And Google… and technological change in general… so this month’s posts were all about change… again… Topics such as changes in the buyer’s process explored how change affects sales professionals and the risk of change for change’s sake explored the more philosophical aspects of change. Now, when a company announces that its industry is “stabilizing,” it catches my interest – it is only a matter of time before disruptive competitors will begin to take serious market share. The post “Is that the Light at the End of the Tunnel?” explored this idea in depth.
For example, I’ve been shocked by the negative reactions to the Apple Watch. Here are a few examples both from friends and major news sources:
When I was writing the recent post that used Nintendo as an example, I realized that there is a natural tendency to reflexively fear and criticize new technology. Breakthrough products from the phonograph to original iPhone (no video recording, no copy / paste, bluetooth limitations, etc.) have all had their share of vocal haters. This is certainly true of the Apple Watch even though very few people have even seen the product yet. It is also true of Apple Pay. I was traveling and a millennial barista at Starbucks told me he didn’t think Apple Pay was secure. I asked him how he liked to pay for things, prompting “debit card, right?” He responded, “Yeah, of course.” Even somebody that has grown up with tech didn’t realize that Apple Pay doesn’t store or transmit the card number at all so it is a much more secure form of payment than debit cards.
Maybe Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Apple TV, etc. will succeed and maybe not, only time will tell, but technology publications have noticed the trend and started columns like Re/code’s (Walt Mossberg / Kara Swisher) “Too Embarrassed to Ask” which covers topics like “Wi-Fi versus Bluetooth” and the Huffington Post’s “5 Tech Terms You Secretly Wish You Understood.” These resources can help people feel more comfortable with the technology that literally surrounds them.
Part of this backlash is due to technology news reporting. The NYT article was definitely clickbait. Apple products harmful?! There is even a name for this: Betteridge’s law of headlines which states that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” Technology already causes stress for many people so it must be a relief to read articles dismissing tech, then they can safely ignore it and reduce their fear level.
These topics will be explored in more detail in an upcoming post, “The Changing World: Part 3 – Walking the Razor’s Edge of Change,” but in the meantime I find it helpful to pause, take a breath, and look at change as an opportunity to grow. I might buy an Apple Watch, I might not, but it allows me to rethink the way I interact with a product that I pull out of my pocket literally dozens of times a day.
As a bonus to subscribers, here is a fun article from James Altucher. He is a bit all over the place, but somehow his article, “I Prefer To Leave Early” really caught my attention. Technically, the article should be called “I Prefer to Leave On-time,” but that just doesn’t have the same dramatic ring to it. A quick summary might be to say that “good timing is everything.” James is a bit pedantic so here is one more bonus from a guy who is never pedantic, Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin. His post “My Top 10 Quotes on Change” is excellent (and a quick read). My favorite is “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy wrote this 115 years ago so maybe it is finally time to get comfortable with change.
As always, feel free to send ideas on topics of interest. Research interests, niche technology sales and marketing problems, training, and social media questions are all welcome suggestions for future posts.