Apple Does It Again

Wednesday’s Apple event was just the most recent reminder that when it comes to marketing, everyone else is competing for the red ribbon or the silver medal or the consolation bracket title. They are the LA Dodgers. Best in class and it ain’t close.

They’re so good they are going to convince a huge cross-section of the population that they need something they’ve been fine without their whole lives–satellite coverage in case of a car crash or other emergency. Hell, when we crashed our cars and got lost in nature before we had cell phones we were almost always fine. There were pay phones, people assisting one another, smoke signals.

Now, Apple is amping up everyone’s anxiety with a bunch of WHAT IFs with infinitesimal odds. And I have no doubt it’s going to work. Sometime soon, people will question your sanity if you venture into your car or the woods without satellite coverage.

And because Apple is going to leverage your anxiety so expertly, my AAPL stock is going to keep increasing in value. Thank you in advance.

I Am Happy To Report That I Got In Trouble

IMG_1592 2

In this day and age of unregulated social media algorithms that inflame our most negative instincts, how cool is it that one online community is making a concerted effort to do a hell of a lot better.

It doesn’t even matter that LinkedIn couldn’t detect the self-deprecating nature of my recent “Liberals Are Hypocrites” post. Their algorithm probably stopped at the offensive title and didn’t proceed to the body of the post that read, “Like me.” Or maybe it did scan those two words, but wasn’t able to detect my intended meaning. 

It’s all good LinkedIn, I wholeheartedly applaud your efforts even if I was wrongly caught up in your decency dragnet.

LinkedIn’s Learning Center does a great job explaining their ground rules. Here’s a taste:

Screen Shot 2021-11-12 at 4.53.48 PM

Hey Zuckerberg, Dorsey, et al., here’s a fourth “Be”. Be like LinkedIn.

 

I Predict There Will Be More Wild Ass Predictions

‘New York City is done!’

‘Office work is done!’

‘Higher education as we know it is done!’

‘Long distance travel is done!’

Why are so many highly educated people making such dumb, over-the-top predictions? Besides the fact that education and wisdom have never been closely correlated, it’s because the prognosticators are desperate to be heard above the din of the social media cacophony. PLEASE listen to my podcast. PLEASE read my twitter feed, ‘insta’, blog, book.

Scott Galloway is Exhibit A of this modern tendency towards hyperbole. Subtly, nuance, and ambiguity—the stuff of complexity—is passe, and we have the scramble to be relevant on social media to thank for that.

Lo and behold, New York City real estate values are on the rise again. Executives are desperate to have employees return to offices, college life looks and feels very familiar, and have you been in an airport lately? A bit more hybrid learning, telemedicine, and remote work aside; most ‘rona-inspired changes in behavior are proving relatively superficial despite the pandemic’s legs.

I would like you to prove me wrong on this, but neither do I expect many of the heartfelt proclamations of personal transformation to stick. Maybe a vicious virus can inspire a personal ‘reset’ of sorts in the short-term. Maybe people will simplify their lives; strike a healthier work-life balance; and commit more deeply to their family, friends, and neighbors. But as soon as the virus begins to fade, watch for long established habits to return. Human nature endures.

Ultimately though, when it comes to brash, facile predictions, maybe resistance is futile, in which case I predict the UCLA Bruin football team will win the Pac-12*.

*The last time that happened, Blockbuster Video was killin’ it.

Rethinking Apple’s New AirTags

I was joshing about buying AirTags. I continue to be amazed at Apple’s and other companies’ ability to convince hordes of people they “need” things they never knew they needed.

Granted, convenience is AirTag’s main selling point*, where did I leave my keys, but I’ve been mulling over possible security benefits of the tags.

Last summer The Good Wife and I got our kayaks stolen from our nearby beach. We probably could’ve caught the thieves red-handed if, via the hatches, we had attached AirTags to the inside of them.

Similarly, if you’re afraid of your bicycle or car being stolen, what about attaching a hidden AirTag to them? Maybe future iterations will be smaller and flatter.

One other security-related use. . .finding grandma. My 89 year old mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital twice this week. There were stretches where we didn’t know which hospital or whether she had been released. Basically, we lost her. Maybe it’s time to attach an AirTag to her belt loop.

*Don’t be surprised if status surpasses convenience as the primary selling point

Apple’s New AirTags

Will help you find whatever you’re likely to lose. $29 for one or $99 for four. Not because I need four, but because I can’t pass up a deal, I’ll be buying them in bulk. Designed primarily for keys, wallets, pet collars and the sort, I’m gonna think different and distribute them thusly.

  • My golf ball
  • My mind
  • My idealism
  • My boyish good looks