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Big Tech is hopelessly out of touch, and the Freedom Phone proves it

Bill Martinez is an award winning marketing and broadcast journalist and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Bill Martinez Live. Find out more at billmartinezlive.com. 

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It wasn’t long ago that it felt like Big Tech had their fingers on the pulse of the nation. Their algorithms seemed to know you better than your family did – most of us are familiar with the time that Target was able to figure out that a teenage girl was pregnant before her parents did. Whether it’s from listening in on your conversations, monitoring your search habits, or cataloging the videos you watched, the tech giants seemed to know more about you than even your closest friends.

We all know that the algorithms that Silicon Valley uses to understand us at a deep level are invasive, powerful, and predictive. After all, Google, Apple, and Facebook are sucking as much talent into their corporate machine as possible, putting the best and the brightest of our generation to work on tweaking everything about their products to be more addictive than before. It’s tragic to think about the fact that the next generation of geniuses won’t be inventing new cures or solving old problems, they’ll just be finding out what shade of purple makes you more likely to buy a subscription service that you don’t need.

Big Tech’s algorithms thought they knew what America wanted. So how did the Freedom Phone manage to sell 6 million dollars in sales in just a few short months, with even more orders on the way? How was this a market that Silicon Valley hadn’t tapped? It’s simple: the Freedom Phone saw what the algorithms missed, and filled that market demand.

This is Economics 101. When there is a demand for a given product, anyone who meets that demand stands to make a profit. In this case, the demand was for less spying, more privacy, and more information. This is the very opposite of what Big Tech can offer, and they are simply blinded to the portion of the population that wants this. The product that met this demand was an all-in-one device that promised an escape route from Big Tech. With the demand met, the market reacted – and the sales came flooding in.

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This is a perfect example of what economists call information asymmetry: when one party has information that the other party does not, they gain a clear advantage in subsequent decisions based on that information. To put it a different way: Big Tech didn’t realize just how much people hated them, but the Freedom Phone did, which is why they made an enormous profit. Americans are sick of their privacy being invaded, of their information being sold to the highest bidder, and of the eerie feeling that you’re constantly being lied to and marketed to.

Most people don’t like the idea that everything about them is being manipulated – and most people are looking for something like the Freedom Phone. This is a product that Silicon Valley can’t make, a need that Silicon Valley can’t even be aware of, and a problem that Silicon Valley can only create – not solve.

When it comes to business, what you don’t know can and certainly will hurt you. In this case, Silicon Valley had no idea that an outsider to the smartphone world, the Freedom Phone, could quickly establish a foothold in the market they’ve long-dominated and begin expanding. Silicon Valley had no idea that millions of Americans were getting sick and tired of the constant lies, manipulation, and invasions of privacy. Silicon Valley’s algorithms couldn’t react to the changing landscape, and probably had no idea that this was bubbling under the surface for so long.

Let’s see if their algorithms can figure out what to do next. Chances are, they still have no idea what is happening; by the time they figure it out, it’ll be too late for Big Tech. That’s good news for Americans.


Bill Martinez is an award winning marketing and broadcast journalist and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Bill Martinez Live. Find out more at billmartinezlive.com

Opinion

Military Readiness

A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021

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A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021

See more A.F. Branco cartoons on his website Comically Incorrect.

 

 

A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021 See more A.F. Branco cartoons on his website Comically Incorrect.    

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Southwest Caves to Pressure from Anti-Vaccine Employees

But there’s one heck of a catch.

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Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees.

The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue.

Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters.

By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down.

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Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees.

“The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber.

And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement.

The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported.

It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees. The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue. Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters. By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down. Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees. “The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber. And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement. The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported. It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

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