I had to think through this concept recently with a client. While I believe it is good-intentioned, the entire idea stems from the newspaper industry, and the internet has long left print formatting in the dust…. some aspects of print remain, such as: content is king, ‘headlines’ should be most prominently displayed, and text is easiest read in not-so-wide columns, etc.
Something that resonated with me on this topic came from the article: “Life Below 600px“…. this concept is not only antiquated, but it is also only a guideline. Not a hard-n-fast rule. Not a prerequisite for a perfect website. It’s merely a guideline, along the lines of “Don’t have your text span the width of the page” or “Never use slideshows ever ever again.” There can (and will) be instances that could use either of those guidelines, along with thousands of other guidelines.
There can, and will, be many instances where adhering to the above-the-fold guideline is not going to be suitable nor beneficial to the site in question. Consider it? Absolutely. Adapt and do what is best for the site and its owner? Indeed. Be forward thinking and plan for fluidity via responsive design to fit whatever screen is viewing the site(s)? That goes without question… and most assuredly needs to remain in the forefront of any design/development interests.