Archive for Observations and Ramblings
I read this article on Facebook recently. There were a few things that really resonated with me. First. Mark Zuckerberg goes against the grain and does things differently. He gets criticized for this, but honestly I think that he is right and the majority are wrong. Just look at what is happening with Wall St, and the inability to do the right thing in terms of regulation of risk.
One quote I agreed with: ”Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services,” wrote Zuckerberg in his letter to prospective shareholders. “And we think this is a good way to build something. These days I think more and more people want to use services from companies that believe in something beyond simply maximizing profits.” I think that Mark is right here, and we should re-think corporate objectives. Maximizing shareholder value should not be the only metric.
One guy who criticizes Mark seems to shoot himself in the foot: “Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, Zuckerberg’s attitude and attire symbolizes “a level of aloofness to stakeholders. He seems very customer focused and very employee focused. I am not sure he cares about anyone else… If he’s going to go public, he has to answer to shareholders,” Pachter says. “That’s why Google hired Eric Schmidt. That’s why Steve Jobs was ultimately forced out of Apple.” Hey Michael – Steve Jobs getting forced out of Apple was the wrong move!… you are using that as a positive point. And it isn’t. huh? Taking care of customers and employees means shareholders will be fine. Shareholder and profits are by products of well run companies who care about their employees and customers.
I have long believed that something was up with democracy. I had the feeling that it just didn’t work, and the recent stalemate in Washington certainly supports my argument. At the moment the Republicans and Democrats are trying their hardest to fill a ‘super committee’ on debt reduction with their least flexible candidates. Republicans put forward candidates for whom any kind of tax increase is out of the question, and Democrats put forward candidates for whom certain spending cuts are out of the question. huh? isn’t it supposed to be a committee designed to come to a compromise? why fill it with the people least willing to. Democracy has created a situation where we don’t get the best outcome. Too many voices all saying different things.
There is a link between Apple and Google. Google is an open democracy with many companies and developers collectively adding to the Android platform. Apple’s iOs is a closed system, dictated to a large extent by Apple. I get frustrated when I hear people saying ‘Android is growing faster than iOs’. It isn’t. It reminds me of the J2ME days where you have to make many versions of applications for phones (see there was a work angle). Android’s openness is not doing it any favors.
Anyway I’ll stop now and refer to this article, which sums it up pretty nicely.
I have two apps that I use to find chords and lyrics so that I can play new songs to my baby Lucia in the morning. One is ‘Tabs’ from ‘ultimateguitar.com’ and the other is ‘TabsCrds”. I never use Tabs (in fact I just deleted it) because when I open it I am asked to enter a user name and password.
Many clients ask this too. “can we get their email address”. Why? apps is personal. The mobile is a personal media device. When I go into TabsCrds and search for a song and save it under ‘my Tabs’ they ARE mine. I don’t need to log in to get to them. As far as whoever built the app is concerned, that app IS me.
If they want to send me more interesting stuff to buy they can send me a push notification into the app and ask me. They don’t need my email. If later I post something to facebook or twitter from within the app then they know my name and a bunch of other information. But don’t ask me for it.
Unique IDs are changing. Facebook is much more personal than email and doesn’t change whereas email addresses often do. Apps themselves are unique too so why get email. When clients say that they ‘want to collect email addresses’ because of some KPI they have to ‘collect more email addresses’ I often ask why?
With the Economist iPad that we produced, it makes sense to be able to identify them because if you have a subscription you get the iPad version for free. But unless there is a benefit like that you don’t need their email. You already know who they are because they have the app. All you need to do is track their behavior so that if you can add some more value to them (i.e. sell them something they will like), Behavior is the key piece of information, not their email address.