Shop Like Jagger!

As consumers we are constantly bombarded with buy this, but that, huge clearance sale, 70% off, buy in the next 15 minutes and you will receive a second Chia Pet absolutely free, we will double your order if you act now and so on.  We see thousands of advertisements per day.  Think of all of that money being spent trying to get you to buy something you do not want or need.  And then we wonder why the cost of all products has continued to escalate even as the economy has suffered and our paychecks have continued to shrink.  OK, sing along time – words of wisdom from Mick Jagger:

When I’m drivin’ in my car
And that man comes on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can’t get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that’s what I say

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m watchin’ my TV
And that man comes on to tell me
How white my shirts can be
But he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me
I can’t get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that’s what I say

Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

Yesterday we focused on how the touch screen and mobile technologies have changed, providing us with more and more access to information.  This also has provided advertisers with more opportunity to present you with product shopping options.  Some retailers are doing some very cool stuff with changing the retail shopping experience. Here are just a couple of examples:

Home Plus, the Korean branch of Tesco, launched a series of virtual stores on subway platforms, enabling customers to make purchases using their smartphones while they wait for a train.  So how cool is this.  You are waiting for your train and you remember you need a few items at home.  You walk up to this virtual wall of products, use your smartphone and place your order.  The products are then delivered to your home at the scheduled time or maybe even ready for pick-up when you get off the train later that day – Sweet!

MyBestFit is a free service available in a number of US malls. Customers enter a whole-body scanner, before being advised which different brand sizes will fit them best.  Given how every manufacturers sizes seem to be different, this must be a real time saver for the clothes shopper.

A number of retailers are also using automated retail solutions such as Bose and Qantas.  These product dispensing kiosks are developed by Vigix, a venture backed company in Massachusetts.  These kiosks can be used to dispense products, samples, coupons, interactive and 3D media among other very interesting retail applications. (Disclaimer I have a working relationship with Vigix- the opportunities for highly differentiated interactive retailing are awesome)

Just a few of many ways touch screens and technology is and will be changing the way we shop.

Enjoy the weekend.

Webman

Touch Me!

Come on, come on, come on
Come on now touch me, baby
Can’t you see that I am not afraid?
What was that promise that you made?
Why won’t you tell me what she said?
What was that promise that you made?

Now, I’m gonna love you
Till the heavens stop the rain
I’m gonna love you
Till the stars fall from the sky for you and I

Touch Me – The Doors

Touch is an essential form of communication.  A gentle touch for the person you love; touching your new born child to soothe their anguish or to  help them get to sleep; a strong handshake; a hug.  And of course the need to use a keyboard to type a letter, construct a powerpoint presentation, create a web-site, write code as just a few examples.

The QWERTY keyboard has been with us for a very long time. QWERTY is the most common modern-day keyboard layout. The name comes from the first six letters (keys) appearing in the top left letter row of the keyboard, read left to right: Q-W-E-R-T-Y. The QWERTY design is based on a layout created for the Sholes and Glidden typewriter and sold to Remington in the same year, when it first appeared in typewriters. It became popular with the success of the Remington No. 2 of 1878, and remains in use on electronic keyboards due to the network effect of a standard layout and a belief that alternatives fail to provide very significant advantages. The use and adoption of the QWERTY keyboard is often viewed as one of the most important case studies in open standards because of the widespread, collective adoption and use of the product, particularly in the United States.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY

Continuing our discussion about how things are changing, we are rapidly becoming a “Touch Screen” society.  In 2012, life will take place via ever more pervasive, personal and interactive screens.  2012 will see three mega-tech currents converge: screens will be (even more): ubiquitous / mobile / cheap / always on; interactive and intuitive (via touchscreens, tablets and so on); an interface to everything and anything that lies beyond the screen (via the mobile web and, increasingly and finally mainstream in 2012, ‘the cloud’). In fact, the future for most devices will be a world where consumers will care less about them and just about the screen, or rather what’s being accessed through it.

If you own any of these devices,  you know what I am talking about.  We touch the screen and great things happen.  We access our music, we select the artist, we change the volume level, we download an app, we change the colors, we transfer money, we pay bills, we change channels by using our smart phone as our tv controller, we check the weather, we forward articles, we create likes on Facebook, we post images on Pinterest, we take pictures, we re-size images, we play Words with Friends/Scrabble –  the list goes on and on.  All by using a touch screen interface, with very little interaction with our QWERTY keyboards.

All of this and more by touching a screen – remarkable really 🙂

Enjoy the day.

Webman

Image is Everything!

Our expectations have changed.  Our information requirements have changed.  The web started it, we adopted it, but now we have an insatiable appetite for information.  We want knowledge, advice, guidance, facts and we want it right now.  We want the ability to engage with a product, a destination, an adventure, a sport or anything else that we are interested in.  Armed with smart phones, cameras, scanners, QR codes and the like, we are fully empowered to become intimately familiar with just about any object in the world in real time.

After a decade of near-obsessive Googling, instant access to information with the right (textual) input is now expected, a way of life. The next frontier is visual info-gratification: consumers accessing information about objects encountered in the real world, in more natural ways and while on-the-go, simply by pointing their smartphones at anything interesting.  And just as ‘going online’ is no longer limited to sitting in front of a computer, discovery will no longer be tied to text search. People will be able to immediately find out about (and potentially buy)  anything they see or hear, even if they don’t know what it is or can’t describe it in words.

Here are some pictures of some of the most famous buildings and places to shop on New York’s fifth avenue (The Apple Store, Saks Fifth Avenue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral:

Here are some of the possibilities of visual information.  How about if you just pointed your phone at the location and the following happened:

  • Apple Store – When was it built, what is the glass made from, did Steve Jobs ever visit the store, how many iPads have been sold from this store, what are the store’s hours, make an appointment at the genius bar, what is on sale today, what is on sale in the next 30 minutes, what’s new on iTunes
  • Sak’s Fifth Avenue – What designer scarfs are carried in the store, when was the building constructed, who owns Saks, what other companies are in the building, what was there before Saks, what is on sale
  • St. Patrick‘s – Mass times displayed, history of the church was presented, who was married in the church, what are the church dimensions, what type of marble was used, how high are the spires, how many candles, what is the seating capacity etc.

Just point and know.  A guided tour on history, products, sales or anything else that is important to you.  Your choice of course, on your phone or tablet, available whenever you want it.  Now that is just so cool!

Here are some examples of applications that are providing this type of insight right now:

  • Shazam – listens to any song or commercial and identifies it for you immediately – Name of song, artist, etc.
  • Skin Scan – is an app which allows users to scan and monitor moles over time, with the aim of preventing malignant skin cancers. The app tells users if a visit to their doctor or dermatologist is advisable.
  • Star Chart – enables users to point their phones at the sky to discover details about the objects or constellations they look at

The days of using text as your primary search tool are coming to an end.  Still a ways to go, but the future is about images 🙂

Let me know what you think about this blog by commenting below.

Webman

Ch, ch, ch, ch changes!

Hey Coacha, just go buy a Mac 🙂

For so many years Microsoft was the big dog in desktop and laptop computing.  They were the 800 lb. gorilla and were feared by many as being the dominant player in the marketplace, squashing the competition, eliminating innovation, not giving other companies the chance to be in the game.

In the lawsuit, United States v. Microsoft was a set of civil actions filed against Microsoft Corporation pursuant to the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 Section 1 and 2 on May 8, 1998 by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and 20 U.S. states. Joel I. Klein was the lead prosecutor. The plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft abused monopoly power on Intel-based personal computers in its handling of operating system sales and web browser sales. The issue central to the case was whether Microsoft was allowed to bundle its flagship Internet Explorer (IE) web browser software with its Microsoft Windows operating system. Bundling them together is alleged to have been responsible for Microsoft’s victory in the browser wars as every Windows user had a copy of Internet Explorer.  For more about this case go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft

My how things have changed.  Here is the current market share for the top web browsers:

Not that long ago Microsoft ruled the software world.  With the proliferation of the internet however, the rules of engagement changes and so did the playing field for the competition.  Along came Google, Safari  and Firefox in the browser space, and then of course Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, You Tube, Tumblr and all of the other initially web based applications.  Then the mobile world came and with it over 500,000 new applications have been developed to engage consumers in everything related to their respective lives; games, directions, shopping, reference, sports, social.  Yes there is an app for that!

Browsing on mobile phones sucks.  Most web-sites are not mobile ready.  This is one of the key reasons why apps are so awesome.  Easy to use, all of the important functionality is included and it is quick and easy to navigate.  Awesome stuff.  Not a mention about Microsoft in this world. I own an iPhone and it is a terrific product.

Speaking about the iPhone, here is an interesting fact for you.  Apple’s iPhone business alone is larger than all of Microsoft’s businesses combined.  In case you were not listening or are multitasking, let me say that again.  Apple’s iPhone business alone is larger than all of Microsoft’s businesses combined.

The iPhone is responsible for over half of Apple’s total revenue.  Apple is now significantly larger than Microsoft’s. Actually, it’s more than twice as large.  Last quarter, Microsoft brought in $20.89 billion in revenue. Apple brought in $46.33 billion.  Oh did I mention what the market caps are of these two companies.  Microsoft is $253 billion – Apple is $423 billion.  Things have changed indeed.

Time to sing along to Bowie:

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test, Ch, ch, ch, ch changes

Just when you think you figured it out it will change again.  Enjoy the day.

Webman

The one thing that is constant is change.  10 years from now it will be different but for right now, Apple rules the market.

I Workout!

Listen to just about any radio station today and you will hear Rihanna, Lady Gaga, PitBull, Flo Rider, Nikki Minaj and LMFAO.  For those of you watching the Super Bowl this weekend, we will be entertained by Madonna during the halftime show (Gaga before Gaga) – The Webman loves the classics but hey, you need to keep up with what is going on.  I actually like some of the rap stuff, just not Drake.

Well this just in, LMFAO will be playing with Madonna during the halftime show.  The Party Rock Anthem hitmakers will be singing with the Material Girl.  In addition to the Party Rock Anthem, LMFAO’s other hit is “I’m Sexy and I know It”.  Kind of like Right Said Fred‘s Hit “I’m Too Sexy”, a true classic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39YUXIKrOFk&ob=av2e) or of course Rod Stewart‘s “Do You Think I’m Sexy” Well, just to get you in the sing along mode, here is one of the verses from “I’m Sexy and I Know It” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hphwfq1wLJs).  Just say it a few times and you will have “Moves Like Jagger” for all of your friends this Sunday.

“When I walk on by, girls be looking like damn he fly
I pimp to the beat, walking down the street in my new lafreak, yeah
This is how I roll, animal print, pants out control,
It’s RedFoo with the big afro
And like Bruce Lee I’ve got the claw

Girl look at that body, Girl look at that body, Girl look at that body
I work out
Girl look at that body, Girl look at that body, Girl look at that body
I work out”

Once you get me going on the tuneage it is hard to stop the Webman.  This blog was supposed to be about Nike’s new cool product called the Nike + Fuelband.  It is a $150 wristband meant to monitor how much moving and shaking you do during the course of the day.  You will input your information on the web and the bracelet will let you know when you hit your fitness goals for each day (and how far you walked, etc).

I think this will be HUGE.  Check it out.  http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/?l=shop,pwp,c-1+100701/hf-4294899078+12003+50142&cp=USNS_KW_0611081618

Remember, “When you look good, you feel good.”  – Fernando Lamas (aka – Billy Crystal) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeIUstv95-Y

Let me know what you think about this blog by commenting below.

Enjoy the Super Bowl.

Webman

Tablet Yet?

Over the last year I used a tablet (An iPad to be exact).  Headline for you – Just go get one.  Don’t ask, don’t wait, don’t question the price, just look for the one you like and go get it.  “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” – Ferris Bueller (He is becoming a regular here) – Maybe it is time for a Matthew Broderick guest blog!

Well, as you may know, the Apple iPad has done quite well.  HP, not so much.  Other Android devices; a distant second even if you added their market share together.  And then we have the new entrant, the Kindle Fire.  An excellent, lower priced alternative from Amazon that has sold approximately 6 million units in its first quarter of release.  Impressive indeed!

Here is what the iPad sales have been – Not bad for a product that many experts said no one needed 🙂

Well we are merely at the tip of the iceberg relative to the penetration rate of tablet devices.  We are rapidly moving into the post PC area (Will any Windows user miss Ctrl+Alt+Del – Not this user).  According to new data from NPD, tablet PC shipments are expected to grow from 72.7 million units in 2011 to 383.3 million units by 2017. For comparison purposes, worldwide PC shipments for 2011were 352.8 million, after seeing a 6% decline in Q4.

While those numbers are remarkable enough on their own, what’s really interesting is where much of the growth will come from: the emerging market.  Emerging markets are expected to account for up to 46% of worldwide shipments by 2017, up from the 36% share in 2011.

China and the Asia Pacific regions are leading in terms of tablet penetration rates in emerging markets at present, but Brazil, India, Russia and other countries are also becoming bigger forces, says NPD. And the key to unlocking this growth comes low-power processors and tablets with price points under $100.

So if you are holding out, join the club and get a tablet.  It is only a matter of time anyway.  For more details please visit www.npd.com.

Let me know what you think of this blog by posting your comments below.

Webman

Pinterest – Go Visual!

Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Linked In, YouTube, Google+…the list of social networks vying for your attention is already long and continues to grow.  Everyone wants your time; they want to connect you to all of the folks in your life; they want you to share all of your experiences with as many people as possible.  These companies make it really easy as you can post to Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and many of the others from just about every article you read, picture you view, video you watch, text you send and thought you might have.  OK, we already have enough of these options, do we really need another? Yes you do, Pinterest 🙂

In a nutshell, Pinterest is an infinite bulletin board for your favorite pictures and interests.  When I was young I had a pin board in my room for the important things like news articles, pictures, sayings, news clippings, etc.  Same thing, just totally digital and really easy to do.  Best of all you can now share your interests (Get in PIN INTERESTS!) with anyone you want, not just the people that stop by your home.  Geez, I think I just dated myself a bit.  OK, I am coming clean here.

Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by posting (AKA ‘pinning’) images or videos to their own or others’ pinboards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned. The social network is focused on lifestyle, allowing you to share your tastes and interests with others and discover those of like minded people. The social network’s goal is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” Users can either upload images from their computer or pin things they find on the web using the Pinterest bookmarklet.

As with most other social networks, users can perform standard social networking functions such as following the boards of their friends, liking and commenting on other users’ pins, re-pinning content to their own boards, sharing others’ pins on Facebook and Twitter or via email, and even embedding individual pins on their website or blog.  Here are some images from the Webman’s Pinterest pagesI am just getting going so the cupboard is still a bit bare.  Their search engine sucks right now but I am sure that will get better.


Pinterest still operates under an invitation-only basis. That being said, you can request an invitation from Pinterest.  Visit www.pinterest.com, click ‘Request an Invite,’ and enter your email address to be notified when you have access to create your account. Or you can ask a friend who already has a Pinterest account to invite you.

If you are interested in learner more about Pinterest please read more by accessing the following Hubspot article: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31147/The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Mastering-Pinterest-for-Marketing.aspx#ixzz1l4tEVJvA

Pinterest is fun, easy and full of incredible ideas, concepts, sayings and inspiration.  Check it out when you can.  You might just find yourself using some of those other social networks a lot less.

Let me know what you think about this blog by commenting below.

Have a great day.

Webman