Unicorn dreams — more on well-being (in a stream-of-consciousness style)

It’s not like I *expected* to have a vivid dream last night after taking a bath with “Unicorn Dreams” bubble bath. Certainly not a weird dream about (of all things) eyebrows. Eyebrows! But there you go.

I suspect the catalyst for this eyebrow dream was not a quirky bubble bath product but subconscious advertising (read: Instagram ad) for a fad du jour: the boy brow (fun fact: there’s a Boy Brow Room in NY…look it up).

ICYMI, eyebrows are an industry (approximately $160 million worldwide) and, the best I can tell, the boy brow is a natural brow. We spend a huge amount of money to have natural brows. It’s all about androgyny apparently. It’s as hysterical as nude makeup.

But I digress…

This whole bathing in “unicorn dreams” stream of consciousness piece is supposed to be about well-being! It’s real. Yale University even studied the benefits of a bath for well-being and mental health.

Now that I know this, I’m not upset that I spent $8,000 to have a bathroom redone for myself. I had it done while I was out of town. Seriously. No one goes in there but me and it’s always clean. A place where unicorns can poop glitter if they want. Or dream about boy brows.

What’s the point of all of this? It’s the little things of course. Like a bath. With bubbles made of unicorn dreams.

Pro tip: In the event you are a thrifty shopper, Unicorn Dreams bubble bath can be purchased for as little as $2.97. So, drop a nickle of it in your $2,000 bath tonight and dream a little and take care of you. Thanks for reading.

Maybe this is my one blog post for 2019? Or, maybe not? We’ll see…

I just received my web hosting invoice from Laughing Squid so decided to check on my blog to see if it was still “here.” It is.  I noticed I blogged exactly once in 2018 and it wasn’t even an interesting post. This post might end up being the only one I publish in 2019 and I’m already pretty sure it’s not going to be very interesting either. At least it’s starting out that way.

Well-being:the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about well-being lately. It’s hard to avoid because it is a 4.2 trillion dollar industry. I can’t validate that or even tell you what is considered “well-being.” You’ll have to read the study. Spoiler: it includes thermal springs (56 billion). By comparison, the workplace well-being industry is 47 billion. I feel like I’ve been missing out on the whole thermal spring thing.

For most of 2018 I was neither happy nor healthy for any substantial length of time (prosperity is more relative term). I drank too much, became reliant on benzos for crippling anxiety, was obnoxious to my family, and was mediocre at best in others areas of my life. I decided in December to take care of that with a bit of a respite for the entire month. In some circles this is known as a 28-day stint in rehab. I prefer respite.

Having an illness of the brain is not an embarrassment any longer. There is help and life can be better if go out and find it.

I returned home in January healthier but, as the truism goes, “wherever you go, there you are.” (I don’t mean that in the context of mindfulness which, by the way, is a 1 billion dollar industry which I have contributed to with yoga mats, satin eye masks, massages, and several apps).

You can’t escape yourself by going somewhere else (although sunshine does a girl good).

It took just over three months for me to lapse. It happened at a conference  (a real trigger for me) because it’s easy to make a bad decision when you’re alone. I’m doing better now. Happy enough. Healthy enough. And now googling “thermal springs near me.”

An algorithms tour

A year ago, I never would have thought I would be relying on a staff of eighty data scientists to dress me. But, I do.

A year ago, in preparation for attending a conference, for example, I would’ve been trying on a stack of clothes in a dressing room and relying on a total stranger to tell me if what I had on looked good and fit well.

Today, many of the outfits I wear are personally chosen for me and delivered in a box –- 5 pieces at a time –- based on my dimensions, my style preferences, and collaborative filtering algorithms. There are actually 85 data points captured.

The clothing box service I subscribe to uses these algorithms not just on my preferences but also for warehouse assignment, cost calculation, and inventory. Trained neural networks are used to describe pictures on my Pinterest board. Natural language processing is used to score items based on my textual feedback. After all the calculations, a request gets routed to a human stylist and pick the five things they will send me and write me a short note. I can contact my personal stylist if I want to. It’s very personalized. It’s unified with other areas of my online presence. Its mobile app is simple – I just have to click keep or return.

THIS is thinking differently about the shopping experience.  Check out the tech here.

If you want to flip HR on its head, you have to think differently about the experience we provide workers. You need to think differently about the learning experience.