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Hacking Marketing by Scott Brinker

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4Marketing Is Now Deeply Entwined with Software

Everything digital is controlled by software.

That might seem obvious. But software defines and operates literally everything in the digital world. Software is more than just the applications we install on our computers and smartphones. Every website and online service we use, from Amazon.com to Yahoo!, is a software program—or, more accurately, usually a whole collection of software programs working together. Every digital device in our lives runs software that determines how it behaves—including many things that you wouldn't normally think of, such as cars. Chevrolet's early electric car, the Volt, was reported to have more than 10 million lines of code built into its systems.1

People talk a lot about the explosion of data in the digital world. Admittedly, there is a staggering amount of data out there—a figure now measured in yottabytes, a unit equal to 1 quadrillion (that's 1,000 trillion) gigabytes each. But data by itself is inert. It just sits where it is stored. It's software that generates all of that data and processes it to do something useful.

It is the explosion of software that's truly astounding. It has been estimated that possibly over a trillion of lines of code have been written by software developers.2 And if you count all the copies of that code, as software programs are installed on billions of different devices, you realize that our world is indeed consumed by software.

We say we live in a digital world. But ...

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