Not a month goes by when we hear about another snafu or scandal about Facebook and Uber. And each time I wonder if they will change. It seems both these companies are genetically pre-programmed to obey what their DNA tells them — unfettered growth without consequences. And which makes me wonder, can companies change? Or the culture a company starts with becomes its defining characteristic. Here are my thoughts. Continue reading "Companies, like people, don’t change"
Apple’s App Store turned 10. If you remember Walter Isaacson’s book on Steve Jobs, then you would remember Steve wasn’t a fan of the idea of an app store. An enthusiast community saw an opportunity, released a cracked iOS and an app store for independent apps. Very few developers were on board for the web apps, that Apple was pushing.
Instead it was a bunch of renegades who thought App Store was needed. They called it iOS jailbreaking. By the way, our friend Ben Schachter of Macquarie Research points out that “99.9% of all apps in the App Store have earned less than $1 million,” and that ” In 2017 iPhone Apps were 84% of total sales,” with iPad getting the rest.
App store’s tenth anniversary is a timely reminder that enthusiasts — derisively labeled fanboys — help turn companies into cultural movements. Twitter, as it does a Continue reading "App Store At 10"
Google I/O is as good as any time to take stock of the disparate and polar opposite ideologies of Google and Apple when it comes to machine learning and privacy. And nowhere it is more evident than in their respective photos apps: Google Photos and Apple Photos.
Ben Clymer is Anna Wintour of the Watch World, an editor of immaculate taste and deep understanding of the watches and their relationship with culture. He is also the founder of Hodinkee (a True Ventures-backed company), that is at the center of all things watches. So it doesn’t surprise me that he got to sit down with Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive to talk about watches in general and Apple Watch in specific. Watch, it seems to me was a Jony Ive Joint. Continue reading "Jony Ive talks about the Apple Watch, finally"
Apple is competing with Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and Hulu to become a streaming entertainment company. Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, former Sony bosses head up Apple’s TV efforts. The team is said to be 40 staffers and there is a billion dollars in programming money.
According to this report, Apple is spending money and beating other streaming services as a buyer, but rest of the details about its efforts remain pretty murky.
“I can’t put my finger on why, but this acquisition seems weird to me,” writes John Gruber, describing Foxconn’s decision to buy Belkin for $866 million. It is not that weird, especially when you take into account the competitive landscape.
TL: DR version: Foxconn needs to boost margins. Belkin has a great brand but faces an increasingly competitive landscape. It is weirdly about Taiwan vs. China.
In the new podcast, Chris and I talk about Dropbox, its amazing story and its challenges ahead as a public company. The company filed for an IPO recently. We discuss how not all storage is equal, and the best way to extract premium dollars from a storage operation is to combine it with more useful applications. Dropbox, so far, hasn’t succeeded in its ability to get its 500+ million registered users to buy into its app attempts so far.
Some previous posts that I refer to in this podcast:
If some job listings are to be believed, then Spotify might be getting into the hardware business. I am not sure, how much of that is true, but it makes perfect sense. Spotify should be thinking about vertical integration — its content, its distribution and its own speakers — it wants to compete with Apple, Amazon, and Google. Those three companies are making their speakers, have their music services and have their distribution channels. Continue reading "Should Spotify buy Sonos"
It is ironic that we pay good money to buy and install devices that steal our privacy and sense of identity. We complain about Facebook’s ill-effects on society, but have no problems leaving digital footprints by excessive use of the service. We love Alexa, but we don’t stop and wonder what is the end game here? What impact will friction-free ordering have on our consumption. We buy smart devices, and never ever think that they are the spy in the house of life.
Gizmodo writers Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu decided to take a closer look at the data that comes out of a San Francisco apartment and the story it tells about the resident. What you will learn is nothing short of stunning and astounding. Hill, who used her apartment and her family as guinea pigs, wrote:
Getting a smart home means that everyone who lives or comes insideContinue reading "Smart Home is a Home that’s always spying on you"
Apple HomePod, a connected speaker is about to come to market, after being delayed by almost six months. It is not the first to the market, and it will definitely not be the most versatile. However, you can bet your last dollar, that it will play music, and play it very well. In fact, there won’t be a sweeter sounding connected speaker in the market. It might sound so good, that for a few days you might forget about your expensive, warm sounding and fantastic vintage hi-fi system. Why do I say all this? Continue reading "My HomePod Review"
I have been in two minds about getting a case (or a cover) for the iPhoneX. On one hand it is a object d’art, a sublime beauty that anything to cover up its edges and back will feels like a sacrilege. On the other hand it is immensely breakable and is going to cost upwards of $500 to fix in class the glass encased body shatters. So, I asked my Twitter followers how they thought about this dilemma. Nearly 54 percent are getting a case (or a cover.) I think most of us would like to play safe. Now that is another way Apple is going to dip into our pockets!