Articles Tagged Technology

Oct 19, 2014
Poor customer experience? Here comes disruption

You must have heard of Uber. The mobile-app-driven taxi service has taken the world by storm. In just a short time it covers 45 countries (200 cities), and has even entered Africa (Lagos and Cape Town). Why this phenomenal expansion? Here’s how it works: You go to the app in your phone. It picks up […]

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Oct 12, 2014
The new world of work requires great personal discipline

What are we going to do in a world where people play where they used to work, and work where they used to play? For the past two weeks I have explored this phenomenon here on this page: an era in which mobile computing and connectivity allow people to carry everything they need – the […]

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Oct 05, 2014
Working while playing, and playing while working

Last week I pointed out that what looks like work often isn’t, and what looks like play may be someone hard at work. Consider the lady sitting in your office, hard at work on her computer. She seems to be very busy trying to get something urgent done. Take a closer look. She’s on Facebook, […]

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Sep 28, 2014
The line between work and play blurs

I sent someone an email late on a Saturday night, recently. His jokey reply asked why I was working so late on weekends. Which made me stop and think. I wasn’t working, exactly; but nor was I not working. I was doing my regular scan of my Twitter feed, and came across a link that […]

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Feb 09, 2014
Watch all these jobs disappear

This column often highlights the various technological disruptions that will change all our lives – for better and for worse. As I have written before, this is a time of phenomenal economic and technological change, and the ramifications will be felt far and wide. One of the issues we will have to deal with in […]

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Jan 05, 2014
Success is no longer a train you board with a ticket

To succeed in the world to come, you won’t be boarding trains with tickets; you’ll be jumping off planes with parachutes. These are fast-changing, enormously disruptive times. Success is no longer about playing safe, being predictable, or following schedules. That’s how it was when I was growing up. Children were told to pick safe subjects; […]

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Dec 15, 2013
My love for the printed book – rekindled

Three years ago it seemed a no-brainer: the e-book would kill the printed book. I joined the revolution early, buying dozens of books both on an e-reader and for mobile apps. My conversion looked complete. Early this year, though, I pulled the brake and did a u-turn. I am back to print with a bang, […]

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Oct 27, 2013
Whatever business you’re in, a surprise is coming

I’ve always liked taking photographs, so I’ve always had a camera. My wife prefers moving images, so she’s always in the market for a video camera. We both hate talking on the phone, so we carried mobile phones more out of necessity than choice. Here’s the thing. Those three consumer items – camera, videocam, phone […]

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Sep 01, 2013
Here comes the digital native to disrupt your business

When I was applying for university, my target college had no website. This was not because it was an inferior institution; it has produced no fewer than sixteen Nobel laureates. The point is, at that time no one had a website. So I had to rely on a small brochure with a handful of photographs […]

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Jun 17, 2013
Is traditional marketing dead?

“Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear.” BILL LEE HBR Blog Network (9 August, 2012) Is marketing, as we’ve known it, dead? Bill Lee, […]

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Jun 10, 2013
Why so many failed to see the market for tablets

“The tablet market should top all laptop shipments this year and the entire PC market by 2015, according to a report released Tuesday. Market researcher IDC estimated that tablet shipments will grow 59 percent this year to 229.3 million units. That’s higher than IDC’s estimate for notebook shipments this year. Topping that, IDC predicts tablet […]

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May 20, 2013
Apps ate your lunch, right out of your hand

“Nobody knows which was the first app to be downloaded from Apple’s iPhone App Store on 11 July 2008 – but the total is expected to pass 50bn on Wednesday, marking a huge new business created by the explosive spread of smartphones over the past five years.” Charles Arthur, The Guardian (15 May, 2013) As […]

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Apr 07, 2013
Social media exposes what ails our societies

Recently, Kenya’s Harambee Stars went to play a game of football in Nigeria. The host country was less than gracious. Kenya’s national soccer team was not received at the Lagos airport; missed the last connecting flight; was accommodated at a 2-star hotel; and forced to train on a school pitch. This was of course unacceptable […]

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Mar 18, 2013
How different will tomorrow’s world be from today’s?

“Tonight, I will be meeting friends in a restaurant (tavernas have existed for at least 25 centuries). I will be walking there wearing shoes hardly different from those worn fifty-three hundred years ago by the mummified man discovered in a glacier in the Austrian Alps. At the restaurant I will be using silverware, a Mesopotamian […]

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Feb 25, 2013
Here’s how you deal with disruption: embrace it

“One year ago, my announcement that Encyclopædia Britannica would cease producing bound volumes sent ripples through the media world. Despite the vast migration of information from ink and paper to bits and screens, it seemed remarkable that a set of books published for almost a quarter of a millennium would go out of print. But […]

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Feb 18, 2013
Should your staff be allowed to use Facebook and Twitter at work?

“Late last year I was at a dinner with a Board I won’t mention by name. There were roughly 50 people at the event. Tables were pre-assigned and I found myself sitting across from a chap in his mid-50′s whose professional job was an accountant. He worked at a rather large firm as a partner. […]

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Jan 21, 2013
In 2013, you’ll have to overcome your fear of social media

“I recently taught a workshop on crisis communication at a top business school. Afterward, a mid-career executive came up to me with a question. But it wasn’t about how to handle rogue employees, or industrial accidents, or philandering CEOs. Instead, it concerned a far more personal sense of crisis: her overwhelming fear of public criticism […]

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Dec 17, 2012
Don’t moan about this over-connected world; gain from it

“Over the summer I invited a few friends and colleagues to my house for lunch. When they arrived, hugs and greetings were exchanged and my guests headed for the dining room while I finished up in the kitchen, mixing the homemade potato salad, and, well, let’s say “supervising” the grilling out on the patio. While […]

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Nov 05, 2012
How ready is your business for the social era?

1. The organization behaves like a community, not a hierarchy. 2. Management does not “broadcast” directives but is open and listens to employees. 3. Communications aren’t codified, rigid and ritualistic but flexible and spontaneous. 4. Obedience is not a highly valued quality. Innovation is. 5. Information is open. Management is transparent. 6. The company does […]

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Oct 29, 2012
Why Newsweek may be the first of many casualties

“…the overwhelming majority of my media consumption these days is digital, and magazines in general are beginning to seem a bit slow and uninspired. I go to the airport newsstand because I know I’ll be asked to turn my electronic devices off — and even then, more often than not, I end up buying nothing. […]

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Oct 15, 2012
Here’s a better to way to handle customer service: try Twitter

“Frustrated by the 40 minutes she spent on hold with Citibank customer service, Stacy Small tweeted her displeasure. To her surprise, a Citibank agent tweeted right back. “Send us your phone number and we’ll call you right now,” read the message. Within minutes Ms. Small, who owns a luxury-travel company in Los Angeles, was on […]

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Sep 24, 2012
The social media phenomenon isn’t about technology. It’s about people

“While delivering my washing to our local dry cleaner this morning, I realised the reason why I always go back to that specific dry cleaner: it is a result of an intimate relationship that has developed between me and the owners over a period of time. The owners know me by name and the name […]

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Aug 12, 2012
Businesses, please stop these sly, self-serving practices

I don’t get it. I just don’t. It should be blindingly obvious to every owner of every business that it runs primarily on just one thing: the goodwill of its customers. If customers obtain value from you, they keep buying. If they keep buying, you keep making a profit. If you keep making a profit, […]

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Jul 22, 2012
The smartphone revolution continues apace

Looking at my mobile phone bill the other day, I noticed that the part of the bill generated by making calls has been falling steadily, while the data component has been rising. That reminded me: just over two years ago, I wrote on this page that the future of your business lay in the palm […]

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Mar 18, 2012
Is it going to be game over for your product soon?

The Encyclopedia Britannica has ended print publication after 244 years. I must admit I fell silent after hearing this piece of news earlier in the week. Anyone who admires books and has encountered the venerable encyclopedia in a home or library cannot fail to feel some sadness. The weathered leather covers, the musty pages, the […]

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Mar 06, 2012
#TwitterBigStick and #TwitterThumbsUp: where to from here?

The 2 hashtags, #TwitterBigStick and #TwitterThumbsUp were never intended to be finished products in any sense. As I have said from the outset, they were simply a demo of what focused tweeting can do. They play on very human needs: to express frustration when good service or value for money is not provided; and to […]

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Mar 05, 2012
Today’s hit product may be in tomorrow’s junkyard

“One of the odd questions I keep being asked about the iPad is “Where do you plug in USB stuff?” It’s a sister phrase to the weird criticism oft thrust at Apple’s device, “Ah, it’s too limiting for me: I can’t plug in USB sticks.” This is weird because other makers, notably Apple’s biggest competitor, […]

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Feb 06, 2012
Yes, CEOs: you WILL need to understand and engage with social media

“As I jogged down Wall Street in New York in October through the barricades, police horses, and thousands of activists, something became clear. The masses had self-organized and social media had added yet another social movement to its résumé. At the same time, something else became clear to me. Much higher than street level, in […]

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