iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business
Its been lying in my bookshelf for a long time now. But after finishing Stealing MySpace I wanted to continue reading about the successful companies borne in the IT era from the 70th, beginning small and becoming huge! Not that MySpace was borne in the 70th but how a small team can create something that really breaks new ground. Something that iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business
illustrate well. How Steve Jobs in his own way and with some timing and luck did three times, to three different industry’s. Computers, animated films and finally music! Yet the book didn’t stretched to talk about the birth of the iPhone.
Before I read this book I was a huge fan of Steve Jobs, and afterwards I’m even a bigger fan. Sure it gives a somewhat neutral view of the twists and turns of Steve Jobs business carriers and life. Still it feels as if the authors are as much in love with him as described by some of the people they interviewed in the book.
And even if some parts didn’t painted a pretty picture of Steve, I still had a hard time stop reading. It was a long time since I was into a book as this one. Some chapters were more fast pace than others. I got the same feeling as when I watch Triumph of the Nerds and Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet by Robert X. Cringely. A sort of nostalgic and exaltedly feeling of the whole history of a industry. I just wanted to have been there, when it all happened.
I knew Steve Jobs were a special character before I read this book, but it really become more clear how. The way he demands perfection and utter loyalty as well as the best from the best. In many ways his the opposite of me, but I just would like to be more like him. Not on a personal level but professional. He is a part of history, and this book shows why, and it becomes clear why he has earned his place there. This book will be interesting for people who like business books with an interest in the computer and entertainment industry I think. He really grew more in my eyes after reading this book and it is with sadness that I read the last page.
[If you allready read it, please let me know what you though?]
And idea that spawned during the weekend. Today I will start with something I call DeView, which esentially is a Review by me. I will review all sorts of things, usually video games, music and books I consume. I simply give my view on the things I write about. And I will see how this will evolve the more I write.
One of the big thinks in technology and software business is Killer App. Usually for software or games it is that application or game that a reason why people invest in a bit of hardware. For example some consider Halo 3 or Gears of War as typical killer apps for the Xbox 360 once they came out. The game industry still talking and waiting for the killer app for Playstation 3 that will make sales of the console take off. Another old example is the spreadsheet for the early computers which transformed computers into efficient office tools.
The killer apps are those application that comes ones in a million, something that truly motivation why we should invest in say new hardware or machines. But with more and more application is created each year, in different forms, it’ll be harder and harder as with everything to breakthrough. With more devices and even more smaller application that becomes connected from start, maybe we’re into a change. Not were one “Killer app is king”, but the sum off all the mini-apps. Take the iPhone, that don’t have One application that makes people buy it, but some part the brand, and the other the sum of all the cool apps. And with the introduction Apple Apps, the mini-apps continue to increase. As does the motivation to buy the phone, since its one of the only phone with so many small application developers. I think people today want more than just one reason to buy a new device, they will look at the sum of the greatest applications.
Found this video yesterday. In just three and a half minutes it illustrate the changes the society have gone through when it come to advertising and how we react to it.
In the past, advertising must have been much easier. A limited amount of brands, not to much competition. Today its another ballgame. The channels have expanded and so have the means of using them, as well as the competition. An evolution that have contributed to marketers re-thinking and becoming even more aggressive in how they push their message into our brains. One example is using “smart” (un-ethical?) methods to print brands in our brains at a very early age. Nowadays, even before we are borne, our parents get bombarded with messages and they try to get into our mind from the day we are borned. Those “Persuaders” won’t stop for nothing to reach us and lock us in.
Even with all the new theories and study s that show how marketers must be smarter and rethink how they reach people and build loyal customers, they still doesn’t seem to want to let go of they old ways of marketing. Banners for example is still a big part of the internet and its economy, but everytime I’ve through work tried it, its been a big disappointment. Instead I try to focus on building a top notch service with great content that people love and by them self want to recommend to friends. Building tools that enable loyal customers to easy tell their friends, instead of spamming and scaring potential customers away.
Also take the time and energy to go out and talk to your customer, on blogs and forums. Not just advertise, but truly talk to them about everything. And not only your products and brand, but everything. Be authentic and engage. The tools to communicate with, not just to your customer, is better, cheaper and easier then ever before. Use them, but don’t abuse them.
A few month ago Apple launched an SDK for developers to create Apps (applications) for the iPhone and iPod Touch. And it became an instant hit! Just go to Youtube and search for “iphone apps“, you get thousands of results on different newly developed Apps.
Basically it enables anyone to develop what ever application or game to the iphone and ipod touch, and through Apples platform make it available for sales. Today there is many thousand different Apps available, and new are constantly added. Its become one of the new big things! The simple step of enabeling anyone to develop to the iPhone is a very important key to the success. Its become somewhat of a standard to open up to developers to develop the platform through APIs and SDKs. And for Apple it paid off! The fans of the iPhone wanted tools to create new things for their favorite new toy, and Apple responded. Now they have a countdown to the one billions downloaded app. Amazing how popular iPhone Apps have become, in such a short time.
Countdown Billion Apps
The years 2008 and 2009 are the years everyone talk about Twitter. Before it was blogs and social media like Facebook, but now its all about micro-blogging. Everywhere I look on the internet there is news about Twitter, on how to utilise it best for business, connecting or marketing. Everyone seems to tweet, but is anyone really reading them, or do we just want to send out messages and not read others? I have found that it can be a great way to filter what news I want to read and get it all sent to me. Also how I can connect all my different web service like Facebook, my blog and Twitter. I even setup one of GamersGate were that automatically create a tweet everytime we add a new game.
Twitter have definetly become the number one micro-blogging platform. To view a great presentation about Twitter go to TED.com. A form of extension of blogging were you simply write a 140 characters on what you do that moment. Now comes Flutter the next evolution of Twitter. Is it for real or is it not? Its up to you to decide 😉
From the 1th of April 2009 a new anti-piracy law became active in Sweden call Ipred. This law enable record labels, book authors and publishers as well as movie companies to legally hunt people who pirate copyrighted material online. Its been a big debate here in Sweden regarding this law aswell as the FRA law
Now the Ipred law is in place, and the first thing some book publishers did was to sue some people who had enabled a collection of audiobooks for illegal file sharing. A more interesting effect of this new law was the overall drop in web traffic here in Sweden from the 1th April. We at GamersGate noticed a 20 % increase in both traffic and sales from Sweden the same day. It give some perspective on how much of internet traffic due to piracy. Even services as video and music streaming have increased the amount of overall web traffic, piracy still holds a big part.
It will be interesting to see if steaming games services like OnLive will affect web traffic if they reach out to the mass-market. The company behind this service claim it will work even if you don’t have a top of the line broadband connection. It can’t be more than streaming video, but the real problem to solve is all the computer power required to host this kind of service.
Over all, I think services like this which enable you to work, despite the hardware performance of the computer you use, as long as you have an internet connection will increase. There is only a couple of issues that have to be resolved first. Security and high quality among others.
Today at work we discussed the news that the new music-streaming service Spotify start selling music. Which made us discussed how market territories have changes due to the internet. Still in the music, film and game industries the different countrys (territories) matters. Something I work with everyday when a the rights to distribute a game can belong to different publisher depending on territores. Europe, America or some other countries mostly. For pysical products this is understandelbe. But for us who sell digital prodocts and have no technical limitations, only ownership rights. It should make things easier for us, but unfortunatly it doesn’t.
Todays digitally territories instead are Facebook, mySpace, Twitter and other social media. The boundaries have transerfed to the digital space and its emerging new markets. Segmentation and demographic for marketers have moved to the digital space where sites, interest and new belonging are the interesting factors. Its more who you are and what you do online thats interetsting than where you live and your exact age or gener. On the web, we be our real self, and find new interest dispite old preconceptions.