Each week we feature our “Friday Top Five” stories, highlighting five things we thought were interesting, notable, or culturally significant. This week we are showcasing stories on SalesForce’s 4th Annual State of the Connected Customer. Slack rolls out new features and talks about things to come. Next, we talk about how Upstream wants to be the connecting solution for the digital networking divide. Orbit tries to tackle the timesheet. From there, we move onto a way to improve your personal brand on Zoom, Instagram extends time limits on live streams to 4 hours, Microsoft Launches full-featured iOS apps for the all-new Mouse Control, and Harley-Davidson is getting into the electric bicycle business.
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Story-1:: Customer Centricity by SalesForces
Overview: SalesForce has published their fourth “State of the Connected Customer” report provides a snapshot of a world thrown into flux by ongoing economic, health, leadership, social justice, and climate crises. Personal and professional lives have merged, and customers are calling on businesses to adapt. Key areas of focus are the following:
- Customer Connections Are Essential amid Crises
- Understanding and Convenience Drive Differentiation
- The Digital Imperative Hits Its Moment of Truth
- Customers Demand That Brands Demonstrate Their Values
Why It Matters: I love this opening quote from Simon Mulcahy, Salesforce Chief Innovation Officer.
“As the world adapts and shifts, challenge can — and should — breed opportunity, ingenuity and innovation; listening to the connected customer at this critical time and pivoting to meet their expectations will separate the businesses that emerge from this time stronger and more resilient from those that struggle to adapt. I sincerely hope you find these insights helpful as you navigate our new world. “Simon Mulcahy
Through reading the article you really come away with a few key takeaways. The first is that the customer experience matters as much as the product. Second, the customers expect companies to accelerate their digital transformation; so get working companies to be able to do tackle a set of challenges and address them with digital. Remembering that you don’t have to solve them all at once. Lastly, and probably most overlooked is that trust is the most important business core value.
Story-2:: Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield on Zoom, growth, and the changing nature of work
Overview: Slack CEO talks about new features that it is rolling out today, what to expect next, and highlights that need will dramatically evolve. They need to have new capabilities that meet different users’ needs and communication and collaboration styles.
“Butterfield hypothesized that an Instagram Stories–like feature for companies might be more inviting to people who may be burned out on having to attend video meetings constantly. “
Why It Matters: Similar in the way that people have different learning styles, people have different content sharing, meeting, and collaboration styles.
The goal is for Slack to create workplace tools that feel more “organic” and lend themselves more to “serendipity,” he said so that people don’t feel overburdened with online communications. I agree with this goal; while TEAM, Slack, Google Meet, Zoom are all informal, once a meeting is scheduled, it does feel more formal, and I miss the water cooler conversation. But beyond the tech, there must e cultural change. When I have meetings, I can tell you I prepare objectives, agendas, execute meeting minutes, etc. That is just my personality; it helps me stay locked in. But I have to bet there is a balance between recurring, one-off, and impromptu meetings.
With solutions like Slack, it will be interesting to see what comes next from their team and what the teams at Google and MS will bring to the market.
Link: Fortune Article
Story-3:: Upstream is the best way to grow your professional network.
Overview: Let’s say you are the CMO of a large company, and you want to allow your people to meet 1:1. The thought of coordinating the individual scheduling of ten-minute blocks using your Outlook calendar and email is not attractive. But with Upstream, you can choose the 30min block you want to offer and how long you want the sessions. You decide you want to run your office hours every other Friday at 2 pm ET for the rest of the year. The event is built and shared seamlessly to whoever you choose to offer the Office Hours to.
Why It Matters: Join communities, give and get help, attend events to meet other professionals, and spend meaningful time together. I think most people would care about these things in the corporate world; these are things that social media promised they would fulfill. I want a platform that allows me to host an event, have follow-on meetings, and or impromptu meetings with people. It would appear that Upstream has this capability. I have signed up for access to their beta
Story-4:: Time Sheet Management
Overview: When you’re running your own business or are a small team of creatives, keeping track of your time and invoicing, your clients shouldn’t be something you dread. That’s why we made Orbit make it easy to keep track of how much time you work, which project you spend time on, and how much to invoice your clients for.
Why It Matters: Many people work across several client activities, from actual client work to emailing and calls. It is hard to track everything you do. While I am not sure, Orbit addresses this exact use case. It is interesting to see more companies approaching this void in the market place.
Story-5:: How To Improve Your Personal Brand On Zoom
Overview: This article is all about updating your personal brand on Zoom. The article highlights four things that matter, I will add a fifth that is good lighting.
- Show up 5 minutes early
- Frame yourself
- Comfort = Confidence
- Let them see your eyes
“We need to approach our video meetings with the same level of care and intentionality as we do our in-person meetings,” says McGowan, who works with people who want to level up their video presence. “How we show up defines us and defines our personal brand.”
Why It Matters: You are your brand, and right now, your brand is front and center on Zoom. Nothing is worse than the person wearing a baseball hat, clearly couldn’t have been bothered to get up early, shower, get up, get their mind going, and be ready to tackle the day. Don’t be that guy (that person). Get up, get food, coffee, workout, whatever you need to be ready for ZoomNATION. Then use this playbook and a combination of good lighting and a proper camera to look professional.
Story-5+:: Instagram extends time limits on live streams to 4 hours, will soon support archiving
Overview: With individuals and businesses now limited from hosting in-person events — like concerts, classes, meetups, and more — users have turned to Instagram to live stream instead.
Earlier this month, the company began rolling out badges in Instagram Live to an initial group of over 50,000 creators who will test the feature by selling badges at price points of $0.99, $1.99, or $4.99. These badges help fans’ comments stand out in busy streams, allow fans to support a favorite creator, and places the fan’s name on the creator’s list of badge holders.
Why It Matters: Instagram is slowing, trying to figure out a way to create a platform that enables creators a one-stop-shop to share the content of different formats; long (IG TV), short (IG Stories), snapshots(Original Images) and watch later (archiving). They have monetization capabilities, messaging, and analytics all built into the app. It is impressive what they have been able to do all while maintaining brand equity.
Link: Tech Crunch Article
Story-5++:: Microsoft Launches full featured iOS apps for the all new Mouse Control
Overview: If you use Office and would like to make an iPad your laptop replacement, then this is what you’ve been waiting for. In announcing the updates, Microsoft showed them off in use with the new iPad Air, which Dana Wollman called “Apple’s best tablet for the money.”
“We know the Office experience on the iPad is an important tool for the many people who use it to work, learn, and create. The latest iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad models have introduced powerful new features and capabilities to enable people to be productive in more ways. Accordingly, we have made several updates to the Office apps to take advantage of these enhancements and make it even easier to work on the iPad.”
The Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps are now receiving updates to take full advantage of trackpad support in iPadOS to give iPad users using a mouse or Apple’s new Magic Keyboard easy cursor control, fluid navigation, and precise adjustments. When moving a finger across the built-in trackpad of Magic Keyboard, the cursor transforms into the tool you need depending on the content you’re pointing to. And using a mouse or trackpad with an iPad for common tasks like highlighting a passage of text in Word, selecting a range of cells in Excel, and moving and resizing graphics in PowerPoint is as simple and intuitive as ever. This experience will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever used Office on a Mac or a PC and helps make the iPad even more versatile and capable of getting more work done.
Why It Matters: If you are like me, you were extremely excited about the first iPad, then you got the device and realized that it was a brick. Fast forward a few years, and the iPad Pro promised all that an more, sadly it was still just ok. But now, with file management, mouse control, USB-c powering, and mouse support for Windows Apps, the promise of the PC might be here. Next week
Story-5+++:: Harley-Davidson is getting into the electric bicycle business
Overview: Harley-Davidson has spun out a new business dedicated to electric bicycles and plans to bring its first line of products to market in spring 2021. The new business called Serial 1 Cycle Company started as a project within the motorcycle manufacturer’s product development center. The name comes from “Serial Number One,” the nickname for Harley-Davidson’s oldest known motorcycle.
Why It Matters: The global eBicycle market was estimated to be over $15 billion in 2019 and projected to grow at an annual rate of more than 6% from 2020 to 2025, according to Harley-Davidson.