The book’s introduction starts with an overview of three transformations that followed the mainframes:
From mainframes to interacting with desktop computers using a keyboard
The graphical user interface (GUI), and specifically the mouse
Touch interfaces, including mobile devices
The Fourth Transformation? That would be “Spatial Computing.”
The Fourth Transformation didn’t initially seem especially interested in discussing the actual technology. The focus was more on how retailers and marketers had better get with the program of augmented reality /virtual reality / mixed reality technologies. “If you are part of a big brand, you need to know about this now so you can understand how your customer relationships are about to change and so you begin to adjust course.”
Amazon is taking over the world, or so it sometimes seems. They convinced the US Postal service to bring back Sunday deliveries. Sometimes people casually refer to having “tons of stuff,” while Amazon sells tons of stuff every day. Their building boom in the Seattle area includes everything from conventional offices and warehouses to biosphere domes. Increasingly, Amazon is entering the shipping business as well.
The brand made it to the real world sooner than anyone expected. Their first cargo aircraft, dubbed Amazon One, is prominently labeled Prime Air. It was revealed to the public with a flyover at Seattle’s annual Seafair festival. The prime number in the aircraft’s tail number is a subtle nod to the observant.
I pass several coffee shops and kiosks on the way to my favorite one. Certainly I could save a little time and mileage by stopping at one of those, but going the extra mile is worth it to me.
What makes Blue Steele Coffee Company worth the longer drive? In fact, how do folks know Blue Steele exists? They don’t do much marketing beyond social media postings on Facebook. Thanks to word-of-mouth advertising, they’re known for several things including their coffee, their service, and their history.
They bring me my food and drink. (They don’t make me listen for my order to be called the way fast food places and some coffee shops do.) That’s a big deal to me, especially if I’m meeting someone.
Some at Consumer Reports were no-doubt trying to figure out a good way to explain how their much-vaunted ratings system had broken.
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
As it turned out, Consumer Reports cleverly decided to trumpet that their ratings system had been broken. The strategy worked so well that their web site crashed, apparently under the load of all the interest raised by the headline: Tesla Model S P85D Breaks Consumer Reports’ Ratings System.
I’ve been simplifying my life, which included a cancellation binge. I cancelled my Consumer Reports subscription, and allowed my Costco membership to lapse.
I was puzzled that Costco never made any effort to find out why I was no longer a member, and never even acknowledged my departure as a customer. Their emails kept coming, and when I unsubscribed from those there was again a deafening silence.
My experience with Consumer Reports was completely the opposite. I unsubscribed online and was immediately surveyed as to why I was leaving, how they could do better, and whether I’d consider coming back. They even asked if I’d be interested in joining a focus group with fellow ex-subscribers.