Archive for facebook
I was reading this article, and gained new respect for Sheryl who I rate pretty highly and the new guy at Yahoo. Spending almost $1bn on patents though, is just idiotic, but probably necessary given the way these things work.
I find these patent wars just ridiculous, and I find most of the patents just ridiculous too. Patenting a tap or a swipe? that is not innovation and doesn’t deserve a patent. One of Motorola’s was recently upheld and their innovation was to break up a message that was longer than 160 characters, sending it as two text messages and then re-assembling it at the other end. Sorry but that is not innovative. In my opinion you can’t patent things that are so obvious that any 10 year old can come up with them, but sadly that is what is happening.
Then the lawyers get involved and its easier and cheaper to settle the case rather than fight it. So even if you don’t infringe a patent you settle because its cheaper than proving that it isn’t infringed. This is what the so called “patent trolls” rely on. This is just wrong, and the problem is that in the USA you just can’t get anything done because trying to change something that everyone knows is wrong is like wading through mud.
We have recently filed a patent around a new way of doing encryption. Our thinking is genuinely unique and original, and it addresses a real need now that many encryption algorithms are being successfully hacked. And we will now share what we are doing so that other people can use it, and we may charge some licensing. That is what patents are for; to promote innovation by allowing genuine original ideas to be shared and those who come up with them to derive some benefit in exchange for sharing them.
What is happening now is Facebook etc. are buying patents so that they can bargain with Yahoo who sues them in order to put pressure on to do a deal. Hat off to Sheryl and Ross for sorting it out, but what they should have done is just do a business deal without the lawyer show or the $1bn price tag for the patents.
The worst is companies who buy patents and all they do is call lawyers and sue other companies who settle even if they are not infringing because it costs more to defend. This is so wrong and anyone who works for one of these patent troll companies should be ashamed of themselves.
I hear that congress is trying to change things and there are a few judges who rightly throw these things out, which is a start, but until then its still just the wrong thing to be doing. Why can’t companies just do the right thing?
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 can understand why people think that connected TVs will be ‘huge’ because there are so many of them in the world… unfortunately I am not 100% convinced anyone is doing it right. What you need to look at is the behavior of people watching TV. Its different from people on mobiles and they are both different from people on tablets. Companies need to look at behaviors and then work out what those people would find value in. TVs are not personal media devices.
Facebook for example will not work on a TV. TV remotes are fought over by siblings and parents, and something as personal as Facebook will never work on a device that is not personal. Personal media devices are tablets and mobiles. TVs are not personal.
And that is a big difference when you want to do something that works. Sometimes I think that the most money we (Tigerspike) can save for our clients is by telling them not to do things!
It used to be the ‘what cupcake flavor are you’ quizzes that pissed me off, but it was soon replaced with my Facebook wall being filled with the latest updates from people’s virtual farms. Brad has bought 10 more chickens!
Then I saw this article in the telegraph about it being the most popular Facebook app out there. There is a top 10 list (below) which is interesting. With that many daily users these apps get more attention than most media companies…
1. Farmville, 13.4 million daily users
2. Farm Town, 6.0 million daily users
3. Mafia Wars, 5.8 million daily users
4. Facebook for iPhone, 5.7 million daily users
5. Facebook for BlackBerry, 5.2 million daily users
6. Pet Society, 4.4 million daily users
7. Texas HoldEm Poker, 3.8 million daily users
8. Restaurant City, 3.7 million daily users
9. Facebook Mobile, 2.7 million daily users
10. YoVille, 2.6 million daily users