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Apple explains video chat to the world

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Strategy on July 13th, 2010 by leodirac – Comments Off on Apple explains video chat to the world

It’s fascinating watching a disruptive technology cross the chasm. It’s a rare opportunity in one’s technical career to see this happen to a technology that one has been intimately involved with. That’s exactly what’s happening with video chat technology that I worked on at Google, as Apple pushes the technology into the early majority phase […]

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Video Chat is about to enter the Early Majority Phase with iPhone 4

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Google, Strategy on June 22nd, 2010 by leodirac – 7 Comments

I believe that the iPhone 4 will be remembered as the device that invented video chat.  Just like how the iPod is often seen as the first real mp3 player.  It wasn’t at all of course.  There were dozens of mp3 players before it.  But the iPod set a new quality bar which was so […]

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How Social Media will change Marketing

Posted in Analysis, Business, Geek, Marketing, Personal Growth, Societal Values on May 20th, 2010 by leodirac – 7 Comments

A number of years ago, a bunch of my friends were reading Naomi Klein’s book No Logo and getting really riled up by it.  The book is certainly written to make you angry, describing how brands and logos have become more and more prominent in our society as the marketing industry has become more sophisticated at […]

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Apple and Wal-Mart: Bargaining on your behalf for lower prices

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Economics, Gadgets, Geek on April 20th, 2010 by leodirac – 1 Comment

Even though Apple products are expensive, there’s a surprising similarity between Apple and Wal-Mart: both companies push hard on other parts of the value chain to deliver lower prices for consumers. In Walmart’s case, it’s generally suppliers who get squeezed.  Walmart demands that manufacturers of goods produce them at the lowest possible price so that Walmart can […]

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How Apple Segments the Market

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Gadgets, Geek, Marketing on April 19th, 2010 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Apple has done a fabulous job in recent years of asserting itself as a major player in the computer industry.  One of their tools for accomplishing this has been a fanatical commitment to high-quality products.  They strive to make every product they offer to be the best in its class, and they’ve largely succeeded at […]

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UAW vs. Chrysler: friends at last!

Posted in Analysis, Business, Economics on May 20th, 2009 by leodirac – 1 Comment

I’d like to share a couple thoughts on Detroit — a couple ideas that I’m not hearing in the popular or business press, but are important to understand. Chrysler goes bankrupt First some background. Chrysler is being restructured under bankruptcy. This doesn’t mean they’re going out of business. It means that they owe more money than they have or will be able to pay. So with the help of a judge, they’re sitting down with everybody they owe money to and telling them frankly “you’re not getting everything we owe you. Sorry, but there just isn’t enough to go around.”…

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Apple moves downmarket: iPhone as a services platform

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Cloud Computing, Google, Hardware, Marketing, Tech Industry on August 3rd, 2008 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Coincident with the launch of the iPhone 3G hardware, Apple has started a couple of new online services: MobileMe and the iPhone App Store. In some ways these are natural extensions of existing product lines. But I believe their launch actually represents a fairly substantial strategic shift as Apple attempts to diversify from a hardware-only company to one that runs on a mix of hardware and services. In order to make this strategy work, Apple will need to sacrifice its much coveted high hardware margins. Diversifying from hardware Since Jobs pulled the company out of the doldrums, Apple has been…

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Is Apple using scarcity to hide iPhone quality problems?

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, Hardware, Marketing, Psychology on July 28th, 2008 by leodirac – 9 Comments

Here I propose an alternative explanation for iPhone scarcity: the difficulty in obtaining a new iPhone keeps people from complaining about problems with it. I will explore this sophisticated marketing technique that Apple may or may not be employing to cover up quality problems with the new iPhone 3G. Even if Apple is not doing this deliberately, I assert that it is a valid and potentially very useful technique if your product is lucky enough to have the prerequisites. New iPhones are hard to get The blogosphere is full of speculation about whether or not Apple deliberately made the iPhone…

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Why Amazon Kindle might succeed where others have failed

Posted in Amazon, Analysis, Business, Technology, User Experience on February 27th, 2008 by leodirac – Comments Off on Why Amazon Kindle might succeed where others have failed

Amazon has a history of facilitating disruptive change. First by selling books online, they demonstrated the advantages of a well-run online store. Then with music, movies and just about everything else, they have shown that centralizing inventory and customer experience allows for reduced costs and an improved experience over a traditional distributed retail model. Today, Amazon Web Services is starting to disrupt IT operations similarly by providing a higher quality service at lower cost than most companies can manage themselves. They achieve these scale economies through centralization. With Kindle Amazon is attempting another disruptive change, this time in the way…

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Intellectual Property in the Music Industry

Posted in Analysis, Business, Music, Technology on February 13th, 2008 by leodirac – 2 Comments

[I wrote this for my excellent class on Open Innovation. With mere weeks to go until I finish my MBA, I haven’t found much time to write original stuff for this blog, so I’m recycling a bit.] The music recording industry is in trouble. Disruptive changes in music playback technology have seriously reduced demand for their mainstay business, physical CD sales. CD sales comprise 80% of the industry’s total revenue, but have dropped sharply in recent years. Last year sales dropped by 19%, and the channel is in danger of freefall as retailers start to re-allocate store space currently assigned…

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