Life 1969, Milton Glaser
Speaking of blues… “Schumpeter” of The Economist has this to say about Microsoft and Windows 8:
This is why Windows 8’s poor performance matters. It was an attempt to solve the innovator’s dilemma by creating an operating system and a user interface for both PCs and mobiles. Mr Ballmer hoped that consumers would want to move effortlessly from PCs to tablets to smartphones—and that Microsoft would be able to invade the mobile markets while simultaneously reigniting demand for its core PC products. But so far the reverse has happened: Microsoft has reinforced suspicions that it does not understand hand-held devices while simultaneously alienating its core PC users. It is possible that Microsoft will be able to solve this problem with future iterations of Windows 8. But it is looking likely that the two types of device need different operating systems. Microsoft’s biggest rival, Apple, has kept the two devices separate. That bodes ill for Mr Ballmer’s strategy. The comparison with New Coke actually understates Microsoft’s problem. Nothing forced Coca-Cola to introduce New Coke: tongues and throats do not change much. And all the firm had to do to rectify its error was to bring back the old version. Technology firms, in contrast, must innovate to survive. Restoring the start button will not restore Microsoft to its former glory.
It’s not that Microsoft isn’t trying to innovate, it’s that the type of innovation they chose to move forward with was ill-conceived. And this may well end up hastening their long-term woes. It’s the proverbial “rock and hard place”. It’s a textbook example of why innovators have dilemmas.
Great post by Chuck Klosterman on my hometown team, the Cleveland Browns. My favorite excerpts:
How do you appease a fan base that is both highly critical and eternally infatuated? It’s like dating a woman who hates you so much she will never break up with you, even if you burn down the house every single autumn.
This is the central dichotomy of Cleveland football: No other fan base is so deeply loyal and so self-consciously negative at the same time. Locally, there just seems to be a universal belief that — somehow, either by human error or random chance — the Browns will fail at whatever they try.
I don’t think they’re building chemical weapons in Berea. But they might be. I can’t say for sure.
Captures the scene well.
Apple Plans Fresh New Showcase Store for San Francisco
I used to lick these for days during the summer and ruin my tongue
Om Malik arguing that the New York Times should fight the scrappy news upstarts not by playing their game, but by rising above:
Now, if they can actually overcome their angst — and it hurts me to say this — they can change the conversation in the media business away from the increasingly shallow content and instead bring the focus back to quality and in-depth journalism, which is their stock in trade. If the New York Times management were feeling bold, it would put $25 million to work on creating 100 other Snow Falls and basically change the reader’s expectations of what long-form digital content and journalism are in the new century.
Snow Fall is fairly amazing.
Farhad Manjoo on the new Square Stand:
Translation: Credit cards will be here for a good long time. This isn’t a novel admission; Dorsey has always said that he doesn’t think plastic will go away anytime soon. But the launch of the Square Stand—a device engineered to improve the credit card experience—shows how deeply Square is betting on credit cards. It’s as if, after building the Model T, Henry Ford also spent a lot of money to build a faster horse, just to hedge his bets. In this way, Square Stand prompts a deeper question: What if, as wonderful as Square Wallet is, we just never move beyond credit cards? What if people find faster horses good enough?
Not press. Weird. with Megan at Google I/O 2013 – View on Path.
2001: A Space Odyssey, the Comic
None of this means that Tesla should abandon its goal of building the world’s best electric cars. By competing on service, style, and the dependability of its vehicles, it can sell a lot of cars while also letting rivals use its core technology. But to be a great tech company, it’s no longer enough to just make great products. You’ve also got to let others build stuff on top of your technology—you’ve got to build a platform. Elon Musk gets this, and that’s why his company isn’t emulating just one tech behemoth. Tesla is Apple on the outside, but it’s Google at its core.
I love the concept of using your would-be rivals to build infrastructure for you.