Recent Posts



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 [...]

The power of platforms

I’ve been reading a few articles recently about the power of platforms as business models and how they’ve replaced vertically integrated models in a number of industries. Three numbers from the Apple Event in San Francisco ram home this message:

1 million apps 60 billion downloads $13bn paid out to app developers

The [...]

Celebrating meritocracy: Happy 5th birthday to the Apple app store

Apple’s app store is five years old today, and it is hard to overstate the impact that it has had on mobile and web services. Apps have replaced URLs as the dominant method for accessing many online services and its dominance is such that people have rushed to apply the app paradigm to other [...]

Apple’s innovation challenge

This chart from Venturebeat shows how Apple’s first quarter revenues broke down (total $55bn). The amazing thing about it is that 76% of their business now comes from products that are less than six years old. On the one hand it is an incredible testament to the leadership of Jobs, Cook and Ive [...]