Tuesday, 2 April 2013

What I've been reading this week


I’m of the belief that participants in the TMT industry need to read widely in order to understand the present and future dynamics of the market. To that end, this (short) post is a collection of the articles that have caught my eye in the last week.

This week: smartphones vs magazines at the checkout; Spotify vs Netflix in video and Yahoo! pays $30m for a 17 year old.

Media

Shoppers aren’t reading magazines anymore because they check their phone in the checkout queue. Interesting social observation!

Spotify planning to go toe to toe with Netflix in online video. Makes sense. In fact, I can see Spotify being good at it – I love the way they make commodity music into an experience. http://uk.appy-geek.com/Web/ArticleWeb.aspx?regionid=4&articleid=7784749

Nearly 90% of 18-24 year olds check their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up; 75% check it immediately. I suspect the same applies to us oldies as well – I always have at least one in easy reach. https://fb-public.box.com/s/3iq5x6uwnqtq7ki4q8wk

EA says that 50% of game sales will be download-to-own by 2015. Two barriers: there is a healthy secondary market for games, which is important to cash strapped (young) gamers; second, release windows often mean that the latest games aren’t available on download until sometime after the physical copy. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-27/electronic-arts-says-digital-games-will-be-50-of-sales-by-2015.html

Technology

I missed this in January, but recently got sent it. An e-ink watch, extremely thin and light. Amazing tech’ – could see it being useful in connected clothing or other wearable installations. http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/49170/cst-01-e-ink-watch-pictures-hands-on

Summly is an interesting technology, but the inference that Yahoo! is more interested in the creator and his access to the zeitgeist than the underlying application should be a worry to their shareholders. He’s a talented guy, but totally unproven in the long run. $30Mn is a lot to pay for talent. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21924243

…and a reminder of just why Yahoo!’s ‘peanut butter’ strategy fails. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116379821933826657-0mbjXoHnQwDMFH_PVeb_jqe3Chk_20061125.html

Business models

An interesting article on Walmart Labs. I can see other major companies following suit in the near future: technology is once again a business differentiator, rather than just a commodity. http://www.wired.com/business/2013/03/why-walmart-wants-to-be-a-startup/

Just for fun

1.43 minute video of Steve Jobs talking about his philosophy on life. He makes a really good point – everything in life and society was created by humans. We’re inherently flawed. Just because you do something different doesn’t make it wrong: it might be a better way to live. Within reason, of course… http://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2013/03/steve-jobs-the-most-important-thing/