Adobe’s Subscription Model & Why Platform Owners... →
…jobs we hire a PC to do are being increasingly done by dedicated devices. If Adobe wants to be relevant in a world where users interact with as many as five different devices in a day, then a per-device licensing model is clearly unsustainable. Enter the SaaS model. Users can use Adobe products on as many devices as they wish. It is, ultimately, an obvious and necessary shift, and kudos...
Google Glass review (Explorer Edition) →
In reality, this Explorer Edition isn’t supposed to be thought of in that way. The current version of Glass is intended for developers and a lucky few others, and as a research project, it is a fascinating one. Developers will want to get their hands on this ASAP and, frankly, we hope that they do because we can’t wait to see what they can do with it. Google Glass has lot of...
All The Tiny Changes Hiding in Facebook's Latest... →
…FB added a handful of delicate tweaks and turns to the site—some you might not have noticed yet.
Netflix Tops Other Apps in Peak Internet Usage →
During peak periods of internet use in the US, Netflix constitutes 33% of all downstream traffic, which means content that goes into the device instead of out. That’s more than Google’s YouTube (14.8%), BitTorrent (5.9%), Apple’s iTunes (3.9%), Amazon Video (1.8%), and Facebook (1.5%), among others. Netflix isn’t as dominant in mobile internet use, where it has just 2.7% to YouTube’s 31%, but...
eBay to Customize Experiences →
“…data will enable us to drive better experiences for our customers. It also will allow us to help merchants of all sizes drive deeper consumer engagement and loyalty in a connected commerce world. We have massive amounts of data. And we are just beginning to leverage our data to drive innovative, personalized customer experiences. Our advantage is not just the amount of data we have…But...
Sapphire to Replace Gorilla Glass? →
Sapphire, a crystalline form of aluminum oxide, probably won’t ever be as cheap as Gorilla Glass, the durable material from Corning that’s used to make screens on iPhones and other smartphones. A Gorilla Glass display costs less than $3, while a sapphire display would cost about $30. But that could fall below $20 in a couple of years thanks to increased competition and improving technology, says...
Improving Amazon Recommendations
Amazon recommendations worked for certain categories like books – people with similar tastes bought similar books and the set diagram approach (affinity analysis) to recommendations worked for them. However, Amazon expanded to include more items, various suppliers and it is time recommendations improve along the business. Amazon has two sets of users – people who go there with a specific item in...
Computational Complexity of Air Travel Planning →
For the weekend!
Flat Pixels →
Update: Sacha Grief wrote a wonderful post on the battle between flat design and skeuomorphism. But a more subtle yet much deeper problem lies in the very concept of functionally skeuomorphic interfaces, independently of whether their appearance is realist or not. That problem is that when borrowing elements from a design’s previous incarnation, you often also bring its limitations along...
Happiest City in the US →
We plotted over 10 million geotagged tweets from 2011, coloring each point by the average happiness of nearby words (detail on how we calculate happiness can be found in this article published in PLoS ONE) Seattle is 65th happiest city in US! And Seattle is not suicide capital of US!
Trend Against Skeuomorphic Textures and Effects →
The trend away from skeuomorphic special effects in UI design is the beginning of the retina-resolution design era. Our designs no longer need to accommodate for crude pixels. Glossy/glassy surfaces, heavy-handed transparency, glaring drop shadows, embossed text, textured material surfaces — these hallmarks of modern UI graphic design style are (almost) never used in good print graphic design.
What a Decade of Super Bowl Advertising Looks Like →
Why the auto glut? According to Hyundai’s vice president of marketing in a recent New York Timesarticle, it goes beyond the obvious need to make money — it’s all about when you make money. Super Bowl ads sell cars at the beginning of the year, making it less likely that an automaker will start slow and have to dig itself out for the next 10 or 11 months.
Gradual engagement is the process of moving a user through an application or service – actually engaging with it, and seeing its benefits. With gradual engagement, new users are not just presented with a registration form and then dropped off a cliff. Instead, registration is either postponed, or handled behind the scenes and the first time experience is focused on giving people an understanding...
Expect More From Product Managers →
No matter how good your instincts are, you don’t really know that adding this new feature is going to be an enormous hit with your users. Sometimes you’re right, and the feature is a game changer, but just as often, an unvalidated feature has a negative ROI. Good product managers do as much work as possible ahead of time to figure out if they’re spending their resources on...
Apple doesn't need iPhone Mini
There is one factor that could mitigate Samsung’s lead over Apple, according to the analyst, and that’s if Apple releases a so-called ‘iPhone mini’ to compete with Samsung portfolio lower down the device price range. A cheaper iPhone has been rumoured for years but the fabled iPhone Mini remains fictional for now — although Reuters notes the rumour of Apple making a smaller and cheaper iPhone to...
Keeping Safari a Secret →
Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist then. Nobody at Apple was stupid enough to blog about work, so what was I worried about? Server logs. They scared the hell out of me.
From Max Rudberg’s ‘If you see a UI walkthrough, they blew it’ [Clear, Rinse, and Solar] These apps have chosen to reduce details to achieve a minimal UI, but in the process the UI has also become harder to use. Unfortunately a UI walkthrough is quite an inelegant way to explain the core functionality of an app. It can be a frustrating obstacle before you can dive into an...
US E-Book Market →
…digital-music revenue in the United States, not including streaming services, amounted to $2.1 billion in 2011. By comparison, e-books spending is vastly smaller — totaling just $21.5 million in the same year. Total eBook net sales revenue for 2011 was $21.5 million, a gain of 332.6% over 2010; this represents 3.4 million eBook units sold in 2011, up 303.3 %.
VeriFone's Sail exits from Mobile Payments
Payment services have very small margin - traditionally 2.75% per transaction. Not many businesses can survive with that margin; cost of acquiring new users, fluctuating transaction volume from small vendors would make it hard for any company to survive. VeriFone exited from mobile payments. Square was one of its main competitor who focuses solely on mobile transaction business. Paypal,...
Comprehensive Smart Digital Assistant? →
Something we were dabbling for last one year - using contextual information to augment missing data. With additional layer of data, you can provide different and interesting context to monotonous data. The patent describes a smart to-do list that combines natural language processing for easy text entry, with contextual information sourced from your device to fill in all the little details that...
Tablet sales to raise at eReader's expense? →
Long-term, IDC believes that Windows 8 and Windows RT will pull its own marketshare out of the iOS and Android markets, going from 1% of the market in 2011 to 2.9% in 2012, and as high at 10.2% by 2016. Tablet sales gaining traction was expected. However, this study pegs the revised estimate at eReader’s expense. This could be bad for Amazon because based on previous analysis, we know...
Making Data Entry Elegant - Square CC Form →
Entering credit card information on mobile / tablet is painful. However, Square has a beautiful form. As soon as the full credit card is in place, the text field zooms to a small size, showing just the last 4 digit (nice privacy and use of space). In place of the large text field they place others for the date, CVV/CIN/whatever you care to call it, and zip. As you fill in the info, you are...
Vertical Off Canvas Adaptive Designs - My... →
I finally decided on vertical off canvas adaptive design for our web app. While I was researching on the pattern, I came across My Starbuck Signature. It is a nicely built page. What is more interesting is that if you don’t make a selection and scroll further it will prompt you to slow down and make a selection. You won’t notice that feature right away but then it is one of those...
Election and the inner nerd →
My blog is not for discussing politics but I have to highlight Nate Silver’s 538. I was following it just to see the model he has developed used statistics and probability using various data points like poll and economic variables. Interesting thing to note is that he doesn’t use Fisher’s frequentist approach. It satisfied the inner nerd in me who thrives on data and numbers....
App Engagement & Monetization Models
Flurry redid a similar report they published three years before. It is pretty interesting to see the categories in different quadrants but not surprised at all. It shouldn’t affect your app but knowing where you are should help you monetize better. If you are publishing a personalization app, it won’t make sense to have in-app subscription. Rather, you would charge for download. ...
Socially-Transmitted Functionality →
Last week I finalized the behavior and this week we implemented this feature in our apps. We did not invest a lot on the artwork like Polor but we have few ideas on how to make this and couple of other features rich. Usually you don’t get a visual cue about these features. You can argue that these are nice-to-have and users can totally live without but they are great candidates to add a...
Windows RT - No one knows what is going on! →
Surface with Windows RT is not a computer. It is mobile computing device, like an iPad. It is a tablet, a hybrid device that bridges the gap between real PCs and media tablets, where you can work and play. … But any excitement Microsoft generated around this launch will be squandered when people realize they just bought something that looks like Windows 8 but comes with even fewer apps...
Amazon's Retail Leadership - Price Leadership,... →
The analysis doesn’t include sales tax and affect of sales tax on price margin.
iPad owns tablet-based online browsing
Apple owns about 98.10% of all unique impressions on onswipe enabled websites. Apple’s massive share was followed by Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Motorola’s Xoom, which managed 1.53 percent and 0.21 percent of tablet-based traffic, respectively. Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire came in fourth with 0.11 percent. (Source) Apple’s iOS owns 75.12 percent of total mobile...
Facebook is gaining steam on online advertising →
Overall nnline advertising share is increasing - Google is still dominant but Facebook is gaining more marketshare. Facebook owned 11% of all online advertising. Portals are losing business as display advt is flattening. Here is the list of companies that is stealing business away from portals.
Mobile Design Fragmentation? →
When people talk about mobile, they always bring up fragmentation. But if fragmentation is so important we have to look at it in detail. We have to break it down more. Mobile phones are made of two things: hardware and software. Hardware: phones used to be all kinds of form factors but today they have converged on black rectangles. Development: there are at least 12 operating systems on the...
The New Multi-Screen World →
TV no longer commands our full attention. In a typical day 77% of viewers use another device while they are watching TV. Because of this, a business’s TV strategy should be closely aligned and integrated with the marketing strategies for digital devices. Makes me think that there could be a platform play here; what if you could help business continue the conversation from one media to...
Predicting Load Fluctuations
When you start a service, you will not know when and how users are going to use your product. However, there is a cost for running a service. I thought I could get better number for my budget and financial model by following usage pattern. It will also help with scalability planning. Why usage pattern? I want to eliminate under utilization of the resources first. It is an easy savings. I know...
The Mobile Transition →
As more companies see their audiences shift to mobile or begin as mobile-only users, they don’t have a lot of time to make the transition to mobile themselves. Lot of companies, like Twitter, are using their web to drive traffic to mobile or direct their search traffic to mobile first. One problem though is that companies like Facebook, Zynga, etc. haven’t figured out how to make...
Bing claims that they beat Google 2:1 in their tests. I always liked Bing for their local queries. It presents the data very well but Google is catching up on it. Video - Bing definitely. Google is better with direct queries and fresh indexes; the couple of new pages I hosted as part of my blog and startup turned up in Google first.
Twitter beats Facebook in US Mobile Ad Revenue →
I didn’t expect this but then is amplifies why Facebook is scrambling on mobile strategy and the status of their stocks. Also, Twitter generated more ad revenue through mobile devices than web. Other big story is Pandora generating more revenue than Twitter and Facebook; they are also estimated to make more ad revenue than Twitter and Facebook next year. With revamped iOS devices,...
Facebook saw the light and embraced Objective-C
Facebook achieved three main benefits by embracing native code for its iOS app. Foremost, the app now opens faster, without the lag that many users complained about. Second, scrolling is smoother. Third, photos are uploaded instantly. [Source] I actually gave Facebook as an example 6 months back when I was asked why Objective-C and not HTML5. Facebook has seen the light now. I could actually...
Stop Using The Cup of Coffee vs. $0.99 App Analogy →
Twitter API v1.1 →
[My Friday morning]
Photo Map is not a step towards business model
The newest version of Instagram is pinning its hopes on geo-tagging, which is masked in a feature called Photo Map. And with this release, the company might have taken a first tentative step towards a unique business model. (GigaOM) I disagree with how the new update created a business model for Instagram - it is an interesting view but nothing sort of ‘new business model emerging’...
Just a reminder to tighten up the policies and procedures for customer service. IT security is not just firewalls and ID systems; social engineering is the most overlooked aspect of security. You can pretty much walk up to a receptionist and ask for a temporary badge to get into an office or walk to IT Helpdesk and get ‘your’ password reset. An Apple worker with knowledge of the...
Follow-up: Can you make money out of freemium... →
A study backing up my previous post - freemium model can make money if you have a monetizing strategy. According to a BII analysis of App Store data, 93 percent of the top 100 grossing iPhone apps use in-app commerce. Of those 100 grossing apps, two-thirds are free. As most the top grossing apps are games, in-app commerce is most commonly used to sell in-game currency. However, companies...
Part 2: Netflix Recommendations →
If you are looking for a ranking function that optimizes consumption, an obvious baseline is item popularity. The reason is clear: on average, a member is most likely to watch what most others are watching. However, popularity is the opposite of personalization: it will produce the same ordering of items for every member. Thus, the goal becomes to find a personalized ranking function that is...
Network throughput nuances in mobile development
One of the issues I am constantly seeing with mobile developers over last few years is that their applications are not optimized for the small and unreliable data pipes. Most of mobile programmers starts out programming for desktop. In desktop, you constantly do not have to think about throughput and reliability the messages between client and the server amongst other things. Your application will...
Making a case for smaller iPad →
I am seeing more interest in smaller version of iPad. With iPhone and iPad, Apple bridged the gap in price range with iPod shuffle / nano and with free 3G phones from the carriers respectively. iPad ‘Mini’ could do the same for iPad and defend against Android / Windows / Kindle tables that are sub $300.  If Apple releases ‘Mini’ iPad, it could get really interesting...
Can you make money out of freemium model?
I was playing around with financial models over the weekend and this week to answer the question: can you make money out of freemium model? The answer so far is: it depends. It depends on the business, objective, value the product provides, infrastructure and how you are planning to monetize your product. The biggest mistake one can make is to take one of the outliers like Dropbox, etc. as a norm...