ProfitXL: Supersize Profits with the SHUVAM Framework (Part 4)


Over the past few years, marketers have combined multiple point solutions to create their martech stack to collect data from websites and apps, automate customers, segment customers, and run push and personalisation cross-channel campaigns. The problem? The fragmentation of data caused by the use of multiple solutions and the inherent difficulties in integrating software from different vendors. While CDPs and APIs have tried to alleviate the problem to some extent, marketers are still unable to get a single unified view of their customers. Also, siloed databases limit the efficacy of AI-ML systems to push the next best actions. So, while the first-generation of martech solutions brought in much-needed digital aggregation and automation, it also created new headaches for marketers.

It is time for marketers to upgrade the martech stack with second-generation all-in-one solutions. This “Unistack” which combines customer data, engagement and experience management with complete channel control will enable marketers to dramatically improve the efficiency of their customer relationships and take big steps towards the nirvana of frictionless omnichannel personalisation.

The second big improvement in outcomes will come from improving the search experience for shoppers. Most marketers tend to use the default search software which comes with their ecommerce platform or pick up an open-source utility to keep the spend low. This is a big mistake. Search has been the most powerful application on the Internet. On websites, customers have been trained to use search as a last resort option because the results lack relevance; a product may be in the catalog but between the inability of the merchandising team to describe it right and the imprecision in using words to type in the search bar, the product is never shown and thus doesn’t get sold. A powerful site search engine can do wonders for revenue growth. AI engines can widen product descriptions beyond what humans can, and match products to a consumer’s intent ensuring a happier shopping experience.

The third solution lies in the creation of a “Progency” – a new-gen martech services entity where product (unistack) meets agency. A progency can work like a performance marketing entity taking on KPIs and delivering the outcomes marketers want. For this, a progency will need to combine software and analytical skills with traditional creative skills, uniting left-brain and right-brain resources. It can work as an extension of the marketing department taking on specific tasks with success-linked compensation.

The Unistack embedded with quality search and propelled by the progency is the second success pillar after Hotlines, delivering the personalisation that customers want to fast-track purchases of products they desire.

Thinks 810

Ezra Klein speaks to Tim Hwang: “A core focus of the show this year is going to be attention. But not your attention, not my attention, not attention as a capacity of the individual, where we give you hacks to grayscale your iPhone or meditate in the morning or eat better food. Our attention — attention is seen as a collective resource, as a public good. Attention is, in total, the depth of thought and consideration a society can bring to bear on itself, its problems, its opportunities — everything from how to find economic prosperity, to solving climate change, to strengthening our democracy, or for that matter, doing the reverse of any of those things. All of it depends on our capacity to pay attention, on the quality of the attention we pay, and on the condition we’re in when we pay attention. But like any collective resource, attention, it can be polluted, it can be exhausted. And I think to a large extent, it has been. And to see how and why, we have to get really deep into the business of attention. So today’s episode is part of that inquiry.”

Bent Flyvbjerg: “[Pixar has] had 20-plus blockbuster hits in a row. No Hollywood studio has ever done that. This is statistical evidence that something is going on that is not just chance. The way Pixar does it is by iterating over and over and over again. If you have an idea for a film, you write a few pages and that’s evaluated by your colleagues. Then you write a longer version and you get the feedback on that. Then you start doing storyboards, where you have an image for different things that are going to happen in the movie, and you get feedback on that. They go through eight or nine iterations where they have increasing amounts of feedback on larger and larger versions of the film. Once you bring in the real actors and the real computer animation, the costs go up many, many times. So Pixar squeezes as much as possible into that preparation stage, where you’re trying, you’re learning and then you do it again based on what you learn. You try to get higher and higher on the learning curve.”

NYTimes: “Many years ago, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk and spiritual leader, posed a question to Marc Benioff, the co-founder and chief executive of Salesforce. “What is more important, being successful or being happy?” he asked. Mr. Benioff answered pretty much the way you would expect a Silicon Valley entrepreneur to answer. “Both,” he said. Thich Nhat Hanh cautioned that “if everything is important, nothing is important.””

Braff: “If you have a startup idea and want help turning it into a strong business plan, ChatGPT has answers. Start by giving it a prompt that sets out your business idea in a summary paragraph: I need help with a startup business. Here’s a summary of my business idea: [summary]. Having started the chat this way, I’ve found there are 10 questions where ChatGPT can provide helpful ideas.” Some of them: What are the 5 biggest weaknesses that you see in this idea? What are 10 free data sources that I can use to do market research to determine the size of these customer segments and total industry revenue? For each target customer segment that you named earlier, what are some ideas for advertising copy and slogans that I can use?”

Read: The Villa by Rachel Hawkins, and What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall

ProfitXL: Supersize Profits with the SHUVAM Framework (Part 3)


Marketers spend money acquiring customers, and then hope to monetise them on their properties (website and app). This is easier said than done because unless marketers are able to imprint their brand on the consumers subconscious, they face a continuous battle to bring them back for transactions. This is done through a process called engagement: messages pushed to our already flooded inboxes, along with nudges and recommendations when consumers clickthrough. The problem is that as consumers we are numb to all these exhortations and ignore the incoming offers. This “attention recession” has serious consequences for marketers – because if we don’t open and act on their emails, SMSes, and push notifications, they have little choice but to retarget us on the Badtech auction platforms spending even more money to reactivate their relationship with us.

For the past decade or so, almost nothing has changed in the push channels. And now, almost suddenly, a triad of innovations is creating excitement: emails can become interactive thanks to a technology called AMP, WhatsApp (popular in many countries) has allowed for brands to interact with customers, and Atomic Rewards can offer gamified micro-incentives to encourage attention and the sharing of personal information (also called zero-party data). AMP, WhatsApp and Atomic Rewards can thus drive inbox engagement and action funnels closer to consumers. AMP and WhatsApp can even replace apps – and combined with the advantage of ‘push’ give marketers control to initiate conversations which can lead to conversions.

AMP, because of its underlying email base, costs a fraction of that of WhatsApp (which is controlled by Meta). While still in its infancy in terms of use cases being deployed, AMP will enable what I call “All-in-Mails”. From filling forms to lead generation, from spinning wheels for offers to using calculators for answers, from getting additional product information to acting on abandoned shopping carts, from searching to paying – AMP is the future of email. Think of it as Email 2.0 – email without the need for clickthroughs and landing pages, a world without redirects.

Atomic Rewards is the icing on the cake. Instead of paying Badtech, brands can pay their customers. This is Loyalty 2.0, moving beyond the transaction to incentivising and gamifying the upstream (attention and data) and the downstream (ratings, reviews and referrals). This manifestation as Web3 tokens will ensure no single entity will be able to devalue the points earned. Atomic Rewards can drive a circular economy between brands and customers: more actions lead to more tokens for customers, which in turn makes brands value them even more. These rewards can then be exchanged for unique experiences or fiat currency.

AMP in email, WhatsApp and Atomic Rewards convert the unidirectional push channels into two-way rich interactive hotlines, thus finally enabling marketers to bridge the chasm between new customer acquisition and attracting traffic to their properties. Hotlines are thus the gateways to building deep and lasting relationships, a win-win for both brands and customers.

Thinks 809

Mint on the curator economy: “Whether it is in the ceaseless chatter of articles on magazines, news sites and Substack, or in keeping track of all the releases in a specific genre of music or books this quarter, it is an overwhelming task to sift through it all to find something that makes it worth your time. So people are increasingly acknowledging the need for legitimate, skilled curators, and are even willing to pay if they find value in their curation.”

Elad Gil: “The AI world is divisible into roughly 3 areas (this is a massive oversimplification of course): 1. Large language models. These are general purpose models like GPT-4 or Chinchilla in which the web (or other source of text / language) are ingested and transformed into models that can do everything from summarize legal documents to be used a search engine or friendly chat bot. 2. Image generation which includes models like Midjourney, Dall-E, or Stable Diffusion as well as currently simple video approaches and 3D models like NeRF. These models allow you to type a prompt to generate an image. 3. Other (really a very large set of other tech & markets that really should *not* be naturally clustered together). This includes robotics, self driving cars, protein folding, and numerous other application areas. I am dramatically over simplifying things in a dumb way by bucketing lots of stuff here.”

Robin Hanson: “I propose that the main reason that most of us look more boring in public is that social predators lie in wait there. With friends, family, and close co-workers, we are around people that mostly want to like us, and know us rather well. Yes, they want us to conform too, but they apply this pressure in moderation. Out in public, in contrast, we face bandits eager for chances to gain social credit by taking us down, often via accusing us of violating the sacred. And like townspeople traveling among the bandits, we are in public pretty vulnerable to the kinds of bandits that afflict us. If we act interesting, passionate, and opinionated in public, we are likely to seem to claim high status for ourselves, and to touch on sacred subjects, either by word or deed. And this makes us quite vulnerable to accusations of arrogance and violating the sacred.”

Stephen Wolfram: What Is ChatGPT Doing … and Why Does It Work?: “That ChatGPT can automatically generate something that reads even superficially like human-written text is remarkable, and unexpected. But how does it do it? And why does it work? The first thing to explain is that what ChatGPT is always fundamentally trying to do is to produce a “reasonable continuation” of whatever text it’s got so far, where by “reasonable” we mean “what one might expect someone to write after seeing what people have written on billions of webpages, etc.”So let’s say we’ve got the text “The best thing about AI is its ability to”. Imagine scanning billions of pages of human-written text (say on the web and in digitized books) and finding all instances of this text—then seeing what word comes next what fraction of the time. ChatGPT effectively does something like this, except that (as I’ll explain) it doesn’t look at literal text; it looks for things that in a certain sense “match in meaning”.”

WaPo: “Want to live a longer life? Try eating like a centenarian…Eat a cup of beans, peas, or lentils every day. Eat a handful of nuts daily. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Eat meals with your family.”

ProfitXL: Supersize Profits with the SHUVAM Framework (Part 2)


The journey to ProfitXL begins with an understanding of marketing’s polycrisis and a marketer’s determination to shift the mindset from adtech to martech, and from new customers to existing customers. Part of the problem for marketers is self-inflicted because they ignore existing customers; then even among existing customers, they do not create differentiated experiences for Best customers; and then when it comes to new acquisition, they disregard the power of referrals, reactivation, and smarter acquisitions based on data from existing customers. Little surprise then that more and more money keeps getting poured into the new customer funnel which in turn leads existing customers to become exiting customers.

The three slides below lay out the story that marketers need to understand to embark on the ProfitXL journey.

Thinks 808

Gireendra Kasmalkar: “In the digital world of today, the market does not have to be based on region (as originally TAM /SAM/SOM were meant for) or even industry. It could be culture, demographics, even age and income of end-consumers. Such a precise definition of a market segment is excellent for early stage start-ups, who must have a razor sharp focus. They can define their market segment with the goal of dominating it, rather than just being a part of it. So, instead of going after the “obtainable” and “available” markets, they can find a “leadable” market, where they can capture more than 50% of the market share…So instead of TAM / SAM / SOM, here’s the new concept of the “Serviceable Leadable Market” (SLM) and the “Percentage leadership metric” for the SLM. Instead of TAM/SAM/SOM, we would love early stage founders to present their SLM both qualitatively and quantitatively and how they will capture 50-60% of the SLM in the next 12 months! Then, as a projection, they could tell us the next SLMs they will progressively target.

Adam Grant: “There is a failure to understand that you can actually run an organization thinking like a scientist. And by that I mean, just recognizing that every opinion you hold at work is a hypothesis waiting to be tested. And every decision you make is an experiment waiting to be run. So many leaders just implement decisions. It is like life is an A/B test, but they just ran with the A, and didn’t even realize that there was a possible B, C, D, and E. Too many leaders feel like their decisions are permanent. As opposed to saying, “We’re going to test and learn…[For organizational change], if you have a skeptical or resistant audience, it isn’t effective to go into prosecutor mode. It just invites the other person to bring their best defense attorney to court, and then we’re just butting heads and nobody learns or opens their mind or changes anything. I think there are some good alternatives, including motivational interviewing, which is to just say, hey, I’m excited about this change. I’m anticipating some resistance. And I’d love to know what would motivate you to try this? Is there anything that would make it worth considering for you? And then you actually learn what motivates people by interviewing them as opposed to trying to shove your idea down their throats.”

Vasant Dhar: “Looking at the history of AI, the paradigm shifts have been towards methods that rely less on human-specified knowledge and more on machines learning through observation on their own. And there’s a lot to observe, buried in all the data out there. These methods have been chipping away at a major bottleneck that has been central to AI: how to get reliable knowledge into the machine and use it. In earlier generations of AI, knowledge had to be specified painstakingly by humans, which could take years with no assurance of success. Current-day machines can often learn even better from data in minutes. The question is, when can you rely on them. Current day systems such as ChatGPT3 learn almost entirely through “self-supervision,” that is, by constructing their own training data from all available language content on the Internet. What is fascinating is that ChatGPT3’s core competence is its ability to autocomplete sentences. It can guess the next word in a sequence, which in turn is used to guess the next word, and so on, to the point where it can write entire paragraphs and stories. It turns out that in the process of solving autocomplete, it also learns the implicit relationships among things, which is useful in solving more general tasks such as answering questions and creating new materials based on prompts.”

Dan Shipper: “If we map the writing process out from start to finish, there are a few obvious places where AI can be effectively incorporated. It can help you: get your thoughts down when you want to, organize your thoughts before you get started on a piece, capture a voice when you want the flavor of a particular writer, summarize complex ideas when you’re trying to explain, help you when you get stuck, evaluate your writing when you need a fresh brain.”

Janmejaya Sinha: “[There is a ] massive demographic transition underway in the world…India is set to overtake China and become the most populous country in the world. The world’s population has topped eight billion. If we look at the spread of average age, the data is both stark and scary. The average age in Africa is 17, India is 27, China is 38.4, the United States is 38.5, Europe is over 40 (with Germany and Italy in the mid-forties, the United Kingdom and France not far behind), and Japan in its own league at 48. The global population will continue to expand, cross nine billion by 2040, and reach its peak of 10 billion by 2070. Eight countries will account for this rise, and other than India, all the other seven are in Africa. In India, the bulk of the rise is set to come from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Many of these children will be malnourished, poorly educated and with patchy access to health care. The same will be true for many of those born in Africa…Governments and companies can ignore demographics and ageing only at their own peril. India should not. It could be India’s greatest opportunity in the coming decades.”

ProfitXL: Supersize Profits with the SHUVAM Framework (Part 1)

AdWaste to Profipoly

$200 billion a year, growing at 25-30%. That’s the AdWaste that eats away at brand profits. Caused by completely avoidable wrong acquisition and reacquisition, AdWaste is the biggest of many profit-killers. Big Adtech (henceforth called Badtech) is the primary beneficiary of this largesse. This ‘handout’ has also shifted the marketing industry’s balance of power away from brands and agencies to the likes of Google and Meta. The massive reduction in profits has been caused by an escalating new customer acquisition race which wastes half of budgets has created a polycrisis in marketing: a leaky bucket of customer additions which take up 85-90% of spending and whose lifetime value cannot be fully extracted because they churn and thus force marketers to reacquire them or acquire other new ones via even more adtech spending. Attention recession and data poverty hurt the marketer’s ability to build hotlines and deliver omnichannel personalisation. In other words, marketers are facing the perfect storm: in a slowing market, revenues and profits are being hurt even more because of their inability to escape Badtech’s web.

The time has come for a mindset shift from acquisition-centric marketing to profit-centric marketing; this is a journey every business will need to make because it is the only way to build an enduring, great business. The easy money era of the past years is behind us and will not be coming back anytime soon. Badtech benefited greatly from money transfers from pension funds (via VCs and Pes through new age startups); in the years just gone by, a third to half of capital raised by B2C companies was spent on the likes of Google and Meta. Fuelled by a FOMO (fear of missing out) in the battle for the next new customer, brands and marketers ceded their sovereignty and lost sight of a business’s soul which is to ensure existing customers come back for more and bring along their family and friends. We as consumers lost our privacy and the warmth of brand relationships. We became data points in CDPs (customer data platforms), not distinct individuals in search of brand love and frictionless experiences.

Luckily, help is at hand. A set of innovations and well-planned actions can end AdWaste and supersize brand profits: a 25% shift of budgets away from Badtech can deliver more than a 50% increase in profits, while a 50% shift can more than double profits. This is what I call ProfitXL: a strategy to supersize (eXtra Large as denoted by XL) profits by breaking with badtech, a flipping of the funnel of brand-customer relationships to solve marketing’s polycrisis.

ProfitXL is built around five themes which I have covered extensively over the past three years on my blog: the need for one-way push channels to become two-way conversational pathways thus bridging the chasm between acquisition and conversion, the transition from point solutions on the brand’s properties (website and app) to a unified martech stack, the identification of Best customers and creating differentiated experiences for them, getting  close to zero CAC (customer acquisition cost) for new customers, and measuring growth based not on paid marketing spends but on repeat purchases from existing customers and revenues from referrals. This is ProfitXL’s SHUVAM framework: Story, Hotlines, Unistack, Velvet Rope Marketing (VRM), Acquisition (done right), and a new set of Metrics to measure progress.  SHUVAM is the path for exponential forever profitable growth. If followed rigorously, it can help a brand create the ultimate endgame and moat in a business – a profits monopoly (“profipoly”).

The ProfitXL mindset and SHUVAM strategy will help marketer’s increase revenues, reduce spends and improve shopper experiences. After almost two decades of digging the AdWaste hole, marketers can climb the profits mountain and aspire to reach the profipoly pinnacle.

Thinks 807

Sanjiv Mehta: “At the core, marketing is about getting insights, deciphering them, and converting them into products. Then you have a very clear distinctive brand proposition. Next, you make your consumers believe in it. Marketing has two aspects to it—one is the product, the physical part—the characteristics, the needs, the wants that you want to meet. The second important bit is traversing the mind and the emotions of the consumers. That’s the reason why we also say that purpose is so important, because today’s consumers do not just want the physical attributes which the product delivers; they’re also looking at what a brand or a company stands for when it comes to the planet and people. And in an era where homogeneity is being lost, because everyone is becoming more individualistic, the marketing indicates that you need to be able to de-average to understand the cohorts at a smaller level and cater to those needs, which will allow you to win in the marketplace. The benefit today is that the marketers of yore did not have access to the technology that you get now. But the core purpose of marketing never goes away. Many times, people say that the era of brands is over. No way. Today, I feel the relevance of a brand is even more because you can make your brand distinctive not just by the physical attributes but by what the brand stands for.”

Nathan Baschez: “Every article has thrust and drag. The thrust of a piece is what motivates readers to invest the energy necessary to extract its meaning. It is the reason they click. Drag is everything that makes the reader’s task harder, such as meandering intros, convoluted sentences, abstruse locution and even little things like a missing Oxford comma. When your writing has more thrust than drag for a group of readers, it will spread and your audience will grow.”

Arvind Krishna on the initial uses of AI: “One is anything around customer care, answering questions from people . . . it is a really important area where I believe we can have a much better answer at maybe around half the current cost. Over time, it can get even lower than half but it can take half out pretty quickly. A second one is around internal processes. For example, every company of any size worries about promoting people, hiring people, moving people, and these have to be reasonably fair processes. But 90 per cent of the work involved in this is getting the information together. I think AI can do that and then a human can make the final decision. There are hundreds of such processes inside every enterprise, so I do think clerical white collar work is going to be able to be replaced by this. Then I think of regulatory work, whether it’s in the financial sector with audits, whether it’s in the healthcare sector. A big chunk of that could get automated using these techniques.”

Kevin J. Elliott: “One of the frameworks that I bring to thinking about democracy, and I think is very helpful for understanding political systems in large complex societies, is that there’s lots of different roles available within any given society. That also goes for politics. I tend to think about a division of labor within democracy, different roles that people play. The role of an ordinary citizen is going to be shaped by the institutional arrangement that they find themselves in, the specifics of the democracy that they live in. They’re going to have certain institutions that take their input in one way or other, and they aggregate that. They put it together with other inputs, and then it outputs eventually a set of decisions somewhere down the line.”

Robert Waldinger: “What is it that we found that really contributes to well-being? There were two big items over 85 years: one is taking care of our health. The part that surprised us was that the people who were happiest, who stayed healthiest as they grew old, and who lived the longest were the people who had the warmest connections with other people. In fact, good relationships were the strongest predictor of who was going to be happy and healthy as they grew old…No life is without twists and turns and challenges. That’s not the truth of life for anybody. The other thing I would say is that it’s never too late for these things to happen for you.”

Quizzing in Email: An Innovation in the Inbox (Part 4)


I have written many essays about email and innovations like Ems (short emails), AMP (interactive emails) and Atomic Rewards (incentivised emails). We can combine all these ideas to create an interactive quiz email sent daily. The good thing about using AMP is that all the actions can be done right inside the email – eliminating the need for clickthroughs and landing pages. Think of the AMP email as an app (software) inside an email. It is a gamechanger for driving greater engagement within email. Combined with the push feature of emails, we can imagine a new service – let’s call it QuizMails – where quiz emails are delivered daily to our inbox.

Here is an outline of the features of QuizMails:

  • An email is sent daily with three quiz questions. Each question has a timer (few seconds) to ensure that there is not adequate time to do a Google search for the right answer. The questions are custom for every recipient – chosen from a large question bank.
  • Each question is multiple choice with four options – and a fifth “Skip” one. A right answer gets +4, a wrong answer -2, while a skip gets 0. These points can be given in the form of Mu.
  • As soon as one question is answered, the next question shows up in its place. Thus, answering the three questions would take no more than 20-30 seconds.
  • Mu can become the mechanism to unlock additional features: an additional question, an additional email daily, the ability to eliminate one of the wrong options to increase the probability of getting the right answer, and the option to increase the difficulty level of the questions for additional Mu.
  • A leaderboard can bring social recognition. The daily score (Mu earned) and leaderboard position can be shared on social media – and could help QuizMails with virality.
  • The QuizMails platform could then also be used for specialised questions: for test prep, specific verticals, on material read, and so on.

None of us has seen the combo of quizzes that can be answered in our emails. This will be a novelty, and with continuous innovation, has the opportunity to be a game that many of us would like to play. It can also work as a showcase for the richness and immense possibilities of what AMP and Atomic Rewards can do to bring to life the new worlds of Email 2.0 and Loyalty 2.0. A consumer success could encourage more brands to adopt these technologies to build better relationships with their existing customers, cut back on AdWaste, and supersize their profits.

Maybe QuizMails will help us rediscover the joy we experienced as kids and teens. One is never too old to be challenged by a quiz – especially if technology can help remove the friction in the experience.

Thinks 806

Ruchir Sharma: “Since early 1998 [when it was ground zero of the Asian financial crisis], Thailand has faded on the global radar but the baht has proved uncommonly resilient, holding its value against the dollar better than any other emerging world currency and better than all but the Swiss Franc in the developed world…Thailand has achieved financial stability despite constant political upheaval, including four new constitutions in the last 25 years. By overcoming challenges the Swiss franc never faced, the Thai baht has sealed its unlikely claim to be the world’s most resilient currency — and a case study in the upsides of economic orthodoxy.

Julian Simon: “The quantity of a natural resource that might be available to us – and even more important the quantity of the services that can eventually be rendered to us by that natural resource – can never be known even in principle, just as the number of points in a one-inch line can never be counted even in principle.” [via CafeHayek]

Eugenia Cheng: “There is a whole branch of mathematics devoted to attempting accurate calculations just by folding paper—that is, by using origami, best known as a Japanese art form. The idea of employing physical tools to do math goes back to the ancient Greeks, who tried to make mathematical constructions using just a pair of compasses and a straight edge. The straight edge didn’t have markings and wasn’t used to measure things, so there were only two basic actions to this method: Drawing circles of any size or a straight line between any two points. By folding paper we cannot even draw circles, but we can make many more straight-line constructions…The art of origami provides ways to solve equations and design gear for outer space.”

Ed Warren: “America has a strenuous challenge ahead. Ideologues bemoan America’s failures and proclaim “American carnage.” But their shortsightedness and self-interest should not dictate America’s future. Instead, we should build upon the virtues already integrally woven into our civic DNA. Average Americans give their full measure of devotion by leading decent, honorable lives despite the distractions and disappointments of our current moment. They request very little outside help; they simply want the economic opportunity, social foundation, and basic respect to build lives of meaning for themselves and their children. The task ahead of us is to see the goodness in their example, internalize it, and begin the work of building a more empowering and respectful society.”

Arnold Kling: “We might think of the state as a set of commitments and mutual obligations between the rulers and the ruled. One of the implications of this perspective is that government must have long-term credibility in order to function…Democracy works better than autocracy because the transfer of power does not entail a crisis. In a democracy, the mechanism is in place for a peaceful transfer of power. Civil servants can keep working. Soldiers can remain at their posts. Citizens know that they ought to continue to pay taxes and obey the law. The regime persists.”