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Sponsor: Magic Number

Here is a smart calculator you will enjoy. Unlike a dumb calculator, it lets you see math as math. Typing is completely “what you think is what you type”. Everything is easier. Nothing gets in your way.

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Magic Number is ideal for ‘back of the envelope’ calculations. Or cases when a spreadsheet feels like a truck and a traditional calculator feels like a horse.

Want to know the percentage increase going from 72 to 90?
Just type “72 + ?% = 90” and let Magic Number do the algebra.

Want to make sense of a list of prices?
Then the List feature is for you. You can see the statistics, compare prices,
and calculate their tax effortlessly.

I can go on. Magic Number is deep. But its virtue lies in its thoughtfulness.
To get a taste of Magic Number, check out this page.

Meaningful Contribution

What if Apple did make a car? How significant could their products be? What would it take to influence the industry’s architecture?

The global market is forecast to reach 88.6 million vehicles in 2015 and there are many ways to segment it. One could look at geography or at product configurations or the emergence of new powertrain technologies.

One could also look at the participants.

In 2014 Toyota was the top selling automaker with a total sales volume of 10.23 million vehicles. The following graph shows the leading 15 producers and the percent of total production.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 9-25-2.19.47 PM

 

Critical Path #159: The Appification of TV, Revisited

Horace and Anders revisit Apple TV and answer listener questions in this special 2 hour episode.

Source: 5by5 | The Critical Path #159: The Appification of TV, Revisited

Sponsor: Internet History Podcast

Subscribe to the weekly podcast about Internet History hosted by @brianmcc. Listen to interviews and oral histories with founders, engineers and other Internet pioneers with special episodes recounting the founding stories of companies you know and love. It’s like a mix of Marc Maron’s WTF and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History… but all about tech.

Past episodes have featured:

  • The founding stories of Netscape, Amazon, eBay, Pathfinder, Hotwired, Suck and more.
  • Oral histories from the majority of the Mosaic/Netscape engineering team.
  • An interview with the father of the MP3, Karlheinz Brandenberg.
    Founders of CBSSportsline, Match.com, iVillage, RealNetworks and more
  • The forgotten technical co-founder of Amazon.
  • The woman who carpet-bombed the world with AOL CD’s.
  • The founders or CEOs most of the major search engines of the 90s.

And there’s more every week.

Subscribe now in Sticher or iTunes, or on your podcast app of choice.

Sponsor: Bold Poker

Bold Poker introduces the cigarette break freemium model.

Sponsor: Marketcircle

BPDL_Mac_Set

Marketcircle helps small businesses grow with amazing business apps for the Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. Marketcircle is a Mac-based software company in Toronto that develops award-winning apps to help you work happier.

Daylite is a business productivity app that gives you the benefits of a CRM, project management app, calendar app, and to-do app – all in one. Daylite helps you stay organized, share information and build effective processes so you or your team can increase efficiency.

Billings Pro is a time-tracking and invoicing app that helps freelancers and small businesses create beautiful and professional invoices in as little as 60 seconds. With less time managing invoices, you’ll have more time to focus on clients and do the work you love.

We’ve been helping Mac-businesses for over a decade. Read how small businesses have grown with help from Daylite and Billings Pro.

Selling Watch Sales Data

There is no reliable information on Apple Watch sales. None of the analysts which follow Apple or the phone, computer or watch markets have any insight into this. The only source of information is Apple itself and they have made it clear that they don’t intend to provide watch sales data for competitive reasons. I did not and do not expect any information from Apple on watch sales. They have placed the product within the “Other” category specifically to make unit data hard to discern and have explained why they do so.

The only estimate we have heard of is from a company that has no track record in market research and relies entirely on sampling of email receipts. I urge extreme caution when dealing with this type of data. We don’t know how representative these receipts are and how they are sourced or sampled. The methodology is not only unclear but it’s one not practiced by any other analyst. You would think that receipt sampling would be a phenomenal source of information about a lot of other products and yet we hear nothing about how predictive it is for anything except this particular new product as claimed by a company which never made any such prior claims.

It’s also a sampling of (presumably) US-only customers at a time when the product is undergoing a gradual roll-out through multiple countries and multiple channels. Consider that if sales were constrained internationally then buyers would be trying to arbitrage through the US market, meaning there would be many e.g. Chinese buyers/brokers booking sales through US online stores inflating that channel’s initial volumes. Furthermore as physical retail stores begin to receive stock, online sales (which are what is sampled) should decline as buyers opt for the instant gratification (and the option to see the product in real life.) To see US-only online purchases drop after a period of pent-up demand and as store inventory becomes available is not interesting and says almost nothing about the product’s performance.

The only way to be thoughtful about this new category is to understand the broad transitions underway in mobile computing. We are witnessing a pivot in human-computer interaction as significant as the initial iPhone launch.

[As a rule, be very careful with the premise of data salesmanship. All data is false, some is useful. Data you have to pay for is less useful than data that has been peer reviewed.]

Breaking the Law

For the first time in many years I feel that there is some potential uncertainty in the results Apple will announce. After a period of excellent accuracy (shown in graph below), the company’s guidance has begun to diverge dramatically from reality and the trend might continue this quarter. The cause might be unanticipated demand for the iPhone 6/6 Plus. The growth rate for the product was 46% in Q4 and 40% in Q1. This is unanticipated because growth rates have been below 20% for five quarters and below 50% for eight.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 12.21.00 PM

This slowing of growth was explainable given the rate of diffusion of smartphones in the global population. Within the US and some other early adopting economies the market is reaching late stages where most people have switched to smartphones. Globally we are at a more modest 30% or so but in many of the late adopting economies Apple does not have wide distribution.

Of course this thesis is thinly supported. There are many reasons to think that late adopters would still start with iPhone and that earlier adopters of Android would upgrade to iPhone after a few purchase cycles. Thus, the iPhone could prosper in later-adoption or even in post-saturation states of the market.

Indeed, in the post-saturation PC market, Apple is doing very well with the Mac and in the late to post-saturation MP3 player market the iPod did extremely well. This suggests that when it comes to value capture brand, experience and satisfaction trump function, price and share considerations in almost all consumer markets[1]

With so many assumptions put asunder the iPhone business suddenly looks downright lively. I adjusted my own growth assumptions and the resulting figures are shown below.

Notes:
  1. Enabled by design for jobs to be done. See non-technology markets for abundant evidence of this. []

Sponsor: Gaslight

asymco-banner-v1__1_Leap your toughest business problems in a single bound.

At Gaslight, we transform businesses with technology. Let’s work together to build custom software that gives your business superpowers. The kind that allow you to boost profits, innovate faster, launch a new revenue stream or radically improve productivity.

We believe in the power of:

Small, mighty teams: We’ll assign a strong dedicated team, often two developers and a designer, to work on your project.

Laser focused work: Our agile development process allows us to build software faster and focus on building the features that deliver the most value to your business.

True partnerships: We consider our clients part of the team and collaborate with them on a daily basis.

Read our case studies to see how we’ve given other businesses superpowers. Or reach out to kick off a project.

p.s. 5 signs your business needs custom software

 

The Critical Path #150: Circling Back

Horace interviews Anders about Goldman Sachs’ investment in Internet finance company Circle and we take listener questions over Twitter.

Source: 5by5 | The Critical Path #150: Circling Back