Android Overtakes iPhone: 3 Reasons Apple Is Scared

The race is on… the latest statistic to hit the headlines is that Google Andriod has surpassed iphone sales for the first time. Well, its not exactly apples to apples (so to speak) because Google is running across so many different phones and let’s face it, people are buying the phone, not the OS… not exactly a fair comparison. On the other hand, Apple does have a lot to worry about : Android is open. The OS is opensource and the marketplace (actually there are multiple marketplaces) allow for any kind of application. Apple is notorious for shunning any developer who creates features that appear to duplicate those in the iOS. In fact Apple doesn’t give a good reason why they deny applications. They are taking on the innovation and fenced out competitors. Google has the opposite approach, they are leveraging standards to crowdsource innovation. The innovation bar is going ... Read more »

Adobe Flash Catalyst – Turning UI Designers Into Programmers?

On April 12th, 2010 Adobe will soft launch (no product released) their new Creative Suite 5 which includes updates to most of their design programs.  Flash Catalyst, currently available in Adobe Labs, is a newcomer to this suite.  It’s a tool that allows UI designers to create basic UI interactivity in Adobe Flex.  As you probably know, Flex is the leading interactive rich media platform which Adobe acquired from Macromedia.  What I love about this tool is it helps to address a critical gap in communication between interactive designers and Flex software developers. Product development cycle time is constantly under pressure.  A huge bottleneck in the development pipeline is efficient communication between the interactive designer who often builds static representations of the user interface(jpeg, Photoshop, Illustrator)  and the developer.  It sometimes turns into basic conversations like “when you click here you will see this happen… OK”.  This collaboration often takes ... Read more »

7 Product Tips to understand the Customer

Marketing Sherpa published an interview with Dan Ariely, Professor, Behavioral Economics, Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.  He points out that most people don’t have a good handle on their decision making and often their environment dictates the decision.  He lists seven insights (some of which are less obvious than others): Expectations modify experience People are uncertain of a product’s monetary worth People place increased value on their own items People hate losing things Don’t put too much value in focus groups Reach consumers at the right time Look at customer communication areas I found #4 to be the most interesting.  I recall the idea from a seminar on negotiation that everyone has a “utility graph” that describes how a specific person feels about gaining or losing.  A gambler, for example, would be willing to incur the pain of losing a few ... Read more »

IPAD: Creating Apple Enemies

So the cat is out of the bag; Steve Jobs has been staying up late, creating the next generation mobile device.  Will it be successful – yes of course.  Will Apple become a leading media aggregator – definitely.  The question, however, is how many enemies can Apple handle?  Here are a few that come to mind: Microsoft: Competing on everything Google: Refusing Google iPhone applications and competing with Android / The Chrome Operating System Motorola / IBM : Switch from PowerPC to Intel chips Samsung : Switch from the iPhone Samsung CPU to a proprietary version on the iPad Amazon: Competing with Kindle and Amazon’s digital it’s media aggregation empire Adobe: Apple’s refusal to support flash on the iPhone and iPad It’s hard to find anyone that Apple is playing nice with these days.  Intel may be a friend now, but with Apple creating proprietary CPU’s its conceivable that Intel ... Read more »

70 top social media sites by Association of Strategic Marketing

ASM is giving away a handy reference of the top media sites – check here http://goo.gl/peME .  You won’t be surprised by the list, but its a handy reference to make sure no social sites slip through the cracks of your marketing strategy.  Contains a URL, Category, Description and Alexa Rank.  I’ve found the ASM to have a number of useful tools and services.  Take a look at their offerings, membership is $300 per year. Read more »

Product Management: What’s your IQ?

ZigZag marketing has a simple quiz to determine the product management strength of an organization.  I’ve been in product management for many years and while a PMIQ score may be a bit overboard  I get their point.  Products teams can often be eclipsed by Marketing, Engineering or Sales.  Without Product Management leadership, it's easy to get “product myopic” – ignoring portfolio management and the efficiencies of integration across products and product lines.  Some organizations have grown up entirely without a formal product management team or process and believe products can be developed collaboratively by several departments.  They reason that with all the teams represented, they can collectively establish the product requirements and let the engineers develop the product. IMHO the ZigZag Product Management Framework (try the interactive model) sums up the role of Product Management to coordinate and own key areas in the full product lifecycle flow – from concept ... Read more »

Searching for Search – 10+ Best Practice case studies in e-commerce Search

Smashing Magazine does a great job at identifying several best practice sites and identifying 10 principals to consider when designing a site.   Many e-commerce sites make a mistake of an under-designed or over-designed search capability.  If the site’s core value proposition is about search (ie shopwiki, google products, etc.) then focus on the user search workflow is often conducted very early in the site evolution.  It is not uncommon, however for that differentiator to overwhelm the usability of the site (too many facets, too much granularity, etc.).  On the other hand, many e-commerce sites simply have a search box with no ability to filter which puts the burden on the user to sort through results. The only “right” answer is fervent user testing and analysis. Read more »

Gotdrupal.com – Media Site to learn about the Drupal CMS

I've been working with and following drupal for several years and it is really maturing.  For those interested in exploring it, I came across a great media-centric site to help guide the novice and pro alike – gotdrupal.com. The site is not cluttered with advertisement (there are some premium links) and the videos are comprehensive (a bit wordy, but there is always fast forward.)  I highly recommend  drupal explorers to give it a test spin! Read more »

Google Goggles Visual Search: Breakthrough Innovation

Visual search, augmented reality, context based search – call it what you want – the bottom line is that Google Goggles is a powerful innovation that can change our digital life.  In case you haven’t heard, Goggles combines mobile cameras, mobile GPS, 3G+ networks and image recognition to let you search for landmarks, books, places, businesses, and even scan business cards. Facial recognition is clearly on the horizon, and the opportunity for storefront advertising is tremendous.  Although not the first augmented reality application (the iphone has at least 10 applications) Google is well positioned to leverage its strengths in Location based services (Maps, Earth, Latitude) Massive search indexing Unprecedented scalability (needed for image processing) Open source phone platform Leading digital advertising network If you have an android phone, you have probably played with it already.  PCWorld has a hands on review and you can find at least a dozen YouTube ... Read more »

"I certainly don’t believe that the Internet will mean the death of news" – Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt fights back the Newspaper Industry attacks by defending Google’s role in News distribution with a full page opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.  He argues that Google is not profiting from news “The claim that we’re making big profits on the back of newspapers also misrepresents the reality” and blames the Newspaper business for their own demise by quoting Rupert Murdoch “It is complacency caused by past monopolies, not technology, that has been the real threat to the news industry.” At the core of his argument is the idea that newspapers can choose to block links and enforce subscriptions, that Google is providing a value added service through distribution, and the technology Google provides is good for the industry.  I happen to agree with all of this, but he adds something that I found a bit strange: The best newspapers have always held up a mirror to ... Read more »