June 27, 2010

I like this if I were a time traveler:

What would you do if you could travel back in time? Assassinate Marilyn Monroe? Go on a date with Hitler? Obviously. But here’s what I’d do after that: grab all the modern technology I could find, take it to the late 70’s, superficially redesign it all to blend in, start a consumer electronics company to unleash it upon the world, then sit back as I rake in billions, trillions, or even millions of dollars.

Love the cheesy photos – well cheesy only in the sense that they are now but wouldn’t be back in the 70’s. Nice.

Nokia. What can one say then wow how the mighty have fallen. We can say all we want that they have he feature phone market or they own rural india but the problem they are not in the growth markets. And if they ever did adopt android that would have to be admitting defeat – no?

I think the iPhone 4 is going to crush it. People I know who never even wanted one think they have to have one now. My friends or family who have old iPhones were considering something from android – not now. I think the defining innovation for this phone will be Facetime.

Curated app stores, despite app developers bitching, seems to be better:

Overall we estimate that $6,000,000 has been paid out to developers for games, and $15,000,000 has been paid out on apps. That is a total of $21,000,000, almost 50x lower than the amount paid out to devs on iPhone.

This really indicates how much of a cottage industry the paid Android Market remains, with insufficient sales numbers to warrant full-time labor for paid content. Other approaches, such as ad-supported apps, may prove to be more sustainable.

With time this will change as android continues to grow but it is no different than why I might be a mac versus a pc. I appreciate the difference in build quality, the available ecosystem and the gains in productivity. Apple has created a better app store with all the momentum but it could easliy change.

Congrats to Flickr on their new look and the kudos it is ganering:

For those using Flickr every day, such quirks will quickly fade and there’s no doubt that the redesign is a vast improvement. Flickr also claims that page load times are faster, though we didn’t notice a huge difference while previewing the test site. Still, loading a larger photo without slowing down the page will likely be good enough for most users.

Required reading:

Pixar’s approach to creativity is striking for two reasons. The first is that the company puts people before projects. Most Hollywood studios start by hunting down promising ideas and then hire creative teams to turn them into films. The projects dictate whom they hire. Pixar starts by bringing in creative people and then encourages them to generate ideas. One of its most successful recruits has been Brad Bird, who has presided over two Oscar-winning feature films, “The Incredibles” (in which he also provided a character’s voice) and “Ratatouille”.

It sounds so easy but pretty much everywhere I have worked products or maintaining them always seems to be more important than finding the right people and nurturing them. It is hard to do and means profits can’t be the first goal but it is probably better for the company in the long run. Some really nice takeaways in this article.

June 20, 2010


Singapore with it’s tiny 4 million population has 402,992 iPhones, 76575 iPod Touch and 1,453 iPad’s  totaling  480,950 iOS devices. Contrast that to its counterpart, Android devices total up to 32,918. While considering the fact that, iPhone had a head-start in the Singapore market for a year before the first Android device was released, the sheer ratio of iPhone to Android is among the highest across countries.

Find that the regional usage of phones just so bizarre. So the iPhone practically owns Singapore. Then pretty solid numbers for Vietnam and Thailand but get on a one hour plane ride to Indonesia and you see maybe 5 iPhones in all of Jakarta. So if you are a product person dealing with this region you really have to examine your goals country by country. Rough.


As a parting shot dear reader, if you are thinking about being the next Gowalla or Foursquare, think outside the box. The world is a very large, and spherical place, mapped by a long/lat address.

What about developing countries, where the penetration of mobile data usage far outstrips that of broadband, or even dial up modems?

99% of all location services I have seen are targeted squarely at Early Adopters. If you are looking for the next big thing in location, one that attracts people in the millions, look at the developing markets, because connecting people in disparate locations, and giving those people a way to share information is a great start.

My thoughts exactly – there is room for some thinking around emerging markets, non-smartphones and innovation around location with dumb clients. Going to be interesting.


Carr admits he’s something of a fatalist when it comes to technology. He views the advent of the Internet as “not just technological progress but a form of human regress.”

I was on one of my walk/runs listening to this podcast and was in total agreement. I find that I just can’t concentrate like I used to. I am always looking to switch stimuli at any moment but I don’t think it is particularly healthy. I am putting an effort into trying to change this. Reading a book with nothing else on. Going the coffee shop with the paper and nothing else. I purposefully bought and iPod classic versus a touch so that I would just use it for music and the occasional video. Seems to be working but I seriously wonder how we are messing ourselves up over the long haul.


While he managed to salvage the $1.3 million deal after apologizing to his suitor, Mr. Campbell continues to struggle with the effects of the deluge of data. Even after he unplugs, he craves the stimulation he gets from his electronic gadgets. He forgets things like dinner plans, and he has trouble focusing on his family.

His wife, Brenda, complains, “It seems like he can no longer be fully in the moment.”

This is your brain on computers.

Yup – seems we do have a problem. I hope I never get like that.


Though other headphones can compete on quality, what sets these ones apart is that they are gaining mass market appeal, reaching beyond audio geeks, thanks in part to the heavyweight talent behind them.

I would go farther to say that Dr. Dre and Monster took a play from the Apple playbook. The packaging of the product, the case, the accessories, the careful selection of promoters and even the service set these headphones apart into their own league. I am not sure how I can leave without them but maybe my brain wishes I could.

Android market bigger than iPhone – DF told me so!

I love daring fireball – I can’t lie but it is for his little comments more than anything.

It started with this:

Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple’s new iPhone 4. It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.

Then gruber says this:

According to AT&T, that’s 10 times higher than the first-day pre-orders for the iPhone 3GS last year.

This is very good news for Android, because Vic Gundotra told us at I/O that Android is ahead of the iPhone in U.S. sales.

he kills me and I am not even a fanboy – I don’t have an iPhone.



I have been so busy I have not had a time to re-cap my experience at Echelon. First off let me say thanks to Mohan and the team at E27 – nice work – awesome event! I wrote up something for the YDN blog and our slides are also there.

By any measurement the event was a smash. Great attendance, almost 700, good vibe, lots of locals, lots of non-locals, some heavy hitters and a sense that the region is happening with Singapore being a big part of it. I personally met so many new people and got to meet in person the people I have chatted with, admired or wished I knew. My personal network got a huge bump at the event.

This week in asia also did another live show which went over real well. That podcast is starting to take off and I am honored to be involved.

The world is slowly waking up to Asia and to Southeast Asia – it will be interesting to see how things go the rest of the year but I suspect more activity and lots of interesting startups.

see u at openWEBasia!


ps. also wanted to give a shout out to my buddy terence p – u da man:

Insync was one of the participating startups that exhibited at the recent Echelon 2010 web technology event in Singapore. Michael Smith of Yahoo!, better known as Smitty, had introduced him to the e27 folks, the organizers of Echelon 2010, and got him interested in the event. Terence says he met many ’smart and interesting folks’ there, and got plenty of feedback for Insync. Other participating startups had many good things to say about Insync. Serkan Toto of U.S.-based technology blog TechCrunch, who was at Echelon 2010, even called the Philippines-based startup as one of those who stood out from the crowd.

U only live once…

I love hearing stuff like this story – selling it all...

I am always fascinated when I meet people and they seem to fear not working, taking a long sabbatical or doing something  nuts like traveling America in a Lambo. My take is you only live one time and you better make the best of it since in my opinion having the most stories to tell is a sign of a life well lived.

get moving!

Scoble is strange…

Sometimes I just don’t get how Scoble deduces things.

Start with this – http://scobleizer.com/2010/06/07/things-steve-jobs-didnt-say/ :

1. I didn’t remember him talking about the Macintosh. I might have missed it, but I don’t think so.
2. I didn’t remember him talking about tethering.
3. I didn’t remember him talking about Apple TV.
4. I didn’t remember him talking about other carriers other than AT&T.

There is a new OS coming Robert. How about we talk about the mac then?
Tethering. Works all over the world with iPhones. This is a stupid ATT issue but yes – an issue.
Apple TV – maybe there is something new coming. Big deal.
Cause for now Apple is going with ATT – who knows. Maybe that will change?

Then – http://scobleizer.com/2010/06/07/the-bottom-line-iphone-4-vs-androids-best-does-nokia-microsoft-rim-have-a-chance-in-getting-into-the-game/

What all I am always wondering is why all of Robert’s angles are purely north america and maybe europe. Nokia still crushing it in the emerging markets. Sure it is under threat but come to Indonesia where you won’t see very many Nexus One’s or iPhones. In Thailand you see a bunch of iPhones but RIM on the rise as well. Point is that around the world this is all changing. RIM is still alive and so is Nokia. The bigger question is around MSFT – are they just out of the mobile space? I think so. They could have bought Palm and jumped back in but HP will pretty much kill Palm.

Sometimes Robert I just wonder where u come up with all this nonsense?

So much going on!

Back in Jakarta – got a product to get cranking on!

Seems Indonesia is getting tons of press – some warranted and some not. There is a lot of action here but time to deliver.

In other news I will be joining TWIA as a full timer. Awesome – I am totally stoked about this. Check out the Echelon show – awesome stuff with an all star cast.

Anyway – back to the grind…