A common theme in marketing over the past year plus has been the concept that complex technologies and previously anonymous-seeming processes need to be ‘humanized’. This is likely rooted in the pandemic and a need to give people more of a personalized touch when many are living through a lock-down. Unless you managed to not watch any ads on TV recently, you’ll hear this in the ubiquitous (and now meaningless) messaging which starts with, “In these unprecedented times…”
As I write this exactly at 10:40 on April 15, I instinctually feel like there’s some important deadline I’m missing, a day where I feel should have already done something. Is it someone’s birthday or an anniversary? Do I need to get an oil change? No, it’s the traditional tax filing deadline in the US.
While this year’s news has been dominated by politics and pandemics, there may have been a universe-shattering discovery made in the world of physics—one that may realign the very way we think about forces of nature. ‘Now this isn’t the usual e-sign, e-security chit chat,’ you may think to yourself. Yes, this week on Tech Essentials, we will be dealing with the nature of the universe itself, so say with me “whoa!” in your best Keanu Reeves voice.
If there’s one thing you should know about me (in addition to being obsessive about e-sign and e-security), it’s that I’m a proud parent. Recently, I was at the dinner table engaging in a lively debate with my daughter about current events, and I was thrilled at how she could piece together a cogent argument. Her logic was impeccable, and her presentation was compelling. However, when I asked her how she knew her facts were true, I got: “because I heard it on YouTube and TikTok!”. Another gem: “I read it on xyz blog.”
A year ago, there was a sudden “shock” to the world that caused mass disruption in people’s normal routines, forcing an uncomfortable behavioral change for most. This pandemic-induced shift to an isolated work-from-home (WFH) routine should become a shibboleth once vaccines flow freely. But perhaps it wont. Over the course of the last year, we’ve all acclimated to our new routines, comfy chairs, lounging in between “meetings”, kids-play at odd hours of the day, work-from-anywhere with a hot-spot connection… not too bad (assuming your profession or business was not too negatively impacted). This acclimation may be the reason why the way we work may have genuinely been transformed — permanently and in ways we’re just beginning to understand. To shift “back” to office parks, we’ll need an equally dramatic and “opposite shock” (i.e. an over-abundance of COVID babies disrupting home workspace, or who knows what.)
This Sunday’s Superbowl will be the latest US sports championship to be presented during the COVID era. Kudos to the NFL for pulling of its season and post-season largely on schedule and without too many hiccups—though there were plenty. The Superbowl has become such a spectacle over its 55-year life, that it long ago transcended the actual sport for which it is declaring a champion. People will watch it for the ads, the celebrity-studded half time show, and so that they don’t miss out on whatever, meme-able mishap occurs that everyone will be talking about the Monday after.
2021 may now be well underway. The government is starting to drop more money from helicopters, potentially trillions more upon the trillions already. I am not sure what this means for the Bitcoin crowd (I won’t bore you with my speculation on this unless you ask…). But, we at RPost and Tech Essentials are a hopeful bunch, and as I wrote in an earlier Tech Essentials post, we believe that the decade of the 2020s (the single year 2020 aside) could be unusually prosperous as we recover from the pandemic—keep in mind that the 2020s technically didn’t begin until Jan 1 of this year.
News-wise, it’s almost as if 2021 told 2020 to ‘hold my beer’. In 15 days, this new year hasn’t offered any respite from the drama and anxiety that pervaded 2020, especially in the United States. I will not be rehashing or opining on any of the events that engulfed Washington DC last week, but it’s becoming clearer now that the aftershocks of the DC Riots will be far-reaching and will have a major impact on technology and free speech.
We at Tech Essentials realize this has been a doozy of a week in terms of news—mostly political and mostly bad. For those who needed a respite from Tuesday’s chaotic debate and the torrent of election-focused headlines, we offered a live virtual conference yesterday that highlighted how customers are using RPost’s RMail and RSign products to optimize financial processes, transaction automation and affordability with feature-rich e-sign and e-security.
Most clichés originated from terms that were once clever, useful and connoted some broader meaning from hearing the phrase. These welcome, useful terms catch on and last over time but eventually get overused and then get relegated to cliché status. “The Hair of the Dog,” as an example, lives in infamy today to mean, ‘indulge again in what you overindulged, and you may feel better’. This term originated from a 16th century medical “remedy” where if you were bitten by a rabid dog, you would put the burnt hair of that dog on the wound, and the hair would supposedly act as an antidote.