One of the theories that gets significant attention on this blog is “job-to-be-done” theory. It’s a powerful tool for product designers and managers that allows them to uncover unmet needs and build great products that more often than not have no competition. We’ll dive more deeply into this discussion with some future posts and podcasts.
But today I want to highlight how one developer took the commonly observed job of “to-do lists” and, by applying context, made a compelling solution to the job.
In other words, it goes from “what do I need to do” to “what, when, where can I get things done?” This is as important as going from “where do I call to reach someone” to “call someone no matter where they are.” This is what mobility did to communication and now Omnifocus does to task management
Furthermore, you can use OmniFocus to modularize projects. You can combine fragments of ideas or projects into steps to complete goals.
Rather than spending time planning, move the responsibility of remembering daily tasks from your brain to OmniFocus — gather everything into the Inbox for later review, and then organize those bits into folders, projects, actions, and contexts.
OmniFocus is as simple or advanced as you want it to be.
Available on Mac, iPad, and iPhone with free cloud sync. The job isn’t to manage your “to do list”. The job is to get things done.
Read more about OmniFocus here.
There is finally enough information to try to give an estimate of the smartphone market as a subset of the overall phone market.
The chart to the left shows the overall picture.
To sum up: The smartphone market has now reached over 30% of shipments. Non-smart devices are at 69% of total. The individual phone platform shares are as follows:
- Android (and Android-like): 17.6%
- iOS (iPhone only) 4.4%
- Nokia Symbian: 4.3%
- BlackBerry: 2.76%
- Bada: 1%
- Windows Phone 0.5%
The past quarter was the first where there is evidence of significant non-seasonal decline in incumbent platforms. Both RIM and Symbian saw two sequential drops in volume. The iPhone had a seasonal (or, more accurately, transitional) decline. Windows Phone had a very modest increase in share from 1.3% to 1.7% share though this is well below a margin of error in the estimate.
Android (and Android-like) shipments ballooned to nearly 70 million but sell-through could be about 10 million less. Nearly one in five phones sold is now powered by an Android variant. A remarkable story since the share was zero less than three years ago
Of the vendors involved, here is the division of share:
Apple loves to talk about its stores. They do it in every conference call, keynote event and SEC filing. There is a monotony with the repetition of how many they have and how many they are building and how pretty they are. They start to seem like commodities.
But if they were commodities why aren’t there any other networks of successful “vendor stores”?
The answer is partly in the odd integrated business model Apple maintains asymmetric to every other modular technology provider. Apple seems to want to control the relationship with the buyer. It’s also partly in the uniqueness of design, an obsession with the brand. But still, that does not explain why can’t it be copied.
The answer is in the economics.
To understand the cost of developing an Apple store, we turn again to the balance sheet. Fortunately for us, Apple reports details of a particular asset called “Leasehold Improvements.” It’s a substantial asset worth over $2.3 billion in the last statement. It represents “alterations made to rental premises in order to customize it for the specific needs of a tenant.”
The following chart shows the change in that figure quarter-over-quarter.
Can we tie these expenditures directly to stores?
Windows Phone is in limbo. The company acknowledged that it has performed below expectations. During the last quarter for which we have data (ending June) I have an estimate that Windows Phone sold only 1.4 million units (Gartner’s sell-through analysis suggests 1.7 million). That gives Microsoft a 1.3% share of units sold (Gartner 1.6%), a new low.
At the same time, comScore data shows
Every few months rumors emerge of another technology company attempting to create a new product centered around the TV. Apple’s name comes up, of course, but so does Google. And Microsoft has been experimenting with no lesser degrees of vigor than the others. They all seem to be trying to make TV smarter, somehow.
But I would argue that these efforts are misguided. Television is more than the TV set or a set-top box, or any box. It’s more than channels or broadcasters or producers or aggregators or distributors. It’s all of these things; plus more. It’s a value network of great breadth and complexity. It’s a highly modularized industry with well-defined business model boundaries and inter-dependencies. I would argue that its very breadth is what has kept it rigid and immune from disruptive change.
If you look at each technological experiment to move to a new business model, they can all be reduced to the offer of an additional or substitutive module. There is no assumption made that the content being served will change. To put it in the context of mobile computing, it’s like trying to introduce a smartphone in a world without data networks–where the only service to be served is person-to-person calling. Unlike the Smartphone which could only have emerged to leverage the Internet, TV has no “smart content” to leverage. The “smartness” has to be not in the box but in the programming.
Of course, I don’t mean there’s a lack of good programming. What I mean is that there is no innovation in what a program is–the job it’s hired to do. The way it and its distribution fits into a person’s life. TV programs have not changed for half a century. They feature the same genres, the same duration, the same business model, the same series, format and scheduling and the same value chains as when “I Love Lucy” premiered in 1951. They assume people watch TV during the same time each day (while doing nothing else.) They also assume people are equally influenced by brand advertising and that audiences are largely homogeneous.
Contrast that with other media. The song, the book, the game, the newspaper even the movie have gone through consumption changes which have been supported by disruptive innovations. The portable music player, the ebook reader, the console and the mobile phone and the internet in general have all allowed consumption to conform to new usage patterns. The jobs that music is hired to do has changed dramatically. These re-definitions of what media is used for caused dramatic changes in both the production and distribution and hence the way value is captured in media.
TV, it seems, stands alone and immune.