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Showing posts from 2012

Someone Gamed Apple's App Store:Revenge of the Dentists Edition

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It is encouraging to know the likelihood of breakout success in the app store is over 100 times better than the likelihood of winning the Powerball lottery. Unfortunately based on the sheer volume of apps in the store, it is still in the million to one range. Fortunately, unlike Powerball, we can increase the likelihood of success by charting. The top ten apps are easy to find and can build enough momentum to get millions of downloads. In this freemium world of ours, millions of free downloads means tens, maybe hundreds of thousand paying players. Most developers cross promote to their base, or use services like Appoday or Freeappaday to achieve the necessary velocity to crack the charts. But apparently, it is not the only path to success. Maura Thompson used a different method. She targeted a market with a large pent up demand and built an app for them - wanna be dentists.
You want to be a dentist? Ok, here is your chance! Dozens of Dental Surgery are waiting for you!
In…

Recapping: Recognition of Genius

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Sometimes I even amaze myself. I was looking back at an old post - less narcissistic than googling myself but more than tweeting and thinking someone cares - and found this genius vision of the future. If I did this a few hundred years ago I would have been revered for magical powers - or killed as a witch. This post was written about three and a half years ago but shows an uncanny, crystal clear vision of the digital and mobile game world - or another statement of the obvious. You be the judge. Once we get to the other side, we will realize the USD 59.95 price point, and even the USD 49.95 were not carved in stone by the finger of the almighty. They are an industry created construct, which continues to drive us to make USD 20 million “Fields of Dreams.” In this insidious cycle, the consumer demands a certain amount of gameplay for their dollar and we supply it. Perhaps in this new world we will be able to build games of all sizes at various price points. Without inventory we can…

Definite Answer to What is Wrong with Zynga: Obvious Edition

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I pride myself on my “brilliant grasp of the obvious.”But sometimes concepts bathed in divine light before my eyes are hidden to the entire world leaving me sitting like the solitary school-boy laughing to himself in a corner while the world doesn’t know why.My gift tells me Zynga is in a good place.

For those of you who feel I put too many words to my thoughts on this blog, this time I will get to the point before I digress.Even though you cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a Zynga naysayer, show me one person in the business who would not give their left nut – women included – to be in Zynga’s position today.Lots of these well intentioned but sadly misguided folks are offering advice and statements about what should be done, and I will certainly start listening, as soon as one of them shows me the 2 plus billion dollar company (Zynga’s current “depressed” value) with 60 million people a day checking in that they built. They can all provide input from high towers about directi…

Is Amazon Appling Apple?: New Kindle Fire Edition

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This is the exact post I put up in January of this year.   I could say nothing has to do with my being lazy, but I would be lying.  I am proud the post Jeff Bezos' announcements today made the post almost as relevant today as it was the day I wrote it, and perhaps I am showing off, but it has really been a long time since I wrote a new post and this is a good way to get started again.  





By now I am sure Walter Isaacson's report of Steve Jobs feelings about Android is news to no one. At one point during the interviews leading up to the greatest retelling of the monomyth since Luke Skywalker, Jobs said:
I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40bn in the bank, to right this wrong," . . . . I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this.
The timing of that last breath relative to the life of Android is also news to no one. What I have not seen is the re…

Orbis: It's the End of the World Again: Analysts are Shitheads Edition

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I love this kind of story. Some anonymous source on a website told the world the next PlayStation will be called "Orbis" and that it will not play used games. As some random guy with a blog, I would expect me to write something about this - I did not - but why are all of these "professionals" weighing on speculation and being so very, very wrong in the speculation layered on top of speculation. While the only basis for validating the speculation is the memorialization of the thought in a series of letters comprising words on a page, the analysts feel the compulsion to comment. The very, very sad part is their commentary betrays them and shows why they are so often so very, very wrong. They see the wall, they see the train tracks, but the do not realize they are sitting on an airplane. Michael Pachter of Wedbush, David Cole of DFC Intelligence and Lewis Ward of IDC all focus on a recent announcement suggesting PS4 - they say it is called Orbis but if Sony…

Revenge of the EULA Reader: Meta Me in a Bubble Edition

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This morning I read this great post from an artist who actually read the Pinterest EULA. I linked to her article in Scientific American because I want to make sure she gets credit for what she wrote by people reading from her page - or as she may say, the kind of thing she is afraid will not happen by virtue of the Pinterest EULA. I don't want to hold Pinterest as only the company in the world who sticks stuff like this in EULAs. In fact, I wrote about problems with other EULAs before my 23 and me post is by far the most popular post I ever wrote. I venture to say more people read my post about the 23 and me EULA then actually read the 23 and me EULA. EULAs, in the sense they are being used by the Pinterests, Facebooks, Googles and Linked ins of the world, are legal fiction granting the drafters the rights to use our data the way they want to use it today and how they may use it in the future. I saw legal fiction not just because there is not a single word in any of the mu…

Overthinking a Garage Door Opener: We Will Not all Make it Into the NBA Edition

Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes with me knows how highly I prize my Malcolm Gladwell Outliers-like developed grasp of the obvious.  But living in my very myopic, self centered, cloistered world it is hard to identify things that are obvious to the entire world and not me from those obvious only to me.   This weekend I installed an auto mated garage door opener and stumbled upon the value of doing things in the physical world.  After spending more hours than it should take and skinning more knuckles than reasonable, I achieved great satisfaction in pushing the remote and watching the door open and close.   In fact, I achieved so much satisfaction, one day later I am still pushing the button to admire the physical manifestation of a day's work. At the top of this post you see a video from Mike Rowe from a talk actually given at the E.G conference, not TED,  highlighting the value of the lost art of "real" work.  I deeply, deeply believe what he said and having …

Facebook, Google and our Dwindling Privacy: Take My Data Please Edition

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I read this article about the trade off for privacy and this quote from Ron Conway really stood out "For that value tradeoff, they're willing to provide information." I completely agree with him and not just because his support of his iconic investments is legendary. But his statement is not really relevant to most of what is going on at companies giving rise to the concern. We really do not know and cannot imagine what is being done. The government is not allowed to access the same information without a warrant, but the fiction of "consent through EULA" finds permission buried deep inside what consumers call a "click through agreement" and the drafters call a license grant.

Rather than go into a whole new rant, I am just reposting something I wrote about a year and a half ago. Sadly, even though we are becoming more aware from great editorials like this one by Lori Andrews in the New York Times, other than attempts by the powers that be to refr…

The Brave New World of Advertising: Back to DLD Edition

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I once again had the honor of being invited to the DLD conference. I guess no one read my post from last year. In case you are curious, my hotel was better. . . well, better is a complicated concept. There is no weather pattern over my bed, but of course there would not be as heat rises and tends to collect in the attic - or as they call it here, room 504. It may not really be the attic. I only call it that because the elevator stops on the fourth floor and I had to exit the warm portion of the building and walk up the wooden staircase to the fifth floor to get into a room with a slanted ceiling and a dormer window. My client picked the hotel and did warn me it was not the caliber of the one I stayed in last year. But with the frostbite wound earned in my five star hotel room last year still visible on the little toe of my left foot, I figured it could not be worse. The VC's behind this startup are certainly very proud of the selection, it reinforced my belief that I am to…

Amazon's Special Gift to Steve Jobs: Android's Success is the Biggest Threat to Android's Future Edition

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By now I am sure Walter Isaacson's report of Steve Jobs feelings about Android is news to no one. At one point during the interviews leading up to the greatest retelling of the monomyth since Luke Skywalker, Jobs said:

I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40bn in the bank, to right this wrong," . . . . I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this.

The timing of that last breath relative to the life of Android is also news to no one. What I have not seen is the realization that Google may have stolen the frame, but Amazon stole the art. And while the media continues to report on the Amazon vs. Apple battle for the bedtime and reclining market, the real battle is Amazon vs. Google. The success of Amazon’s Android running Kindle Fire and focus on the Apple battle masks Amazon’s role as the new standard bearer in Steve Jobs’ war against Google which…