If you’ve ever imagined doing any activity with earbuds in but without the cord getting in the way, then yes, AirPods are the greatest thing since canned beer and sliced bread. The immediate connectivity with your other Apple products works as expected and continues to be an overwhelming strong suit for the Apple brand. Sound quality and noise cancellation is the same as stock Apple earbuds but the ease if you use is the awesome perk with the current generation of AirPods.
The earbuds themselves are really no different than the ones you get stock with every iPhone purchase you’ve ever made – just without the cord. I have never been the person who uses the buttons on the earbud cords such as stop, play or volume, but if you are that person, you do lose some functionality with the introductory model.
Apple did try to add some positive feature in the form of easy-access Siri. By double tapping on your right Airpod, Siri is summoned and accessible via voice control through the AirPods. While this sounds ideal, it is fairly unreliable and often leaves users standing alone, violently tapping the side of their heads.
AirPods (or something like them) are the future. The weirdness factor of having a white stem hanging out of your ear is weird at first, but quickly goes away after you realize how seamless they connect with your iPhone and/or Apple watch. Apple continues to dominate connectivity across devices and AirPods are a shining jewel of a compliment to the existing line. Bottom line, if you have an iPhone or Apple Watch, you will love AirPods. I will be ready to stake my spot in line for whatever comes next because the first generation of AirPods are likely a stepping stone to further breakthroughs in wireless connectivity in the not-so-distant future.
A generation ago, a college degree was the symbol of elite academic achievement and a lifetime of unbridled earnings potential. Higher education was only available to exceptional students and those with the financial backing of affluent parents. Those who couldn’t go to college had a plethora of other options ranging from trade schools to apprenticeships to jumping straight into the workforce. Fast forward to today, it is almost demanded that 17 and 18 year-olds pick a school and go for the promise of a better future and the loans will all be worth it. As we now have statistics to analyze, millions of postgrads are crippled with combined debt of more than $1.3 Trillion. That is trillion with a “T.” Most recent data from the undergraduate class of 2016 finds the average debt of a graduating student at $37,172 (Forbes). So, huge chunks of debt are being assumed so more college graduates can be created. From a high level, we all understand supply and demand: employers are being supplied with an ever-growing influx of available postgrad talent which means the demand (price) they are willing to pay is continuing to plummet. The other side of this coin: degrees are being handed out at the highest rate in history, skewing the relative value of a college degree lower with every grad cap that gets handed out.
So what does this mean? Millennials are strapping themselves to a debt burden that they can’t repay and, in the process, making the value of a college degree less valuable. Students go to college to make themselves more attractive to their future employer and strive for an advantage over their peers. But, if everyone else is getting a college degree and it’s almost expected, students have thousands in debt and no real competitive advantage to show for it. Moral of the story, why take on this debt when there are a myriad of other career options that don’t demand you conscript a bulk of your future earnings in interest payments?
As the Caddyshack quote goes: “The world needs ditch diggers, too.”
Love him or hate him, support or oppose him, promote or bash him – by many accounts, Donald J. Trump is a marketing genius. The 45th Leader of the Free World has made headlines for everything from global trade debacles to sexual transgressions but his stock has never been higher. While tiptoeing the line between politics and inappropriate dialogue, there are some revelations in effective marketing to be gained.
Early on in his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump identified his target demographics. Although easy in today’s two party system, there were a finite amount of consumers (voters) available and essentially only two products (candidates) to choose from. While Hillary Clinton dominated the left side of the political aisle, Trump was forced to identify what he could do well and target the voters that were most accessible to him. Policies aside, he developed a campaign that stoked the hot button issues that his targeted segments cared about most. Trump forced discussion and publicity of issues that divided consumers (voters) and Clinton would have had to sacrifice something she did well to compete with Trump’s popularity within his segment. Garnering support for polarizing opinions and platforms that Clinton could not easily replicate left him completely unopposed within the demographics he chose to target – similar to a monopoly in business context.
Customer centricity is a must for any firm hoping to find a lasting success in marketing their product; Trump used this theory in a unique way. The Republican ticket in 2016 made primarily conservative, working class Americans feel like there was a “product” tailored for them. Trump knew these demographics favored an anti-establishment movement; subsequently, the “drain the swamp” slogan was created that his supporters immediately latched onto. As the saying goes, consumers don’t want a quarter-inch drill bit, they want a solution for a quarter-inch hole – Trump made just enough voters believe that he was providing the solution for their unique problem.