Not Another Con Call

Given the remarkable changes in technology, why do conference calls still suck?  I was on one yesterday and all the classic issues happened:

  • The leader was late – so the participants were stuck listening to music – The Rolling Stones were singing Time is On My Side.  I was OK with that 🙂 A benefit!
  • It  is very difficult to understand people who are speaking, especially if they have even the slightest accent
  • Background noise is terrible
  • Folks speaking when they are on mute – We cannot hear you 🙂
  • Babies crying and dogs barking in the background – Ah the benefits of working from home!
  • Two people speaking at once, telling the other to go first, and then both speaking at the same time again

This video has been going around but if you have not seen it, take a look.  It is just awesome, accurate and laugh out loud funny!

And now for some Stones.

Someone, please innovate!

Webman

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Winter Blues

Geez, it has been a while since I have posted.  Pathetic really.

Sun felt great this morning.  Here is a classic pick-me-up for you:

Found a terrific infographic on Big Data in Retail that I wanted to share with you – Enjoy

The Retailer’s Guide to Big Data.

Webman

Who is #3?

global mobile

Android and iOS account for almost 90 percent of the global smartphone market. They control a similar share of the U.S. smartphone market, the world’s largest by revenue.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence (www.businessinsider.com), it is clear that we live right now in a mobile world dominated by Google and Apple.  Can there be a number 3?

  • Microsoft – It launched Windows Phone in 2010, and tablet-friendly Windows 8 this year. It is experienced in building developer communities. However, Windows Phone has so far only managed a paltry 3 percent platform market share.
  • Amazon – A smartphone would be a natural extension of Amazon’s distribution empire, and its Kindle Fire tablet play. Amazon has 106 million unique visitors accessing its sites, many of them with credit cards on file.
  • Samsung – Its dependency on Android may become a liability and push the South Korean manufacturer into the platform business. Samsung’s strength is its hardware sales prowess — Samsung shipped over 56 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2012.

Blackberry? Dead.  Check out John Belushi and insert Blackberry for Niedermeyer.

Webman

 

Touchscreens – Part 2

Last week we touched on some of the amazing technology we are now dealing with as consumers and business people.  The touchscreens on our smartphones and tablet devices have enabled amazing things with regard to your creativity, productivity and overall engagement with the content on these devices.

These devices and the rapid emergence of social networks have provided an incredible amount of new advertising inventory for businesses to reach their consumers while also significantly increasing the difficulty of communicating with their customers.  So what is a business to do?  How engaged are consumers on these new devices and how responsive are they to advertising?

The IAB is the Internet Advertising Bureau and they have just published a new study about consumer responsiveness to advertising on touchscreen devices. Ads that appear on touchscreen devices like tablets and smartphones are showing some of the highest levels of engagement of all digital ads.

Before we delve into some of the detail, let’s pop it up a level and frame the different types of the mobile value proposition and consumer engagement.

Mobile value propositions vary by device type:

  • Smartphones are mission-critical devices for life, with nearly 70% of smartphone users saying they “won’t leave home without it.”
  • By contrast, tablets are a media consumption hub, with nearly 70% of tablet users reporting that their tablet is an “entertainment device.”
  • Engagement on tablets surpasses engagement on smartphones. Across key dimensions – use/consumption, the receptivity and action related to advertising, and the activity of shopping – tablet users are more easily engaged.
  • Although smartphones are more likely than tablets to be used outside the home, there is a clear reliance on their smartphones across high-value activities at home as well, for example while reading print media and watching TV.

Mobile affects traditional media consumption in distinct ways. Two audiences are emerging – one that drives traditional media through mobile (so mobile complements or augments their traditional media usage); another that detracts (so mobile substitutes for or replaces traditional media).  Almost half of tablet owners say having a tablet has had an impact (positive OR negative) on the amount of time they spend reading magazines and newspapers.

Here are some initial headlines from the report:

Size matters. Between tablet and smartphone users, the IAB found that those on tablets  are actually more engaged in advertising. When asked if they engage with ads more than once a week — that is, click on an ad for more information — 47 percent of tablet users responded yes, compared to 25 percent of smartphone users. Tablet users were also more likely to “take action” on the ad (that could mean buying something, downloading something, filling out a survey, or visiting another site): 89 percent of tablet users took action versus 80 percent of smartphone users.

The medium is the message. Also, as we’ve seen from other tablet research, people are more likely to be using their tablets to read and consume entertainment media for longer periods of time, while smartphones are about short bursts of use. Those shorter bursts imply that users will be less inclined to spend time clicking around on ads than on the tablet. Among smartphone users, 47 percent of smartphone users say they “never” interact with mobile ads, compared to just 23 percent on tablets.

Context is king. The top three categories for mobile ads, as ranked by respondents, were the same across tablets and smartphones, although their rankings differed. They were coupons related to things users were already browsing;  ads for products that were already being shopped for; and favorite brands (again possibly related to your browsing activity).

Much more information can be found in the 70 page report that was completed.  You can download the full report at http://www.iab.net/media/file/IAB-Mobile-Devices-Report-final.pdf.  More to follow on this once I can dig a little deeper into the findings.

Webman

Are you kidding me?

So much is changing so fast. Are you keeping up?  Speed, change, innovation.  Moving faster all the time.  The research firm Gartner believes the personal cloud will replace the PC as the center of our digital lives in 2014.  So in less than 2 years the PC as we know it is dead.  Hey PC, we hardly knew ya!  Just as Steve Jobs predicted.  We are now definitely in the post PC world.

That cloud thing is becoming really important really quickly.  For consumers and businesses.  We have covered a number of emerging business opportunities recently but we are really at the tip of the iceberg.

Cloud services will become the glue that connects the web of devices that users choose to access their daily life in the cloud. The new iPad may be the most impressive piece of computing hardware ever seen. Yet its true power is held back by large enterprise software corporations that cannot keep pace with the new devices designed with cloud computing in mind…. It’s as if they’ve completely ignored one of the most successful computing platforms ever built, outselling the total number of PCs its closest competitor sold last quarter.

With the new iPad sold out, it seems only a matter of time that those not on board with the cloud — and with their wares available on any device — will face an existential question.

Here are the headlines for you:

  • Users are more technologically-savvy and have very different expectations of technology.
  • The internet and social media have empowered and emboldened users.
  • The rise of powerful, affordable mobile devices changes the equation for users.
  • Users are innovators.
  • All users have similar technology available to them.
  • People are visual – Sounds like an iPad to me
  • Apps rock – they are great, they are pervasive and they are awesome
  • Why have a lot of stuff on your hard drive when you can access your stuff in the cloud when you need it
  • Mobile rocks and will be the primary way we interact with the web – desktop dead – being tethered dead, Niedermeyer dead

OK, I digress.  But the headline is, no more big hard drives, you will just put it in the cloud, so wherever you are you can access it.  Only portability you need now is your access device.  Take a look at what is coming soon.

Hey it is now in the cloud and easy to find. As my friend Johnny says, “Are you kidding me?”

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.