The Most Disruptive Tech Over the Next Five Years

Tim Bajarin, for Techpinions:

One of the more interesting panel discussions at CES was about disruptive technologies over the next five years. The panelists tossed around ideas they thought would be disruptive over this period — robotics, self driving cars, sensors, wearables, home automation and a few others. Creative Strategies Partner and Tech.pinions co-founder Ben Bajarin was on the panel and was asked at the end what he thought would be the most disruptive technology he saw on the horizon. He stated it would be the fact that more people will come online for the first time over the next five years than have in the past 30 years. The global implications of adding another two billion Internet users could be quite disruptive. Panelist Avi Greengart of Current Analysis echoed that and said the most disruptive technology is already here in the form of the smart phone.

An entire swath of the world population is indeed getting internet for the first time on a smart phone. And that’s huge.

There’s more to it, though, because two related trends are playing out alongside in developed countries:

  1. Low income households are now using their mobile phone as their primary — and increasingly only — internet device.
  2. Households who primarily use their laptop for web surfing and internet communications are, in many cases, just as well off using a tablet.

If you’re operating a website and have missed those two trends in the past five years or so, it’s time to wake up.


Airlines Are Engaged in “Calculated Misery”

Tim Wu, for the New Yorker:

But the fee model comes with systematic costs that are not immediately obvious. Here’s the thing: in order for fees to work, there needs be something worth paying to avoid. That necessitates, at some level, a strategy that can be described as “calculated misery.” Basic service, without fees, must be sufficiently degraded in order to make people want to pay to escape it. And that’s where the suffering begins.

Product management at its worse. It’ll comes back to haunt them.


Maintaining an Active Presence on Facebook Is a Waste of Money

Rohin Dhar, in a post discussing Pricenomics’s 2014 traffic sources:

Maintaining a Facebook page was pretty much a waste of time by the end of 2014. While Facebook sends lots of traffic to us if one of our articles goes viral, posting said article to the Priceonomics Facebook Page does pretty much nothing any more. Posting on Twitter or emailing things to our readers is much more effective for us than posting on Facebook. We can only imagine how swindled companies that spent millions promoting their Facebook pages must feel. What a monumental waste of money.

That echoes my own thoughts. Especially in light of these videos:


Charlie Hebdo: Charb, Wolinski, Cabu and Tignous Murdered

Religious nut jobs strike again.

It’s a sad day for the freedom of the press.

More so even for the 12 victims’ families.

Among the victims were several great French satirists and cartoonists. They stood by what they believed in. Here’s Charb in 2012 (also in French):

I prefer to die standing than to live on my knees.

He eventually did all too soon. And so did his colleagues. RIP.




TAG Heuer and the Future of the Luxury (Smart-)Watch Industry

Matt Richman:

TAG Heuer’s smartwatch won’t sell. There’s no market for it. […]

In order to have even a chance of being as feature-rich as Apple Watch, then, TAG’s smartwatch will have to pair with an Android phone. However, TAG wearers aren’t Android users. Rich people buy TAG watches, but rich people don’t buy Android phones.

I’m suspicious that (LVMH watch chief) Jean-Claude Biver could have missed this annoying little marketing 101 detail. But I can’t blame him for trying.


A Mile Wide, an Inch Deep

Ev Williams, CEO of Medium:

We pay more attention to time spent reading than number of visitors at Medium because, in a world of infinite content — where there are a million shiny attention-grabbing objects a touch away and notifications coming in constantly — it’s meaningful when someone is actually spending time. […]

The problem with time, though, is it’s not actually measuring value. It’s measuring cost as a proxy for value.

Advertisers don’t really want your time — they want to make an impression on your mind, consciously or subconsciously (and, ultimately, your money).

As the writer of this piece, I don’t really want your time — I want to make an impression on how you think. If my rhetorical skills let me do that in less time (for me and you), all the better. […]

Most Internet companies would build better things and create more value if they paid more attention to depth than breadth.


BLOKK: The Font for Mock-Ups and Wireframing Without Lorem Ipsum

It’s introduced like so:

BLOKK is a font for quick mock-ups and wireframing for clients who do not understand latin.

Here’s the problem though: if you’re designing your site or a web page without the marketing copy it’ll hold, well … you’re basically doing it wrong.


Joel’s Totally Fair Method to Divide Up the Ownership of Any Startup

Joel Spolsky:

The most important principle: Fairness, and the perception of fairness, is much more valuable than owning a large stake. Almost everything that can go wrong in a startup will go wrong, and one of the biggest things that can go wrong is huge, angry, shouting matches between the founders as to who worked harder, who owns more, whose idea was it anyway, etc. That is why I would always rather split a new company 50-50 with a friend than insist on owning 60% because “it was my idea,” or because “I was more experienced” or anything else. Why? Because if I split the company 60-40, the company is going to fail when we argue ourselves to death. And if you just say, “to heck with it, we can NEVER figure out what the correct split is, so let’s just be pals and go 50-50,” you’ll stay friends and the company will survive.


X’mas Combinatorics

Merry X’mas 2014.


Sleep Sort

Astute (and multi-core friendly):

function f() {
  sleep "$1"
  echo "$1"
while [ -n "$1" ]
  f "$1" &

Also fun, as a bonus, are these perverted versions of bogle-sort.

Via Hacker News.

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