The Post-PC CEO: No Desk, No Desktop

Steven Norton

Mr. van Paasschen, 53 years old, is among a growing number of professionals to enter the post-PC world, ditching the desktop and turning to smartphones and tablets as primary work tools. The former Coors Brewing Co. chief relies on his Apple Inc. iPhone and iPad for work at home and the office.

He admits that the transition was easier for him than for the average employee, since he spends the bulk of his time traveling, attending meetings, or reviewing documents others have created. But he is an early adopter, not a fluke.

As mobile devices get faster and add new capabilities, the chained-to-your-desk personal computer may begin to fade. Research firm Gartner Inc. projected in July that the traditional PC market, both desktops and laptops, was on pace to shrink 6.7% this year, and 5.3% in 2015, based on the number of units shipped. Tablets and smartphones, on the other hand, are expected to grow.

Gartner says more than a third of US adult smartphone users use their smartphones for video calling

Gartner:

Video calling is growing into a key mainstream activity on smartphones, with high adoption rates in some markets, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey, which was conducted in June 2014, surveyed more than 6,500 U.S. and German consumers about their technology usage and attitudes in order to gain a better picture of how devices are used for work and leisure.
 More than 50 million adult smartphone users in the U.S. (about 35% of the total surveyed) use their smartphones for video calling. This number is likely to exceed 60 million people when those ages 17 and younger are included. In Germany, more than eight million adult smartphone users (about 20%) use their devices for video calling, a figure more likely to exceed 10 million when those ages 17 and younger are included. Gartner defines video calling as person-to-person communication using a video application such as Apple’s FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangouts…

Fastest growing Instagram Demographic

Gary Vaynerchuk:

The fastest growing demo on Instagram is 40 to 60 year olds who are taking selfies. Let that sink in…
 
 So the next time you try to play the “my
 
 demo isn’t on social” card, you need to stop and actually confront the reality of the situation which is that we are living through the “youthification” of our society.

The Post-PC CEO: No Desk, No Desktop

Steven Norton:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. relocated to a new headquarters in Stamford, Conn., a few years ago. That gave Chief Executive Frits van Paasschen a chance to get rid of some clutter.
 
 The first thing to go? His desktop computer. “I thought, you know what, I actually don’t use it,” he said. Instead, he chose to go all mobile. “I do all of my work via mobile so essentially my office is wherever I go, and I can be much more productive.”
 
 Mr. van Paasschen, 53 years old, is among a growing number of professionals to enter the post-PC world, ditching the desktop and turning to smartphones and tablets as primary work tools. The former Coors Brewing Co. chief relies on his Apple Inc. iPhone and iPad for work at home and the office.
 
 He admits that the transition was easier for him than for the average employee, since he spends the bulk of his time traveling, attending meetings, or reviewing documents others have created. But he is an early adopter, not a fluke.
 
 As mobile devices get faster and add new capabilities, the chained-to-your-desk personal computer may begin to fade. Research firm Gartner Inc. projected in July that the traditional PC market, both desktops and laptops, was on pace to shrink 6.7% this year, and 5.3% in 2015, based on the number of units shipped. Tablets and smartphones, on the other hand, are expected to grow.

 

Brands Are Wasting Money on Facebook and Twitter, Forrester Says

Jack Marshall:

Marketers are increasingly turning to social networks Facebook and Twitter in an attempt to start “conversations” and “relationships” with consumers. According to research firm Forrester, they might be wasting their time and money doing so.
 
 “You don’t really have a social relationship with your customers,” analyst Nate Elliott wrote in a new report titled “Social relationship Strategies That Work.”
 
 According to Mr. Elliott, top brands’ Facebook and Twitter posts only reach around 2% of their fans and followers, and less than 0.1% of fans and followers actually interact with each post on average. What’s more, Facebook announced last week that another tweak to its news feed algorithm will soon make it even less likely brands’ unpaid posts will actually be seen by users.
 
 As a result, marketers hoping to interact with consumers online might be better off investing in social features that exist on their own websites, or in smaller, more niche social networks, Mr. Elliott said.

Bill Gates’ favourite business book tells us why Tata Nano ‘really’ failed

Vivek Kaul:

In July this year Bill Gates wrote a blog. He titled it The Best Business Book I’ve Ever Read. As he wrote “Not long after I first met Warren Buffett back in 1991, I asked him to recommend his favorite book about business. He didn’t miss a beat: “It’s Business Adventures, by John Brooks,” he said. “I’ll send you my copy.” I was intrigued: I had never heard of Business Adventures or John Brooks.”
 
 Gates got a copy of the book from Buffett. “Today, more than two decades after Warren lent it to me—and more than four decades after it was first published—Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read. John Brooks is still my favorite business writer. (And Warren, if you’re reading this, I still have your copy),” Gates added.

The Web Is Dying; Apps Are Killing It

Christopher Mims::

The Web—that thin veneer of human-readable design on top of the machine babble that constitutes the Internet—is dying. And the way it’s dying has farther-reaching implications than almost anything else in technology today.

Think about your mobile phone. All those little chiclets on your screen are apps, not websites, and they work in ways that are fundamentally different from the way the Web does.

Mountains of data tell us that, in aggregate, we are spending time in apps that we once spent surfing the Web. We’re in love with apps, and they’ve taken over. On phones, 86% of our time is spent in apps, and just 14% is spent on the Web, according to mobile-analytics company Flurry.

This might seem like a trivial change. In the old days, we printed out directions from the website MapQuest that were often wrong or confusing. Today we call up Waze on our phones and are routed around traffic in real time. For those who remember the old way, this is a miracle.

Everything about apps feels like a win for users—they are faster and easier to use than what came before. But underneath all that convenience is something sinister: the end of the very openness that allowed Internet companies to grow into some of the most powerful or important companies of the 21st century.

For Millennials, the End of the TV Viewing Party

Alex Williams:

The television has always been more than just an appliance. For decades, going back to the days when a single family on a block might have a color TV that the neighbors were invited in to watch, it has been a portal to a dreamscape, a status symbol, a trusted late-night companion.
 
 Back in the Norman Rockwell days of one-career households and family dinners, that trusted cathode box was not only the centerpiece of most living rooms, it also served as a form of emotional glue for the family. Through it, the shared experiences — the Beatles on “Ed Sullivan,” the Miracle on Ice — would define a generation.
 
 But mention that experience to someone like Abigail McFee, a sophomore at Tufts University, and she may look at you with a gaze of penetrating puzzlement. She recently dropped by a friend’s room on campus and beheld the most incongruous sight: a small television perched on a dresser.

The future of Airbnb in cities

McKinsey:

Since its founding, in 2008, Airbnb has spearheaded growth of the sharing economy by allowing thousands of people around the world to rent their homes or spare rooms. Yet while as many as 425,000 people now stay in Airbnb-listed homes on a peak night, the company’s growth is shadowed by laws that clash with its ethos of allowing anyone, including renters, to sell access to their spaces. In this interview with McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland, Airbnb cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky explores how the company’s relationships with cities can evolve. An edited transcript of Chesky’s comments follows.
 
 Interview transcript
 
 Starting a revolution
 It’s a currency of trust, and that used to live only with a business. Only businesses could be trusted, or people in your local community. Now, that trust has been democratized—any person can act like a brand.
 
 Airbnb is a way that you can, when you’re traveling, book a home anywhere around the world. And by anywhere, I mean 34,000 cities in 190 countries. That’s every country but North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Cuba.
 
 The reason we started was I was living with my roommate, Joe, in San Francisco, and I couldn’t afford to make rent. That weekend, the International Design Conference was coming to San Francisco. All the hotels were sold out. Joe had three air beds. We pulled the air beds out of the closet, we inflated them, and we called it the “Air Bed and Breakfast.”

Why reports of the death of the salesman are greatly exaggerated

Frank Cespedes:

Perhaps it’s time for a re-think of “Death of a Salesman.” After two decades of talk about the “new economy” and the “disruption” of certain professions by the Internet, you might think that sales as we know it is as stale and outdated as Willy Loman — a function that has been “disintermediated” by the digital revolution.
 
 In fact, reports of the death of sales are not just exaggerated; they are wrong. To paraphrase a line from Arthur Miller’s play, “Attention must still be paid.” The sales force remains a force. True, the digital impact on business has been significant and, in some industries, revolutionary. But companies that view sales as just part of the plumbing do so at their peril. Consider:
 
 Annual spending by U.S. companies on their field sales efforts is three times the amount spent on all consumer advertising, more than 20 times what they spend on all online media, and more than one hundred times what they currently spend on social media.