Alexa takes on Siri

by

Amazon-vs-Siri_WebA few weeks ago, I found myself entering into a very long term relationship with my Apple Watch. When I wrote my first blog on it, I was still experimenting. But a few weeks ago, I realized I’d become completely dependent on it. My life is different now that I can take calls, respond to texts, and see calendar invites on my wrist. Funny enough, I’ve completely ignored the health prompts recently, which were the whole reason I bought the thing in the first place. Life got in the way, or maybe all those texts, calls, and calendar invites got in the way! In any case, if I were taking a similarity test, I’d say watch:phone is like phone:laptop or like laptop:desktop. Of course I could function without any of these devices, but why would I?

Soon after declaring my long term commitment to my watch, I opened a box from Amazon and within five minutes, I was enamored with Alexa the Echo. I set her up in a few minutes, connecting her to my Amazon Prime account and my husband’s ad-free Pandora account. I took her in the kitchen and grew immediately dependent on my ability to do things with just my voice:

  • Alexa, play Pandora Glee Cast Radio
  • Alexa, what’s the weather going to be tomorrow?
  • Alexa, set a timer for 3 minutes.
  • Alexa, turn down the volume
  • Alexa, add sunscreen to my shopping list
  • Alexa, add “call mom” to my to do list

But several things frustrate me about Alexa, and it isn’t just her inability to understand what seems to be a basic request. She can’t tell me what’s on my calendar, because it is not a Google calendar. She can’t add items to the shopping list I share with household members via Cozi. And it appears she can’t directly read my iTunes library – I think Amazon wants me to import all my songs into their cloud and charge me for cloud space. I’ll keep using Pandora, thank you very much.

What occurred to me, as I felt like I was cheating on my watch with Alexa, is that there is a WAR going on underneath these devices. You see it when you log into Apple’s new photos program. You see it when you log into the Echo application. They want to own your content – and then get you for storage and all the features on top. Getting people hooked on devices is the key. Because of Alexa, I went from having a bad attitude about Google’s calendar platform to wanting to give them another try. I went from being a die-hard, premium paying user of Cozi’s calendar, shopping, and to-do platform to being dissatisfied because I can’t integrate it with Alexa.

I long for the day that Alexa and Siri and Cozi and everything else work together to make my life easier. I keep hearing that they are trying to create these open APIs to allow for more integration, but I suspect there are strong forces at play to keep them apart.

 

READ MORE

Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

About a week ago, I completed the second live (virtual) training in the process of becoming a Certified Professional Coach through iPEC. Once again, my mind was blown! It reinforced for me that virtual workshops can, and do, work, and, in a lot of ways, I prefer them...

read more
Finding My Work-Life Balance

Finding My Work-Life Balance

In my previous post, I told the story of how I got back into consulting after becoming a mom. All of the diverse experiences I had during that journey have helped me to find my work-life balance by… Defining Boundaries “Go home,” my first boss said 12 years back —...

read more
How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

I Landed My Dream Job Throwback to 2014, I had completed my MBA, landed my dream job as a consultant, and was hoping that my new consulting career would exponentially ramp up my career growth for the next 5 years. This would position me to take on critical decision...

read more
Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

In August of this year, as part of our annual company meeting, our team at Thought Ensemble participated in the foundational session of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training led by Dr. Nika White, IOM, CDE (she/her/hers). One of the most meaningful moments...

read more
Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

It is often said that organizational culture is like a fog — it is all around us; it impacts our ability to see, to move quickly, and to deliver; but we cannot quite put our finger on it. Indeed, some organizations see their culture as a byproduct of operations,...

read more
We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

Why have we refreshed our brand, you ask? Well, as we have grown and matured as an organization, we felt that our previous brand elements no longer represented us as well as they could. You see, we founded Thought Ensemble back in 2008 to help companies better compete...

read more
Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

I recently wrote about how company purpose is being tested and inspired by all the events of 2020. This topic is very real for us at Thought Ensemble. We’ve been thinking a lot about what really matters as we’ve navigated the...

read more
How 2020 Is Testing and Inspiring Corporate Purpose

How 2020 Is Testing and Inspiring Corporate Purpose

In August 2019, the Business Roundtable rewrote their statement of corporate purpose. I followed this with significant interest being that I have never forgotten the debates about corporate purpose in business school almost two decades ago. We were taught that the...

read more
Why Purpose-Driven Organizations May Struggle With Change

Why Purpose-Driven Organizations May Struggle With Change

I love working with companies who really want to make a difference, beyond just making money for their shareholders. I mean, making money is fun and all, but it is even more rewarding to join in on a just cause. Plus, as this HBR article explains, companies who have...

read more