My friend Peter Sims recently wrote about how he disagrees with Peter Thiel’s “Competition is for Losers” editorial. Thiel argues that monopolies are good for society, and Peter respectfully disagrees. My own take is fairly nuanced–monopolies are a sign of a healthy market, because they tend to result from innovation in “winner-take-most” markets, but they … Continue reading Monopolies Are A Consequence, Not A Benefit
The world bombards us with conflicting advice. On the one hand, we’re told that quantity is the key factor in success. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule states that practice is the only path to mastery. The Beatles played 10,000 hours of gigs in Germany before returning to England and stardom. I’ve certainly leveraged the benefits … Continue reading Quantity, Quality, and Inactivity
One of the big frustrations that startups face is the disconnect between the customer-facing and product-facing sides of the company. From time immemorial, engineers have complained about the wild promises Sales makes, while salespeople complain that engineers have no idea what the customer wants. The thing is, both sides are right. Sales doesn’t understand the … Continue reading The customer is always right (but not in the way you think)
John Kirk recently took issue with the spate of stories about Android’s increasing share of the smartphone market. In his polemic, “Android’s Market Share Is Literally A Joke”, he argues that Apple is actually winning the smartphone battle because it has a majority of the profits: http://bit.ly/11pl4CN “Not only do the high priests of market … Continue reading Yes, Android is winning (at least by what Google cares about)
The late, great Steve Jobs will almost certainly live on as one of the most famous businessmen of all time, on a par with titans like John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford. He revolutionized industry after industry, and built the most valuable company in the world. That’s why I was fascinated to read some of … Continue reading Steve Jobs, Master Negotiator?
We seem to have reached the stage of tablet evolution where ungainly variations are crawling out of the primordial ooze on a daily basis. Just today, a single Engadget story covered the Sony VAIO Duo 11–a tablet that converts into a laptop via a slide-out keyboard–and the VAIO Tap 20–an 11.4 pound desktop that has … Continue reading It’s a Tablet! It’s a PC! No, it’s a tasty floor wax!
There are Microsoft people and Apple people. Microsoft people want every option, and can’t imagine why others would find the surfeit of choices intimidating or annoying. In the parlance of psychology, they are “optimizers“. Apple people want a simple, elegant experience, and care little about individual features. They adapt to the limitations presented to them, … Continue reading Microsoft People vs. Apple People
Another gem from the great Dan Lyons: “Imagine what it might be like if the Church of Scientology went into the consumer electronics business, and you’d have a pretty good picture of how Apple operates.”
Unbelievably, Apple is now worth more than Google or Cisco. Steve, I bow down to your magical powers. This reminds me of a line from our HBS musical, spoken by the evil Darth Venture to his younger self via the magic of time travel: “Go find a kid with hippie hair named Steve Jobs. Fund … Continue reading Steve Jobs Rules
Wow. Apple is now worth more than IBM. Damn, Steve Jobs is good.