Monday, August 29, 2011

Technology, Law and Workplace: Week in Review (The Jobs Edition)

Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple CEO this week.  Because of his health issues, this was not shocking news but it is a shock.  Apple without Steve is a bit like Disney without Walt.  The company will continue, of course, and likely thrive, but will not be led by the personal, idiosyncratic vision that created it.

One notable practice that has led to Apple's success is the way in which it releases new products.  Many technology companies begin trumpeting new products long before their release, even before they have created usable prototypes of the products.  Tech enthusiasts have learned to become extremely skeptical of these pitches.  So many times, the great new tablet or PC or mp3 player or operating system or phone turns out to be much less than promised, and is released months or even years later than originally planned. 

Apple takes the opposite approach. It closely guards the details of its pending new products, despite numerous successful web sites, blogs and commentators devoted to unearthing those same details.  The products are announced only when Apple believes they are ready to be in the hands of users.   Regular Apple customers expect that the product will not be less or more than promised.  It may not be all that they want, and may cost more than they would prefer, but it will work as advertised. 

In part because of this approach to new product releases, Apple has built a fiercely loyal customer base (and benefits from months or years of free advertising prior to release). There is a simple lesson here: Do not promise your customers more than you can deliver.  Do not make promises that you cannot keep.  

Technology in the Workplace
  • How Much of Our Personal Lives Should be Under Employer Surveillance (Forbes)
  • Portability of Social Media Accounts: Here's Your Poster Child Example (HR Capitalist)
  • Cyberloafing Helps Work Productivity, Personal Emailing Doesn't, Study Finds (ABA Journal)
  • Led by LinkedIn, Social Media Recruiting Continues to Grow (ReadWriteWeb)
  • NLRB Social Media Memo Part 2: Unprotected Conduct (Lawffice Space)

Technology and the Law More Generally
  • Bloomberg Bolsters Legal Offerings with Deal to Buy BNA for $990M (ABA Journal
  • Samsung Cites Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Oddysey Movie as Prior Art Against iPad Design Patent (Foss Patents)
  • In Britain, a Meeting on Social Media (NY Times
Technology this Week

  • Without its Master of Design, Apple will Face Many Challenges (NY Times)
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary Now Includes "Tweet", "Social Media", Crowdsourcing" and More (TechCrunch)
  • How Social Media Affects Search Engine Optimization (Neil Patel)
  • New Apple CEO Tim Cook: I'm Thinking Printers (The Onion satire) 
  • McAFee: Android Malware Problem Getting Worse, Now Most Targeted Platform (Slashgear
Compiled and contributed by Scott Raver

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