Ad Humor: Herding cats

This is an oldie but a goody. This often reminds me of work. Its a great concept that ties together the complexity of EDS services in an easy to understand metaphor.

Is Apple growing out of touch??

I doubt very much that I am suggesting anything new here. But there are two areas that I fee Apple is a bit out of touch with the market:

iPhone Keyboard is a required offering.

I Believe the iPhone is one feature away from dominating the Enterprise AND the consumer space for smartphones/micro PCs. Steve needs to back down on his touch only mantra and design a real keyboard that slides out underneath the entire phone (a la Sony Xperia or these concepts). Apple has created a new market and ecosystem for these usable small computers that people can  lean on for most of their personal personal computing. Whats missing is a real keyboard.

Witness the thousands of teens glued to their QWERTY text messaging hardware or Blackberries. Teens are  the sweet spot for Apple’s consumer strategy. In the enterprise, to satisfy the needs of the QWERTY addicted  and really impress the large enterprises about the fact the iPhone is a true portable productivity tool, they need to build something that actually works the without any education. Ironically, I think the iPhone keypad is one of the only things Apple has  designed in a few years that requires a lot of knowledge to use properly.  Now I love my iphone, but I definitely catch myself doing less mobile mail on it due to the cludgyness of the keyboard for my hands. I prefer SMS because it allows me to be less formal and I dont have to type as much. I belive this is a lost opportunity for Apple and they need to listen to users on this one.

We need an Apple NetBook (NetMac?) yesterday…

The Hackintosh meme has left the station and its only going to get more momentum. I  and many others will likely buy a sub $400 netbook and install OSX in the coming 6 months. Personally,  I need a commuting machine and the Air is overpriced for what I need. I want somethign small to throw into a bag that I can pound out mail on the train. I also would likely use this machine for travel and weekends, rather than bringing my larger desktop laptop. Since the MobileMe sync services are working so well, it really doesn’t matter what machine I am on…everything on every machine should theoretically sync. Its working for me today on the multiple machines I use. Apple is a design company, and they design great hardware. The netbook is an opportunity to do something that is uniquely Apple and a lower cost. I believe, like the iPhone/iPod, the Apple experience on a netbook will create a great channel to recruit new converts. That and I don’t want to write a check to Dell…

What do you think…are they getting these things ready or are they going to ignore the market and push everything into the new multi-touch technology (including a netbook)??

Well Produced “Future Piece” from Microsoft

This is a really nicely produced piece MSFT did about what they believe the future will look like, conveniently including the use of  future software and haptic technologies.

What’s funny about this video is that all the UIs in the video imply that in the future, Microsoft will have had some pretty serious changes of thought about the emphasis on great design. I would venture a guess that most of the concept UIs in this piece were created by designers not engineers.

I look forward a future when good design has a more strategic role in burying complexity to make our lives mote productive.

The slow death of CPM on the web.

The CPM model is changing dramatically (duh). Long tail ad inventory will trend to $0 while premium inventory may actually increase.

Here’s why:

The impression pricing model (CPMs) depends on scarcity (of channels, pages, broadcast spectrum). The internet destroys the CPM model assumptions as new content comes online each day, thus destroying scarcity in the CPM model. Inventory on the web is infinite, so non-premium inventory will price lower. While more content (ad inventory) comes online, attention remains FINITE. Any single blogger now competes with the likes of the NYT or WSJ. Performance pricing and direct response will in the end rule the web media buy.

Also, while this is occurring, publishers are self cannibalizing pricing by using ad networks that reduce their inventory to fungible goods.

The outlook seems bleak for the firms that depend on impression based pricing. Digg is a great example of how massive amounts of new inventory can hit the market quickly. Digg instantly competes with their dugg destination posts. Look for more moves like yesterday’s Yahoo’s APT accommodation of performance pricing and look for the other quality performance networks to realize more revenue.

What the Macro-economic contraction means for young online media firms

The best piece advice I have received from a friend working in media private equity was this:

“If you have the model and the means to get through an economic contraction with growth, don’t sell now…  keep your head down, execute and grow. On the other side of the contraction, your business will be worth MUCH more”

Also, Jason Calacanis, a serial successful entrepreneur opined recently (paraphrased) on TWIT that the best time to make a move in this market is during a contraction because you have less competition. If you are executing, you’ll grab more market share, you will be a more valuable property, and attract better talent. Jason speaks from experience…he has started businesses in downturns.

The trends look good for online media: there is a flight to more measurable and agile online media because online media consumption time is increasing its share of the (finite) user media consumption pie. Also, the dollars that leave radio, TV and Print will move into the online space to gain on the 20% user consumption time of online media.

Smart marketers are slowly levering up the ~7% of thier budgets in online media to get closer to matching the 20% number. They also know that the trackabilty and ROI equation works in their favor, as they can deliver faster, more direct and meaningful results with online media (especially as performance-based pricing becomes more popular).

In the end the “wheat will be seperated from the chafe”, but the firms with focus and resources to capitalize on the opportunity a contraction presents will come through a downturn stronger and more resilient.

How to piss off Google…

Is it me or does this product android shot from Uncle Walt’s blog look suspiciously like a Microsoft IE browser? It looks like someone, (not Google) hacked something up and used a windows browser.

If T-Mobile did this screen shot, they are off to a rocky start with the Goog!

Lessig is right. The US needs a CTO.

Scoble posted a very interesting piece regarding Larry Lessig’s belief for the need the nation has for a CTO-like position. I agree that this is a necessary position as we continue to evolve into a nation of knowledge workers that rely on and create new technology that makes us and the rest of the world more productive.

Unifying (or attempting to) public policy regarding the understanding and shaping of issues like traffic shaping, data portability, data privacy, and net neutrality are all very important to maintaining our position as an innovative nation where access and distribution of information and knowledge is an assumed characteristic of being a citizen of this great nation.

Perhaps selfishly, I think the person for this position should have the ability to market theses issues to the public in simple to understand concepts that do not obfuscate the truth of the issue so that the people, not the companies can shape policy.

Your thoughts on the issue?