Monday Dec 30, 2013

Looking Back on 2013: I Didn’t See THAT Coming

by Jim Lein | Sr. Principal Product Marketing Director | Oracle Midsize Programs | @JimLein

Like me, I’ll bet you’ve been inundated with emails and social media posts declaring trends and predictions for 2014. I think it would be much more interesting to learn about what the experts got wrong and why.

I confess—I planned on updating my 7 Enterprise Applications Trends for High Growth Companies in 2013 for 2014. But when I started the process, I was reminded of a lyric from the song Teen Angst by Cracker, “What the world needs now is another folk singer like I need a hole in my head”. That lyric cuts a little too close to the bone—I am a folk singer—but the thought jarred me into realizing that the last thing we probably need now is another set of New Year predictions.

The Bane of Email

That’s the most impactful, long simmering trend I did NOT see rising to a boiling point in 2013. The daily deluge of email keeps us from getting quickly to what we want: insightful, valuable information that helps us make better decisions.

Midyear, our team adopted an email charter and moved all of our collaborative work over to Oracle Social Network. I have 100% switched from email to social media and texting for personal correspondence. Yet I still spend over two hours a day reviewing emails. It remains a necessary evil. On average, email users check their inbox thirty times per hour!

It doesn’t matter whether you are a Baby Boomer or Generations, X, Y, or Z. We all want fewer emails. We have short attention spans. We are all information junkies. We spend hours scanning email subject lines and social media tag lines for that one or two words that will seize our attention. Yet we don’t want less or shorter content as much as we want better content.

One Pledge; One Prediction

I pledge in 2014 to craft more compelling content—valuable thought leadership from Oracle, partner, and customer experts to share with decision makers at growing midsize companies.

I predict that I will adopt voice recognition software and join the swelling wave of users who believe that the QWERTY keyboard has become a complete waste of space and efficiency.

On both counts, time will tell if I was right.

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