Monday, May 24, 2010

From the Intrawebs - May 24

The winds are a changing for the Software Maven. Next week I will be making an announcement about what's coming and how it will affect this blog. In the meantime, this is going to be a long week!

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What's New

  • Standing Cloud - This service lets you test and deploy open source application in the cloud with the click of a button. Really cool!

Worth Reading

Disclaimer: Unless otherwise noted, I have no affiliation with linked properties other than being an interested reader, a happy user, or a potential customer: Nobody pays to receive a link. Any opinions of linked properties are theirs, not mine. I may or may not agree, but to be on this list I think their opinion is at least interesting.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Brainmates, the iPad, and...Is that Limburger?

A few days ago, Adrienne Tan of brainmates and I had a conversation about the iPad. She took the time to put the thoughts together into a coherent blog post.

The conversation really revolved around who is the iPad valuable for, or, in more "product managery" terms, "What problem does the iPad solve?" Generally, I think you are in trouble if you cannot clearly articulate the answer to that, and, as you can see if our conversation, neither of us could.

However, every once in a while, a product gets introduced that, by itself, may not solve a problem, but it allows people to think about solving problems in a completely different way. I think the iPad falls into this category: people are going to approach the types of applications that they build, and how they build them, differently as a result of this innovation. Future computing hardware will also be changed as a result of the iPad and how people expect to interact with their computers.

However, being a category changer is dangerous ground to be on. The cliché most often used is "The early bird gets the worm," but I think, in these cases, "It's the second mouse that gets the cheese" is often more appropriate.

This is not the first time Apple has tried to build a category changing device. Most recently, the iPhone received many of the same comments I'm hearing about the iPad. People obviously figured that one out. Nobody asks what the point of an iPhone is anymore.

But don't forget that Apple also had another experience trying to be a category changer: the ill-fated Newton. It did succeed in changing mobile computing, but it was Palm that came in as the second mouse and reaped the rewards.

Monday, May 3, 2010

From the Intrawebs - May 3

April was an insanely busy month. With it out of the way (especially the Utah Innovation Awards), I can get back on track with the blog.

You can subscribe to the live feed of this list in your choice of feed readers. You can also follow @FromTheIntraWeb to get instant gratification.

If you find something that you think belongs on this list, send it to me via @SoftwareMaven on Twitter.

What's New

  • Tynt Insight - Tynt provides information I would have never thought I could get. If you are providing any kind of valuable content on your site/blog (and you really should be), Tynt can provide valuable analytics that you probably don't have now.

Worth Reading

  • The coming melt-down in higher education (as seen by a marketer) - This echos many thoughts I've been having about higher education. My kids are getting to the college age, and, honestly, I'm concerned about what college means for them.
  • Sorry TechCrunch – FaceBook is NOT the Biggest Driver of Social Sharing on the Web! (Its e-mail at 70%) - How important is email to the "social web"? This sums it up pretty well!
  • Rands In Repose: The Twinge - This article is why I think engineers can make the best product managers...if you can get them out of the "build" mentality. Those "twinges" can make phenomenal difference to a product.
  • Turning on your Reality Distortion Field - I've been thinking a lot about elevator pitches recently as we start talking more about the nascent company I'm working with, so this is particularly timely for me.
  • Why Apple Changed Section 3.3.1 - Best reason I've seen for Apple's policies around 3rd party application platforms like Flash. I think Apple's decision here is absolutely the right decision for them and for end users. Of course, as is often the case, many developers forget that it isn't about the "tools", it's about the product.
  • The Startup's Rules of Speed - Finally somebody stepping up and saying company growth does not mandate an inclusion of process. In every company I've worked at, process has become a binding yoke that prevented innovation rather than ensuring a better product was created. But (and this is scary for most companies!) it requires creative effort to find solutions to problems instead of wallpapering over them.
  • The new startup arms race - Another plug for the Startup Visa. Just as engineering and tech support has been globalized, so, too, is entrepreneurship being globalized. We need to do everything we can to bring those entrepreneurs to the United States or we will find our economy suffering in far worse ways than it is now.
  • Clive Thompson on the New Literacy - You may never think of texting and tweating the same after reading this. Who would have thought that you and/or your kids are learning kairos (what rhetoricians call kairos—assessing their audience and adapting their tone and technique to best get their point across) while sending all those little messages all over the place?

    How does this affect your product and its marketing?
Disclaimer: Unless otherwise noted, I have no affiliation with linked properties other than being an interested reader, a happy user, or a potential customer: Nobody pays to receive a link. Any opinions of linked properties are theirs, not mine. I may or may not agree, but to be on this list I think their opinion is at least interesting.