Archive for May, 2003

Trying a Mac!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2003

This past weekend, Patty convinced me to bite the bullet and, in her words, “put yourself out of your misery.” I have been eyeing the new Powerbooks for some time, watching Apple innovate with AirPort, Bluetooth, digital media, and most recently, iTunes. I finally bit the bullet, and whipped out the credit card two days ago.

Now I’m a happy 17 inch Powerbook G4 (the “Aircraft Carrier”) user. My first two days have been filled with mainly pleasant surprises, along with a few dead-ends. Most of the applications work the way I’d expect, although I still haven’t figured out how apps get installed – and where. I expect all with become clear as I keep using it.

I think the key things that convinced me to go with MacOSX – despite a known shortage of apps – is that most apps – the killer apps – are standards-based, internet-oriented apps like an email client, a web browser, a chat client. The newest apps seem to all be on Mac OSX – iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto – the ones making it significantly easier to create and manipulate digital content. And, at its core, there’s the FreeBSD-based kernel and developer tools.

On the downside, Office files are going to be a challenge, and I’m not sure I want to drop $500 for Office. I’ll try OpenOffice at first to see if I can get by, and maybe I’ll try AppleWorks at $70 if that’s not a viable option. We’ll see. So far, the elegance of the UI, and all of the great little surprises are making me think I didn’t make a mistake.

Go Apple!

Why you should switch to Mozilla Firebird

Tuesday, May 20th, 2003

I’ve been using Mozilla Firebird for the past week, and I find myself really liking this browser. Here’s a nice article that summarizes why.

via Anil Dash at SixApart

Vivo

Tuesday, May 20th, 2003

It’s taken me awhile to post this, but here’s are my notes from comments made at the 2003 BREW Developers Conference by Roger Sole, a manager with Vivo, the new brand name for the largest mobile operator in Brazil. I found it very interesting that Vivo achieved some major revenue successes without alot of technology, in a country where mobile phones are still something of a luxury due to expense.

Here are some interesting numbers Roger shared:

- Vivo enjoys 50% market share in Brazil
- 17M subscribers (this means there are only 34M people using mobile phones in a country of about 170M – a 20% mobile phone take rate)
- The company (a merger between Telefonica and Portugal Telecom) launched under the Vivo brand name in an effort to avoid the state monopoly image of its parent companies

- the company doubled revenues from 2001 to 2002, impressively. Sole credited SMS and WAP Push campaigns for this growth, explaining that 50% of their handsets are SMS-capable, and 40% of the can handle WAP.

- 7% of total outgoing ARPU on SMS and WAP
- Used WAP Push campaign during the World Cup
- Enterprise: the company has 12,000 customers using laptops and PDAs with cdma2000 cards (data only)
- They do offer a Mobile Office application over WAP, giving corporate users access to email, schedule, and contact information
- They offer a Sales Force Automation application
- Customers include AmBev, Coca Cola, Visanet, Folha
- “Adult content” is one content area they expect to offer
- Price plans are usually subscription-based, about $R6 per month (adult content gets $10R monthly, even more than office and translator applications)
- Data prices are $R 0.03/KB postpaid, or $R 0.02/KB prepaid on 1xRTT network, or $R 0.42/minute on the 2G network
- Vivo is currently operating a hybrid network (CDMA, GSM), but are looking to migrate this to CDMA over time

I found it interesting that Vivo was able to increase revenues by a factor of two with smart marketing, even in a country where there is less disposable income, on average, than most developed markets.

Fog of Peace

Friday, May 16th, 2003

Once again, Thomas Friedman writes a great editorial on the peace side of winning a war.

I sure hope there is some hard evidence left that shows weapons of mass destruction capability, since so much of the arguments of the administration for the war was just this.

Andy Groves on the Confident Leader

Wednesday, May 14th, 2003

A great Harvard Business Review interview with Andy Groves on the confident leader, the value of intuition, stock options as incentives, and the transition from computing to communication.

from Cullen Childress

Is TiVo NeXT?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2003

TiVo’s an amazing innovation, and as this article explains, it is to TV what the Mac was to computing – a revelation. With 625,000 subscribers (pre critical mass), competition from Big Content, and twindling cash reserves, there’s a problem brewing.

The natural savior here is Steve Jobs, who gets great innovative pioneering, and could pull it off.

from Omar

The power of SMS

Tuesday, May 13th, 2003

Enpocket is a company that provides an SMS marketing platform. Although it sounds pretty nefarious, enpocket is trying to show that SMS, done right, can be a very compelling (and non-annoying) way of brand building and relationship building. This page provides some interesting points, for instance: 6% of SMS messages are forwarded, and 20% are shown to a friend.

And uniquely, enpocket smartly sees other benefits, such as reminders for appointments, knowing that services businesses like doctors offices lose revenues when people fail to show up for their appointments.

SMS gets used far more heavily in other parts of the world than the US, but I hope we start to see more use made of this new medium.

GeoURL

Tuesday, May 13th, 2003

I’ve added my weblog to the GeoURL database, which indexes websites by physical location using latitude and longitude. The idea is you can find a neighbor’s weblog, or the website of a restaurant near you – or, a weblog of someone in Brazil.

Geolocation apps are just getting started, and I think this is just one of the first of some interesting applications that will emerge. There a very interesting one tagging the London tube I wrote about earlier.

via Tim Oren

Dot Boom

Tuesday, May 13th, 2003

Found this satirical Dot Boom card game that looks pretty funny.

via Tim Oren

AOL working on weblog service?

Thursday, May 8th, 2003

CNET reports a rumor that AOL is working on a weblog. Could AOL be seeing weblogging as the next killer app? Even if the report that there are 400 people working on this, the fact that AOL is trying a weblog service would be a big step to crossing the chasm for weblogging.