In case you were wondering, for the third time in the past five months, I’ve gotten hit by the cold/flu combo. I decided to take time off from the Internet, work and spent a substantial amount of time over the past three days recuperating by doing absolutely nothing (except answering emails) and drinking lot of ginger/tulsi tea and hydrating myself. The rest has done me good and I feel energized to get back to work. I can’t handle not being out and about.
I really wish I was in New York to see the new Microsoft devices – they seem to be so well designed (aesthetically) and it would have been cool to see the integration of software, hardware and Microsoft services. It would have made it more fun to see what Apple comes out with next — it is time for an iMac to make an entry into my life: Photo editing is hard on a 13-inch screen.
During my resting phase, a friend forwarded me an article from the Fast Company magazine about a news junkie/journalist who got off the news for a week. He felt less anxious, more optimistic and happier. I read that piece, and realized how on the money Michael Grothaus is when he writes,” not constantly stuffing my mind with passive news stories and quick-hit tidbits and breaking news alerts allowed my brain to find its true imagination again.” Three and a half days of staying off the news, I feel exactly how he describes — clear in thoughts and feeling a surge of creativity.
You don’t miss news these days. For instance Apple reported its Q4 FY 2016 earnings and as usual everyone wrote about it. There was no context. Even Jim Cramer lost his mind over marginality of the questions asked by analysts — this clip from CNBC is worth watching.
If you were looking for the silver lining in Apple’s quarterly earnings, then focus on app stores revenues: up over 43 percent on a year over year basis, or about $7.8 billion for the quarter, second only to the iPhone hardware sales. iPhone sales will never be the same again as they were a few years ago, so now Apple needs to focus on “services” and that’s the big story. Apple’s weak link is data, cloud and artificial intelligence. It is what analysts should be asking about — because that really is the core of any next big product, a point Steven Levy made in his backchannel piece about Google Assistant. (If you have not read, it might be good to check out my Apple vs Google piece in The New Yorker.
- Software, the invisible technology: Why we don’t even notice software? Great piece by G. Pascal Zachary [IEEE Spectrum]
- No, starting a startup is not cheaper today than ever before: It was true in 2004 when I first proposed the idea of Insta-company in Business 2.0. Today the whole notion makes no sense. Maybe I should do a piece on this? [Mattermark]
- No, AT&T’s new streaming service probably won’t be $35 a month: Karl Bode, knows AT&T doublespeak better than anyone else. Read this to not get caught up in a spin-cycle. [DSL Reports]
- Congratulations to Maran Nelson for doing GA on her human/machine assistant, Clara. If I ever need an assistant, I know who to call. Nelson has all the details here.
- My friend Narendra Rocherolle has launched Peck, a new way to access information. It is early, but Narendra is good at predicting Internet behaviors. Try it!
- Shout out to Lucas of Hipstamatic fame for launching Spinlist.fm, a way to socially share your musical tastes. (Use code ‘OM’ if you want an invite.)
- I love Vacant New York
October 26, 2016, San Francisco