App.net is Not the Answer, and Why I Gave Them Money
I do not think App.net is the answer.
I do believe Dalton’s views on the detrimental nature of ad-supported services is spot-on. There are, however, fatal flaws with customer supported services, too.
People do not want to pay for digital services or goods. It’s been like this since the invent of the Internet. Thanks to Apple, some people are willing to pay a small one-time fee which include a lifetime of unlimited updates, which is about as close to free as a paid-model can get.
While pay-for-a-service is sustainable, it doesn’t support the viral and sustainable growth and adoption. Case study: Hipstamatic vs Instagram.
Somewhere in the middle, between ad-supported and paid, is the answer. It’s a goldmine, and it’s still waiting to be discovered.
We’re getting closer. The funding of App.net shows that we’re[1. Well, at least some of us. Others are just gamblers, hoping for the coveted “early adopter” badge of pride.] willing to depart from the current unsustainable ad-supported startup trend.
That is what I want to support.
Cyborgs, Biohacking, and Magnetic Implants
Ben Popper, writing for The Verge:
People passing by gave us odd stares as Berg and I stood next to each other in the street, waving our hands around inside an invisible field, like mystics groping blindly for a ghost.
Fantastic article about the current state of biohacking. And I helped.
Damning Bit of Evidence
As part of its case against Samsung, Apple has shown snippets of an internal Samsung document comparing the original Galaxy S phone with the iPhone…[going] feature by feature, evaluating how Samsung’s phone stacks up against the iPhone.
This is definitely some damning evidence. The entire presentation is online, and the message is really clear: be more like Apple.
New 4” iPhone: All But Confirmed
Mark Gurman for 9to5Mac:
Thanks to some tweaks to the iOS Simulator application that is included in the iOS development tools, we were able to run the simulator at the rumored next-generation iPhone display resolution of 640 x 1136…The iOS 5.1 simulator displayed the home screen with a stretched set of four rows of icons…iOS 6 displayed five complete rows.
Adding the extra row for apps isn’t revolutionary or surprising. And that’s fine. I don’t think Apple is going to try to sell this larger sized screen as either.
Rather, I think it’s going to be what Apple decides to do with this extra space that has the potential to be a big reveal. These extra pixels, when running previous resolution apps, is the talk of the town right now. And if Apple can find a new and interesting way to deal with this extra space, alleviating designer/developer headache while providing extra value to the user, then we’ll have something noteworthy.
This news alone is kinda boring.
Simulating a Magnetic Implant
Marek was inspired by my magnet implant and decided to build his own external magnet sensor with an Arduino board and some innovative tinkering. Really, really cool. After it was built, he took a walk to test it out:
Friends were laughing at me when during a walk I was stopping suddenly and doing few steps back to identify the source of the magnetic field (it was usually a utility box).
Yup, I’ve been there.
Sparrow Acquired by Google
Dom Lesa, CEO of Sparrow:
We’re excited to announce that Sparrow has been acquired by Google!
Congrats to the team, but farewell to my favorite email app. :(
Project Glass: Exactly How Powerful is Eye Contact?
Stephen King, On Writing (2000):
Writing is not life, but i think that sometimes it can be a way back to life. That was something I found out in the summer of 1999, when a man driving a blue van almost killed me.
King’s prose recounting being hit by a car is one of the most difficult pieces of writing I’ve read. He is an expert of his craft, pulling the reader into his body, experiencing the fades in and out of consciousness, the collapsed lung, the aftermath. We are seeing and viewing the world through his eyes; it’s extremely painful and masterfully executed.
One of Google’s main selling points with Project Glass[1. I’m referring to its current tangible form, not the gimmicky video released a few months ago.] is the ability to share first-hand experiences and perspectives. At the I/O 2012 Conference, Google shared a first person perspective of a dentist’s office hoping for a visceral response, bonding the viewer to the picture-taker as well as Project Glass itself. Despite Project Glass being little more than a modified helmet cam, it’s being sold as an innovative way to share the world: allow friends to vicariously live through you.
Project Glass is attempting to use technology to bring Stephen King’s abilities to the general public. I may never write a passage as haunting as King’s accident, but maybe I’ll take a picture or video that elicits an emotional response matching that level of intensity[2. Although, hopefully a lot less tragic.].
Industries are continually interrupted when the tools of the trade become readily accessible: the music industry with low priced computers, allowing easy recording and mixing; movie industry with the introduction of digital recording; the publishing world with the popularity of ebooks, the internet, and self publishing.
Google is marketing Project Glass as a device as influential as the above interruptions. According to Google, viewing a picture where a baby is making eye contact with the camera, rather than looking elsewhere, is a revolutionary difference, disrupting entire industries built on emotional response.
We’ll have to wait to see if Project Glass has the power to change the world. I don’t think it will happen in Glass’ first form, or the second or third (if the product makes it that far). Augmented reality has a long way to go, and there’s a good chance that Google’s glasses may someday appear in a bin next to Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.
I can’t, however, fault a company for reaching.
Moving Beyond “but it works”
David Heinemeier Hansson on levels of aspiration:
To help someone move up the hierarchies, they have to have an intrinsic desire to do so. Arguments like “but it works” or “it gets the job done” are tell-tale signs of someone happy at the lowest level of the technical hierarchy and your cue to just quietly back out of the debate.
This is a concept that took me a long time to recognize and to realize that this is ok. This same concept can be applied to any area: I might throw some roast beef between a couple pieces of bread for dinner because it “gets the job done” in sating my hunger. Those who appreciate the finer points of the culinary arts may find this unthinkable, and try to convince me to spend greater time and effort on dinner, but a plain roast beef sandwich often works fine for me.
A commenter, Kathy Sierra, makes a great point:
I think part of this is explained by whether they see the technology as Their Thing vs. the just a Tool…for enabling/supporting Their Thing.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I Am Lazy
I am lazy. I’m the laziest person I know. But I’ve learned to take advantage of this trait. I think Bill Gates described it best:
I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because he will find an easy way to do it.
I suppose my packed calendar, extensive CV, and numerous projects might contradict my statement. But it’s all a rouse.
I’m lazy, but I’m also extremely passionate. I want to build and create things, websites, companies, businesses. I want to tell people, “Oh, I’ve done x, y, and z.” I want income to roll into my bank account with doing any work myself. I want the freedom to follow each individual whim as it pops up.
College taught me the skills I need to be the laziest person ever. It taught me that it’s possible to graduate with an English degree, honors with distinction, without actually reading any books[1. I’m not proud of this, but it happened. Damn, I was lazy.]. Any essay could be written with a little bit of listening in class, Sparknotes to find certain sections, and the novel to pull quotes that back up previously discussed themes.
I’m so lazy, I don’t want to even think. I’ve forced myself into habits and systems so I never have to remember anything. I created my own wiki to store any information I may need later. I use my calendar obsessively, so I never have to think about my plans for the day or week; I just go wherever my calendar tells me on any given day. I use Trello[2. My workflow is largely based off Ryan Carson.] so I don’t have to think about individual to-dos, and Omnifocus to dump everything else that comes to mind.
I’m lazy, but I think a lot. I’ll think out and write down tons of ideas, but my laziness lead me to discovering the joys of outsourcing. Some people spend their money on beer, some on clothes, some on video games, art, or movies. I spend all my money on being lazy, hiring people to build things like iPhone apps or upload a large batch of pictures to my blogs.
Laziness is just something I was born with. I will work from sun up to sun down, seven days a week, to sustain my lazy lifestyle. Fortunately, I’m passionate too. I’m excited to see where that combination takes me.
How the Rich Make their Money
Jeff Haden reporting on how the rich get rich for INC:
In 2009 it took $77.4 million in adjusted gross income to make the top 400. That might sound like a lot, but it’s down from $109.7 million in 2008 and significantly down from a record high of $138.8 million in 2007.
Not only is the barrier for getting into the top 400 is going down, but the average too is dropping:
The average earnings were $202.4 million [in 2009], a lot of money but well down from the $334.8 million average in 2007.
It’s hard to draw any conclusions from these statistics, as tempting as it seems, since a significantly lower low-end can compensate for a higher high-end. It is, however, interesting to note this trend, since the common mantra is that the rich just keep getting richer. Some of them are and some of them aren’t, which is completely natural. We can’t fight the 80/20 rule.
What consistently catches my eye is how the rich make their money. In 2009, the top 400 people made 45.8% of their adjusted gross income from capital gains. This compares to 8.6% in wages/salaries and a mere 6.6% from interest.
I suppose this isn’t really news to anyone. You can’t get rich by getting a high paying job or properly investing money. Capital gains, oversimplified as the buying and selling of companies, produces the largest returns and is taxed less any other form of income. That’s how to make boatloads of money. So much for that promising career track.