Categories

Search term: tablet

Tim Cook’s outburst [Updated]

When trying to assess the success of an ecosystem, the primary measure is the size of the user base or the “audience” for the product. Companies like FaceBook and WhatsApp and Twitter are measured first and foremost on this metric. Companies like Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are less so. When revenues are firmly attached to products the focus shifts to “follow-the-money” rather than “follow-the-users” metrics.

That’s as it should be, but for the sake of understanding the competition between ecosystems, they should be compared on some similar basis. If the basis of competition in this day and age is ecosystems[1] how does one evaluate Facebook’s vs. Microsoft’s? Or, more poignantly, how does one compare WhatsApp’s valuation with that of iMessage?

It’s common to value a company which aggregates audiences at a multiple of that audience size. The implication being that each member of the audience returns a certain cash flow to the aggregator and the discounting of those flows is the net present value. Which is why, for example, a newspaper is valued in terms of its subscribers. As is a TV network and as might be a social network. Using this metric, a WhatsApp (i.e. free messaging) user is worth $40 and the average social media user may be worth around $100.[2]

The implication is that users/subscribers/audience members are loyal and will stay with the programming for some time. There is also a second implication that businesses which are not measured by audience size don’t have this loyal and recurring revenue base. The absence of an “audience” implies transience and impermanence and results in deep discounting of long-term viability.

Notes:
  1. As Microsoft, Apple and Google seem to agree it is. []
  2. The degree to which a user is actually worth the sum of all the subscriptions she may have made is a good topic for discussion. []

Airshow 2014 World Tour: Coming to a City Near You

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 12-19-3.48.45 PM

In a world where everyone needs to present, few know the power that lies under their fingertips.

Whether one-on-one or in front of millions on TV, presentations are the primary means of persuasion in business.

Have you ever cringed at text-only slides or puzzled over graphs that made no sense? Steve Jobs saw “PowerPoints” as “rambling and nonsensical” and had them banned internally. But he used visuals for all his keynotes. What made them tolerable, even persuasive?

The problem is that most people receive no training in how to compose the most crucial images they project to an audience and the tools available do not take advantage of motion, touch, processing power, mobility and high resolutions.

  • Airshow teaches principles of visual persuasion using techniques of cinematography and visual storytelling.
  • Airshow shows how tablets create a new stage for your performance.
  • Airshow applies Aristotelian rhetoric, Cinematographic theory and Cinematic storytelling as well as Tufte design principles into a new medium.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Persuade with logic, empathy and credibility.
  • Present rich data as compelling and emotionally engaging
  • Get hands-on experience with modern tools of persuasion including tablets and interactive, touch-based interfaces.

You have the data. You have the audience. All you need is a story and a screenplay. How do you build them?

There are techniques which are proven to work. They’ve been used by writers, performers and playwrights for centuries. Professional presentation coaches will teach you far less and at greater expense.

  • Airshow is better and less expensive, especially in terms of time.
  • Airshow is an intimate experience. Audience size is limited.
  • All the tools and techniques needed in one day of intense, inspirational and engaging training.

Airshow could be coming to a town near you but to make it happen you need to act now.

Here’s how it works: For every month in 2014 an Airshow event will be hosted. The location for that month will be locked-in when the first 20 registrations for that city will be recorded. Any registrations that take place before the location is locked-in will be half-price.

In other words, early registration means you get half off![1]

Now is the time to learn presentation skills for the post-PC era. Just like there is no writing which does a movie justice, I can’t write here how it’s done, you have to see it live.

Register now.

HERE’S WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT AIRSHOW

“Airshow was amazing. Business stories with cinematic impact made easy with perspective”
— Paul Brody, Global Business Leader, IBM

“Airshow has fundamentally changed how I give client and industry presentations. It is an important tool in my toolbox which allows me to showcase my data and my story in ways that help audiences gain deeper insight and perspective.”
— Ben Bajarin, TIME, TabTimes, Techpinions

“Nobody brings numbers to life like Horace Dediu does.”
—Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Fortune/CNN

“The unhurried nature of Airshow is just terrific and in contrast to many other events. Anyone who goes will gain their own purposes.”
—Steve Crandall

“Airshow is a treat [...] showing how to make the audience wonder.”
—Bertram Gugel

“Airshow is surpassing my expectations. Very interesting deep content.”
—Ryan Singer, 37signals.

Notes:
  1. If your registration is not part of a quorum (fewer than 20 total) then it’s automatically re-issued for the following month. You may also request a refund. []

When will the migration from PCs be complete?

IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark (report is here) has published, for the fourth year in a row, US online shopping traffic data with a split between mobile and fixed online traffic. It reveals a pattern of consumer behavior which is quite startling: people seem to prefer to shop using mobile devices.

The data is shown below:

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 12-2-6.45.34 AM

Cubed Episode 010: The Process of Innovation

I joined Benedict Evans and Ben Bajarin on their Cubed podcast to discuss innovation and cultures that breed innovation. We also discuss some updates on our thinking of the curious case of the android tablet ghosts toward the end.

Show Notes

The Meaning of Really Cheap Android

The Innovators Curse

Dark Matter

Android as the Platform For Commodity Electronics

Harvard Business Review – How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity  (subscription required)

via Cubed Episode 010: The Process of Innovation | Cubed Podcast.

Dark Matter

Benedict Evans explains well the problem with measuring Android tablets. There are no reliable data collected because many of the devices are invisible through the regular, measurable channels:

  • There are no firms which report their shipments
  • They are not sold through retail chains which normally are sampled in the US and Europe (NPD and GfK respectively.)
  • They don’t show up in browsing or ad transaction data
  • Google Play statistics are missing most of the activations since they are not sold as bona fide Google-sanctioned Android.

The only measured statistic happens to be component shipments. Items such as screens, CPUs or perhaps memory might be visible to market analysts. It’s therefore tempting to add up tires manufactured to determine what’s getting sold in auto dealerships.

But it’s also hugely problematic.

A way to measure one’s life

In the post Seeing What’s Next, I showed how the rate of change of adoption of technology varies with time and asked what might be experienced by present and future generations.

It turns out that knowing how what innovations become universal and the speed at which these technologies are replaced can give us an idea of what individuals might experience in their lifetimes.

Here’s how to think about it:

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 11-19-8.04.42 PM

The Five Year Plan

Gartner reported that PC shipments totaled 80.3 million units in Q3. Subtracting an estimated 4.4 million Macs yields an estimated 75.9 million Windows PCs.[1]

This total is lower than the total shipped in the same period of 2008.

 

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 10-10-11.12.11 AM

 

The graphs above show the

Notes:
  1. The total will be less than this as some PCs will not ship with Windows []

Sponsor: Igloo

Stop waiting for your IT department to move off SharePoint and start using an intranet you’ll actually like. Igloo is free to use with your team, it’s built around easy to use apps like blogging and file sharing, and it has social tools built right in to help you get work done.

It works on your desktop, your tablet and your phone. Inside or outside of your office. With your team or with your customers. Igloo is 100% white label, so you can make it look like your brand (with your developers or our in-house design and services team).

And if you’re in San Francisco, come learn how a social intranet can help your business succeed. Hear real world examples from our customers, technologists, and writers from Forbes and The Huffington Post. Our Social Intranet Tour hits San Francisco on October 15. We hope to see you there.

Sponsorship by The Syndicate

M is for Mystery

I recently tweeted that any discussion related to wearable technology needs to begin with a description of the job it would be hired to do. Without a reason for building a product, you are building it simply because you can.

The reason a product deserves to exist is that it can do a job that needs doing and that few, if any others can also do it. This happens when the job is unstated and difficult to perceive. Put another way, the difficulty behind jobs-to-be-done based design is that jobs are never plainly evident. In contradiction to invention, where the problem being solved must be as clearly stated as its solution, value-creating innovation meets new and unarticulated needs. Even when created, the value is more subtly perceived, often only after prolonged use.

Which brings me to the M7. Apple chose to highlight a component (curious in itself) which it bills as a “motion coprocessor”. It claims to be measuring motion data via accelerometer, compass and gyroscope and processing the information in some way. By bundling the sensors and their management into one integrated chip battery consumption is reduced and these motion monitoring functions are performed more efficiently.

But what for? The examples given during the presentation for an iPhone with M7 don’t add up to a lot of benefit. An iPhone could be used as a fitness companion but it would not a very good one. Compared with, for example, a Nike FuelBand, an iPhone could not track your activity well. It’s often not moving, sitting on a desk or in a purse or pocket while you are doing exercise. It’s too big to take into a basketball game. It can’t “observe” your activity because it’s not worn during many activities and if it is worn it is in a position which does not inform much about what you’re doing. Phones are too big to be used as physical activity monitors.

Hence the question of what is the M7′s job to be done. As part of an iPhone, it does not seem to have one. Saving a bit of battery life is not a job, and certainly not one that needs to have billing in a media special event. The answer must be that the M7 was developed for some other, as yet unstated reason.

When the A series chips were created Apple leveraged the in-house design and cost reduction to make a wide range of products with more than 700 million examples built. Designing a chip needs a broad application domain.

Perhaps this is why Apple chose to describe the iPhone 5s as “forward-thinking”. The M7 and the Touch ID are like research projects whose actual value will be realized at some future time, in probably different contexts. The M series of chips may become Apple’s “low end” microprocessor as the A series climbs the trajectory into core computing tasks (read: phone, tablets, TV, laptops).

M might be the chip for the wearable segment, woven into a whole new fabric of uses and jobs to be done.

That Competition Thing

Bill, I think the smartphone market has always been competitive. [Only] the names have been changed.

Tim Cook responding to Bill Shope’s question on the competitive landscape, April, 2013.

Indeed, over the years, the companies considered Apple’s primary competitor have been many.

In years gone by in the phone market there were RIM and Nokia and Palm and HTC. In the iPod era there was Creative and Sony and innumerable others long forgotten (not to mention the tyranny of DRM).

Even today we struggle to decide whether Apple competes with Google first or Samsung. Or perhaps with the iPad it’s with Amazon or  Microsoft. Or maybe iTunes is threatened by Netflix or Spotify. The Mac surely competes with HP and Dell and Toshiba. What about iCloud? Clearly it’s Dropbox or Google Drive. iWork? Both Office and Google Docs.

Doing a competitive analysis for Apple is then mostly a struggle of whom to compare it to. So forgive me that I only track the few challengers shown below.

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 8-13-2.14.59 PM