I had an appointment with Somebody recently in the Financial District. We had communicated in the same language that we would be meeting at Somebody’s office at 1pm on Tuesday. I show up as per our agreement at 12:58 pm on Tuesday. I ring the doorbell. A minute passes. No answer. I ring again. Two minutes pass. No answer. I call Somebody’s office number and leave word that I am waiting…..1:10pm arrives and I am gone.
(Two Hours Later I get a phone call from Somebody apologizing profusely with REASONS for NOT SHOWING UP.)
I just read an article about building relationships and how one thing not to do is to “be flaky”. It sounds so basic and simple yet somebody has to write an article about it? Is this silly or what? Or are we living in an age where common decency is not relevant anymore. Is the digital age causing us to forget how to relate to each other as human beings? It’s kind of like this: When the United States Postal Service announced recently that they plan to cut jobs, reduce service days and close offices a relevant thinking person would probably surmise that it’s email that’s led to the demise of traditional letter writing and the use of the postal service. People don’t write letters to dear friends anymore, they just press “send.” It’s quicker and more efficient. No one wants to be troubled. However, there is something almost magical about receiving a handwritten note. There is a certain feeling. But sadly, that seems to be a dying act. Are people forgetting how to be people?
…or are they? Announcement today: Google bought Zagat. Google has now become your local tastemaker. Brings me back to #df11 (Dreamforce 2011) where the declaration was betting on “local and mobile.” Coincidentally, or not I just got Google Voice yesterday for my ANDROID phone so in addition to my gmail account I kind of feel like they are taking over my life. Capitulation?! (Mind you that Google Docs temporarily blew up yesterday so they DO have their VULNERABLE moments).
Privacy appears to be getting less existent these days. The beauty of social media can be that it breaks down borders and ignites major revolutions for freedom but how much information sharing is too much? How much control do you have? What do you not know, that you do not know? Is it a matter of embracing/adapting just to keep up and be relevant or could it be a better approach to turn it off and live differently?
I was fortunate to attend the Dreamforce 2011 (#df11) conference last week right here in San Francisco. It was exciting to hear the keynotes by Marc Benioff, Eric Schmidt and Angela Ahrendts. I’m not a technologist but technology and social media are so RELEVANT I thought it wouldn’t hurt to hear what the industry’s leading visionaries were thinking. Ms. Ahrendts is the CEO of Burberry, that fabulous and iconic English luxury brand. She is also American from the Midwest. So just imagine a woman born and raised in Indiana who landed at a global fashion powerhouse and was invited to speak at perhaps the world’s biggest technology conference of the year. So what’s the connection between a high fashion luxury brand and social enterprise? Ms. Ahrendts and (no doubt) Mr. Benioff are betting real big on the value of social media to connect with customers. It’s beyond embracing and integrating Facebook and Twitter into your business model, it’s more like a Declaration that this is the new Reality. Adapt or Die.
As a big fan of luxury brands, fashion and social media I was intrigued that Ms. Ahrendts was very passionate about this idea of the customer’s “journey” in the context of the social enterprise. I decided to dig deeper. I found the transcript from a commencement speech she made at her alma mater last year and she shared her thoughts about the big “game changing question.” Do you know what your Core Purpose in life is? What is your fundamental reason for existence? Can you clearly articulate this? At the end of the day it’s about character and core values. Perhaps her Midwestern roots speaks to that.
Burberry’s Core Purpose is: “to Protect, Explore and Inspire.” Walt Disney’s is “to make people happy.” What is your Core Purpose?
So I just (gracefully) stumbled onto this article about Vanity Fair’s New Establishment List. The luxury lifestyle magazine is traditionally dedicated to Hollywood celebrity profiles and the occasional political scandal. But there appears to be a shift to “Who’s Hot” these days. Apparently the core of the “bucaneering visionaries” in this Top 100 list are leaders in tech who originate here in the Bay Area (surprise surprise). And Number One on the list is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg!
Power women are also represented such as, but not limited to Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Natalie Massenet of Net-a-Porter, and Angela Ahrendts of Burberry. I was fortunate to hear Marc Benioff of Salesforce interview Angela Ahrendts live yesterday at the Dreamforce keynote and I can understand why she matters. (more on her and Dreamforce in another post).
Tech is so relevant today so it is no surprise that these technology gods & goddesses are the new celebrities. The Bay Area is the New Hollywood.
Here’s the Top 10 and the link to the article. If the link doesn’t work just Google Vanity Fair or something. I’m slow that way. Sorry.
1. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
2. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google
3. Jeff Bezos, Amazon
4. Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive, Apple
5. Jack Dorsey, Square, Twitter
6. Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz
7. Reed Hastings, Netflix
8. John Lasseter, Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios
9. Lady Gaga, singer
10. Dan Doctoroff, Bloomberg L.P.