Work: Silicon Valley style

Silicon Valley has ruined work

Wired claims that the new work culture of ping pong tables, nap pods, unassigned cubicles, free juice, paid lunches (and dinners) and unlimited vacation days is an export from Silicon Valley. Furthermore, the author claims that this new work culture has ruined work in that it has eliminated the distinctions between work and personal life as work now has no barriers. The days of leaving work after five or six pm and not resuming until the next work day are over, courtesy of Silicon Valley.

dis-rup-shun: For those of us who started our careers wearing a suit and tie, every day, for the sake of impressing mostly our co-workers, the changes in work culture have been astounding. We have watched offices reflect our status, with size and location, then disappear for all except for senior managers, and we have watched cubicles go from large and tall to non-existent. Work today, more than ever, is defined by the culture of its boss(es), and requires teamwork and collaboration, given the lack of barriers between the most senior and most junior of employees. Making work fulfilling, as it fills a larger space in people’s lives, will be the biggest cultural challenge facing business leaders forthwith.

XBox Series X will be fast

Microsoft has released initial information about the next XBox, coming to us near year’s end. The early information indicates that the device will be long on horsepower, enabling games to load quickly, switch quickly between games, and support high graphics frame rates. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Google has disrupted the console space by offering strong titles via the cloud, at very attractive prices. Some believe a similar service from Amazon is inevitable. To remain relevant, console makers will have to emphasize the unique experience provided by a really powerful machine that sits next to their favorite gaming spot. Expect consoles to become even more powerful and expensive, closing the distance between gaming PCs and mass market devices, as much of the mass market migrates to cloud gaming. Console makers will have to re-examine their business strategy and margins to determine how to profit from lower sales of more expensive devices.

Huawei, the Google of China, rolls on with a smart speaker

Huawei has just released a smart speaker for the EU that will take on Google Home and Amazon Echo variants. The Sound X device does not yet come with its own smart assistant software in Europe, but does offer Xiaoyi, its voice assistant in China. The product will not be offered in the U.S. and is a partnership with French high-end audio specialists Devialet. The partnership is a move to position the product for audiophiles who will pay a premium for sound quality. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Huawei, despite intense and ongoing political pressure from the U.S., continues to release new and diverse products, including telecom equipment, smartphones and now, smart speakers. Blocked from the U.S., Huawei is aggressively competing in all other markets, drawing strength from large markets such as India and Europe, a strategy that will pay many long-term dividends.

Rumors indicate a low cost iPhone in March

The next swath of iPhones, coming as early as March 2020, may include a new low cost unit, possibly called the iPhone SE2. The last low cost iPhone was the iPhone SE, sold for $399 is 2016.  CNET

dis-rup-shun: Apple stands to gain a new following by catering to those not willing to spend for an iPhone 11 or 11 Pro. For those that feel they cannot join in the buzz inside the packed (pre-coronavirus) Apple Store, a lower price point will open up the fun to a new clientele. Additionally, it seems that an increasing number of spendthrifts are operating on iPhones that are 3 and 4 generations old. Apple’s new offering may be what’s needed to refresh a significant number of “sleeper” Apple fans.