Browsing articles from "June, 2007"

Why the iPhone Changes Everything

Everyone is eagerly awaiting the launch of the iPhone at 6pm on June 29. This isn’t just marketing. It’s a revolution. Here’s why.


Other large phone manufacturers have been at this for years. What could Apple possibly know about delivering a better cell phone experience?


The iPhone changes the playing field because Apple has three distinct advantages:

  • Internet software. Pure-play hardware companies don’t fully understand how to deliver great Internet software. Software today doesn’t just mean MP3 players and snapshot capabilities, nor is it just about calendar and email. It means making the Internet accessible and easy to use: built-in PDF support; Safari browser; and Youtube. Of course that leads to…
  • Integrated design. Because Apple controls the end to end experience, it is delivering a device and software that consumers actually want to use. An ultra-open platform that relies on OEM specifications works well when processor, memory, and power are unlimited. But when these items are at a premium, integrated delivery is the only way to go. There’s another reason Apple is so good at optimizing for a constrained environment and that’s because it uses…
  • Startup approach. Apple appears to think and act as if it is a startup, even though it’s a big company. The other companies may have hundreds or thousands of people hard at work on their next generation mobile offerings. But unlike social media, which thrives on the consensus of the many, great design is the result of the wisdom of the few. There are probably a lot of people working on the iPhone project, but only a few who really control and influence the core design.

Today’s consumers are demanding. They have ultra-high expectations about the content they consume and the experience they receive. They live in a market where they can quickly test out an experience, be it a web site or a device, and pass judgment even more quickly.

It’s hard to live up to the incredible hype surrounding the launch of a new mass-market consumer product. But it’s all too easy to underestimate nimble entrepreneurs who understand today’s demanding consumer. Don’t ” they change everything.

Jun 24, 2007

SHDH: Have Fun And Get Things Done

Super Happy Dev House, PBWiki, David Weekly, Matt Rubens, and Sven Strohband received a nice mention in the San Jose Mercury News. The “Bay Area’s premier monthly hack-a-thon event” is not only fun but also a great place to meet really smart developers and engineers.

Jun 18, 2007

Flash: What Java Wanted To Be

It’s been fun getting questions on why I’m building widgets (especially after Widget Companies: Fool’s Gold). It’s been even more fun building them. I’ve learned a lot: most critically, that Flash has become what Java wanted to be.

Photo: A downtown Toronto pillow fight flash mob.

Java was meant to be the language that made platform irrelevant. It was so high profile, some would argue, that the Common Language Runtime (CLR) evolved in response to it. What happened?

When Java was created, implementation led and design followed. Today, design leads and implementation follows. Acquiring users is the name of the game. That puts sites, widgets, and applications that are easy to use and look great at a premium.

That doesn’t mean design complexity — in fact, just the opposite. Less is more. Clean lines, plain backgrounds, and easy uploads win. Flash won because it carried the day on design. It grew from a simple drawing tool into an animation product and from there into a complete authoring environment.

Coupling moving visuals with actions has always been powerful. But with more than 500,000 developers and 325 million Web users of the Flash player, Flash is more than an environment. It’s a platform that’s everywhere.

To be clear, Java has become a platform in the enterprise. Talk to today’s CIO and Java is everywhere in the server room and in some places on the desktop: legacy application integration for example.

What happened? Java got the C programmers, but Flash won the hearts and minds of the designers. Flash made it easy to create good looking animations and ultimately videos viewable by anyone. It wasn’t about delivering the highest quality — it was about fast and easy.

Talk to today’s entrepreneurs and you’ll hear that one of the most in-demand skillsets, if not the most in-demand skillset around, is the ability to do great design work. People who have a natural talent for design are at a premium. Those who can couple great design with fast implementation even more so. Flash is the catalyst that makes that possible.

Java took fair share in the enterprise. But Flash won the consumer. Java can read 10 million user records from a database and expose them on a web page. But Flash can make you look good doing it.

Java may be a thousand words, but Flash is the picture. And as we all know…

Jun 12, 2007

Guy Kawasaki post on $12K to build a Web 2.0 Startup

Guy Kawasaki had a great post on how much it cost him to build Truemors. Whether or not you are a fan of Truemors,  this is a very clueful read on what you can do on little $ today.

Jun 4, 2007