Archive for the Me Thinking So You Don't Have To Category
Vice President Biden says he’s advising his own family to stay off commercial airlines and even subways because of the new swine flu.
I used to avoid subways as if they were the plague. Now I will avoid them as if they were the swine flu. Thanks Joe!
AT&T added 875,000 new postpaid subscribers in the most recent quarter and 1.6 million iPhone activations, “more than 40 percent of them for customers who were new to the company.” That means roughly 640,000, or a whopping 73 percent of their total net new subscribers, came to AT&T because of Apple’s iPhone.
One of the promises of the iPhone, two years ago before it was launched, was that it would change the balance of power in the mobile industry away from the carriers and toward the developers. Apple’s signing an exclusive deal with AT&T seemed to negate the theory, but hopes are once again soaring, aided by these figures and talks of a possible Verizon version.
The problem is, these numbers aren’t really that encouraging. I remember reading not long ago that the average American switches cell phone providers every 3 or 4 years. I can’t source this one now, so perhaps it was just some jackass on the internet that I mistook for authoritative, but it seems pretty reasonable given the experience of myself and the people I know.
If you assume it to be true (and I doubt its far off) that means the average phone will be purchased by 25%-33% customers who are new to the network its on. So while the iPhone is clearly overperforming for AT&T, it’s not blowing away the industry average.
And the latter number, that 73 percent of new subs came over due to the iPhone, certainly speaks well of Apple’s device, but I think it also speaks very poorly of AT&T.
In the end, the data backs up the common sentiment that what we have in the iPhone is a great device tethered to one of the country’s worst networks. Despite having the hottest phone on the market, at least in terms of brand power, Verizon, with their infinitely superior coverage, is fairly well trouncing them.
It makes me really curious to see what happens next. Between Verizon and Apple, who needs who more? A lot of people are speculating that Apple is leaking information about talks with Verizon to get more money out of AT&T for a continued exclusive contract. I’m not so sure.
If Apple wants the iPhone to achieve iPod like ubiquity (or at least as close as is reasonably possible in the much more competitive mobile handset industry) they know they’re never going to achieve it on AT&T. They can put out all the new hardware and software they want, but it’s just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. AT&T is a sinking ship and has been for years.
So I think there’s a respectable chance we’ll see an iPhone on one of the CDMA networks. Despite the standard’s total lack of traction in the rest of the world, the two major providers here offer an unparalleled user experience.
And I think what I said two years ago when the iPhone was about to launch is true, which is that the balance of power will never shift too far away from the carriers. People choose phones for a lot of reasons, and the network it’s tethered to will always be a big factor. At the end of the day they’re sucking up enough of the industry’s total revenue that they’re always going to have the marketing muscle to keep themselves from becoming commoditized.
Fascinating article here from Nielsen on Twitter’s stickiness (or relative lack thereof). This is exactly why I feel like Twitter may be a bit of a fad. Facebook makes you want to come back every day, but if you miss a few, its no big deal. Twitter makes you feel like you have to come back multiple times every day or you’ll miss everything. It quickly becomes less like fun and more like work.
The sharp upward slope at the end might seem encouraging, but it might also be due to the relative recency of their mainstream success. I guess we’ll see.
The choice comes after months of speculation, during which many of Silicon Valley’s most prominent figures, including Steve Ballmer, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Eric Schmidt (among many others) were named as possible candidates.
Definitely my favorite quote of the day, given that only one of those are in Silicon Valley, while three are in Seattle.
What I mentioned to my boss was this: a movement called Radical Honesty.
The movement was founded by a sixty-six-year-old Virginia-based psychotherapist named Brad Blanton. He says everybody would be happier if we just stopped lying. Tell the truth, all the time. This would be radical enough — a world without fibs — but Blanton goes further. He says we should toss out the filters between our brains and our mouths. If you think it, say it. Confess to your boss your secret plans to start your own company. If you’re having fantasies about your wife’s sister, Blanton says to tell your wife and tell her sister. It’s the only path to authentic relationships. It’s the only way to smash through modernity’s soul-deadening alienation. Oversharing? No such thing.
It’s later revealed he’s been married 5 times. The first 4 must have had hot sisters.
That really is why Wal-Mart won, not just over the mom & pops, but over K-mart as well. They did a lot of other things that clearly helped, such as aggressively expanding into suburban areas that other retail chains deemed too sparsely populated to support a large store, having stricter hiring standards and paying a little more, or having an unusual focus on customer service.
But the real kicker is the way they used technology and scientific methods to improve the supply chain. ROI is the lifeblood of retail, and WalMart was able to keep more products better-stocked at lower prices than their competitors because of their advanced logistics. They could have hired every store full of crackheads who spit their AIDs-ridden saliva on customers as soon as they walked in the door, but as long as they were selling 10 different garden hoses at $5 each and K-mart had 3 garden hoses starting at $10, they were going to win.