/ Weekly Takeaways

How to not be stupid, the new luddites are here and Apple's worst year since 2003

How to not be stupid

This is a worthwhile concept created by Adam Robinson (entrepreneur / investor type) that dives into 7 key ways in which anyone can be stupid. You can check out a very short form version of it here for a taste: https://fs.blog/2019/01/how-not-to-be-stupid/

Key Takeaway

I recommend reading it, because it's not much longer than this post - but in case you don't - stupidity is not necessarily something you're born with or without. It's a function of the actions we choose or don't choose to take based on what the world is telling us. Think about the data that you consume every day and whether or not you're choosing to be smart about its interpretation and application. Like any habit, it may take more practice and patience than you expect before it becomes muscle memory.

Amazon's workforce is unionizing against robots - welcome to the new industrial revolution

Workers at Amazon's warehouses have begun to threaten Amazon with unionization amongst ongoing complaints of unfair treatment. This has included 60 hour workweeks and high pressure metrics for performance such as how many items they're able to sort in an hour. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/01/amazon-fulfillment-center-warehouse-employees-union-new-york-minnesota

Key Takeaway

I've written a fair a bit over the last year about how robots are getting better at manual tasks like "sorting items in an hour". We're now seeing the effects of this innovation, in the form of a battle between humans and robots in the workplace. In this particular case - humans are being pushed to perform at the same speed as robots, and unfortunately for the humans, they're unable to beat the robots.

For any job where critical thinking isn't a necessity of the job - the current Amazon unionization issue is a sign of things to come for any company that requires repetitive labour.

Apple sees its worst performance in 15 years

Apple's stock took a huge hit this week with drops in iPhone sales not only in North America, but in China as well, where they thought they'd make a huge dent. This signal is indicating the end of growth in mobile as the world has hit its peak in smartphone ownership. Virtually everyone who might have bought a smartphone, now has one. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/03/apple-has-a-core-challenge-and-its-not-china-says-toni-sacconaghi.html?recirc=taboolainternal

Key Takeaway

We've reached peak smartphone, which may also be a proxy for peak digital design. When smartphones first came out, we saw web browsers go through rapid evolution in what they could do for end users. Faster content, higher quality video, augmented reality, virtual reality, you name it, all powered by a relationship between software and hardware. But when the hardware fails to move forward, software is at risk of standing still as well.

For Apple - this means if they fail to be the next big move in consumer tech like they were with the first iPhone - they'll need to move in the same direction as Microsoft with a focus on services over hardware.

How to not be stupid, the new luddites are here and Apple's worst year since 2003
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