The Mix Tape, Vol. 19
In celebration, here’s the best song about the number 19:
The Department of iPhone Issuance and Annoyance
The Apple Store used to be fun. Now, visiting the store is a crowded, unpleasant, and time-sucking chore.
A trip to the DMV is efficient and pleasant in comparison.
So I did some old-man-yells-at-cloud ranting about the Apple Store experience on the blog this week, but also shared ideas on how to improve it:
Third: Utilize iPhone messaging to personalize the experience.
Apple, you know when I walk into the store. Your app tells me it knows I’m there. So if I have an appointment, say, “Hi Matt, please see Emily to check in for your appointment. Here is a picture of Emily,” so customers I have a clue where to go.
Better still: automatically check me in when I walk in. Again, your app knows I’m there.
Send me updates on my estimated wait time: “Hi Matt, just two people ahead of you and then we will be right with you.”
Surprise me with something: “Hey Matt, thanks for waiting. Here’s $5 off of a case for your new iPhone if you’re so inclined.”
Then send me a thank you message after I walk out.
Apple has a new head-of-retail, Diedre O’ Brien, after former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts resigned from the position earlier this year. I’d be shocked if they weren’t working on ways to use technology to improve the in-store experience. It’s badly needed.
WeWork close to folding its house of cards
The WeWork IPO implosion continues unabated, and the schadenfreude would be more savory if thousands of people (maybe 10,000) weren’t about to lose their jobs.
(Not to mention the hundreds of landlords likely to get stiffed on rent as WeWork faces possible bankruptcy.)
Now lunatic carnival barker Adam Neumann is out as CEO, but will he face any consequences?
NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway has stinging—and accurate—commentary on WeWork and Neumann in an interview in New York Magazine:
You haven’t even begun to see the anger that will be unleashed on Adam Neumann. He has 15,000 people right now who are stuck cleaning up. They feel like circus clowns shoveling the shit behind the elephant of Adam Neumann. He has taken $750 million and left a toxic-waste cleanup.
Adam Neumann came in, smoked his own supply, and walked out with three-quarters of a billion dollars about the time that people in hazmat suits showed up. It’s like the guy at Chernobyl who refused to believe what was going on was given three-quarters of a billion dollars to leave before shit got real. That’s what happened here. So he and his family will literally have to go into hiding. There will be threats against his life. There’s going to be so much anger here.
Of course, it’s not all on Neumann. He had plenty of enablers—his board, investors, etc.—but it’s employees and commercial real estate holders (landlords) who will pay the steepest price. Very sad.
Google Photos will soon search text in images
This is potentially really useful:
Photos will now also look for text that appears in images. This allows you to search for words and bring up all results where that phrase physically appears, no matter how small or if it’s at an angle. It performs particularly well on screenshots, but also works on any text that appears in an image.
Several use cases come to mind:
Archiving useful tweets, for which I have no logical method of saving. When I see a tweet I want to preserve, sometimes I bookmark it in the app, and sometimes I screenshot it. Either way, I rarely access the tweet ever again.
Marketing infographic screenshots, which I routinely capture and send into iPhone oblivion.
Kindle screenshots, when I highlight a passage *and* want an image of it preserved as well. Today I never see those screenshots again.
Hopefully we see this in iOS Photos soon as well.
Less social media means less news consumption, and increased happiness
Interesting study on how social media usage fuels news consumption, and creates a cycle that makes people less happy:
When half the participants took a Facebook break, the researchers found that they didn’t substitute traditional media for the news they’d been getting on Facebook: “On average, participants in the Facebook restriction group significantly decrease their consumption of news by 0.64 standard deviations with respect to the baseline (p value < 0.05)
Facebook induces feelings of depression,” the researchers write. This could be because the students were doing more healthy things. It could also be because they were reading less news.
Of course, after the study, participants went right back to their normal levels of Facebook usage.
Retire? More like rehire.
NPR looks at the changing face of retirement:
It goes like this for nearly an hour, with 89-year-old Orozco doing every move he asks of his class. He does that in each of the 11 classes he teaches every week at this YMCA in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
"I probably will work until something stops me," Orozco says.
He may be an outlier, still working at 89, but statistics show that there may be more people like him in the near future. About 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older is now in the workforce. That number is expected to increase, making it the fastest-growing group of workers in the country.
Older adults are turning their backs on retirement for many reasons. Some, like Orozco, just love what they do. Others, though, need the money, and there are a lot of reasons why they do.
I believe the traditional concept of “retirement” will slowly fade away. The economic realities of healthcare and housing make retirement less and less achievable for many.
Besides, there are numerous health and mental benefits to continuing to work—if you enjoy it.
Of course, older workers face discrimination and can have a hard time finding traditional work.
So what’s the answer?
Entrepreneurship and micro-business creation.
There’s an enormous opportunity to teach business creation to workers over 50 or 55—which, contrary to the Silicon Valley tech-bro stereotype, is the age profile for many successful new business creators:
a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company as a 30-year-old. (Or, for that matter, a successful side hustle.)
Sixty-year-olds are also much more likely to create successful businesses than 30-year olds. Fascinating.
I think about “retirement” as a spectrum—an ongoing process of whittling down:
How do I progressively do more of what I enjoy and less of the stuff I don’t—inside and outside of work?
How do I keep learning and changing to avoid being stagnant?
Thanks for reading! Please stop by and visit www.matttillotson.com.