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Consumer Electronics

VCs disrupted by Angels thanks to Cloud, Apple, Google and Facebook

August 23, 2012

How too many investors can lead us to irrational exuberance 2.0

Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures is one of the most well-respected VCs around and does an amazing job with his AVC blog – it is in many ways a blueprint to starting a company. He has had so many good posts over the years it is tough to count.

In a recent interview with Technology Review he made some alarming comments which you should be aware of.

Protecode: Eliminating the Pitfalls of Software Development

August 20, 2012

Software development productivity has evolved tremendously over the decades as the cost of computing has plummeted rapidly while the cost of human capital has accelerated. Of course there are some anomalies in the “human capital” part of the curve as development can now take place in countries like India where wages are lower than say Silicon Valley. Still, when plotted against a dollar per unit of computing power curve which is exponentially decreasing, it continues to be much more expensive to hire programmers than to add processor cores or to increase clock speed.

Case in point, a few decades back when programming an IBM mainframe, it didn’t matter that programmers had to batch their programs using punch cards and wait for the computer’s results because you weren’t going to add more mainframe processing power unless you won corporate Lotto.

Not So Fast - Yes We Should Protect Innovation

August 20, 2012


The tech news of the day includes Google using its Motorola Mobility patents to sue Apple. Patent suits aren’t new but we are getting to a point where the news flow relating to patent litigation seems to be overshadowing the news relating to new products. The cost of these suits isn’t trivial and there is risk of significant distraction for all the companies involved. It seems like the industry would benefit from a tech patent truce.

Smartphone Margin Decreases versus Beats by Dr. Dre

August 16, 2012

Recently I touched upon some of the differences between the automobile and tech spaces and in the past I have mentioned how Apple’s ability to price its products without discounting implies a stronger brand and moreover helps it sell in its retail stores which offer the same prices as online.

This doesn’t mean that Apple can sit still because we can expect an almost infinite supply of focused competitors.

Sure, many of them like RIM and Nokia are in decline and are retooling their product lines almost perpetually to become competitive. But beyond these examples we also have a slew of Japanese consumer electronics companies who have seen the golden age of TV come and go… Now they are focusing on exporting mobile devices to make a living.

Dunkin Donuts App Lets You Pay More Quickly

August 16, 2012


Allowing you to utilize a virtual credit card, the new Dunkin Donuts app available on iOS and Android allows you to send "gifts" electronically through text and Facebook for example. The app also functions as a nutritional guide and allows you to find the closest store.

While there has been much chatter about the Starbucks relationship with Square, Nigel Travis, Dunkin's CEO thinks that there will be a mix of payment options and he sees a future where voice integration plays a role in future apps.

Dunkin outsourced its app development to Digitas among others and Travis touted the company's ad budget - likely referencing the fact that this app will be getting some serious publicity in the future. The company expects to order 600 new stores globally in Korea, the west coast of the US, Latin America and "Even Europe," he says.

Although the popular east coast US coffee chain is late to the mobile app game, studies have shown that coffee shops whether they are Starbucks or Dunkin have loyal customers - who more than likely haven't switched loyalties because of the ability to order online via mobile device.

The upshot of the news is that it's more convenient to get your morning java fix regardless of the store you frequent and that mobile devices continue to boost productivity beyond the workplace.








TMC San Jose Video Interviews 2012

August 15, 2012

A few weeks back, my team and I went to Silicon Valley, CA to interview a number of companies in the technology and communications space. Officially the event is called the TMC Roadshow/Executive Editorial Open House. The goal of the event was to get a handle on what was new and exciting. Here you have a list of most of our interviews - some were video, some written and some haven't been processed yet.

There was a good mix of companies represented from cloud communications to cloud storage, testing, wireless, mobility and even webRTC.

Paul Singh, Chairman of DocSync details his company's innovative cloud syncing service



You'll also notice there is a strong mix of company sizes from some you might not of heard of to the largest of the large.





What the Auto Market can Teach us about Mobile

August 14, 2012

Have you ever heard from someone that they don’t like Starbucks coffee but they like the experience at the store so they go in, sit down and buy the coffee? It is quite a testament to the world’s largest coffee chain that they are able to lure in customers who don’t like their premium-priced primary product but are instead attracted to their comfortable seating areas and atmosphere replete with cushy couches and free WiFi.

The point here is people buy things for subtle reasons they may not consciously realize. But how you may ask does this translate into tech and cars?

Best Buy's Best Choice is to Evolve

July 31, 2012

This guest blog post is from TMC Senior Editor, Peter Bernstein, a respected analyst covering technology and communications for a number of years. Peter’s post addresses my recent comments about what Best Buy can do to make it in the new world of digital competition from the likes of Amazon and others.

WalMart, another “Big Box” national franchise that destroyed most local merchants and devastated Main Streets and property tax bases, has done quite well with people ordering online and picking things up at the store. This enables them to meet the competition on pricing and obtain additional spontaneous discretionary spending – a strategy our friends across the street at Costco have mastered.

In Order to Compete with Apple, You Need to BE Apple

July 30, 2012

The idea that Google, a company with an incredible business model, allowing them to potentially profit off every query they process on the web had to go out and buy a hardware company to get into manufacturing would have been unthinkable before the launch of the iPhone and iTunes App Store.

Consider the facts - since the launch of the iPhone in January of 2007, Apple stock has increased by just under 600% while Google has increased by about a paltry 20% in comparison. Click on the chart below to see the details for yourself. 



But lo and behold, we are now comfortable with Google in the hardware market and Microsoft has even launched its own Surface tablet.

Apple in NYC Makes Offers You Can't Refuse

July 30, 2012

Is it better to have an Apple store in your mall which doesn’t share revenue or not have them at all?

This seems to be the important question the MTA had to contend with in the months leading up to Apple becoming the winning bidder for a prime location in Grand Central Station.

Apple under Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, the company had a reputation for being great negotiators. And this won’t change after the details of Apple’s Grand Central Station store in New York emerge.

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