Red vs. Blue

....in a Post COVID, WFH, Remote, Digital, Tech World

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Buzzword galore (nice article title)!

But really, something to take a good hard look at is the whole Red vs. Blue state, which I recently uncovered in my latest read by Scott Galloway. The Red vs. Blue state will be something that more and more organizations will need to consider, as they tug on more data and make privacy, well, less private. The conversation, in my opinion, is something of extreme importance. In the words of Mr. Galloway himself, “technology has advanced to the point where the widespread disruption we’ve been expecting for decades started to share the roots of the largest consumer sectors in the economy.” In other words, technology is no longer cool tools or productivity hacks. Technology is becoming more and more intertwined with how we actually live life, not live a better life or more productive life, but actual life: how we eat, how we move, how we communicate, how we receive our necessities, how we learn, etc.

Now, consumers and organizations need to realize there are two ways to go about this – Red or Blue. Here’s a quick example laid out in Galloways book “Post Corona” (great read): iOS vs. Android  –  iOS (blue) offers a higher quality, better branded product, for much more cash upfront, but much less exploitation on the back end, versus Android (red), a decent product for a low upfront cost, but the sacrifice is your data and privacy. As mentioned by Galloway, Android phones poll 1,200 data points a day vs. iOS’s 200.

Further explained:

Red equals low-cost players from airlines to fast food. They will seek to take advantage by exploiting and monetizing customer data to pass the savings on to their customers and compete. Amazon, Google, Facebook and more operate like this now, but they may be shifting (I doubt it). The bottom line is that the customer is their product.

Blue equals premium players. They will wrap themselves in the blue flag of privacy and collect a nice margin for the courtesy of not exploiting customers data (ex. “your information belongs to you”),  paid for via subscriptions, bundles/rundles or even “donations” (check this out by Signal – Whatsapp communicated some of its “redness” and Signal is killing it by taking massive market share).

Even with this, where do we draw the line? Will Red vs. Blue create more divides? We already know what a money divide, geography divide and digital divide look like – if you have more money, live in the right country and have access to technology/internet, you have more opportunities. Is it fair to state that there could be a privacy divide? If you have the resources (money, bitcoin etc.), can you keep your data and life more private than you would without the resources (leaning towards low cost services/products that are headed by an organization that exploits your privacy and data)? This is the question. Or you can just stop using technology. But, here’s the scary thing: technology is so intertwined with how we live life and survive, the probability of not using any technology is slim to none.

So where do we draw the line? I don’t have the answers! Maybe you can tweet me.

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