Simple Observation About TouchID

I’m glad we’ve been acquired by [big com­pany] but I worry about hav­ing enough resources now to get our job done.”

(said no one ever in the his­tory of tech­nol­ogy acquisitions)

The com­mon thought is that big com­pa­nies have more, not fewer, resources to apply to problems.

Why is it then that small com­pa­nies like Day One, AgileBits, Lev­elUp, and Box sup­port TouchID within 30 days or so of the GA iOS release, but big ones like Fidelity, Chase, or Amer­i­can Express do not?

Aren’t these smaller com­pa­nies oper­at­ing in resource scarcity rel­a­tive to the big­ger ones? How is it they can do more?

Trick is, it’s not “how” but “why” that you should be ask­ing. Why can they do more?

It reminds me of the dat­ing advice I can’t wait to give my kids. “It doesn’t mat­ter what she says. How does she spend her time? Does she call or make plans with you? Then she likes you. If not, she’s just not that into you.”

Microsoft Proving Everyone Wrong

The com­mon belief was that Microsoft had a solid going con­cern busi­ness. Win­dows and Office fran­chises, while seem­ingly declin­ing, would remain pow­er­ful fran­chises keep­ing the com­pany alive for a long time to come. They had plenty of wig­gle room to exper­i­ment, fail, and recover. To fig­ure out how to execute.

Now, the only thing I can imag­ine is that they’re try­ing to prove every­one wrong about how quickly they can fail.

First a risky reor­ga­ni­za­tion. Then, Mr. Ballmer “steps down”. Now, Nokia?

This should be interesting.

Of course, not as inter­est­ing as my stock com­par­i­son between Microsoft & Apple.


The Things my iPhone has Replaced

Watch­ing help­lessly as the movers do their thing. I tried help­ing, they laughed and told me to sit down.

Ear­lier this week I had to fax some­thing (aren’t land­lords hip?). Down­loaded an app, and away I faxed.

The other day I saw some Cap­tain Obvi­ous at, I think Bar­clays, write some­thing about how phones are replac­ing cam­eras (uh, Kodak fell off the planet years ago). So the topic of mobile phones replac­ing other things has been on my mind.

Here are all the things my phone has replaced (or pre­vented me from needing):

    1. home phone
    2. news­pa­per
    3. alarm clock
    4. wrist watch
    5. auto GPS
    6. pay phones
    7. paper diary
    8. cam­era
    9. many books
    10. heavy brief­case full of files
    11. radio/iPod
    12. video cam­era
    13. audio recorder
    14. fax machine
    15. scan­ner
    16. pocket sub­way maps, includ­ing for places I travel
    17. bunch of mem­ber­ship cards, like Star­bucks, United, and Marriott

Just think. Before smart­phones there where whole economies around these things.

IT Idiocracy, Part I

A major com­plaint by IT against Apple is that Apple doesn’t share long-term roadmaps so busi­nesses can’t plan or man­age risk.

RIM, a com­pany closely tied to busi­nesses is in free-fall. Take a look at their 5-year plan, and based on their migra­tion to QNX (their exe­cu­tion to plan over the last 12 – 18 months), you can’t trust a thing they’re say­ing. The Play­book was a dis­as­ter, and now their new oper­at­ing sys­tem is pushed until late next year.

How are com­pa­nies react­ing? Are they react­ing? I’ve not heard any­thing, though I wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily be in the know.

How good has RIM’s 5 year plan served IT at large corporations?

How are com­pa­nies mit­i­gat­ing the risk that RIM won’t be around in 5 years, which is cer­tainly in the real of pos­si­bil­ity at this point?

So, basi­cally IT gets their col­lec­tive panties in a bunch, mak­ing it a require­ment to have a 5-year plan, and do all sort of inter­nal plan­ning around it. When the 5-year plan is totally off the rails (I mean, RIM’s not even in sight of the freak­ing rail-yard at this point!), what? No col­lec­tive cor­po­rate response? What was the pur­pose of the 5-year plan in the first place? All that plan­ning? Were you just bored? Killing time? Ven­dor bash­ing? What?

Where’s the accountability?

Oh yeah, I labeled this “part I” because I’ve got a few obser­va­tions about IT idiocy (that I hear from friends and oth­ers, not nec­es­sar­ily based on my personal/current expe­ri­ence) in my head that I’m try­ing to fig­ure out how to share constructively.