By Steve Moran
It kind of pains me to write this article because Apple wins, and I am mostly an “anything but Apple” person. On the other hand, it is not that hard since I am just coming out of a frustrating battle to get my Facebook ads account back in good graces.
A few weeks ago, INC.com published an article titled Tim Cook May Have Just Ended Facebook. The basic idea is that Apple is a lifestyle brand. This means Apple is focused on creating a great user experience all the time. In the context of this article, it means that Apple is focused on allowing their customers to control their own data and access to that data.
Facebook, in contrast, is focused on extracting as much data from their users as they can get away with and then using that data to sell ads. In other words, they don’t really care about the customer, only about selling the data.
Works Well So Far
What Facebook is doing, really has been doing since their early days, has worked and worked really, really well, making Mark Zuckerberg and shareholders buckets of money. Mostly people just shrugged their shoulders, figuring that giving up privacy was the price they had to pay to access Facebook. It has never been that users liked giving up control over data but what else could they do?
The World Is Changing
The world of data privacy is changing very rapidly. People are tired of having their data, which means their personal lives exploited by Facebook and others. Politicians and regulators have figured out this is a winning issue that is worth fighting against.
I think predicting the demise of Facebook any time soon would be presumptuous. But we are, in fact, actually seeing younger people move away from Facebook to other platforms. Will Facebook still be around in 10 years? Probably, but it seems likely they are at a pivot point where the wrong decision will cause serious harm and the right decision could bring further growth.
It remains to be seen which way they will go.
In a very real sense, senior living is at a crossroads too. A lot of people use it because it’s what’s available, not because they are in love with it (like Apple users are about Apple products). The challenge is not so much that regulators will make the business more difficult (though that too is possible, particularly for nursing home providers), but rather that if consumers are offered something better, other alternatives, they will have very little incentive to stay with the current product.
There are a bunch of people trying to figure out how to serve older people in newer and better ways. Just a single example is to ponder what impact self-driving cars might have on the demand for senior living.
With senior living so down and out, it is tempting to just long for “the good old days”. But if we are honest, the good old days were not that good. And only getting back to the good old days means a long slide to irrelevant.
But what if we actually figured out how to take senior living and transform it into a lifestyle brand with many, many flavors depending on the needs, wants, and desires of the senior living consumer? It would be amazing, life-changing, and very very profitable.