There is no way Marissa sells. I actually am starting to feel a bit more bullish about YHOO…. the future of advertising lays in product innovation, and I think she can infuse Yahoo is the DNA to make it happen.
“Frustrated with poor results, he decided to go off script. He started spending one-on-one meetings talking to his reports about their lives, instead of their tasks, and productivity shot through the roof. “When you sit across a table from someone, ask them ‘What’s going on in your life?’ That will always remove more hurdles than asking them ‘What’s blocking you at work?’” he said.”—
I’m surprised this is being presented as revolutionary. At the first 1:1 I have with everyone who works for me, I start off by saying that 1:1s are not for status updates, they are for coaching and therapy. We usually leave the office and go to the park or get coffee; I want to hear how they are doing and feeling, what their goals are (so I can help make it happen), etc.
Building a successful platform business is like tending a greenhouse of rare plants. First, there is a seed of an idea, but without any nurturing, that seed will do nothing but lie dormant. Funding acts like sunlight to provide energy to live another day. Your audience is like water, and user acquisition can be either organic like rain or paid for like irrigation.
Network effects are the soil containing the nutrients that either foster or mitigate viral growth.
There are 5 C’s that dictate the quality of a platform’s soil: Connection, Communication, Collaboration, Curation and Community.
Most people’s understanding of network effects begins and ends with connections, representing the theoretical number of interaction pairs among the community.
As each participant, or node, is added to the connection graph, the theoretical number of connections doubles. The emphasis here is on theoretical, as connections alone do not translate to actual interactions. For example, MySpace still has 300 million user profiles, with a gazillion potential connections, yet it sits like a giant empty rusting amusement park. Womp womp. :-(
This is how we the turn potential energy of connections into kinetic energy by encouraging real interactions among the platform participants. Great platforms, like Facebook or Kickstarter, provide a spectrum of engagement opportunities, not just aggregated presence. There’s nothing worse than a party with a DJ and nobody dancing. Move your users.
Let’s add some context to our communication by allowing platform participants to work with and for each other through collaboration. Producers of value can team up to create hybrid products with embedded attribution across contributors (think reblogging on Tumblr or retweets on Twitter). Consumers of value can leverage collective behavioral consumption patterns to improve discovery of value producers (e.g., recommendations like related content on YouTube or “Customers who bought this item also bought” on Amazon).
The more we make historical interactions a virtuous cycle of feedback within the product, the better we’ve captured derivative value amidst the platform’s data exhaust.
If collaborative production and consumption provides a macro layer of communication, curation is the micro layer, representing individual tastes via personalization. Self-expression through the rearranging of other’s work offers a powerful form of meta-creativity. Allowing that meta-creativity to be shared creates a rich taste-making user segment in the value chain, ostensibly filling all the value gaps left open by the anchor producers.
A pinboard on Pinterest is a curated take on a particular topic, in the same way that a playlist on Spotify allows for the individual expression of content you didn’t create.
Though often used as a catch all for all things “social,” community, as it relates to network effects, encompasses two symbiotic characteristics. The more a platform allows for permissionless involvement across the other C’s, the more the participants feel as if they have an ownership stake in the platform. These two intertwined factors of community are the vital roots of externalized innovation and co-production (yes, I snuck in a 6th C, but really, 5 is plenty).
Great examples are Stack Overflow, Wikipedia and reddit, which all have highly engaged participants who create and dictate the implicit rules and social mores that govern their communities.
Grab Your Shovel:
Connection, Communication, Collaboration, Curation and Community are a reflection of your ability to attract, activate and empower your platform participants. I could extend the metaphor of platform growth to include exogenous factors like disease (vicious cycles), floods (usage exceeds capacity) and frost (regulatory environment changes), but that’s another post entirely.
Remember to keep your network effects soil well aerated and to use enough compost. Need help gaining a green thumb? Feel free to contact me @gbattle.
The hype surrounding Apple’s announcement yesterday centered around the Apple Watch, but I think the real story here is one of networks.
HealthKit, HomeKit, WatchKit, Apple Pay, App Store - this represents the real war Apple is waging.
The Watch provides another category of devices that can act as end points in this network ecosystem. But devices are commodities - you can build a better mousetrap but no one is loyal to a mousetrap. Apple learned this the hard way, losing customers to Samsung who liked the big sized screens.
What makes people stay is an ecosystem where everything works together. Can the health data on my watch get sent via NFC to my doctor’s medical records system when I go in for a check up, via HealthKit + WatchKit? Can the music I’m listening to be seamlessly transferred to my Sonos when I walk into my apartment using the same Handoff technology they built into Watch, iOS 8, and OS X Yosemite, via HomeKit?
The Apple Pay deal is insane. I can’t believe the banks agreed to pay a vig. What happened here? Are they that desperate to get merchants to install NFC readers? What did Apple show them to make them think the quantity of purchases would outstrip the loss in margin? Maybe they’re just stupid. Either way, again it comes back to network effects. Apple now has a contactless payment system that works with all the credit card networks. Which means one of their most valuable assets - hundreds of millions of credit cards on file - will now proliferate, as the average American owns 3-4 credit cards but only has needed one to buy off iTunes. If you are going to build the world’s next point of sale device, or in-store shopping assistant, are you going to start with Google Wallet? Of course not.
I think Apple will make a bunch of money selling Watches, but even if only 10% of iPhone owners buy one, that’s still a huge success for them. Remember Metcalfe’s law - the value of the network grows proportional to the square of nodes in the network.
“The selfie doesn’t exactly fit in the history of photography because of its temporality. It’s not necessarily created for historical and memorial purposes; it’s created with the idea of direct communication”—
Inspired in part by an Orbital Boot Camp email thread about optimal event conditions/qualities for introverts, and in part by a long-held desire to run some kind of meetup focused on sharing ideas, I’d like to introduce the Idea Exchange dinner series.
My girlfriend and I just moved into a new…
Have an idea? Brendan would like to have you over for dinner.
It was like one of those magical blind-date scenes out of a Hollywood rom-com, without the “rom.” I met Brian, a New York screenwriter, a few years ago through work, which led to dinner with our wives and friend chemistry that was instant and obvious.
We liked the same songs off Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde,” the same lines from “Chinatown.” By the time the green curry shrimp had arrived, we were finishing each other’s sentences. Our wives were forced to cut in: “Hey, guys, want to come up for air?”
As Brian and his wife wandered off toward the No. 2 train afterward, it crossed my mind that he was the kind of guy who might have ended up a groomsman at my wedding if we had met in college.
That was four years ago. We’ve seen each other four times since. We are “friends,” but not quite friends. We keep trying to get over the hump, but life gets in the way.
Our story is not unusual. In your 30s and 40s, plenty of new people enter your life, through work, children’s play dates and, of course, Facebook. But actual close friends — the kind you make in college, the kind you call in a crisis — those are in shorter supply.
As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, when life felt like one big blind date, are fading. Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends.
No matter how many friends you make, a sense of fatalism can creep in: the period for making B.F.F.’s, the way you did in your teens or early 20s, is pretty much over. It’s time to resign yourself to situational friends: K.O.F.’s (kind of friends) — for now.
But often, people realize how much they have neglected to restock their pool of friends only when they encounter a big life event, like a move, say, or a divorce.
That thought struck Lisa Degliantoni, an educational fund-raising executive in Chicago, a few months ago when she was planning her 39th birthday party. After a move from New York to Evanston, Ill., she realized that she had 857 Facebook friends and 509 Twitter followers, but still did not know if she could fill her party’s invitation list. “I did an inventory of the phases of my life where I’ve managed to make the most friends, and it was definitely high school and my first job,” she said.
After a divorce in his 40s, Robert Glover, a psychotherapist in Bellevue, Wash., realized that his roster of friends had quietly atrophied for years as he focused on career and family. “All of a sudden, with your wife out of the picture, you realize you’re lonely,” said Dr. Glover, now 56. “I’d go to salsa lessons. Instead of trying to pick up the women, I’d introduce myself to the men: ‘Hey, let’s go get a drink.’ ”
In studies of peer groups, Laura L. Carstensen, a psychology professor who is the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity in California, observed that people tended to interact with fewer people as they moved toward midlife, but that they grew closer to the friends they already had.
Basically, she suggests, this is because people have an internal alarm clock that goes off at big life events, like turning 30. It reminds them that time horizons are shrinking, so it is a point to pull back on exploration and concentrate on the here and now. “You tend to focus on what is most emotionally important to you,” she said, “so you’re not interested in going to that cocktail party, you’re interested in spending time with your kids.”
As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other, said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college, she added…
"repeated, unplanned interactions" seems like a thing that just doesn’t really happen anymore outside of people you work with. I’ve lived in Brooklyn for 2 years now in the same apartment. I still don’t know my neighbors.
If your iPhone 5 has a sucky battery, this is why:
Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.
If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted below, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge.
My iPhone 5, as it turns out, has a sucky battery. So this excites me.
“The serial number you entered is not eligible under this program because either: - It’s not one of the serial numbers in the affected range “
Seriously? I can’t get more than 8 hrs out of this battery.
“People love social media, but when brands come in, it gets awkward,” Tisch says. “We think that the best shopping experience is not user-generated content and brands then jumping in, but how to capture that feeling of walking 5th Avenue or your favorite mall.”—
“Many people have elaborate systems for filing their email and chasing “inbox zero.” But they’re not putting their time to good use according to a 2011 study from IBM Research. It found that people who do no email organization and rely on search are actually faster at finding emails than those who file them in folders.”—
Daisuke Wakabayashi on the screens likely to find their way into the next iPhone:
Mass-producing sapphire is complex. Sapphire crystals are grown in massive furnaces at high temperatures. After the ingredients crystallize in an energy-intensive process, the result is a giant hockey-puck-shaped cylinder called a boule, which is carved into different shapes. Apple’s Arizona plant is using next-generation furnaces capable of producing boules larger than 440 pounds.
By forming boules more than 50% larger than produced by current machines, Apple and GT aim to drive down the price of sapphire and close the gap with glass.
Chalk it up to: things you can do when you have over $100 billion just laying around.
“Researchers at MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. In one set of experiments, they were able to recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag photographed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass.”—
“American institutions charged with training teachers in new approaches to math have proved largely unable to do it. At most education schools, the professors with the research budgets and deanships have little interest in the science of teaching. Indeed, when Lampert attended Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in the 1970s, she could find only one listing in the entire course catalog that used the word “teaching” in its title. (Today only 19 out of 231 courses include it.) Methods courses, meanwhile, are usually taught by the lowest ranks of professors — chronically underpaid, overworked and, ultimately, ineffective.”—