Posts filed under “Digital Media”
WSJ and Barron’s have both introduced a slew of new content that is free (or temporarily free):
The WSJ home page is now divided into Subscribers: Personal Tech, Question of the Day, Deals & Deal Makers, Personal Finance and a variety of other content are behind out the sub-only firewall:
Same too for Barrons: Now free on the site are: Eric Savitz’ TECH TRADER DAILY BLOG; Randall W. Forsyth’s UP AND DOWN WALL STREET DAILY; Steven Sears’ THE STRIKING PRICE DAILY; and Michael Kahn’s GETTING TECHNICAL
The reviews for the iPhone are coming in, and they are breathless (see below).
Rather than add to the over-the-top-hype about the gorgeous little thing, I would rather think about what lessons can be drawn from its mere existence.
I believe there are quite a few practical things to be taken away from the development and marketing of this. An education is available to those companies, corporate mangements, engineers, inventors and investors who are paying attention:
1. Committees Suck: The old joke is that a Camel is a Horse designed by a committee. As we have seen all too often, what comes out of large corporations are bland-to-ugly items that (while functional and reliable) do not excite consumers.
When a company decides to break the committee mindset and give a great designer the reins, you get terrific products that sell well. The Chrysler 300 does not looks like it was designed by a corporate committee. Think of Chris Bangle’s vision for BMW — and its huge sales spike — and you can see what the upside is in having a visionary in charge of design.
Better pick a damned good one, though . . .
2. Present Interfaces Stink: How bad is the present Human Interface of most consumer items? Leaving the improving, but still too hard to use Windows aside for a moment, let’s consider the mobile phone market: It was so kludgy and ugly that the entire 100 million unit, multi-billion dollar industry now finds itself at risk of being completely bypassed, all because some geek from California wanted a cooler and easier to use phone.
What other industries may be at risk?
3. Industrial Design Matters: We have entered a period where industrial design is a significant element in consumer items. From the VW Bug to the iPod, good design can take a ho-hum ordinary product and turn it into a sales winner.
4. R&D is Paramount: While most of corporate America is slashing
R&D budgets (and buying back stock), the handful of companies who
have plowed cash back into R&D are the clear market leaders this
cycle: Think Apple, Google (Maps, Search), Toyota (Hybrid), Nintendo (Wii). A well designed, innovative product can create — or upend — an entire market. Even Microsoft did it with the X-box;
What other companies have the ability to disrupt an entire market?
5. Disdain for the Consumer can be Fatal: As we have seen with Dell, Home Depot, The Gap, Sears, etc., the consumer experience is more important than most corporate management seem to realize. Ignore the public at your peril.
What other lessons are there for companies in the business of designing products for consumers to use?
For the moment, let’s put the iPhone aside and answer the questions above: What markets, companies, products , segments are at risk due to their poor designs? (Use the comments to answer).
Note: Some of the commenters are missing the point of the post — this is about the business of creativity and innovation.
We are not looking for a discussion of Apple in general; Off topic comments will be unpublished.
Their sound is original — jangly roots-rock romp laced with bluegrass
and countrified leanings.
I agree with the reviewer who wrote that their bluesy debut album "fairly vibrates on DeLuca’s Dobro steel guitar and throaty wail."
DeLuca careens from influence to influence, paying homage to his predecessors and then going a step further.
The music is flavored with dollops of Jeff Buckley, Coldplay and
most of all, Bron Y-Aur Stomp Led Zeppelin.
I Trust You To Kill Me is one of those rare discs where there in not a single weak cut on the CD.
The band’s Myspace page has four songs to stream.
The band has been opening for the likes of Ben Folds and John Mayer. The next area show I could find is
Tue Jul 31st 2007, Bowery Ballroom, NY
While waiting for last night’s Soprano’s to start, I decided to pop in a DVD I had lying around: Steely Dan – The Making of Aja.
Since someone else is sure to bring it up in comments, let’s deal with the finale: Creator/writer/director David Chase made his bones adding a level of reality — Cinéma vérité — to his plotting and characters. He never liked neat endings, always leaves a level of ambiguity and uncertainty.
And while I didn’t love last night’s episode — it was just another episode, and not any way at all a special "finale" — I recognize what Chase attempted: He ended the show on a note of tension, uncertainty, and ambiguity. You know, just like real life. Hey, no one knows what will happen in the future, or what fate awaits us. He ended the show the same way . . .
Not that I really liked it — it was disappointingly slow, and except for Phil "Flat-Head" Leotardo, not a whole lot happened.
Where was I? Oh, yes.
Turns out its part of a series of DVDs titled "Classic Albums" series that aired originally on VH1. So, while waiting for the last episode to begin, I popped in this DVD I’ve had lying around.
– are just so damn good, it makes you wonder how the rest of their programming can be so goddamned awful. It was that much better than what you would expect from typical VH1 stuff.
If you are any type of Dan fan, you must go order this right now.
In fact, I was so impressed with the quality of the interviews, clips, and sound quality — I can’t recall the last time I did this — that, even as the DVD credits were rolling, I ordered four more DVDs (all $10 or less) from the same series.
I’ll update how these are at a latter date, but based on the Steely Dan DVD, and the high caliber of reviews at Amazon.com, I expect these all to be similarly excellent . . .