Living and working asset light

Mary Meeker of Kleiner, Perkin, Caulfield and Byers released a new study on the state of the Internet that explores, among other things, how we’re making the transition from an asset-heavy society to one that’s asset-light.

What does that mean? Basically, we’re shedding (or have shed) many of the encumbrances of our pre-social/digital network lives.

Examples include the movement from extra-large to compact:  that is, three-car families to Zipcars or Hailo, face-to-face meetings to Google+ Hangouts, desktops to mobile, boxes and boxes of paper files to documents in the cloud. 

We’re becoming more portable and that’s having an impact on the way we do our jobs, communicate and interact. We have both more freedom and less – i.e. with extra flexibility, our workday feels like it never ends.

So how can you prepare for asset-lightness?

Here are four ideas:

  1. Simplify – and I don’t just mean throwing away junk (though that’s a good place to start). I mean thinking about all the things you do out of habit that simply aren’t necessary anymore. For businesses that means examining workflow (do people need to show up in the office at 9 everyday?), teams (come on, is all the hierarchy really necessary?),  internal and external communications (do you need to CYA with that much email?).
  2. Look to Millennials – stop hanging onto the past just because it’s familiar and you like the way things have always been done.  Embrace the changes. Start by watching, listening and learning from Millennials. By 2017, they’re going to be drivers of our economy and the way they discover news and information will be more important than ever. It’s time to adapt today.
  3. Experiment – with fresh ways of connecting and communicating. People don’t want to talk on the phone so much anymore. And they’re bombarded by email. So how can you reach someone in a meaningful, helpful, non-intrusive way?
  4. Put up a virtual fence – in other words, establish boundaries between your personal and professional life. Figure out how private and connected you want to be. And let people know. And stop feeling guilty that you’re missing something when you unplug. There are many worlds out there – virtual and otherwise. You’ve got more freedom, learn to savor it.

Having shed my agency and moving to a mobile model of working, I’ve been able to experience asset-lightness first hand and I like it a lot.

How do you think businesses and individuals will adapt. Can we continue to be consumers and embrace a less is more lifestyle?

 

About Martin Waxman


Martin Waxman is a digital, social media and communications strategist, content marketer, social media trainer and instructor and co-founder of three PR agencies. He blogs at myPALETTE and hosts the Inside PR podcast.

8 comments
EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek

Martin, there's one service organization in particular that needs to read this post, especially your "Experiment" idea. Their telemarketing team keeps calling for my husband, he's a member. Several times a week I tell them he won't speak to telemarketers, they should use the contact information they have for him and send him an email or snail mail but they won't. Their loss. 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

I love the second piece of advice. As my friends age, I sit and wonder how they became so obstinate and set in their ways. I think getting comfortable is a big detriment to everyone. Read, continuously learn, find new ways of doing things. Stop being comfortable!

martinwaxman
martinwaxman moderator

 @EdenSpodek Thanks Eden. It's funny, but some people (and organizations) can only do things one way when it's so easy to adapt, even a little.  I think that got the PR industry into trouble when they kept blasting bcc pitches and didn't listen to influencers who were telling them how they wanted to be approached.

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek

 @ginidietrich That's pretty sad especially considering how young they must be. I used to get chastised by peers for adapting my career path as new technologies emerged. For me, it was a natural evolution (or revolution in some cases) and I have no regrets today as I continue trying new things and figuring out how to integrate them with the old way that still work or replace the old altogether.

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek

 @martinwaxman Some members of the PR industry are still blasting pitches on a daily basis. I haven't been active on my own blog in almost a year and yet and receive an ongoing stream of PR pitch spam.

martinwaxman
martinwaxman moderator

 @ginidietrich  @EdenSpodek It sure does - and creative.  Some people - not mentioning any names :) - get so set in their ways that, as time goes on, they only have one way of doing things or looking at the world - even though the landscape has changed dramatically. Personally, that seems like a boring way to live...just going through the motions.

 

And Millennials see things from a different angle. Once I got used to it, I much prefer the ever-evolving view...

COPYRIGHT 2013 - MARTIN WAXMAN COMMUNICATIONS. DESIGNED BY A NERD'S WORLD.