Tag: trends

Tablets, Phablets, Schmablets

Zal Bilimoria of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz opines that the love affair with tablets is over …

Back in 2011, I was having an all-consuming love affair with tablets. At the time, I was the first-ever head of mobile at Netflix. I saw tablets in my sleep, running apps that would control homes, entertain billions, and dutifully chug away at work. Tablets, I was convinced, were a third device category, a tweener that would fill the vacuum between a phone and a laptop. I knew that was asking a lot — at the time, however, I didn’t know just how much.

My last tablet, an iPad 2, was relegated to serving up background noise while at the desk. One day it was knocked off its perch, and the screen shattered; I subsequently sold it (damage and all) and never replaced it. With the lack of a true file system, the need to dig up an “app” for most all everyday work tasks, and the zero marginal utility it provided while lashed to a golf bag or fly-fishing pack, I couldn’t be bothered. Now I play streaming movies over the phone while it’s connected via bluetooth to a Bose Soundlink Mini. Same effect, although I still don’t know if the villain survived being boiled in a vat of liquid metal. But I don’t much care either.

Mr. Bilimoria is spot on that they are gathering dust – nothing but personalized entertainment devices of mass distraction. And while I do see potential in the enterprise, I also agree the platforms are just not there yet. But, I’m not sure the merging of form factors is going to lead to measurable growth in the space. Bigger phones? No thanks. I’d rather have a smaller phone than I have now. Not “wearable” bunk – something that just fits even better in the pocket. More durable so I don’t have to bulk it up with a case. Edge-to-edge touch screen, accompanied by a flesh-colored earbud (black? white? lipstick red? fuck.) that charges with the same cord. And an antenna that actually carries a voice signal.

While you are at it phabletizers, ace the front-facing cameras. You’re just pouring jet fuel on the selfie-fire.

MG signing off (to pay attention to those in front of him, instead of checking his phone every ten seconds)

Thursday Morning Link Barrage

Actually from Wednesday night – and it’s really more a “fest” than a “barrage”, but “linkfest” is taken

Security problems leveling off, thank goodness!

IBM recently release a report on security threat trends, letting everyone know that 2006 is expected to be a period of leveling off. Big Blue noting over a billion (yes, a BILLION) computer security threats in 2005. Is this “leveling off” supposed to mean we are out of the woods?

Unique occurences they were not

CNET recently published a list of the top 10 dot-com flops, and after reading through the list, I could only think the list was contributed to by the folks at Fucked Company. Simply put, nobody seemed to herald any part of the ideas, and I believed some of the companies actually had some merit.

Read through the list, and ponder these points:

– What is not hot right now could very well be hot a few years later – trends matter
– Business models are often remade for changing times, much the same as major motion pictures are
– Getting the word out is hardly ever a bad thing
– Technology breeds efficiencies, despite what your IT director says about that ERP implementation
– Being spendthrift almost always causes pain down the road

Big failures should lead to learning, or does the free flow of capital simply dumb people down? Certainly, all of CNET’s top ten suffered from one “ailment” – an awful lot of money.

Douglas Adams said “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

I wonder what the next list of flops will look like, and who will make the next billion off of someone else’s “failed” idea.

The iPod could pale in comparison

I’ve heard an awful lot of analyst (and Dell executives) talk about how Apple is a one hit wonder with the iPod. While I have gotten a little more biased after my month on a Powerbook, I still couldn’t take the mindset of the fanatics, and had to continually lean towards the pundits. That notion gained even more strength after I saw the Mac Mini, and thought it overpriced and useless. Now I am beginning to wonder.

Ad Trends and Analysts

Once again, stock analysts cannot make up their minds about the search advertising model. Month on month, these guys swing recommendations like Babe Ruth swung at fastballs – with reckless abandon and little emphasis on quality. The latest is a flip flop by the folks over at RBC Capital Markets (see Google, Yahoo! Ripped).

Now, I have to give some minor credit, as the companies in question cannot proceed on their tracks forever. But putting in fairly aggressive buy recomendation in January, only to reduce the price target by close to 20% in February, leads me to believe that they really have no idea what is going to happen.

They don’t. Running searches on a Windows 2000 workstations, crunching a one page spreadsheet with nary a variable built in which resembles the companies’ business model drivers, and then issuing a public press release, hardly qualifies these analysts as credible. But that is IMHO.

For further reading, see Sell-side Equity Analysts Continue Guessing.