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Image Credit: Paul Felberbauer via Unsplash

One of my favorite shows is How I Met Your Mother. It is the show that I happen to watch every fall without fail. There are many reasons why I do this and why I love the show as much as I do, but there is one element of it that always resonates with me. From the first season until the show’s ninth and final season, we see the growth and development of all of the main characters. One noteworthy progression is the evolution of Barney Stinson, played by Neil Patrick Harris. At the beginning of the series, Barney is portrayed as a man with no emotional depth that is only focused on sex. By the end of the series, he reconnects with his estranged father and falls in love. There was a shift done for the overall purpose of the story. In the world of big tech, these types of changes happen as well. Companies like Spotify and Netflix have tweaked their business models from focusing on leasing out content to becoming content producers for instance. …


CODEX

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Image Credit: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash

The way that human beings communicate has always fascinated me. The way that we use tools to stay connected to one another. Over the last 100 years, the way that we do this has changed rapidly. Where it was once meeting up in person, to calling on the landline phone, to calling and texting with a smartphone we have seen numerous innovations that have been centered around connecting. The last major advancement in the way that we communicate with one another was the rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, it has become apparent that these services are becoming less for user communication and more for generating as much advertising revenue as possible (Facebook for example generated nearly $70B in advertising in 2019). As these companies have made this pivot to competing with Google for advertising revenue supremacy, a new method of communication has taken off: the group chat. …


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Image Credit: Magnet.me via Unsplash

There is a moment when a new product is introduced that changes the way that we think about an entire category. A product that changes the dynamic of things so much that other companies have to react with their version of it to stay relevant. The rise of Netflix for example sent shockwaves to the traditional television channels that they must adapt to the world of streaming. And if they do not do this, then they have languished in irrelevance. It is this kind of shift that I think about when it comes to Apple’s iMessage and how it has reshaped the way that we message one another. Specifically, in the context of those of us that use Android phones, it has created a litany of apps trying to emulate it and compete with it. …


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Allow me to paint a word picture for you. The year is 1999. You come home from school and turn on MTV. There you see Carson Daly standing there ready to serve up some music videos on TRL, the most-watched music show of your time. Then he introduces a new song. A rap song, done by a rapper that is white with blonde hair. It catches your eye and you are fascinated. The song is called “My Name Is…” and the aforementioned white rapper is Eminem. This was my first exposure to Marshall Mathers at the age of 12. 21 years later, as I think about his career and life I can’t help but come back to that moment. And I think of the current moment and what his perception is by rap aficionados across the globe. …


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Image Credit: Jen Theodore via Unsplash

I am a sucker for superhero movies. I love them in all their predictable and cheesy glory. One of my favorite lines from “The Dark Knight” comes courtesy of Harvey Dent (played by Aaron Eckhart). He says, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. It is a statement that is relatable in a lot of ways to almost all of us. Eventually, the world forces us to adapt, at times making us shells of what we used to be. We see this in our relationships with one another and we see some of our favorite brands make these sorts of shifts that go against the identity that we have crafted for them. This is a shift that Google seems to be going through that has angered many of its loyal fans. …


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Image Credit: Jp Valery via Unsplash

For the better part of the last decade, my full-time job has been involved in the retail world. Most recently, I held a position where I was a brand advocate inside of a big box store. During this time I became acquainted with the concept of the reseller. What would happen is that the store would run a rather aggressive sale, for example, $100 off of a new iPad. And what we would see occur is people coming in to buy as many of these as possible to be able to sell at a profit. …


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Image Credit: Daniel Romero via Unsplash

I’m a big basketball fan, I have loved the sport since I was a kid growing up in New York City rooting for Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. In the game of basketball, a team will inevitably have a bad season for whatever reason. That could be injuries, bad coaching, etc. But oftentimes there is a silver lining even in a bad year, where a young player will show promise or the star player on the team will play at a high level despite losing. When it comes to phone manufacturers, this seems to be an appropriate analogy for what we have seen in 2020. Objectively, 2020 was a terrible year for almost everyone. Yet in the phone space, Samsung has had quite the year, perhaps one of its best since it started making Android phones. …


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Image Credit: Apple

Diversification is something that should be applauded. We have all met that person that is incredibly one-dimensional. No one enjoys talking to a person that has a limited range of conversation. But we all know a few people like that, and their existence should make us appreciate the friends that we can talk to about almost anything. When it comes to companies that make products that we buy, we sometimes glorify the one-dimensional company. The company that only makes one kind of product can sometimes be glorified as being “laser-focused” and “true to its core audience”. Some PC gaming computer manufacturers come to mind here. A company like MSI is beloved by gamers because all they produce is hardware catered to the gaming community. It is when a company makes various products for various types of people that there seems to be a disdain that emerges. This was the first thing that I thought about when Apple unveiled the AirPods Max this week. …


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Image Credit: Elena Koycheva via Unsplash

I remember when the idea of the DVR was first introduced through TiVo in 1999. The idea was incredible, being able to pause and record live TV. But what it also introduced was being able to record something and fast forward through commercials. Ever since then, there has been a war on commercials. One of the few things that we can probably agree on as a society is that we don’t like commercials. This has forced advertisers to focus their efforts in different ways to get the message about their products and services out to the public. One way that this has happened is through social media marketing. Companies can create a post on Twitter or Facebook and pay to have it featured on the platform. This is a way that social media websites make their money. …


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Image Credit: Timo Wagner via Unsplash

Making a change is hard. When you are known for one thing and make the effort to make a pivot into something else challenges will inevitably arise. An example of this is the transformation that McDonald’s has attempted to undergo over the past few years. The chain once known for supersized fatty burgers and fries was trying to reinvent itself by offering specialty coffee drinks and more healthy options. The reason for this? People no longer wanted greasy fast food, they wanted good food fast. So McDonald’s tried to adapt, but 60 years of history is hard to erase and the reputation continues to be one of the greasy fast-food chains. In the content creator and digital age, there is a similar dynamic happening with OnlyFans. The service has come to be known specifically for sexual content and try as it does to shed that reputation, the company is learning that like McDonald’s that is not an easy thing to do. OnlyFans as a service is in a place where it is struggling to create a new identity, all the while trying to be supportive of the people that made the service popular. …

About

Omar Zahran

Tech enthusiast, writer, and lover of food

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