What topics would you like to have me discuss on The Critical Path podcast? Put forward your questions as comments below. If you see a question already asked, vote for it by marking it up.
Microsoft in the mobile and tablet spaces. Apple in the software and peripheral spaces.
I enjoyed the shows on moviemaking and disruption of the Hollywood system of making movies. I also enjoyed hearing about the music industry. Hearing about the distributing music got me thinking about putting jukeboxes in bars, which in turn got me thinking about vice in general.
Gambling is slowly turning into a government sponsored monopoly here in the US. Drinking is an enormous industry which, as far as I know, hasn’t changed much in a long time. Can either industry be disintermediated and/or disrupted? If so, how? Is there a way to make “end users” of these two vices happy without destroying their lives?
Would be interested to hear your thoughts on the potential of Apple taking themselves private. Thanks.
I’d be interested in how Apple can leverage its 400 million credit cards with or without NFC. How can Apple solve the (lack of) PoS adoption problem? It is inelegant as can be, but could Apple start with an actual physical credit card adjunct (or adapter) to the iPhone, until/if/when PoS widely adopts the tech?
What do you think about the value of secrecy in business? According to Cook, Apple is doubling down on secrecy. Is this a scalable idea? Isn’t secrecy harder and harder the bigger the company and its supply chain get? Doesn’t this cause problems for businesses using their products when there’s no roadmap? Doesn’t this cause morale problems when company employees can’t talk about their projects? Is some of Apple’s use of secrecy a symptom of our dysfunctional patent system, where we need to go back to trade secrets because patents don’t work very well?
I’d like to understand your take on the photography industry as a whole. Professional, consumer candid, print, and digital product. People still buy prints. Can you believe that? Seems like an industry ripe for disruption.
Pro/Con’s of GOOG/MSFT following in AAPL footsteps with vertical integration.
-What do they need to do with supply chain (basically ground up) to build end to end and can they?cash/time?
-Will Samsung follow suit and dump Android?
-More on topic of where is tech going, verticle or modular, etc.
Maximum total tablet market and percent of that market belonging to Apple, Same with smartphones.
Love to hear your thoughts on the publishing industry. It used to be that the publishers were the big bad wolf to authors. Now Amazon is eating the publishers’ lunch. Is Amazon just a bigger, badder wolf? Do publishers actually provide value that Amazon cannot? When the Dept. of Justice rules against Apple and publishers and people say it benefits Amazon, do customers also benefit? Is it good for authors? Thanks!
With the announcement of MIcrosoft Surface, we definitely need a podcast about what it means for a software company to compete with its own licensees. Apple did it and killed them off. Google is doing it with the Nexus program with some middling success, and now Microsoft is wading it’s feet into that pool.
“Things work better when hardware and software are considered together.”
That was not said by Steve Jobs, but by Steve Ballmer when Microsoft announced the Win 8 tablet, “Surface”, yesterday.
I would like to see an exploration in to what kind of disruption we would see if Microsoft walked away from their legacy, and embraced the Apple philosophy of building the whole widget. Microsoft did that with the Xbox, and now they are directly stepping on to their customers toes, by releasing a tablet-compter that directly competes not only with the iPad and Android, but with various OEMs who were going to release Windows 8 tablets.
This could also tie in nicely with the disruption Apple has caused, where Microsoft is basically compelled to make their own hardware in order to properly compete with Apple.
As for Apple… The weakest link in the iPhone-experience is the carrier. What would it take for Apple to move in to that space? To not only provide the phone, but also the phone-service to the consumer.Apple wants to provide complete and excellent experience to the customer, and with the iPhone, the carrier is by far the weakest link there.
Why is it that Apple’s designs are far superior then the competition ? Is it because they don’t care or is it because they don’t put as much emphasis on it as Apple does….or is it simply because they don’t have the talent Apple has…what exactly is it that gives them the edge?
The new Microsoft Surface tablet and its implications for MS business model in relation to software/hardware/OEM partners, together with a disruption analysis in relation to market developments.
GSM vs CDMA, and how the world picked GSM to built LTE on top of?
Why is mobile so disruptive to internet companies? We hear all the time how Facebook and Google seem both totally unable to exploit mobile platforms, but why is this? What makes mobile computing so disruptive?
Horace, I have only one request — Interview Jared Diamond of Guns Germs and Steel fame. Might the the greatest episode of all time. Perhaps a broader discussion of technological disruptions throughout history and their application to companies of today which will inevitably leave their mark on humanity.
Mr. Diamond did Colbert Report a while back. I can’t see why he wouldn’t do Critical Path, as you have just as big of an audience, if not more engaged.
Initial thoughts on Microsofts new tablet.
Any thoughts on how future upgrade cycles are likely to affect the industry? Some people upgrade every year while most (?) upgrade every two years, probably in response to service-provider incentives. I doubt this will continue more than a couple of more years. Does the PC market contain any clues? Who might win and who might lose?
Here is an interesting article (in French) concerning the French market:
The segment of people forgoing a subsidized handset is growing, and those with high-end phones are not upgrading as often. Worth following to see if this represents a future trend.
Surface would be timely. I’m really interested in how Microsoft sees this as a profitable device. Bundling Windows ($85 revenue for Windows RT, more for Windows PRo) and bundling Office means they just get the hardware profit for all this software, and the hardware margins can’t be that great.
Can you talk about emerging markets and impact of smartphones there. Seems like a Interesting area.
You’ve alluded to it, but I’d like to hear about Kickstarter, the JOBS act, and potential disruption to VC of crowd-funding. I’ve noticed Clay’s hedge fund just invested in CircleUp.
Disruptive analysis is much easier in hindsight, and would be an early call
The odd, intrinsic link between AAPL (Apple) and CMG (Chipotle) stock value.
Can disruption be applied to political change? If so, under what circumstances?
Consider different modes of competition between political ideas in different political Systems.
Will the West be disrupted by China or other partially capitalist states because freedom is a commodity when natural resources become increasingly scarce?
How do political ideas disrupt societies and others don’t? What constitutes disruptive political ideas? What constitutes disruptable societies?
Added as an afterthought:
Do european pirate parties or the occupy movement represent disruptive ideas?
Hi Horace ,
I’d like to hear your thoughts on the world wide patent disputes between Apple and the Android OEMs ..
Clearly Microsofts new Surface tablets are staying well clear of Apples UI ( for fear of litigation ? .. I know they have a cross license agreement ) whereas Android doesn’t seem to care ..
I remember when SJ introduced the first iPhone in 07 and he mentioned something along the lines of ” oh boy have patented this ” (300+ ) Patents if I remember correctly .
There seems to be some confusion about the e-reader business. The question is always “how are the prices set for e-books?” & “why do prices for e-books seem high compared to the low cost of production.
I really enjoyed your analysis of the Hollywood and the television industry. I would like to hear a similar analysis about the publishing business.
Disruption in warfare caused by disruptive technology.
What happens when computing devices can communicate with us in voice fluently, rather than having to display information on a screen, what sort of new use cases would arise?
This is a late request, but how about AirPlay? Where is GOOG’s strategy? And, why are Android developers adopting AirPlay for Android devices? Each year, AirPlay becomes more significant, is this area becoming Apples new iTunes for iDevices. We won’t need an iTunes interface, just iCloud and AirPlay.
I would like for you to address John C. Dvorak’s article on PC Mag, “The Myth of Disruptive Technology”. I think that would be awesome. Love the show! Thanks.
This question compliments the question regarding education. With unemployment high in many places, how would the job market get disrupted? How would the Internet and mobil technology facility entrepreneurialism, change how people/businesses interface with each other, and alter people’s exactions from an education that is going to help them get a job? Hypothetical question: How would Apple use their skill in manage complex relationships between various parties (e.g. developers, consumers, telecoms, media, oems, etc…) handle complexity in the realm of facilitating businesses/people?
Are there any countries/areas that are anomalies when it comes to iPhone/Android adoption? I’m thinking of places with an extraordinarily high or extraordinarily low iPhone:Android adoption ratio. What makes them an anomaly?
A while ago IBM sold thousands of patents, was it just for the money?
How do you think Ron Johnson is doing at disrupting department store retail now that he’s at J C Penny? I don’t follow it closely, but I get the sense that his ideas haven’t yet been a big hit there.
I spent many years working for and consulting with various Apple partners – Apple Authorized Service Providers, Apple Specialists, etc. I have watched them go from the best place to get Apple products to almost totally marginalized by Apple. Apple’s policies for these partners has been increasingly restrictive to downright hostile in recent years, though the main trajectory of the policies seems to be to force the partners to operate like an Apple Store. Which works for for Apple, who use their stores for marketing, support, customer interaction and product distribution and realize invoice margins of 30%-40%, but it does not work for the partners who must rely solely on retail sales (of predominantly Apple products at <10% margin) for profitability and have trouble developing relationships with consumers not wholly dependent on Apple products as the facilitator of that relationship.
Apple doesn't talk much about partners or directly report their sales through that channel that I can see, but I would be interested in an examination of Apple retail sales from pre-Apple Store era through today from both the Job to be Done perspective (the difference between the jobs an Apple Store and a Specialist is "hired to do" by both Apple and the Consumer) but also from the perspective of Disruption (the partners being disrupted by the company they rely on for the bulk of their sales, branding, etc.).
If you look at Samsung’s history over the long term (top and bottom lines and phone units), it seems to be consistently inconsistent. They have a fairly regular record of boom, decline, boom, decline, boom, decline. Why is this, and will their current boom be followed yet again by a decline.
You briefly mentioned aviation in a recent podcast. I’d love to hear your take on technology’s role in disrupting the aviation sector, and the forces (e.g., government regulations, etc.) that might slow disruption.
Prospects of monetary transactions on mobile devices (aka mobile money, mobile payments). (You said earlier that the burden is on the merchant. Can you elaborate on that?)
Current best places to incubate disruptive innovations (considering factors such as political, economical, market dynamism). How could they improve?
What aspects of life can be enhanced with powerful mobile devices in so many hands?
Invite experts in other areas that could be impacted by mobile devices, and help them look through the lens of disruption, and Jobs-to-be-done.
Would love to hear more of the potential impact of crowdsourcing. Kickstarter is on everyone’s mind but is there room for potential competitors. What would competitors in this space look like?
Would like to hear what you think that apps actually means in the “battle” between iOS, Android an WP7. How important are apps when the users choose a phone or when business aliances are made?
Recently there seem to have been more articles painting Apple in a bad light, for instance Time on Apple taking advantage of China, NYT on various topics, most recently on Apple taking advantage of retail staff. @Gartenberg recently tweeted that he had noticed this. Could this be ‘societies antibodies’ attacking a company perceived to be too successful?
I would like a discussion on the connected home market opportunity. Is there an opportunity for a business model disruption? Who are best positioned to control that market? What would be the opportunity for game consoles to become home gateways?
Would it make sense for Apple to develop it’s own data network? Think of the disruptive possibilities re: the traditional telecoms (who clearly see data as their profit centers of the future). Could this be done by acquiring Sprint ( market cap of approx $9.27 billion with approx. $7.57 billion in cash and $22.27 billion in debt) as the basis of an Apple universal data network that could be bundled with all mobile devices for a nominal fee (or even free? This would kill the traditional telecoms).
At some point will apple be forced to rely on app developers for innovation? Have they already reached that point? Was that their intention from the start, to provide a canvas for further innovation by others?
Is the global financial services industry ripe for disruption? It’s something you touched upon during Asymconf
I have a question, one I blogged about here: Can Apple Disrupt Television Without First Disrupting This Network?
Does Apple need to have a network that isn’t the internet as we know it before it can become truly disruptive in the content delivery business i.e. television?
I’d like hear your perceived similarities and differences between Apple and the problems of the old generation of tech companies along Highway 128 near Boston. The context is given in Chapter 7 of Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.
©2013 Horace Dediu. All rights reserved. RSS feed. This site uses the Basic Maths theme for WordPress, designed by Khoi Vinh & Allan Cole.