A cambrian explosion in AI – but how will new services surface?

Dag Kittlaus, founder of Siri, wrote on Techcrunch yesterday to predict that A Cambrian explosion in AI is coming. He notes that there has been “massive uptake of assistant services spurred by Apple’s Siri, Google’s Now and Microsoft’s Cortana” but says these services are still in their infancy. The missing piece is an ecosystem of […]

Picasso worked to make things simple

Apple apparently shows this picture to employees at the secretive Apple University. It’s a great illustration of working to make something simple. The first panel is a bull with horns, hoofs and texture, the last is an abstraction, but sill a bull. That’s what Apple is about and what a lot of good […]

App store discovery a little less broken?

It’s a common refrain that the process by which apps are found or discovered is broken. Discovery and hence download volumes are driven more than anything by ‘app store placement’ and by being ‘featured’, both of which seem to be more down to the whim of Apple and Google than the merit of the app. What we […]

An ‘iPhone moment’ for wearables may be close

The wearables industry at the moment can be likened to smartphones in the pre-iPhone era. As it was with Nokia Communicators and Blackberrys, quite a few people have them but the experience is generally not very satisfactory and the mainstream isn’t buying yet. In large measure I think that’s because most of them don’t do […]

The Android vs iOS paradox facing startups

Benedict Evans wrote an interesting yesterday about Android fragmentation (tl:dr 75% of devices that hit the Play Store run Android 4.x meaning Google has reduced the impact of fragmentation, additionally they’ve sidestepped the issue for their own services by moving them out of the OS and into a software layer that can be updated over the air). […]

Apple’s new product process is a long checklist

Yesterday I wrote about how building a startup is increasingly an exercise in disciplined application of process. Creativity and flair will always be important, but whereas that used to be most everything and charismatic sales driven entrepreneurs with huge personalities were common, these days implementation of processes like ‘lean’ and ‘customer development’ are increasingly […]

Nest’s Tony Fadell on the importance of focus and saying ‘no’

Tony Fadell is the man of the moment. Nest, the connected thermostat and smoke alarm company he founded in 2010 has just been acquired by Google for $3.2bn. I hear that in it’s three years of existence Nest got it’s thermostat into 1% of US homes and hit revenues of $100m (not sure if […]

Android is on a path to total dominance

As you can see from the chart above (produced by Microsoft) Android devices have been outselling iOS devices for a couple of years now. However,  many of the Android devices were barely smartphones and device sales were only half the story. The app economy was the other half of the story, and iOS was […]

The inexorable rise of free – paid apps example


Business Insider posted these two charts today under the headline Paid Apps are Dead. Looking at the data, it’s hard to refute that claim. App developers are still making money, of course, it’s just that they are doing it through in-app purchases rather than from an up-front charge. This solution is better […]

Business models built around the needs of companies don’t work

It seems trite and obvious to write that the best products are designed around what customers need and want, yet it is still surprisingly common for companies to make decisions based on what’s important for themselves.

Digital magazines are a great example. Physical magazines have been suffering from declining circulations for a while now […]