In July of last year, Android users were able to choose between 1.3 million downloadable applications, while the Apple store offered 1.2 million.* As we increasingly rely on digitized solutions to advance both commerce and interpersonal connections, we find ourselves in a position not unlike that of our forebears in the Industrial Revolution. It’s easy to think that people are replaceable.
Ironically, the opposite is true. By mechanizing so many aspects of our day-to-day routine, we actually amplify the value of face-to-face interactions – human insights, innovations and simple acts of kindness become more important and meaningful. People really are the next killer app. This is borne out in the Silicon Valley trend known as “acqui-hiring,” in which a tech company is snapped up, sometimes for an excessive amount, not because the buyer wants their product, but because they want the team who made it. The most valuable asset is the people. And even though it sounds like one of those horrible pop-management platitudes, it is nonetheless true. I recently celebrated my four-year anniversary with Freeman, and I’ve noticed in that time that it’s consistently the high-caliber people who have made all the difference. Their individual efforts have made us better as a company.
The implication for businesses, including Freeman, is that as we seek to hire and sell our services to the digital generation, we must understand “the people factor” in this new context. What does this generation require? How do we surpass those expectations? Companies who understand how to deploy this killer app will win.
P.S. Consider what Ron Johnson is doing with “Enjoy” to re-think retail with a human touch.
*(According to Statista)