It’s 2014 and according to Google, 55% of small businesses still don’t have websites. Ridiculous, right? This is even with technology like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. Most websites are still desktop first so they’re going to have to be re-written for a mobile only world soon anyway. Responsive design is a great stopgap, but it’s really a way to shrink down all the desktop logic into a mobile form factor. It isn’t saying: Most people are going to be consuming web content on mobile and most will be coming from either Facebook or Google on these devices. Identifying the problem: People want information delivered to them in a simple easy to consume manner We shouldn’t be looking at websites as the problem being solved, websites are actually a solution. They’re a solution that we came up with over 20 years ago. The real problem is: People want information about a…Continue Reading
Marc Andreeesen gave a great interview last week with the New Yorker around the topic of optimism and where he sees technology going. We need to shed a bigger light on this topic because we’re seeing many founders get dissuaded from focusing on the big picture or being optimistic. “Let’s forget whether it’ll work or not. What if it does work?” – @pmarca on optimism and early eBay — Jason L. Baptiste (@JasonLBaptiste) October 27, 2014 Let’s not write off the “Toys” or “Silly Ideas” Chris Dixon has a well known article about how many technologies of the future will start out looking like a toy. Many new companies, such as Yo, launch and start getting belittled in the press for looking like a toy. People can’t understand why a company like this would receive millions of dollars in funding. That’s the skeptical thinking that is the complete opposite…Continue Reading
Before you begin, here’s a primer in laymen’s terms on iBeacon as most don’t know what it is. If you’re already up to speed, continue on to the next paragraph. It’s technology that uses bluetooth instead of cell signal to do two things First—broadcast down to the meter where you are to another beacon and Second—allow an app to broadcast information to you when you are in range. Any iOS device after the iPhone 4S can be an iBeacon OR you can buy small little bottlecap sized devices as independent iBeacons. It’s an intelligent way to connect you who has become a digital object through your mobile phone to any other physical object in close proximity such as a person or place. Think of it as the ability to turn anything non digital into something digital such as a store, your friend, a painting inside the museum, or even a…Continue Reading
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about screenshots and how they’re one of the most used, yet under utilized assets in mobile. Screenshots are a frictionless way to share what you’re seeing through your own eyes. Below are just some stream of consciousness thoughts on Screenshots from a product perspective: I think of screenshots as sort of a reblogging feature on steroids. It lets me take what I’m seeing from someone else and carbon copy it to my own feed to share. They also don’t have to be social. It’s part reblogging and carbon copying, but also part just save it for later. Think Evernote or pinboard, but for things I find interesting. It might be a photo on instagram, my boarding pass, a certain email, or a text message conversation. It hits on the Vicarious nerve of media. I think this is where plays along with most…Continue Reading
Peter Thiel’s book, “Zero to One”, is one of my favorite books on the topic of startups, business, and more importantly a way to look at the world. Many may disagree with the methods in the book, due to his contrarian mindset. If I had to take one principle that I think is the core foundation of a startup, it’s the principle of secrets. They’re defined in a simple manner here by Peter’s co-author Blake as: “Secrets are unpopular or unconventional truths.” A way I like to think of secrets in terms of startups is this – what do you know that you feel no one else knows? What do you understand that sits at the core fundamentals of the market that no one else has dug deep on? Most markets have had a deep dive and the truths exposed are the ones that become mainstream truth. We’re simple minded…Continue Reading