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tech worlds' new offices, on the sharing economy and social media via Vietnam

We continue to live in interesting times. Now feels more interesting than most though with an increas
tech worlds' new offices, on the sharing economy and social media via Vietnam
By Connected Paths (Riaz Kanani) • Issue #4 • View online
We continue to live in interesting times. Now feels more interesting than most though with an increasing number of big changes set to transform the world we live in. Whenever there is change - (usually?) it is better for the majority and negative for the few. Read on for a dive into these big topics and interesting news from the business and marketing world from the lens of a successful entrepreneur and marketer with a healthy fill of experience in tech and business. Feel free to discuss further on Twitter.

This week the focus is on the changing nature of work both in the office and outside, a quick detour into  Vietnam and why it is booming today before wrapping up with a look at the turmoil in social media today and a few books I’d recommend.
There are some big changes coming to the workplace but if you assume Apple think a lot about these things, then their investment in major offices back in Cupertino (designed by UK architect Norman Foster no less) and in the Battersea power station suggests that they continue to believe in the value of large office spaces that bring people together. You can see pictures here and a video here of their spaceship like HQ and read more on the UK HQ here
Whilst the tech firms are continuing to build large HQs - others are building smaller HQs splitting operations and executive headquarters. This makes little sense to me as it is hard enough already for executives to understand the problems happening on the ground without moving to an ivory tower.
Separate to all this, a major theme changing the way large swathes of the population work is the sharing economy led by companies like Uber, AirBnB and eBay (see #books at the bottom of this email to read their origin stories). The suggestion being that more and more people will stop working for companies and work for themselves using companies like those mentioned above to manage the process. It is little talked about but it is happening in the professional fields as well, with solicitors coming together working under an umbrella brand but remaining independent
Generally it is good for the person consuming those services - it eases access to a larger marketplace and increases competition whilst also being good for the former employee who gains more control over their working hours. This is not always the case. Also with increased competition, comes lower pricing so it is likely to result in more work for less pay - not a good thing in the end then for the former employee. How governments deal with this new form of worker is also yet to be decided with most issues being determined in the courts today. Failure to protect them adequately though may result in the rise of a new type of union. 
The other aspect is that for the most part, the companies running these marketplaces are disrupting regulated industries that pay specific taxes for their services. For example, taxis pay a tax which contributes towards road infrastructure in many cities. Over time these will have to apply to the marketplaces or the money found from elsewhere. 
Last week saw the increasing amounts of manufacturing returning to the west thanks to automation. It made me go out and look at the developing countries and one country stood out - Vietnam where liberalisation of its economy is leading to greater investment. Worth a read here and here to understand the change happening inside Vietnam.
A focus on social media this week, with Mailchimp - one of the largest SME focused email marketing platforms - expanding beyond its email core to help marketers deliver Facebook ads. As their CEO Ben Chestnut puts it - “it’s not a newsletter tool, it’s a thing that helps them look more professional”. A broadening of their view on the world then and it feels like a good fit for their customer base. It is also a good place to start in order to grow your list - a must if you want your email marketing to deliver. 
Elsewhere, Snap is hitting problems with its IPO thanks to its user growth not being as hot as many hoped - with the launch of Instagram Stories suggested to be the big reason behind the slowdown. Snap blames technical issues but the knives seem to out for Snap right now with others suggesting it might be a repeat of Twitter’s performance, which itself continued to miss expectations with the release of its numbers.
For those that do use Snap though, we should see more opportunities for advertisers come to market thanks to them opening up their APIs to all advertisers. Should help their bottom line as well!
Finally on a lighter note - some analysis was done on Twitter’s most prolific tweeter - and it looks like most of the tweets were garbage. Oh dear. 
books worth reading
With the commentary on the workplace above, an interesting book to read is Brad Stone’s new book The Upstarts, which looks at the origin stories of Uber and AirBnB - both leaders in the idea of a sharing economy. You can see an excerpt here.
During a dinner on Friday, email marketing guru Kath Pay recommended The E-Myth for anyone looking to strike it out on their own - worth a read if you haven’t already. 
Did you enjoy this issue?
Connected Paths (Riaz Kanani)

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