The Death of the Alarm Clock, What Does it Mean….

As the New Year rang in there appeared an interesting story in the popular media which told of a “bug” in the Apple ™ iPhone’s alarm function.  It appears this nifty little device had a major social-economic impact as there appeared to be an issue with it going off for the first couple days of the New Year.

While our friends at Apple ™ didn’t give us all the scoop as I’m sure the same computer code which runs the “alarm (clock) function” is the same used to launch the nations stock of nuclear missiles right (humor for Apple ™ keeping everything secret)?  Anyway rumor on the street was there was an issue in the way which it calculated if a day was a weekend or weekday.  You may be looking at this and saying “what the“?  However I can say from firsthand experience as a former computer coder that figuring out where the day of the week lays is not an easy task, the specific how’s and whys are just too off topic for that lengthily of a ramble as we have more important fish to fry.

So why is “the Alarm Clock Dead” you ask, the answer is an interesting one, as not only did the story surface in the media.  It also surfaced among the coffee station chatter with questions among colleagues like “did your iPhone go off”?  While it’s not the norm to enter into discussions with your officemates and total strangers as to what’s on their nightstand.  This mini event in itself raised public discussion much like the Clementine Explorer hitting the moon with intention to raise dust from the resulting impact to see what was in it.

Here the iPhone Alarm “dust” if you will revealed that a surprisingly large number of folks no longer have an alarm clock and depend upon their smart phone to wake them.  Why on earth is this important you again ask yourself? Well first off it was a wakeup call to myself (pun intended) as I too use my smart phone (black berry in this case) as my alarm clock, as it started out of my travels and it just rolled out of habit into my personal life. However the point is I never consciously decided to change, it just happened.

This is one of the strange things about us humans as we can go onto autopilot, put the blinders on and wake up in a whole new place with no knowledge of how we got there.  Scary stuff, however fact is more interesting than fiction as what other incidents can you think of where your “personal autopilot” took over and you landed somewhere without you even knowing it?

Second is what about the alarm clock manufactures?  This social-economic event if you will was telling in the fact that people are no longer buying alarm clocks which is not something I thought about or realized.  However the lowly “alarm clock” is part of a larger Eco-System and much like an endangered species if you will.  It’s disappearance from that Eco-System will have an impact upon the whole feeding pyramid when it disappears.  As what will happen to the assembly line workers, the parts producers, the truck drivers, and the stores which sell them?  Will a replacement or smart phone accessory replace this venerable device?

The third piece of the puzzle is, as I’ve written before the “smart phone” is becoming the “many to one” device.  It’s our internet hot spot, video player, TV, Radio, gaming device and now our alarm clock?  The disruptive precipice we sit upon now as we teeter on the edge of one of “Gladwells” tipping points is amazing as the view from up here is fantastic!  However it’s a long way down!  Sweet dreams and hope you awake on time…

P.S. In sharing this with a colleague, he pointed out that the causal relationship here as being two of the final things we do in a day.  Charge our phones and set our alarms, as if you charge your phone beside your bed, you kill two birds with one stone figuratively.

 

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About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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