Tag Archives: iPhone

Disruptors: Threat Or Menace?

Disruption

Disruptors get attention. Because they are new and different. Or they appear to be. AND because historically we have praised and honored successful disruptors, especially those of the recent past.

Disruptors are often greeted with skepticism—rightly so in many cases. Because their ideas are too outlandish. Or because they don’t live up to their promises. Current examples include Theranos and Lending Club.

But sometimes… a few believers join a disruptor’s cause and the fever spreads. Investors bring cash. Media give airtime and column space.

Innovators or Repackagers?

Disruptors may or may not be innovators. They often take ideas from other sources and reconfigure or refine them. Donald Trump’s proposed wall is not unlike the wall built centuries ago in China or the fictional one that protects the north on Game of Thrones.

Bernie Sanders’ socialist ideas are not new. But his message has resonated with young people who haven’t heard that message in their lifetimes and with older Americans who haven’t heard those ideas touted in the U.S. in nearly half a century.

Steve Jobs did not design or construct the first Mac, the iPod or the iPhone. He DID supervise their development and demand they deliver solid function along with graceful form. And he was a master promoter.

Classic Disruptors: Uber, Blackberry, iPhone, Social Channels

Disruptors often ignore what is legal. Look at Uber’s and Airbnb’s disregard for local ordinances across the U.S. and the world. This has not been a problem for Uber users who have found the service preferable to their local taxis.

Disruptors need to continually refine their product, whether that product is an idea or a hard good. The Blackberry was a big disruptor in the late 90s and early 00s, but its makers’ efforts to update and adapt failed. The “must have” item of 15 years ago now rests atop the tech junk heap. Meanwhile, the great disruptor of 2007, the iPhone, has continually improved its features and its sales.

We’ve seen Facebook and Instagram work to stay fresh. Twitter is making big changes. An outlier is Craigslist, a major disruptor that has made few revisions during its existence.

Why We Should Appreciate Disruptors

Disruptors, successful or not, are valuable to our professional and personal lives because they offer up new ideas and concepts that we may have never considered. Or, if we considered them, we found them too unrealistic to have merit. Circumstances such as time and market conditions may prevent today’s disruptor from gaining traction, but that same concept may return later and become a hit.

More importantly, disruptors force those who have become leaders in a category to keep their eyes and ears open to those who want to take their places. That’s why the brightest leaders pay close attention to all who would challenge their status.

For marketing pros (ad, PR, social, etc.), communicating a disruptor’s story to target audiences can be both exhilarating and frustrating. On one hand, the new/fresh/different thing may be easier to pitch. On the other hand, if the thing is too far from the norm, it may be quickly dismissed.

 

 

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New Media Versus Old Media: Both Claim Wins

 

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Old radio set

In July 2013 I posted an article titled Why New Media Are Better Than Old Media. The next week I listed reasons Why Old Media Are Better Than New Media. My point in these back-to-back posts is that both have their strong points.

(Also, I use the word “media” as a plural of “medium,” though I acknowledge that many people refer to “media” as a single entity.)

Here are those lists:

Why New Media Are Better Than Old Media

  1. The internet is open to everyone. No FCC license or printing press necessary.
  2. Net content is available throughout (most of) the world.
  3. Content can be archived on computer drives or accessed via the cloud.
  4. It’s easier to make corrections to web content than to material that’s already been published or transmitted.
  5. Advertising is not as pervasive or obnoxious. Yet.
  6. Content can be more easily targeted to specific groups.
  7. It’s easier to email a file than to send via USPS or FedEx.
  8. It’s quicker to send a text message than to make a call.
  9. Downloading books, movies and music is more convenient and more eco-friendly than purchasing at stores.
  10. Wikipedia and Google provide info that’s more up to date than those volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica and Webster’s dictionary.
  11. Twitter and Facebook serve as community town hall forums for instant sharing of ideas and thoughts on news and events.
  12. Interactivity allows all to participate.
  13. Apps on mobile devices provide immense amounts of entertainment and information.
  14. New media bring continual innovation while old media struggle to keep up.

 

Why Old Media Are Better Than New Media

  1. A framed newspaper article on the wall of your business looks better than a framed printout of the online version.
  2. The Super Bowl looks better on a 50-inch TV screen than it does on a smartphone.
  3. Spill your oatmeal on your morning paper, not a big deal. Spill oatmeal on your iPhone/iPad/MacBook, panic time.
  4. Listening to traffic reports on radio while driving is not as distracting as looking at traffic apps on a smartphone at 60 mph.
  5. Internet connectivity is not so hot on country back roads when compared to the signal strength of a Class C FM station.
  6. A century-old newspaper has more credibility than a ten-year-old news aggregator.
  7. Movie theaters offer an experience that cannot be duplicated at home. And the popcorn is better.
  8. Online death rumors are often hoaxes. Old media are more likely to seek verification.
  9. A segment on local TV morning news is likely to be seen by more eyes than a feature on a popular local blog.
  10. Wikipedia information can be revised and updated by literally anyone. Traditional reference material is vetted by scores of editors.
  11. Neighborhood weekly newspapers provide useful information not easily found elsewhere.
  12. Despite fragmentation, advertisers still reach enormous audiences via TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.
  13. A telephone call allows for speedier dialogues than does a series of text messages or emails.
  14. Even in the era of consolidation, no single entity rules old media like Google dominates new media.

(During Summer 2015 I am revisiting several of my posts from previous years.)

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What I’ve Learned in 2012

What you’re doing now is more important than what you used to do.

Your past accomplishments can open doors and help you get your calls taken and emails answered. That job you had a few years ago can be the source of some great stories. But the work you’re doing today is what really matters.

There is value in being discreet.

I heard a story this year of a business owner whose attorney shared confidential information with another lawyer in his firm. That second lawyer shared the tidbit with his wife, who passed it along to her daughter, who knew several employees at the business, one of whom delivered it back to the business owner. When you are trusted with a secret, keep it.

Presentations can be just as good without a PowerPoint.

I saw PowerPoints (or Keynotes or Prezis) this year that were actually distracting from speakers’ messages. Frequently, info that looks okay on a computer screen two feet away looks horrible—or worse, indecipherable—on a screen fifty feet away. I had a PowerPoint-less meeting last week where people were actually listening to me, actively taking notes and absorbing what I was saying.

Multitasking means more than it used to.

It doesn’t just mean writing a report while you’re on a conference call and monitoring CNN video at the same time you’re signaling across the room that, yes, you’d love another cup. It doesn’t just mean doing media relations, strategic planning, email marketing and social media for the same client. It also means working a main gig, doing some freelancing on the side, teaching a night course and selling your handiwork on Etsy—or a similar combo of tasks.

Everybody’s job is on the line.

It’s true. It’s important to keep your resume and/or portfolio updated. Archive your work. Stay in touch with vital contacts. Work your LinkedIn account. Even if you’re happy doing what you’re doing, keep an eye and an ear open to opportunities that may arise.

The iPhone is pretty cool.

When my old phone died in June, I finally upgraded to an iPhone. I was familiar with most of its features—many friends and associates had proudly showed me theirs over the years. But until I had one of my own, I was not fully aware how functional they are. My iPhone envy was cured… until my wife got an iPhone 5 in October!

Okay, that’s not all I’ve learned during 2012, but a handful of highlights.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Next post here on January 3, 2013.

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