A Funny Mobile Banking App Idea

I’m prob­a­bly going to offend some­one with this post. It is of course not my intent.

Wouldn’t it be a cool idea for a bank to cre­ate an app that helps to min­i­mize fees. You can imag­ine they know enough about your cash flow and spend­ing habits to help you min­i­mize or elim­i­nate fees.

Of course, if you pre­sented this idea to “the busi­ness” they’d freak. “How can we min­i­mize fees?!”, they’d ask, “That’s how we keep the lights on.”

My answer? Sim­ple: [Read more…]

Radio Shack: What Could Have Been

Make Things HappenSome time ago, I came home from the gym and explained what I thought Radio Shack should do to become rel­e­vant again. My thoughts were trig­gered by a funny Onion arti­cle I saw: Even the CEO Can’t Fig­ure Out How Radio Shack is Still in Busi­ness.

At the time, it was a long story.

Then, I guess about a year ago now, Radio Shack had an exec­u­tive change. And, boy did I wish I had writ­ten down my ideas. Espe­cially since the new CEO doesn’t think they need to rein­vent, just reboot.

Any­ways, just this morn­ing I real­ized how to tell my idea briefly: [Read more…]

Why Basic IT Infrastructure is Exciting

ApolloControlPanelBlueprint

Who ever thought that tech­nol­ogy would become such a deep part of ‘our culture’s conversation’?

Who ever thought the Pres­i­dent of the United States would apol­o­gize for a failed web site?

A Story of Open Rebel­lion at Yale

Para­ble:

A para­ble is a suc­cinct, didac­tic story, in prose or verse, which illus­trates one or more instruc­tive lessons or principles.

Last week’s story about Yale’s stu­dents cre­at­ing a “bet­ter” online course cat­a­log is a para­ble for every­thing hap­pen­ing in IT today.

It’s worth read­ing in order: [Read more…]

If a Tablet Ships, but Doesn’t Replace a PC, Does Someone in Redmond Scream?

Not all tablets are cre­ated equally.

Often, this doesn’t really mat­ter. I mean, the con­sumer knows what they want (pre­sum­ably) and has a price they want to pay, and they buy some­thing. How­ever, it’s nec­es­sary for those of us try­ing to under­stand what’s hap­pen­ing to get a lit­tle more in-depth. To cat­e­go­rize tablets so we can gain insight into “what the num­ber mean”. It’s not about mar­ket share, it’s not even about profit share. Not for peo­ple who are try­ing to ana­lyze the indus­try rather than the finan­cial mar­kets.

Ben Bajarin, who per­haps gets me think­ing more than is good for any­one, has been think­ing out loud on twit­ter on how to cat­e­go­rize tablets. I had this thought-flow that I’ll try to keep brief.

It’s clear an iPad is a tablet that is impact­ing PC sales.

It’s clear that a Kin­dle e-book reader (not Kin­dle Fire) is not. I don’t know enough about the Kin­dle Fire per­son­ally, but let’s say that the Kin­dle Fire is only good at media (books, videos, audio) play­ing. With that assump­tion, let’s say the Kin­dle Fire has no impact on PC sales.

There’s an ele­ment of “com­put­ing device” vs “enter­tain­ment” device. Actu­ally, I don’t nec­es­sar­ily like the word “enter­tain­ment” but it will do for now.

Per­son­ally, I don’t like to read on my Kin­dle (eReader). I like to take advan­tage of the dig­i­tal for­mat by high­light­ing and com­ment­ing on what I’m read­ing. It’s really hard to do on a Kin­dle, very easy to do on an iPad. How­ever, an eReader does have the abil­ity to notate, high­light, and share ele­ments of read­ing (and video/audio). It’s a mod­ern expe­ri­ence of an old skill (read­ing, watch­ing, lis­ten­ing). It’s not just replac­ing the book, it’s replac­ing the book and adding lim­ited com­put­ing to change the expe­ri­ence. In the case of reading/watching/listening, the lim­it­ing com­put­ing added is triv­ial in terms of com­put­ing require­ments needed in the device.

What about sketching?

What if some­one bought an iPad only to sketch? [Read more…]

Bing!

bing enterprise search

Two obser­va­tions:

  1. Google has “won” search.
  2. Enter­prise search “stinks”.

I can’t fig­ure out, with all their strength as an enter­prise IT provider, why Microsoft can’t pivot Bing to “solve” enter­prise search while at the same time com­bine enter­prise search with “inter­net search” to pro­vide a richer search expe­ri­ence for peo­ple search­ing at work. The lat­ter thought is a great attack on Google, sim­i­lar to the way Google’s tried to attack Microsoft’s Office franchise.

Face it. Dur­ing the day, most peo­ple search from work. Train them to securely and effec­tively search cor­po­rate assets through Bing, and com­ple­ment those results with a “reg­u­lar inter­net search”. Why would peo­ple dis­tin­guish between the two? They’d even­tu­ally use Bing for both.

Once that habit devel­ops, maybe they take it home. After all, it’s eas­ier to remem­ber 1 thing than 2.

What’s eas­ier to remem­ber? One thing or two things?

The thing that Microsoft has that Google doesn’t is not the search exper­tise to “fix” enter­prise search. The tech­nol­ogy is unim­por­tant assum­ing some basic level of search capa­bil­ity. Rather, it has the enter­prise IT rela­tion­ships and the power of it’s exist­ing cor­po­rate enter­prise license agree­ments to wedge Bing in there, to buy them time to iter­ate and get it right.

Any­ways, just some ran­dom thoughts now that there’s another rumor Microsoft will ditch Bing.

By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever once searched with Bing. I have, how­ever, made many searches over the years to Share­point — Microsoft’s col­lab­o­ra­tion tool.

Why are the two search tech­nolo­gies different?