with the Chinese military. Millions of people read his incendiary remarks in the NYT, WP, WSJ, and other mainstream media.

But Donald J. Trump did not read Thiel's comments online or in the papers.

He saw them on his favorite morning show, Fox and Friends, and excitedly told his 62 million followers about forthcoming government action.

After years of railing against Google, Thiel learned what America's allies and adversaries know: Fox and Friends – and media more generally – is the best way to influence the 45th president of the United States. That's where they will find an attentive, focused, ready-to-believe commander in chief.

Talk about one show's power to win friends and influence people.

In contrast, if someone wanted to influence me, the single worst place to do that would be through Fox and Friends. I simply don't go there for information.

Curating, synthesizing, and packaging information is the core of the Super Cities platform. Most people will not consume specific content more than once, so our three formats – essay, website, and podcast – are intentionally designed to reach a subset of the broader Super Cities community. In other words, I try to meet our community where it learns best.

The world is awash in unstructured information. Most of it is useless.

But some information — properly delivered or uncovered — can move markets, transform communities, and launch investigations.

Where do you get your best information, knowledge, or wisdom?

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