You pay $150 billion for that, and it’s a lot of risk. You might never make any money. The Clippers make money, and they’re going to make more money. As a multiple of earnings, you’re paying less than you are for almost every tech stock. You have very limited downside because there will never be more than two teams in Los Angeles. — Steve Ballmer, comparing investing his money in the Los Angeles Clippers versus tech stocks.
It’s kind of like software. Version 1 was the failed attempt at keeping the Sonics, version 2 was the Kings, version 3 was the Bucks. — Steve Ballmer, describing his attempts to buy an NBA franchise. Version 4, of course, was his successful bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.
The "New" Nintendo 3DS -
While it’s nice to see a Nintendo release a faster version of its popular console with better controls, I can’t help be confused by how Nintendo chose to announce it. The New Nintendo 3DS is backwards compatible with older 3DS games, but it will also have its own exclusive titles. Is it supposed to be its own, new device, or not? If it is, I worry that Nintendo is shooting itself in the foot by not coming out with a bigger bang and a new name. This new device is an even smaller incremental jump than from the Wii to the Wii U, and anecdotally, most people I’ve asked over the last few years didn’t realize that those are two different systems.
Everything is just fine at Nintendo. Pay no attention to the weird repackaged half-product releases.
Email on the Go -
Still, people continue to read more email on Apple-manufactured devices than any other device or platform. According to the study, Mac computers, iPhones and iPads were used to open 358 million SendGrid-delivered emails in the last year, compared to 320 million emails on Windows.
While the data is Europe-specific in this case, it’s interesting to think/see how many people primarily interact with email on their phones and/or tablets now. Certainly, it’s the main way I do. Since I always have one of those devices on me.
MSN Messenger is finally shutting down after 15 years
I used all the IM services back in the day, but MSN Messenger was the only one I could not get into. I think I just hated their people/user icons. So bad.
For Hollywood, Not All Box Office Dollars Are Equal -
The actual revenue value for Hollywood studios of a box office dollar—the only financial data point typically reported publicly—varies widely. In China, where practically no one buys DVDs—at least not legitimately—and digital and TV distribution businesses are minimal, studios receive only about 27 cents on the box office dollar, according to internal studio analyses viewed by The Wall Street Journal. In the U.S., with its comparatively robust post-theatrical businesses, $1 of box office translates into about $1.75 of total revenue over a decade.
The recent rhetoric out of Hollywood seems to center around how well films are doing overseas. Forget what you see in the domestic box office, they say. Which is misdirection, at best. Bullshit, at worst.
End the Tyranny of 24/7 Email -
Just in time for the Labor Day holiday in the United States, Clive Thompson dives into the thing that will ruin the holiday for so many:
Why would less email mean better productivity? Because, as Ms. Deal found in her research, endless email is an enabler. It often masks terrible management practices.
When employees shoot out a fusillade of miniature questions via email, or “cc” every team member about each niggling little decision, it’s because they don’t feel confident to make a decision on their own. Often, Ms. Deal found, they’re worried about getting in trouble or downsized if they mess up.
This seems exactly right. I’d venture to guess that most email that is sent in the work environment doesn’t need to be sent. But it is as a way to cover one’s own ass.
As Thompson continues:
In contrast, when employees are actually empowered, they make more judgment calls on their own. They also start using phone calls and face-to-face chats to resolve issues quickly, so they don’t metastasize into email threads the length of “War and Peace.”
This is basic behavioral economics. When email is seen as an infinite resource, people abuse it. If a corporation constrains its use, each message becomes more valuable — and employees become more mindful of how and when they write.
So maybe the idea isn’t to limit the characters one can write in an email, maybe it’s to give people a quota of total emails sent each month. If they hit it, better find another way to message your colleagues. Or better yet, work harder not to hit the limit!
The four stages of life, via
The Quirks of Smallness -
Joe Pinsker on a unique strategy employed by Herb Hyman, the owner of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf:
He determined his shops’ proximity to Starbucks to be such a boon that he began opening locations close to established Starbucks—a sly reversal of the national chain’s strategy. “We bought a Chinese restaurant right next to one of their stores and converted it, and by God, it was doing $1 million a year right away,” Hyman is quoted as saying in Starbucked.
Rather than run and hide from the big guy, or be terrified of his arrival into town, Coffee Bean started doing the opposite. And they thrived — undoubtedly because it helps to be next to Goliath when you’re trying to get people to pull for David.
(Also interesting data on small boards versus big boards — which makes total sense.)
Roger Federer is one of the best.
The most interesting thing about Instagram’s new app, Hyperlapse, isn’t that it’s a stand-alone app, it’s that it’s only a lens.
A lot has been made in recent months of companies “unbundling” their apps to create simpler, more streamlined experiences for users. The jury is still very much out on this strategy actually working. But again, I don’t view the Instagram move with Hyperlapse as the same thing exactly.
The thing is, on the surface, there isn’t much to Hyperlapse itself. It’s a video camera which allows you to speed up the playback after shooting (there’s obviously a lot more going on behind the scenes to make this work and seem as simple as it does). You can then share those videos to either Facebook or Instagram (not Twitter, naturally and stupidly), but there is no Hyperlapse social element beyond this share functionality. The real social component of Hyperlapse stays on the existing Facebook social backbone (since Facebook also owns Instagram, of course). And even the editing beyond the playback speed occurs on Instagram still.
So in this regard, Hyperlapse is “only” a layer on top of those existing services. It’s sort of like a new lens you might attach to your camera – albeit a tricked-out lens that can speed up time!
I think this secondary app strategy is a much more clever one than the typical “unbundling” one. Just look at the App Store top lists now; there are dozens of apps for altering the output of existing popular apps – Vine, Snapchat, and yes, Instagram, amongst others. Why wouldn’t the app-maker want to play in this space as well? The end result is just making their core app more popular. And they get to remain in control of the user experience.
Not a stand-alone app, a stand-along app.
As an aside, in my mind, the oddest thing about Hyperlapse is that it does something that not even its parent does: work natively on the iPad.
(Written on my iPhone)
Star Wars: Episode VII by Sahin Düzgün
This would be a pretty amazing poster. (Complete with J.J. lens-flare.)
The only way to break out is to gamble — take a chance with that first pick, if you wanna dramatically improve your team. That’s why I wanted Manziel but I was the only guy who wanted him. I listened to everybody. And I’m… not… happy… — Dallas Cowboys owner (and GM) Jerry Jones, talking to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, about his grief over not drafting Johnny Manziel.