So many big numbers and bigger questions
Every tech company
(almost, sorry Twitter
) killed it this past quarter with eye-popping earnings built mostly on the strength of a quarantined public desperate for connection. In most cases, digital had to do, which is why consumers bought up laptops, tablets, phones, subscriptions to streaming content, and, through Amazon, anything else they could get their hands on.
What happens next, though, is up for some debate.
Have we forever changed as a society, rarely venturing outside, avoiding human contact, ordering not just new gadgets but basic necessities through Amazon? It’s possible. However, I think two factors will push us willingly or otherwise, back to our old ways.
On the willing side, a vaccinated public is going to get the heck out of wherever they’ve been hunkering down. We will travel (maybe not always by air, but people will drive), we will congregate outdoors, and some might even return to the movie theaters. Though, on that last point, when I ran a survey asking if people are ready to return to movie houses, 75% of respondents said, “ Hell, no!” Okay, I added that emphasis. They just said “no” with the “Hell” implied.
The other thing that could push us a bit back to a slightly more analog existence is the impending chip crisis
. The pandemic messed up supply chains and normal chip-buying patterns. Tech companies churning out systems for a demanding public bought a lot of basic chips and left car companies and others with few-to-none.
Now the tables have kind of turned as, I guess, silicon manufacturers are trying to supply entry-level chips to those left starving for them, while leaving some companies like Apple, wondering if they’ll have enough silicon to meet still-strong laptop and tablet demand next quarter. One thing this has highlighted is the need to get chip manufacturing back in the U.S.
Put simply, there are no easy answers to what the next 12 months will really look like. We want normalcy, but most agree we have to settle for The New Normal. I just wish someone would tell me what that is.
Memes Part II
Ever wonder what happens to memes when they move on or grow up? In some cases, they become NFTs, or at least they turn the original iconic image of themselves into an NFT (Non-Fungible Token).
Last week, I read about Disaster Girl
, now a college senior, selling for $500,000 the image of her grinning sinisterly (as much as a very young girl can) in front of a house fire. My first thought was, “Oh, my God. That little girl is now an adult.”
Memes are so powerful because they are iconic, unchanging images. What’s often forgotten is that these are almost always photos of real people who grow up, change, and generally do things that have nothing to do with that one-split-second moment. Overly Attached Girlfriend
Laina Morris is now 30 (also YouTube star
). Success Kid
Sammy Griner (who was a toddler when he became meme-famous) is a teenager. Time and people march on.
Now we have grown-up memers doing what makes the most sense for them, continuing to cash in on that one, special image. Sammy’s mom confirmed to me on Twitter
that they have created one NFT based on the Success Kid image (and plan more). I say more power to them and wonder: Is it time for me to get in on the NFT action? I am, after all, “Toaster Face.”