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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.

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.

Can Discounted Hardware Compete with Apple?

July 10, 2012

Microsoft Store in Danbury, CT


Global Apple stores are brimming with traffic with municipalities tripping over each other to get Apple to open stores in their areas. At the same time, the Microsoft Store in the Danbury Fair Mall in Connecticut had a fraction of the foot traffic of the nearby Apple Store this past weekend according to fellow TMC blogger Tom Keating. The good news for Steve Ballmer is Tom likes the layout of the Microsoft store better. These are his exact thoughts:


My next thought was, "It's better." The Apple Store has this clean simplistic design with lots of white and clear plastic, but it lacks the fun factor and has this almost cold, hospital, sterile-like atmosphere.

It's Time for Apple to Allow Default iOS Browser Choice

June 29, 2012

Google’s Chrome browser was released for iOS today and it is getting good reviews. After becoming the leading desktop browser it has also become the number one free app on the iTunes App Store. But there are two big problems for Chrome running on Apple’s mobile devices. First of all the browser is slower than Safari because Apple doesn’t allow other developers access to its Nitro Java engine.

Nexus Q: Google's Lateral Move into the Home Entertainment Ecosystem

June 28, 2012

There has been massive speculation regarding Google’s decision to purchase Motorola Mobility. Many, including the author believed this move was primarily driven by patents but it is becoming clear that even if this was the case, the search leader has looked to Cupertino as a guide and decided it too needs to be a hardware company building out ecosystems. Yes, Google, a company which makes most of its revenue via auctioning ads - having no brick and mortar stores, is getting beaten in terms of market cap and sales growth by Apple, a company which relies on malls and physical stores for a good part of its revenue.

Google obviously thinks it can take Apple on and while most of the tech sphere is focusing on the company’s Nexus 7 tablet, I find it only mildly interesting.

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