Apple's new iPhone 5 looks stunning. But the most significant thing about it isn't the new form factor, or the sweet Panorama picture taking capabilities, or the turn-by-turn maps functionality, or any of the new jazzy features.
The most significant thing about the iPhone is its fast LTE speed, which is on what by all measures looks to be an exponential curve.
The new iPhone5 can reach speeds of 100mpbs. That's probably about 10x to 100x as fast as your home cable or DSL connection. 100x, today. And who knows how fast the next iPhone will be. And what does this speed mean?
It means that the iPhone -- and all smartphones -- are becoming the brains behind your digital persona. As a human being, you're analog. The phone is digital. It's your gateway to the digital world. It's you, digitally, in your pocket.
This massive speed increase means that your phone becomes the brains of everything you interface with. Many media companies call mobile the "2nd screen," meaning it's a secondary device after the TV. That's wrong. Mobile isn't a screen at all. It's going to be the way you choose what content to watch, on any screen. The mobile phone replaces the cable box on top of your TV. Just look at AirPlay -- a way to send whatever you want to watch on your phone to a connected device, like a TV. Now imagine AirPlay-type capabilities on any surface, with the phone as the conductor of the symphony you call life.
It seems that politicians these days can't rally to take action on even the smallest decisions, so it's easy to forget about the bold leaders of our past.
But I saw something awesome today in Michael Porath's Manifest Destiny project.
In 1803, Thomas Jefferson executed the Louisiana Purchase. We all learned about it in school. But what's incredible -- and what I didn't learn in school -- is that the size of the land purchased was unknown at the time it was bought.
So, think about that for a second the next time you hear politicians bickering over immaterial issues. Thomas Jefferson paid $15MM in 1803 for a body of land that he had no idea the size of. Now that takes brass cojones and it's a great reminder to follow your gut, because what he was really buying was the removal of French influence in the region, and he knew that alone justified the purchase price.
Here in San Francisco, almost everyone I know has iPhones. But there are a whole lotta people somewhere in the world with Android devices.
According to this article from ExtremeTech, Android shipments are up from 700,000 total in 2008, to 550,000,000 in 2012. Yes, five hundred and fifty million devices shipped worldwide running Android, with 136 million in Q3 2012 alone.
With Blackberry's penetration cut in half, and Symbian's even worse, it's now a two horse race between Android and iOS . And although in the Valley all you hear about is the iPhone, and everyone's building apps for the iPhone, a peek beyond to the rest of the world showcases the dominance of Android worldwide .
If you haven't seen the hilarious viral honey badger youtube video, check it out before you read this.
I just read this awesome passage from TheNextWeb from Jeff Bezos when he was starting Amazon:
“I’ve been optimistic about Amazon since the early days,” says Bezos. “I was most pessimistic literally at the very beginning. It took sixty meetings to raise a million dollars, which I needed to get the company started. Twenty two people providing around $50,000 each, on average, to get me that million dollars. That was the riskiest time for Amazon, that’s when the whole thing may never have happened. Raising that money was very, very difficult.”
Reminds me of the nastyass honey badger.
As CEO of my startup, I sometimes have to be in sales mode. (Well, every owner of a company is always in some sort of sales mode, but in this case I mean prospecting for customers of new product offerings).
I recently wrote about what it takes to create an effective sales team. But here I just want to share one pro-tip, and see if I can find a few other interested people to beta-test a new tool with me.
We have a new product that we're piloting, and so I'm in sales mode for a bit testing the waters. I always like to do the initial sales myself, so I can tweak it and figure out what's working and what's not, before I pass it over to a sales team. Plus, hearing the inevitable "no's" from prospects is a great way to get honest feedback about the product so we can iterate on it quickly.
As part of this, I'm sending targeted emails out to CMOs of large brands. I have a very specific methodology I follow to find the CMOs I believe will be most likely to have interest in our product. And I always start at the top of an organization -- even if the CMO isn't the one making the direct buying decision, they almost always control the P&L, and if the CMO sends an email to a direct report to check something out, then it's much more likely to be followed up on (and quickly) than if I targeted that person directly. To learn more about this sales philosophy, read this blog post I wrote many years ago about selling effectively.
As you've probably figured out, I do what I can to help entrepreneurs get great press, work as efficiently as possible, raise angel funding, find great, startup-friendly space to work in the city, and generally be as successful as possible. Three years ago, I reviewed a new space called SOMAcentral, which then also grew to encompass a location at One Market street. I also previously reviewed a new spot called Startup HQ.
My startup, Socialize, decided to take space at SOMAcentral on Townsend st, in SOMA by the AT&T Ballpark. We've really enjoyed the vibrancy of being on a floor with 40 other startup companies.
Jazz Tigan, the creator of Hugalopes (a "fuzzy Mr. Potato Head" plush toy) and I sat down to discuss entrepreneurism, knowledge sharing, hyper efficiency on a computer, the Socialize acquisition and many other topics in this wide ranging chat.
But the most incredible moment of our talk happened in the last 10 minutes.
In fact, it's so significant that I created a separate sub-video below to capture this moment.
Here's the back-story:
Priceonomics just posted a fascinating story mulling over the future of journalism. Here's one eye opening stat from the story:
Wow -- that's shrinkage of over 30% in less than a decade.
But the most interesting part of the post was a thought experiment that Rohin Dhar did -- an interesting twist on the business models for journalism, which was this: Instead of paying for what's already been written, what if we paid to influence what's written next?
Shai Agassi is an amazing guy. In this TED Talk from 2009 he outlined a vision for an electric car with swappable batteries -- a startup called Better Place, which raised $200MM but then filed for bankruptcy this year after ousting Agassi. Same for Henrik Fisker, designer of the timeless Aston Martin DB9 and founder of Fisker Automotive, another electric car company that recently burned out.
Then there's Elon Musk, founder of Tesla. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan -- I've written many posts over the past few years about Tesla. Where Better Place and Fisker have seen failure, Tesla has seen massive levels of success.
Here's Tesla's stock price since it went public:
Some VCs write great blogs. A few that come to mind are Fred Wilson, Chris Dixon and especially, Ben Horowitz. But I'm usually not impressed with the quality of blogging that VCs do as a firm, which is too bad since VCs expend lots of energy courting top entrepreneurs.
First Round has cracked this code with their "Review" series of articles -- well, publication, really --, and has become the best VC-produced content for entrepreneurs I've found. Their content is exactly what both novice and seasoned entrepreneurs often need guidance on, including topics like:
What's interesting is that this isn't even their blog, which is located here and is much more of a traditional not-as-interesting VC blog. First Round has created a separate publication called the First Round Review, with longer form, way better produced content. Think of it as a "VC as a Publisher" model. And it really works. Very impressive, and it's something other companies -- including startups -- can consider doing for their target audiences if they're willing to make the investment required to produce high quality, targeted content.