I recently attended my 25th Harvard Business School reunion and came away with three important insights:

  1. Professors now ask students/alumni to follow them on twitter and do not actively promote/release their email address. Big change from my 20th reunion just 5 years ago. Obviously they still use e-mail, which is not going away as a communication method. But this is a subtle yet clear illustration that social media is rapidly a dominant means of communication amongst consumers/individuals.
  2. Not a single alumni (between the ages of 50-55) brought a Windows-based laptop into the lecture hall to take notes. However at least 60% of these same alumni had an iPad with them. It was very revealing to see a group of top executives who had grown up on Microsoft PC’s switch en masse to Apple devices
  3. In an admittedly unscientific survey of Harvard students attending either graduate school and college, I estimate that Apple Macintosh PC/laptops held about a 50% market share. That is what correctly worries the folks in Redmond, that Microsoft needd to regain the hearts and minds of the next generation, presumably through Xbox, Skype, Windows Phone and Windows 8. Apple, Google and Microsoft all need to be strong and vibrant competitors, to drive each other to develop the best possible products, which translates into better technology for all of us.