Archive for the ‘Apple’ category

Who is AAPL’s next COO

August 26, 2011

Everyone’s all rev’d up about Job’s resignation as CEO, Tim Cook’s ascencion to CEO.

No one is yet talking about who replaces COOK! Tim is a brilliant ops guy. Sure, he gets strategy. He’s helped drive it at Apple now for nearly a decade for crying out loud. The guy “gets it”. No question.

But, who becomes Apple’s next COO is really pretty important.

In fact, AAPL has several key executive jobs to fill. Serlet – Developer Relations. Johnson – Retail. Very quickly Tim Cook will have the opportunity – né the responsibility of hiring in his “Cabinet” to carry the ball for the next [several] years. So, are these internal young stars we’ve not seen much of yet? Are these people we’ll say… oh, yeah, that makes total sense? I’m betting we already know these people.

See, Apple has a University internally for continuity. They want everyone to know… Apple isn’t going to change too very much. We like them the way they are. They like them the way they are. So, sure, people come and go… even higher ups. Continuity and panic control were expected and factored for.

So, here’s the 64-bit question… Who is the Apple management dream team?

IS Steve Jobs Coming Back? Ever?

March 21, 2011

Some time back I predicted Steve Jobs would “retire” across the board (Apple, Disney, etc). Kinda happy to have gotten that one a wee wrong.

Something’s really niggling me about his return though… I just don’t see it happening. It’s time to wonder now… will Steve Jobs return to the office off this most recent medical leave? I love to think he’s coming back. If for no other reason than to tell us all he’s licked the sicknesses plaguing him. To see his home built. To see old and new friends enjoying their lives. To build his “one more thing” that we fall in love with all over again.

Tim Cook has done a MARVELOUS job of showing Wall Street he’s not only capable of running the business. But that he’s capable of LEADING the business too! Which, let’s admit it… we fan boys love Steve for his charisma and chutzpah as much as anything he’s done on the business savvy side of things. In Tim we have another LEADER. Someone who gets the gestalt of design, business, supply-side. Someone who’s had his fill of the kool-aid alongside us. He’s as much a fanboy as the rest of us. He’s one amazingly driven gentleman.

Will the existing leadership take hills for him should his day come? Hell yes. Will the legion fanboy hang on his every word? You know?… I believe we will. It may take some getting used to him. Getting to know him. What makes him tick. But, I think all our love for Steve will be transferrable to Apple’s next full-time CEO. And I honestly think that’s Tim Cook. Retention of the existing talent set will be crucial. Forstall, Cue, Schiller, Ive, ALL the hardware and retail leadership, Serlet… Man, what a phenomenal bench! and that’s just the top of mind crowd. The veeps and directors and engineers and evangelists that bust their humps to get all this magical stuff done. Again, if anyone has the leadership chops to keep the house that Steve built together… It’s Tim.

An Apple, Inc. without Steve is a lesser place. To be sure. But, the Apple we all know and love is chock full of Steve-inspired, Steve-vetted goodness for many years to come. And, there’s no one better than Tim Cook to see that legacy executed and ultimately built upon and surpassed. I can think of no more appropriate homage to Steve Jobs than to take Apple Inc to the next level under able adult supervision WHILE he’s still kicking.

My hope is the AAPL board will name a successor while Jobs has the steam to bless the new Don.

The Quandry: Web App or Native App?

February 19, 2011

I’ve been wrestling a lot lately trying to pick a path forward for my next big iterations of our mobile app strategy at Grocio.

The dilemma for us is a little unique. Most of what we produce (locally aggregated store circulars) are fed today to the iPad only through the NATIVE client over http. So, we can afford to be agnostic in our approach forward at this point. We’re actually in a great position to deliver a web app experience that for the most part is consistent across all devices. And, I’m excited about that truth be told. The nice thing about the web apps route… EVERYONE has the same point version release. No lengthy delays for approvals. As it turns out these are compelling cases for choosing the web app route. The dilemma comes down to one of monetization.

Shoppers are paying for the “Store Circulars” app today via the iTunes App Store. It’s important to continue making revenue from the app. So, do we hook a web app into this new Google subscription doohicky and charge that way? I’m adamant that we’re NOT going to rely solely on advertising/sponsorship. CPM and CPX is all fine and good. But, having made my living by the fickle ups and downs that way a few times before. It’s not something I’m excited about doing again.

Conversely… do we remain on the native path? Supporting multiple platforms (even within the same OS). The emerging App Stores give us some super distribution and reach. But, with it comes the expense of some % of revenues that are split with the hosting App Store. Not to mention the ugly need to actually develop distinctly different apps for each of those platforms. I don’t dispute the value of what the App Stores provide or the % of revenues for each sold app they take. They earn it. No argument there.

The problems are compounding for app developers though… More platforms means we face more choices which ones to develop for and which ones we’ll forego.

It’s the reason I like the idea of wrapper software frameworks like PhoneGap. I’m not savvy enough yet to build a universal app from the ground up. I still hire out some parts of the app that are beyond me. Anything that gives me a leg up on building once and deploying across multiple platforms AND app stores… I’m going to like a lot. Even to the point that’s a pure web app.

Are you other mobile developers facing similar issues? How did you solve for your situation? And, of particular interest, how did you manage to monetize your apps?

When School Boards Fail

January 30, 2011

Imagine this – Your State Legislature takes a bill through to signed law. Happens all the time. It’s controversial to the point of being called “unconstitutional”.

This new law requires your (elected) state school boards to do something specific. Most comply but seven in your county don’t. In fact, they VOTE not to follow the law.

Scores of affected families get together and try mightily to persuade the districts to recognize what they’re doing is willful misconduct. These districts maintain what they’re doing is trying to figure out which law to follow – the constitution of the state or the recently passed law. State precedent is clear though – All state laws are considered constitutional until adjudged otherwise AND that only courts have the jurisdiction to adjudge in such a way.

At this point the school boards are dug in past the point of reasonable dialogue: They are intent on interpretting laws. The families recognize this can’t stand and sets a bad precedent.

The families float a little known, little used statute they call “Writs of Ouster” which simply requires a number of signatures equivalent of 1% of the last election for the office(s) in question or 15 signatures, whichever is higher. One such Writ of Ouster is filed against a district and immediately three of the districts rescind their positions because it’s certain the board members are personally responsible for their own legal fees. It has now become a personal liability the districts can’t cover. They’ve lost their shield.

Shortly thereafter the remaining four districts are told by the State Attorney General, “We’re taking similar action. You have four days to rescind your positions.” The boards do so. But, not without also belligerently voting to sue the Attorney General ASAP.

The parents have had enough of the rogue and defiant behavior of the district boards and file Writs of Ouster against them all.

At this point you have no idea what law these boards are objecting to. At this point you simply know they’re doing things they ought not be doing on principle alone. There is no legal position to support their actions. They’re simply rogue elected officials who won’t respond to reason.

Can you blame the parents for taking drastic measures to reel in their education system?

If Google Made A Car

December 31, 2010

By now, most people have heard Google is testing cars that drive themselves. Which, is kinda cool. But, consistent with my earlier post on “If Apple Made a Car” I’d like to explore the allegory of a Google Car. So, here goes:

  • You don’t buy a gAuto. It is strictly by referer only.
  • Right off the bat, the gAuto is a stark white box. No visible seams, tires, nothing and only one very plain point of entry. Also worth noting, there are no Windows. Just lots of Chrome.
  • Don’t be fooled. The gAuto is deceptively complex. Only PhD’s can tinker under the hood.
  • The only known mechanic is one “Matt Cutts”. Identifiable by the “I’m not Matt Cutts” t-shirts he wears.
  • On the inside is wraparound seating with one BigTable in the middle.
  • The ignition starts with one of two buttons “Drive” or “Feeling Lucky” (I strongly suggest the “Drive” button for most occasions)
  • The gAuto goes from stock still to your final destination (no matter how far) in 0.24 seconds. They’re constantly working on acceleration. (It’s the breaking they have a problem with.)
  • The navigation is simply Voice activated. Arriving at your intended destination is dependent upon how specific you can be with your input.
  • Insurance for your gAuto is provided on a daily basis by whoever has bid the most for the privilege.
  • Traveling outside the magic triangle is discouraged.
  • Don’t forget to plug your gAuto in at night… it’s an all-electric jalopy after all.
  • Mileage is all relative.
  • The Owner’s Manual is quite specific, “Objects in the mirror are nowhere as big as we are.”
  • And, every gAuto has the same license plate: “B.E.T.A.”

WTF!? OK HB 3393 Should STAND!

October 12, 2010

What the HELL are these “educators” thinking in Oklahoma!? Seriously! “Educators” seems misplaced in this context. They’re ADMINISTRATORS. And, what they’re thinking is, “Oops! People are taking their kids (and consequently OUR money/funding) out of our reach.” THAT is exactly what they’re thinking. Glad you finally chose to wake the hell up. When presented with an option… we chose a better one. Surprise!

I’m taking a break from my normally technical blogging to begin the VOCAL OPPOSITION to any and all school districts who oppose The Nicole Henry Scholarship law (OK HB 3393). The Oklahoma Legislature passed a fantastic bill for special needs children (one of my children qualifies) and now the Jenks, Bixby, Broken Arrow and (perhaps my Tulsa) school systems are opposing it. WTF people!!! This further proves your interest isn’t aligned with the best interest of the children. Your interest is in alignment with the use of funds that are no longer in your control. And, you’re hiding behind constitutionality. I call BS!

Yes, I’m mad. I’m mad that you are suggesting the STATE doesn’t have the authority to appropriate funds as they see fit. It’s Law folks. It’s in the books. Get used to it. Can laws be overturned. Sure. Go ahead and challenge it. We’ll sue the school systems for DAMAGES.

You’ll find parents and private school administrators have cast a vote of no confidence in YOUR abilities to serve our childrens’ needs adequately.

You’ll also find these same parents are going to create a MASSIVE noise like none you’ve ever encountered. You’re about to pound sand in the worst possible way. You thought you’d make a grab for the cookie jar. Instead, you’re causing REAL damage to households and businesses across Oklahoma for which we WILL seek damages. Your net loss folks. Best wake up now.

You’ll also find your place is to EDUCATE our special needs children and not look at them as a way to obtain an inordinate amount of money per head to fund your special projects that have little to nothing to do with our special needs children. Go ahead and deny this happens. You’ll find yourself challenged on hundreds of fronts to PROVE every dollar was directed appropriately.

What you should be doing instead is barking at the State Legislature to STOP appropriating your highway and Lottery dollars and putting them toward other projects. That IS your’s. Go fight for it and stop picking on special needs children and the law that helps THEM.

Our children are NOT pawns and you’re about to get a big can of whoop ass poured all over you. You’ve let the hornets out of the nest and you’re not getting them back in.

FaceMeld for iOS

July 22, 2010

A project I’m working on is called FaceMeld for iOS. The aim is to bridge a gap between FaceTime and the desktop iChat.

Seems in Apple’s rush to market they didn’t live up to one of their own tennets – Openness. Even if it’s only cross-platform between their mobile OS and their desktop OS… that’s open enough for me. As is, FaceTime is too proprietary.

Perhaps Apple comes out with something in a future release of one or the other or both… For now I see a need and intend to fill the need. That will be done with FaceMeld. Stay tuned.

iPhone4 + FaceTime ≠ Open Standard

June 24, 2010

For crying out loud Apple… You have this wildly popular new shiny thing (iPhone4). Congrats by the way…

You go on this big screed about “open standards”. While…

In your other corner you have this wonderful but 1/2 forgotten platform called OSX (which was notably absent from this years WWDC by the way) which you graced with a pretty nice iChat protocol.

Now, why have TWO proprietary (ie. NOT open or otherwise known as CLOSED) Apple protocols when they could be made to work great together over public internet?

Is it because selling two iPhone4’s is that much better than giving us a little OSX/iOS cross-platform compatibility?

Is it because it’s planned to be an iOS5 feature?

Is it because it’s going to be melded into ONE protocol? Which one wins out? When?

Is it because you really have in mind to FINALLY come out with a Windows version of iChat that will work with Mac iChat and iOS FaceTime? (I’m full on delusional at this point to think this might happen)

Guys, it’s genius you have this FaceTime thing going on. But jeez Louise! Make your shiny new thing work with your other shiny things! Please?!

Stupid Email Trick to ID Those Who SELL Your Address

June 22, 2010

Sometimes someone shows you something so slick you don’t really appreciate it immediately for what it is. Such is the case here. So, bookmark this post… you’ll come back to it for a double take some day. Or Digg it or Delicious it… keep it close. It’s so stupid simple it’s almost elusive. I happened to be participating in a conversation today at AVC.com (GREAT blog btw, highly recommend Fred) and realized I hadn’t shared this little trick. Let alone blogged in while. So, consider me to have fallen back on the blogging wagon with this post.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop one day grumbling to an acquaintance about my email address getting a ton more spam than usual and suspecting it was due to signing up for one of a dozen or more services recently. He said, “You should have appended your email address.”

Huh?

“Yeah, all you have to do is put a PLUS symbol after your actual email ID (but before the AT symbol) when you register for stuff and you’ll know who’s doing what with your email. If an email comes from someone unexpected with THAT appendage it was obtained… somehow… probably without your knowledge or consent.”

Bullshit! It couldn’t be THAT easy. I need a service or something to do this… I think those were my exact words to him.

“Oh, yes it is that easy and you don’t pay a penny to do it. Helps me figure out who I can trust and who I can’t. Try it.”

Hell if he wasn’t right (mostly). I’ve registered with a TON of third party services since as Gerald+SERVICEID@mydomainname.something… and it’s worked like a champ on my domain, on gmail but not on Dot Mac (or Mobile Me or whatever the hell they’re calling it this year… iMe?) Anyway, point being I’ve been able to isolate some offenders. I’ve been able to prioritize some actions based on the TO: field (AT&T, Apple, special vendors I really don’t want to miss messages from, etc).

Test it yourself. Not all email servers will behave with the + symbol in the ID area. If you send yourself a message with +TEST after your ID but before the @ symbol and it delivers… you’re in tall cotton. If it bounces your email server doesn’t play nice. Not sure why some do and some don’t. That’s just the breaks I guess. But, once you figure it out there are all sorts of things you can do from there. Have fun & spread it around.

If someone’s intent on doing you wrong they’ll be able to GREP that +TRACKING@ element out and THEN sell your information downstream. But, not all sleaze bags are that smart. Trust me, it’ll be eye opening and you won’t have to have a bunch of email addresses to keep up with.

[REVIEW] iFrogz Earpollution Earbuds

September 24, 2009

iFrogz was kind enough to send me a pair of their Earpollution Earbuds to review. The short of it: They’re decent earbuds at a good value. More after the jump…

(more…)


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