The world just witnessed the overflowing sense of loss expressed with amazing speed and emotion over social media upon the death of one of the world’s most powerful and most influential figures of our time — Steve Jobs. Not only did today’s generation lose one of the most creative minds; more significantly, the world has lost a genius of a visionary who has made our lives what it is today in the age of the iPhone and the iPad.
The digerati’s cult-like admiration for Mr. Jobs is understandable. Steve Jobs was hard work and ingenuity personified. He was a man who was always dreaming up the next stage in digital technologies but more importantly, redefining the way we do things, the way we fulfill our work, the way we pursue our passions, and the way we appreciate even the littlest of things in life.
Mr. Jobs helped create the world that will soon be dominated by digital natives. But positions of power and leadership today are still mostly in the hands of people like us who are mere of digital immigrants. We leave it to our children to make this new world successful. That will be our young people whose expert use of social media made the Arab Spring revolutions this year as awe inspiring and liberating. None of those things would have been possible in the old world. We watched with awe as old ways that have outlived their relevance were shattered in basically traditional societies that resisted change for centuries.
It is safe to say change has affected us enough to change us and the way we live forever. Consider this reality: Today, an eighteen year old Pinoy will walk into an internet café and Google materials he needs for his homework. Once done, he spends an hour online gaming after which he logs on to Facebook or twitter to catch up with peers.
At home, his mother might be on Skype talking to her daughter, a nurse in London, about the latest Maalala mo Kaya episode that she was able to watch on a pirated site after her shift. In the next room, her youngest son is playing angry birds on the family laptop as her husband is downloading the latest accounting app on his iPhone.
Appreciating this change will enable us to reach out to the young people out there, the digital natives, the people we have to find a way to motivate because from them will come the new business models that will drive our business. The brisk and incessant changes in technology in the broadcast, cable, and telecoms industries have spawned new consumer behaviors that were inconceivable as recently as just five years ago.
It is a whole new world. Gone are the days when the family sits together in the living room to share the experience of watching its favorite drama. Likewise, the days when each member of the family makes sure he or she is home at 7pm to await the overseas call of Nanay may, too, be gone. Today, young people, our customers, have the power to consume content as well as connect and interact with each other when and how they want at costs that continue to plummet year on year.
Consumer behavior, empowered by technology, has driven the convergence of the broadcasting, cable, and telecoms industries. The internet sits at the center of this convergence.
But convergence is not just technology. This is the superficial layer of convergence. For me, the true essence of convergence is the mindset we use to recreate our business to serve the consumer. It is how we break old paradigms that treat business units as separate, distinct silos with different workforces, operations, and P & Ls, monitoring traditional metrics and paying out rewards in ways that are for a time long gone.
We must make changes in how we do business because our customers themselves have changed. But whatever change there might be, our reason for being in business stays the same. I would like to reiterate my belief that we are in business to render public service… this is at the core of our Lopez Values. From experience, I can say that as we consciously think in terms of delivering something of value to consumers and the public, the bottom line ultimately reflects the fruits of our labor and the goodwill we generate.
This is the Lopez way – always has been and forever will be…That we continue to serve and deliver value despite the endless pummeling and battering the forces of change inflict upon us.. that’s what makes us excellent. That we continue to focus on our mission of being in the service of the Filipino, even if it be only one Filipino at a time for that is what we are capable of at the moment, is again what makes us excellent. This is the Lopez Way.
EUGENIO LOPEZ III