Still have a landline? Why So Risk Averse?

Still have a landline? Why So Risk Averse?

Photo Credit: Panumas Nikomkhai / iStockphoto

 

For the first time in 100 years, most U.S. homes do not have a landline phone.

  • Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a majority (50.8%) of U.S. households are now mobile-only.
  • Landline acceptance is associated statistically with risk aversion.
  • Mobile-only people are far more likely to drink and smoke too much e.g. 29% of Americans without landlines binge-drink alcohol, but only 18% with landlines do.

Read on below for 2 more tech trends to consider.

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The Upstarts By Brad Stone: Compelling. HIGHLY RECOMMEND

The Upstarts By Brad Stone: Compelling. HIGHLY RECOMMEND

 

Brad Stone is a brilliant business writer. His newest book, The Upstarts, takes us behind the scenes of Silicon Valley businesses like Uber and Airbnb – how they came to be, the founders’ stories, who else is involved, what it took to get them off the ground, missteps, regulatory problems, what it means to disrupt the world as we know it (with an app).

  • It’s an absolute must-read – but feels like two distinctly different books (which may be a shortcoming)
  • The first half is about the founders and how they landed on these ideas.
  • The backstory of how these young startups are interconnected is fascinating
  • Great insights also on how a decade ago, wealthy VCs in their late 30 or 40’s, were unable to see the appeal or potential of the “sharing economy” and missed out on the first rounds of funding.
  • This first section of the book is incredibly inspiring and a fast read. In flipping through to check my notes, I was struck again by how powerful and riveting and entertaining this story is!
  • The second half is a bit more of a slog.
  • It covers the companies’ massive growth (doubling their users every few months) and drills down on the turmoil of dealing with regulators and competitors.
  • Plus the many self-inflicted legal/safety issues that for airbnb, in the particular, resulted from their Pollyannaish outlook. Reading how unprepared they were in anticipating all the many things that could go wrong when you let strangers into your home is mind-boggling.
  • The book, completed at the end of 2016, barely touches on all the issues that are currently challenging Uber and putting Kalanick ‘s leadership in question (company culture, sexual harassment lawsuits, lack of diversity, Trump meetings).

 

Key takeaways:

  • Travis Kalanick – For many, he has become persona non grata. Not for me. I think he’s a genius and one of my business idols. In 8 short years, he fundamentally changed how we approach transportation.
  • He’s a force of nature. Exactly the kind of scrappy, entrepreneurial, hardnosed leader every startup needs if it intends to succeed. Cut from the same cloth as many of the other founders I admire including Steven Jobs and Jeff Bezos.
  • Not that I am in his league, but having started several businesses myself I know what it takes to make it. It’s not about work-life balance, it’s about how driven you are – and how aggressively and single-mindedly you pursue your vision.
  • This is probably oversharing but I found him so relatable that I had to google his birthday: LEO!!

Read on below for 5 more takeaways on what it takes to create a successful start up:

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Is Dyson, The Tesla Of Home Appliances, About To Get Into Cars?

Is Dyson, The Tesla Of Home Appliances, About To Get Into Cars?

 

Am obsessed with both Elon Musk and James Dyson. The former everyone knows but James Dyson, the founder of UK’s Dyson Ltd., is especially intriguing because while many of us admired his home appliances, he was actually building a major technology company.

  • Per Bloomberg, Dyson will spend over $3 billion on future technologies, including artificial intelligence and robotics.
  • Among Dyson’s biggest bets (along with Elon Musk’s) are batteries. Last year, the company said it would spend 1 billion pounds on research over the next five years.
  • In 2015, it acquired the maker of solid state batteries Sakti3 for $90 million.
  • Recently, however, Dyson abandoned Sakti3’s patents – nobody is clear why. At the same time, they lured away Tesla’s head of communications, Ricardo Reyes, to join Dyson as their new communications chief.
  • This has muddied the speculations about Dyson’s plans to enter the electric-car market.

In the meantime, sales of Dyson grew 45% fueled by their latest battery-powered cordless vacuum which racked up over $3 billion in sales making it the fastest-selling vacuum in the company’s 25-year history.

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Tech Trends: Social Video Is The Name Of The Game

Tech Trends: Social Video Is The Name Of The Game

 

The big news in social video is that the user base for both snap and instagram is getting older with a quarter of 35-44 year olds increasing their usage over the last 6 months.

Here are two new snap accounts to follow. Both super interesting.

SnapListings

  • Video stories five days a week spotlighting new apartments and houses on the market.
  • Created by Dolly Meckler, 24, and Michael Hoffman, 27, SnapListings is run by four licensed real estate brokers four days a week — with a guest broker on Fridays. The brokers take followers inside listings, recording and posting videos of interiors and exteriors.
  • Based out of New York, SnapListings has expanded to Baltimore, Washington, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Chicago.
  • People can direct-message agents straight through the account.
  • To become a broker on SnapListings you have to audition and if you’re young and charismatic enough, you might get picked!

See below for EverestNoFilter (my absolute favorite snapchat account!).

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TECH TALK: Whatever happened to innovation at APPLE and FACEBOOK?

TECH TALK: Whatever happened to innovation at APPLE and FACEBOOK?

 

Haven’t gone on an Apple or Facebook rant in a while but I am increasingly dissatisfied with both.

First and foremost, APPLE:

  • My iPhone 7 Plus is riddled with quirks and problems that require constant reboots. And it’s a wide variety of issues – from the calendar freezing to the TouchID not working.
  • This kind of problem was the exception when I got my first iPhone, now it’s the norm. And the fact that I don’t even bother to go the Genius Bar, feeling it’s an unsolvable problem, is a sign of what’s up at Apple. I no longer consider the brand exceptional.
  • Perhaps nothing is more symbolic of the new Apple than the dongle!

Interesting piece on NPR on the same subject with former employees noting that under Tim Cook there has been a culture shift that has led the company to lose its innovation mojo. A software engineer recalled that under Jobs, every employee was encouraged to take personal responsibility for improving the products. Under Tim Cook, the message for employees is look down, shut your mouth, do your job.

 

And then I have to talk about Facebook – WOW what a disaster!!

  • Such a dismal experience these days – not fun, not creative, not inspiring JUST filled with crap and copycatting. And although they will probably crush Snapchat, they are doing it in such an uncreative way that it makes me like them even less – if that’s possible!

Read on below for more on my major peeves with Facebook.

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What’s up with OpenTable? Everyone’s suddenly on Reserve or Resy!

What’s up with OpenTable? Everyone’s suddenly on Reserve or Resy!

 

Has anyone else noticed that your favorite restaurants are suddenly not on OpenTable anymore?

This past week, while attempting to make reservations at a few spots that are always hard to get into (e.g. Il Buco, Carbone), I found they’ve all moved from OpenTable to either Reserve or Resy.

An investigation was called for!! Especially since I had bitched so much about both Reserve and Resy when they first launched. I objected to having to give them my credit card before they would make a reservation. And both seemed more cumbersome and harder to navigate than OpenTable. Boy, things have changed!!

In doing background, I discovered interesting details on the fee structure that totally explains why restaurants are ditching OpenTable. Restaurants are saving themselves $12,000 – $30,000 a year by going with  Reserve or Resy vs. OpenTable.

I totally appreciate what a drag it is for restaurants to spend this much on the reservations system but as a frequent diner, it is also frustrating to find my restaurants spread out over 3 or 4 different apps. At most, the industry can support two services….in my opinion!!

Read on below.
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TECH TRENDS: Brilliant, Game Changing Apps and the Latest on SEO

TECH TRENDS: Brilliant, Game Changing Apps and the Latest on SEO

 

Restaurant reservations thru Instagram

Announced last week, this feature is an absolutely brilliant, game-changing move. For example, if somebody you follow posts an image from a restaurant, or if a post shows up based on a hashtag, you can immediately book a table right from the post in the app. And apparently, this will be extended to other businesses e.g. hairstylists, conferences, art fairs, travel, Broadway shows.

  • Available only to businesses that advertise on the platform (one million active monthly).
  • 80% of Instagram users follow a business. Interestingly, while I refuse to follow any businesses on facebook, I follow quite a few of my favorites on Instagram – especially in fashion, home design, art and travel.
  • The ability to actually interact with businesses in a transactional way (through an appointment or reservation) means that a restaurant can see a nearly immediate return on its social media advertising investment .

(Source: Skift)

Read on below for the latest on SEO and how Google is retooling for mobile and voice-activated searches – another game-changer!!

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TECH TRENDS: At the Next Frontier in Mobile and Web Design

TECH TRENDS: At the Next Frontier in Mobile and Web Design

Excellent info from Chicago’s The Deep End on ways to dial up your website’s productivity. I’ve highlighted five tips that I’ve found most helpful (but check out the entire post here)

1. Age-Responsive Design

  • Whether you’re trying to reach Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, or Baby Boomers, there is power in this tactic – from font size to “feel” and aesthetics. And you don’t have to devote your entire website to a particular demographic group, you can use generation-specific images in your social media marketing and on landing pages.

2. Shopping Cart Marketing: Customers who bought this item also bought…

  • Shopping cart marketing that promotes similar products or upsells can increase e-commerce revenue by 10% to 30%. 

3. Animated Call-To-Action Buttons

  • A new trend is to add subtle animation to the CTA button — just enough to attract attention without taking away from the product or other important visuals.

4. Cinemagraph Hero Images

  • Facebook ads using cinemagraphs have a click-rate 60% percent higher than static ads.

5. Scrolling Trumps Navigation

  • Thanks to increased use of mobile devices, scrolling is a much preferred for navigation than having site visitors wander aimlessly from page to page on their own.

 

Personalization of UI Design (Source: Alesia Nik, Appinventiv)

  • The two most important concepts: responsive design and age-responsive design.
  • Responsive design is about adapting a layout around multiple devices.
  • Age-responsive designs are based on adapting the layout to specific people based on the availability of metadata that has been left by users on apps, devices, and various platforms. This is considered the next frontier in mobile and web design.
  • It is through this metadata that the app will have the capability to increase font size, eliminate flashing images or sound or decrease the brightness of screens to make it age-right.

Read on below for innovations in digital signage, digital health opportunities, and emerging tech toy trends. Read More >

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