How I Refresh my memory

refreshlogoMy friend Paul Tyma (ex-Google, creator of Mailinator, occasional stand-up comic) released a mobile product this week and one thing I find interesting is the difference between how he describes it and how I describe it

Paul:  “Let’s say you had an important meeting with someone you really want to impress. A smart person would probably spend a non-trivial amount of time scouring the internet for information about that person. What are they tweeting about? If you’re LinkedIn to them, then go check out their LinkedIn profile. If you were really interested you might go look up their house on Zillow. Or see how their company’s stock price faired today on Yahoo Finance.”

Bob: “Let’s say you […]

The Secret of iOS 7

airplay1The Innovator’s Dilemma, a 1997 book by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, made the point that successful companies can lose their way when they pay too much attention to legacy products and not enough attention to new stuff. They are making so much money they either don’t see a competitor rising up or are too complacent to feel threatened. In either case the incumbent generally loses and the upstart (usually one of many) generally wins. The best way for successful companies to avoid this problem is by inventing the future before their competitors do.

We see this pattern over and over in high tech. Remember Lotus? Remember Word Perfect? Remember Borland? And it’s not just in software. […]

Apple burnishes while we wait for another breakthrough

SteveJobs3Some readers have asked me for a post on the new Apple iPhones announced yesterday. I’ll get to that in time but prefer to do so when I actually have an iPhone 5S in my hands because I have a very specific column in mind. And no, it’s not the column you think it is. But this is still a good time to write something about Apple in general, which is how Cupertino appears to now stand at a crossroads.

There is a world of difference between Microsoft and Apple but one way they are similar is in facing a generational change. Another way they are similar is in having robust legacy businesses that both put […]

Why Microsoft really bought Nokia


hi-nokia-elop-ballmer
This column, the obvious post on Microsoft buying most of Nokia, is arriving later than I had hoped because we had an Internet failure today at our house on the side of a mountain in Sonoma County near Santa Rosa. We’re 15 minutes from town but the terrain is such that there’s no cellphone service from any carrier, we’re beyond the reach of DSL, there is no cable TV, so our only choices for Internet access are crappy satellite Internet or non-crappy  fixed wireless, which we get from an ISP called CDS1.net. That connection is really good since the ISP’s tower in this part of the county is about 200 feet from my office window.  It’s […]

I was, uh, wrong: Chromecast does what Google claims

FallonChromeA couple weeks ago when Google introduced its Chromecast HDMI dongle I wrote a column wondering whether it was really such a good product or simply good demoware? Now that I have my own Chromecast and have been playing with it for a few days I have to admit I was wrong. Chromecast appears to be every bit as good as Google claims. That’s not to say it’s perfect (more below) but pretty darned good.

What I really doubted was Google’s claim that the Chromecast could turn on your HDTV, switch the HDMI input, and throw content onto the big screen all in one seamless succession of events. It wasn’t that any […]