We’re not backing down on our leisure or our labors.
Got a decent work/life balance? Go ahead, give in to a little self-affirmation. If the big new fight for money on the internet is any indication, you’re calling America’s economic shots.
Yes, it sounds extreme. But when you think about it, what else is there to do besides work and play? (Correct: we’ll sleep when we’re dead.) And what’s a better mark of success these days than thriving adeptly and helpfully in both realms of being human? Translate those cultural habits into economic terms, and here’s what you get: a fiercely competitive market to deliver must-have services to consumers in their professional and personal lives.
And right now, the most active player in that space might surprise you. It’s Microsoft. Yes, the lumbering old corporate beast of yore is now staking a huge risk on being your go-to provider of super-accessible leisure and career services.
On the one hand, it just debuted a fresh iteration of the Xbox – smaller, more powerful, and a prelude to an even more over-the-top console, code named Scorpio, that would continue to ace out the competition with VR capabilities and other cutting-edge goodies. On the other, Microsoft also just gobbled up LinkedIn, shelling out an eye-watering $26 billion for the nerdcore app that’s proving the tortoise to cooler, younger apps’ hare. (Remember that Facebook’s roughly $20 billion acquisition of WhatsApp broke records just a few years ago.)
If you’re just skimming the news—and after all, you probably work hard and play hard enough to be in the habit—Microsoft’s moves might seem like just the latest twist in the combination chess game/inside baseball that keeps the tech world as insular as it is. But on closer inspection, it’s really a big story about us. We’re not backing down on our leisure or our labors. In that sense, we want it all and we want it now—and today, the biggest money is behind giving it to us.