Category Archives: Strategy

Carriers: We are here to help!

MWC being in full swing, has brought a truck load of new product launches and partnerships(too many that they start blending with each other to form one amorphous blob). But what caught my eye was an announcement from Jason Donovan, an AT&T executive on how it is considering a way to let app developers pay the cost of the data traffic associated with its usage instead of passing on the burden to subscribers. AT&T believes that it will roll out this service sometime in 2013, and that there is already rising interest from companies that hope to rely on this the feature to incentivize customer adoption. I believe AT&T is right in that there are firms who believe this to be a good thing. And one among them would be Isis. Let me explain why, before delving in to why overall this has the potential to be a really crummy idea. Continue reading

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On the road with Google Wallet

I rode about 900 miles in the last four days, cutting across Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to be together with my family for Christmas. I figured this would be a good time to put my new Galaxy Nexus and the Google Wallet app through its paces. Following are my impressions from it, which as a whole was very cool and satisfying. But (and there is always a but..) it also brought to surface some serious handicaps, which though not Google’s fault, could bring its wallet initiative down like a lead balloon. Continue reading

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Apple’s next move, Courtesy of Siri –


Much has been written about Siri in the last one month. And a lot more, will. For those who want to learn about how Siri does what it does so well, this link should help. It does a number of things quite well today: its natural language processing capabilities, and its ability to interface with more and more third party apps – contacts, messaging, calendar, maps to name a growing few. And a Siri powered iTV experience just might be around the corner. That being said, what interests me is not what Siri the virtual assistant can do for me, or the million or so proud owners of an iPhone4S. What does interest me is what Siri could end up being, for the millions of others around them who may or may not even own an iPhone. Continue reading

How Microsoft killed Courier

This is a story about how Microsoft, encountering a disruptive product from within, opted to kill it fearing that it will cannibalize its OS profits. It is so rare that a company of its size can foster the spirit of innovation that it breeds disruptive ideas. And it is also indicative of the malaise that surrounds it that led it to smother it, instead of encouraging disruptive products even when it threatens to cannibalize existing product lines or profits. And then later to watch the same disruption take shape outside its borders and watch its profits erode. This is the story of the Courier Tablet. Read the CNET Story here.

Less is More

TL;DR Do but a few things, but do them extremely well. And you will be rewarded by employees who are focused, and customers who are enchanted.

Do one thing and one thing alone, and do it well. It’s the startup mantra, and it is seared in to an entrepreneur’s brain along with “Stay Lean.” and “Always be closing.” And whenever someone has strayed from it, they have both lost focus and spread themselves too thin, a trait termed too dangerous even for established players and lethal for startups. Continue reading