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Thursday Buzz: Lessons From the Apple Keynote

Apple makes another game-changing move, albeit a controversial one. Here are some lessons associations can learn. Plus: It’s time to recognize the importance of networks.

If Apple is known for anything, it’s for banner debuts of new products. And those debuts offer lessons for just about everyone.

For event planners, it’s worth noting the company’s formula for getting attention: Keep surprising debuts on the down low, make sure they’re on everyone’s radar, and give audiences a seamless presentation from beginning to end.

These events are designed to appeal to a variety of audiences. People in the technology, media, communications, and innovation circles want to know what Apple will do next, so the company has to connect with all of them. (And, of course, you can’t forget consumers.)

As for those in the leadership and membership realms, it’s worth pondering the question of when it’s time to introduce a change that may make people unhappy, if you think it leads to something better. Apple did that yesterday with the launch of its headphone-jack-free iPhone 7. The new phone requires a dongle to use regular wired headphones, and Apple will offer a pair of $159 wireless earbuds, called AirPods.

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller used the word “courage” to describe the change. The company has done this kind of thing in the past, too (remember the introduction of the Lightning connector?).

Obviously, there’s an inconvenience factor here, but could organizations learn something from this strategy? And what kind of relationship would you need with your members to try something similar?

Sometimes a calculated risk can turn into a big success.

Tweet of the Day

Build networks, not hierarchies. At the DigitalTonto blog, consultant Greg Satell argues that organizations based on hierarchies aren’t as successful as they used to be, in this age of instant communication and loosely organized communities. Instead, he says, it’s better to build a network—which can help boost the success of a new movement, ideology, or association.

Links for Your Day

LinkedIn gets a new publishing tool. Looking sleeker with a cleaner interface design, the site’s authoring tool now offers better ease-of-use. See the details at VentureBeat.

Don’t work so hard. At Inc., author Steve Blank suggests that you can replace long office hours with shorter ones. How? Team communication, strong organization, and clear output goals are key.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done wonders in helping children learn programming. This week, the nonprofit announced that it has sold 10 million Raspberry Pi computer units, which help fund its activities. Great work, folks!

Apple's Phil Schiller, shown introducing the headphone jack-free iPhone 7. (Beth Diefenbach/Reuters)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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