My order of AirTags arrived this morning. I got a four-pack, because, why not? I got them engraved because, again, why not?

At first blush, they are much larger than I thought they would be. Though, I like the curved coin-like look and finish, which is typical Apple. By comparison, Tile had a better form factor, but I was not too fond of their finish. At some stage in the future, I will delve into Tile vs. AirTags and the strategic importance of AirTags for Apple.

Setting them up was smooth, and using them in my tiny apartment is a no-brainer. The real-life test, of course, will have to wait until I start traveling again. For now, the biggest question is: what should I do with my AirTags?

I can (and will) replace my decade-old keychain. Apple’s own keychain models are excessively priced, so I am going to give them a pass. I really like the new Horoween leather keychains from Nomad Goods, one of my favorite brands. They have multiple accessories for AirTags, so I need to figure out which one I really like.

The biggest problem with the AirTag luggage tag is that it is the first thing a thief would sees — just before they cut it off from the luggage. That is why I like the new Stretch Fabric Mount accessory from Moment, which sticks to any fabric surface. This will definitiely be going inside my camera bag. It is probably the smartest product I have seen for us camera nerds — the Stretch Fabric Mount is hidden and will make it difficult for a would-be thief to know that there is an AirTag on board. The only bad news is that it won’t be available for another couple of months. For now, I am using black gaffer tape to hide the AirTags on the inside of my camera and my duffel bags.

I have one left. What should I do with it? Suggestions? (Comments are open.)

May 12, 2021, San Francisco


In an interview with Hodinkee, Patek Philippe’s Thierry Stern explains why his mega-luxury brand won’t bother making a smart watch, unlike other watch brands such as Montblanc and TAG Heuer.

Am I going to fight against Apple, which has nearly the same budget as I do in R&D, except they have five more zeros at the end of it? I can’t compete with that. It’s another way to fabricate watches. We have always been dedicated to mechanical watches, this is what we know and what we enjoy. Working on something electronic may be fun, but it’s not my business. You have to give it to the pro, and I’m not a pro in this type of technology.

In this age where everyone wanting to do everything, all in the name of growth, it is refreshing to see a company that is sticking to its knitting. I like that he knows the reason why they are who they are. That understanding has allowed them to grow and be able to create value and desire for their products. I really wish more companies were as focused on their own excellence rather than chasing growth for the sake of growth.

"Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches," Andy Warhol.

Today, he would have measured everything in the number of tweets, re-tweets, shares, likes, and hearts. Sadly, this isn’t the first time I have felt this feeling of despair, and neither am I alone. The theater and theatrics of outrage are so loud that it is rendering the platforms pretty unusable.  

 It is becoming evident that facts, truth, reality, and happiness have no place in the social media world, where attention-at-any-cost is the only currency. Everything has become so loud. The reason is not a reason, and neither is being reasonable. Hyperbole is the order of the day. All of it, so people pay attention to what you have to say.

It reminds me of the quip David Bowie made about Madonna and her need for attention. “That kind of clawing need to be the center of attention is not a pleasant place to be,” he said. 

Have a wonderful evening, everyone!

PS: A day later, I can’t help but notice the hilarious irony: many media personalities, often at the center of attention are complaining about the lack of civility on the social platforms.



Twitter is going the way of subscriptions in 2021 — after buying Revue, the company today snapped up Scroll for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is a smart move — it allows Twitter to play to its strengths — media and media distribution. 

Scroll is a prix fixe media buffet –for $5 a month, readers can view articles, ad-free, from about 300 odd media outlets. The $5 a month subscription is then shared with the publishers. Good idea, but as Scroll founder Tony Haile points out in his blog post announcing the deal, “we’re not moving fast enough.” 

A lot has to do with the media industry and its bureaucratic disfunction. The fact remains that destination viewing of media is becoming a habit only reserved for a fading generation of readers. Discovery, distribution, and consumption of media have taken on a different meaning. And believe it or not — Twitter is smack in the middle of this Venn diagram. 

Twitter, just by incorporating Scroll, can increase its footprint and impact on the media business.

Last year, I wrote a piece — What Twitter could learn from Spotify. In my piece, I outlined a strategy that would help Twitter reinvent itself but also help provide a vital lifeline for not only establishment media but also independent creators. But in doing so, I reasoned that 

Twitter has to be “willing to rethink its entire core application, jettison the past,” and only then can it “create a more relevant, robust, and financially rewarding future.” (I don’t want to repeat myself, so you are better off reading the earlier piece at your leisure.

With Spaces, Revue, and now Scroll, Twitter has started to think different — though if it will be enough for the company to regain its mojo, remains to be seen. It seems the newest recruit, Scroll CEO Tony Haile, does see the bigger picture.

“When you see Spaces, Revue or Scroll, you see Twitter focused on expanding, not encroaching on the value it helps others to create,” he writes on the Scroll blog. “Twitter is marching to the beat of a different drum and knows success will come from a bigger pie not a larger slice.”

In his post announcing the deal, he points out what makes Twitter unique compared to every other big platform — read Facebook. 

“For every other platform, journalism is dispensable. If journalism were to disappear tomorrow their business would carry on much as before,” Haile writes. “Twitter is the only large platform whose success is deeply intertwined with a sustainable journalism ecosystem.” 

And he is right — it is not just journalism in the classic sense. Journalism, as we have known, is changing. Twitter can’t fall into the trap of the media’s past and almost always lean into the future. Whether it is live conversations, podcasts, video streams, photos, newsletters, everything that is media can benefit from Twitter’s taking a cue from that other content company, Spotify. 


PS: Being very self-referential today, I dug up this little piece from 2012:

Over the past few years we have started to see the transformation of media by new technologies, new methods of distribution and newer ways to consume information I have always believed that we’ve got to stop thinking of media as what it was and focus on more of what it could be. In the world of plenty, the only currency is attention and attention is what defines “media.” Zynga is fighting Hollywood for attention (and winning). Instagram is taking moments away from other media. They have attention. There are old companies that are dying and new ones that are being invented. 

It has been a rough few days for the citizens of India, who have been struggling with the rampaging COVID-19 virus. The pandemic is more widespread than either media or official figures seem to indicate. Many of you emailed and asked about what is the best way to offer help and aid. Here is a list of simple resources to get you started. 

  1. Joy of Sharing: This is a Norwalk, CA-based charity group that gathers funds for vital supplies. Please select COVID-19 INDIA to designate your funds. 
  2. Aid India: Like Joy of Sharing, it too accepts credit cards for online donations. 
  3. Mission Oxygen: This is an initiative by a community of founders from the Delhi region to donate life-saving equipment to hospitals.
  4. Give India is helping organize funds for oxygen, food, survivor support, and other needs for those who desperately need it. 
  5. Hemkunt Foundation is helping laborers and migrant workers who have been made jobless and homeless. They are helping to provide them with food, shelter, and basic hygiene/survival supplies.

I hope this list helps. I will keep updating the links as I find them.