Ben Thompson writes about Google and what could eclipse it:
I think Google is quite safe when it comes to search, and that they will be a very profitable company for the foreseeable future. I just suspect we will all think differently about that dominance when it’s a small percentage of total digital advertising, just as we thought differently about IBM’s dominance of mainframes in the age of the PC, or Microsoft’s dominance of PCs in the age of the smartphone.
Great commentary by Ben Thompson on the Apple Watch introduction:
The Apple Watch section began with the iconic “One more thing…” at 55:44,1 and these were the extent of Tim Cook’s words before we got our first glimpse of the Apple Watch:
We love to make great products that really enrich people’s lives. We love to integrate hardware, software, and services seamlessly. We love to make technology more personal and allow our users to do things that they could have never imagined. We’ve been working incredibly hard for a long time on an entirely new product. And we believe this product will redefine what people expect from its category. I am so excited and I am so proud to share it with you this morning. It is the next chapter in Apple’s story. And here it is.
Then came the introductory video, and we never got an explanation of why the Apple Watch existed, or what need it is supposed to fill. What is the market? Why does Apple believe it can succeed there? What makes the Apple Watch unique?
For even more Ben’s insight listen to this episode of his podcast.
Apple is going into fashion industry in a big way. I have my doubts about the utility of the watch just yet, but utility may not be the most important job-to-be-done here. It will be interesting to watch the progress of this thing.
Neil deGrasse Tyson on CNN’s Fareeed Zakaria GPS
I think it’s because the – when you stop moving a frontier, you forget what’s on the other side of that frontier that could titillate explorers, the explorer gene built within us. But on top of that, that can actually transform how we live and what we know of the physical world. And it’s the fact that we have explored since we’ve left the cave that has enabled civilization to be what it is.
The people talking on their cell phone and following GPS instructions to where grandma’s house is saying I don’t need space – excuse me, that’s how you know where grandma lives, and when to make the left turn. There’s DirecTV, there is satellite radio, there’s all these things that involve space, and you’re going to say now that we don’t need anymore space? There’s nothing else I need?
There’s a whole universe! And I as an astrophysicist, see the universe, feel the universe, smell the universe every day. Every day. And for people to say, I’m cool, I’m right here, it’s all I need. Now let’s live. I say that’s how to die. That’s not how to live.
From article of the same title…
Smart people have a problem, especially (although not only) when you put them in large groups. That problem is an ability to convincingly rationalize nearly anything.
Go read it.
Via Daring Fireball
David writing on Signal v. Noise about building mobile version of Basecamp:
We implemented the main progress screen in the iPhone app in first a fully native version, then again in an HTML-backed version.
After a fiddling a bit, the conclusion was clear: There was no discernible difference! Well, except for the fact that it was far quicker to develop the HTML version than the native version.
Count me in for this approach.
Mobile is dead.… Web & apps are both wrong.
— Matias Duarte, Head of Design at Android
I like Matias’ point of view.
Best CSS gradient, shadow, radius, transition and transform WYSIWYG editor I’ve seen to date. You can create instances for :hover, :active, custom class states. You can also work with transitions and transforms.
Ben Thompson writing for stratēchery:
Think about commerce in the same time periods and contexts I recounted above: in the time of addresses and telephones, most commerce involved driving to the store. It was a purposeful and burdensome activity, rather like a scheduled phone call. In the era of the web, ecommerce became a word, but it still entailed going to a computer, a journey that seems simple, but in reality is often far removed from the motivation to buy, which may arise from an ad seen on TV, or a dress in a windows, or the recommendation of a friend. With mobile though, and particularly with messaging, the omnipresence of both a communications channel as well as a purchasing channel means the separation between the thought of buying and actually making a purchase is very small indeed.
Josh Bersin about knowledge workers:
A “Power Law” distribution is also known as a “long tail.” It indicates that people are not “normally distributed.” In this statistical model there are a small number of people who are “hyper high performers,” a a broad swath of people who are “good performers” and a smaller number of people who are “low performers.” It essentially accounts for a much wider variation in performance among the sample.
The Gap by Ira Glass. Video made by Daniel.
I’ve published it a while ago together with another great one by Steve Jobs.
Very nicely done two part series. First part about energy and second about information.
Michael Mace writing for his MobileOpportunity blog:
I believe Google’s mission statement to “organize the world’s information” is no longer a meaningful guide to its actions. To me, the company looks less and less like a unified product company and more and more like a post-modern conglomerate.
The idea behind the “Internet of Things” is that network connectivity is moving into almost everything. If that’s Google’s investment thesis, it could rationalize an investment in almost any industry. Appliances? Absolutely. Shipping and logistics? You bet.
Ben Thompson excellent again. The price of undifferentiated software converges to zero and therefore three main business models he sees are:
- Software free + hardware where you make profit margins
- Software free + advertising
- Software as a Service for businesses where the competitive environment will provide ever better products that the businesses have no problems to pay for.
Probably best documentary on it I’ve seen to date.
You can buy it on iTunes if you are not in Czech Republic as me, where I can’t. Stupid right holders.