business news in context, analysis with attitude

We had a story yesterday, taken from a Pew Research Center study, about the growth in mobile computing and how people use tablet computers and smartphones.

Which led MNB user Alison Kenney Paul to write:

Kevin—fascinating info from PEW….we recently did some in-depth research on mobile use and found that it has a major INFLUENCE on shopper behavior…it’s not just about a transaction…it’s about researching, looking for stores, checking on store hours…etc. and found that shoppers using a smart phone are 14% more likely to purchase in store….another reason for retailers to embrace Wi-Fi and apps.


On another subject, an MNB user wrote:

At least more people are beginning to share my cynicism towards Apple’s business model being like Microsoft, although I wouldn’t call Microsoft nearly as monopolizing as Apple. The iPhone 5 changes should come as a surprise to NO ONE. Apple’s whole business model is to make small, incremental changes to their product line in a very rapid cadence and since their products are so proprietary and it is impossible to do any upgrading at all to the product (look at the new Mac Books as an example of this, as well as iPods/iPhones/iPads), you are basically forced to buy a whole new devise and pay a hefty price for the next new thing if you want it.

To further compound the issue and fuel sales, Apple’s marketing campaigns are aimed at young people who may or may not be financially responsible. I know that’s a broad statement and anybody can find an exception to it, but I think it’s generally a true statement if you watch their ads. It still dumfounds me that a high schooler or college student would gleefully wait in line for hours to pay $300 or more for one of these devises and then turn around and do the whole thing all over again six months later, not because there is anything wrong with the devise they just bought, but because Apple sand-bagged their technological advancements and now the new devise is just a “must-have” and the old devise is so “six months ago”.

As these devises become more accepted and ingrained in the lives of people over the age of 30 or 40, I would expect this cynicism to grow and Apple sales to somewhat slow down.

On the subject of gender discrimination, one MNB user wrote:

Because men statistically make more than women is not by itself proof of gender discrimination.  It's an easy assumption to make - that the cause is an intentional attempt by men to keep women out of the top spots.  If so, where's the examples of such blatant suppression, the proof?  Any smoking guns?  I'll venture that the response is that it's so much more subtle, and that men don't even realize they are doing it.  Ok, then it isn't intentional after all.  And if not, it doesn't seem like there's much of a case for this discrimination.

In my long career in business, I've never experienced or seen any actual gender discrimination.  Yes, I've seen men get promotions that women wanted, as well as the reverse. From everything I observed, there were lots of factors involved in the decisions, and gender didn't ever seem to be an important factor.

It seems that the strongest argument for gender discrimination is inequality of outcomes.  Men make more than women.  So is life not working out when outcomes differ?  This is similar to the thinking that we need to re-distribute earnings from those who are more successful, because it just isn't fair that they earn more?  By whose definition is this forced equality of outcomes fair?  And where do you draw the line?

Let's not fall into the victimization mentality.  Let's really study not just the salaries, but dig into the real reasons for the differences.  It might surprise us to learn that it's actually working out rather better than we thought.

I am not arguing - and most women I know would not argue - for a default victimization position. I am simply saying that while we may find litigiousness to be distasteful, it is not fair to argue that anyone who claims to have been discriminated against is playing the victim card, or is a troublemaker, or is simply looking for a legal remedy to a situation they could not correct through harder work and greater dedication.

And may I gently suggest that just because you have not experienced or seen actual cases of gender discrimination is not by itself proof that it does not exist.
KC's View: