Thursday, December 26, 2013

Time Magazine’s 1982 Man of the Year

Time magazine recently selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year.  Did you know back on this day in 1982, Time Magazine selected the personal computer as its Man of the Year?

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Now thirty one years later the storyline is the PC is old and dying.  Analysts are looking at declining PC worldwide sales (consumer and enterprise) of 9 percent.  Let’s take a deeper dive:

·         Pew Internet reported (September 18, 2013) its findings of adult gadget usage; 58 percent of Americans (16+) own a desktop and 61 percent own a laptop.  Overall, 91 percent own a cell phone, 56 percent own a smartphone, 35 percent own a tablet computer.  In the same study, Pew indicated that two-thirds of Americans use their smart devices to surf the Web and check e-mail – double the amount since 2009.

·         New research (eMarketer survey) indicates that the average Internet user is more likely to go online using their smartphone or tablet than a PC; 39 percent by smartphone, 12 percent by tablet with just 49 percent by PC.  This varies greatly by age group and sex where 59 percent of Internet users ages18 to 24 used their mobile devices.  Meanwhile 61 percent of women Internet users ages 25 to 49 used their devices to go online.

·         When I researched this year’s holiday online shopping behavior, I learned that according to new research conducted by ChoiceStream, 87.3 percent of U.S. Internet users still liked using their personal computers, but over one half researched or booked something (including travel, restaurant reservations, apparel, etc.) at some point via their mobile devices.

Will smartphones be Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2014?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crazy Busy

Everybody’s 2013 mantra has been “I’m crazy busy!”  Is everyone really “so, so crazy busy?”  Suggestion: As the year comes to a close, this is the time to re-examine your focus.

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Forgo unnecessary commitments/activities (a.k.a. over scheduling).
Congressing: Avoid being unproductive despite having a lot to do (source: Urban Dictionary).
Savor your private time.

Time to change your mantra!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Do You Have 60 Billion Nanoseconds?

Nanoseconds have evolved into the new measurement of time.  There are 60 billion nanoseconds to a minute, hence the title.  Do you have a minute?

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What is the definition of a nanosecond?  The fraction of time that elapses between when a traffic signal changes to green and the car behind you blasts its horn! 

Why the rush?  True we are all juggling a lot as it relates to balancing our work and personal lives.  However, we still need to take time out to eat food.  Yet it appears that people are beginning to spend less time enjoying their food since the physical time preparing and consuming food takes too many nanoseconds.  Consequently we are evolving into a “grab & go” society.  Let’s examine some of the facts:

·         Information Resources Inc. (IRI) released the findings of its latest consumer study.  They indicated that 79 percent of Americans eat three square meals or several mini meals throughout the day.  21 percent or 66 million Americans tend to grab their food or drink as the opportunity arises throughout the day.  IRI labels these consumers as “Opportunists.”

·         The research firm The Hartman Group reported this past year that consumers are eating 2.35 snacks per day.  They also revealed that the percentage of snacking occasions increased to 52 percent in 2012 from 48 percent in 2010.  The NPD Group released via their National Eating Trends (year ending February) that there has been an increase of 22 morning snacks per person since 2002.

·         The NPD Group reports that the percentage of drive thru customers vary by fast food restaurants; 57 percent for hamburger, 40 percent for Mexican and 38 percent for chicken.  According to the 2013 Drive-Thru Study conducted by QSR Magazine and Insula Research, the average drive thru time for Fast Food restaurants is 180.83 seconds, unfortunately a decline of 8 seconds (8 billion nanoseconds) versus 2012.

Is food becoming like fuel or what I once tagged “Portafuel?”


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Asian Tiger Cubs

Over the years I have been tracking luxury brands in Asia.  Singapore and Hong Kong labeled “tigers” have been the hub of Southeast Asia’s luxury goods sector.  Now new markets are emerging called “Asian tiger cubs.”

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Overall, according to a report released in late October by Bain & Company, Southeast Asia has experienced 11 percent growth in the personal luxury goods market compared to 6 percent globally in the 2012-2013 time periods.  Singapore remains the regional leader due to tourists/visitors from mainline China and Indonesia who also flock to the new luxury casinos.  HSBC released a report that now indicates that the same Chinese travelers are frequenting Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.  The estimated growth in these markets are now projected at 40 to 60 percent given their small base, hence the label “Asian tiger cubs.” 

Unfortunately there are issues associated with the rampant luxury goods sector like high store rental and labor costs, local investment laws requiring foreign brands like Cartier, Gucci, Fendi, Channel, etc. to have a local business partner.  In addition, the World Bank recently projected that growth in these Southeast Asian countries will begin to slow down.  Regardless of what all the analysts are preaching, the “Asian tiger cubs” remain a popular tourist destination and the high-end brands continue to report double digit growth.

Will the “Asian tiger cubs” continue to grow up in Southeast Asia?