One little problem, the thing they are counting isn’t sales at all.
Here, let me pull out my book contract with Wiley. I only got paid for a sale. A real sale. You know, when a customer walks into a store, picks up my book, brings it to the checkout counter, and actually turns over some cash for it. (Or does the virtual equivilent online).
Note: they did NOT pay me for all those copies sitting in Amazon’s warehouse.
When I helped run a retail store in Silicon Valley back in the 1980s, we all knew what a “sale” was. It was when it actually got sold and walked out the door. I was paid on commission back then. That’s the only time I ever got paid. I never got paid for ordering 1,000 Canons that sat in the warehouse. In fact, if they sat there for very long I would get fired if I made too many buying mistakes.
So, how many Windows Phone 7s have Microsoft sold? No one knows, but based on discussions with developers who are tracking usage it is no where near 1.5 million.
I’m ashamed that the tech press buys into these “stuffing the channel” stories. That’s the kind of dreck we used to see reported back before blogs but now that the pressure is on to publish first we forget to think about the press reports we’re being fed.
I’ve always been bugged that I couldn’t look back in time. After all, last week I celebrated my 10th year blogging (I first blogged December 15, 2000) but looking back isn’t all that easy.
It’s even worse today because we’re spreading our behavior over so many different sites. Heck, I tweet. I Flickr. I YouTube. I WordPress. I Tumble. I Google. I TripIt. And on and on and on.
Today two services added new history features: Memolane and Foursquare (Foursquare mostly added new photo and comment features, but they also now let you look back in time, I don’t remember being able to do that before).
Memolane, though, takes the cake. Here, look back at my timeline on Memolane. You’ll see photos, checkins, tweets, status messages. Even TripIt airport checkins. All in a unique timeline and you can look back pretty far.
Unfortunately only the last 3,000 tweets or so (I’ve done 48,000 in four years since joining Twitter) are on the timeline. Also, only the last 50 blog posts, or so, are there (RSS only lets you put a few into the system). Flickr, though, goes all the way back to when I started using that service.
Over on Foursquare I can look back at my history (unfortunately, unlike with Memolane, I can’t make this public, friends can only see the last few checkins. I do add everyone who asks if you want to check those out). From now on it’ll show photos from Instagram, Foodspotting, and PicPlz. Great stuff and brings that service up to par with Whrrl and Gowalla, which had that capability for most of the year.
Tonight, just now, a new version of Flipboard is shipping on the iPad (the update should be available any minute). It adds all sorts of cool stuff including Google Reader and Flickr support. Here’s the reports about the new features on Techcrunch, on the Next Web, on AllThingsD, and on RWW.
But it’s not the version I’m waiting for.
What version is that? The one that will filter through all of these social networks and use the technology they purchased when they acquired the Ellerdale Project to really find the good stuff out of the thousands of items that are aimed at me every day.
Yeah, I can hear Louis Gray telling me to just use My6Sense. That’s fine, but they don’t have a really great paginator like Flipboard does.
So, what does this new version of Flipboard do? Sets the stage for a really interesting new release early next year that will have the new filtering technology built in.
For a hint as to what I’m hoping for, watch my videos on DataSift or Research.ly:
Now, this isn’t a product you can use today. Right now he’s doing consulting for well-heeled publishing companies, but in a month he’ll release this into beta.
For now, though, he gives a good case for why the Web is still important and how good HTML5 is for the future of publishing.
What’s funny is I first met Filipe when he worked at Microsoft. What team did he work on? What now is Silverlight. He admits that the Web has come a long way for providing great cross-platform well-designed experiences.
Must watch and if you are doing stuff to push the web forward, like Filipe is, please drop me a line! email@example.com
I was pretty rude to them at LeWeb and couldn’t get excited about their new company and new product (usually I get excited about anything new, but thought I owed them an explanation of why I wasn’t excited about this one). First my excuses: Why? Well, I was tired/jetlagged. I had just sat through something like 15 pitches at LeWeb. More about those later. No excuses though, what really happened is my biases showed through.
What are those biases? That I look at, and care about, early adopter behavior. I like shiny new objects. I told the team that I look for things on the list of tech battlefronts (like Android vs. iPhone vs everyone else, or which slates can beat iPad, or which mobile apps are doing best, etc).
So, a new mobile app wins out over one that runs on Windows, I told them. Why? Microsoft Windows just isn’t on a tech battlefront anymore, according to my biases.
Why? And where did those biases come from?
Well, I sit next to people on planes or cafes and I watch their behavior and often I even get brave enough to ask what they have loaded on their machines. I’ve sat next to dozens of people running Windows. In the past year I have yet to find one that’s loaded anything new in the past six months. Compare that to someone who has a new Android or iPhone or a new iPad. Those folks load dozens of apps and are proud of them.
That behavior leads me to some biases. I note that the same biases exist in the tech press overall and I explained to them why their company won’t be as loved as say, Flipboard or Instagram.
It seems that not only I have a bias against Windows apps, so does the rest of the tech press. I’m sorry about being direct with the team at LeWeb about this, but thought I owed them a longer explanation of why I wasn’t excited about their company and product the way I usually am about new stuff.
By the way, all the sessions from LeWeb are now up on YouTube. It’s really great production quality stuff and greatly appreciated when conferences do this (it helps me get more value out of the event because I don’t feel like I have to listen to every talk, which lets me network out in the hall and do things like my CinchCasts).
Regarding my roundup, I still have some videos to process, and I’m watching the sessions I missed. Plus, the coolest startups I saw there embargoed me, so you’ll see those companies early next year. LeWeb really is a great conference with 3,000 attendees and one that’ll be even better next year (Loic told me he turned down three offers to sell, and instead will add an extra day in an attempt to make it even more influential).
Fossil makes watches (amongst other things) and is one of the world’s highest-selling watch companies (they make watches under a variety of brands). You might even have one of them on your wrists. But there’s a small team who are trying to rethink what a watch is and could be.
There have been other attempts at wearable computers. I remember my dad always loved wearing a Casio calculator watch (popular amongst Silicon Valley engineers). While I worked at Microsoft they introduced the SPOT watches, that ultimately didn’t do well in the marketplace.
Vice President of Watch Technology, Bill Geiser, explained to me that they learned from earlier tries to put geeky technology into watches. He pulled out of his bag several other attempts, done by other companies. They all had easily-seen flaws. The earlier SPOT technology, which Bill worked on, had flaws that they are learning from. It was too thick, didn’t look like a great watch, the battery didn’t last long enough, and it wasn’t useful enough or flexible enough for developers to really do something interesting.
In this second visit to my house to show me what they are working on, he pulled a couple of watches out of his bag and showed them to me. They hook up to Android and RIM phones, via BlueTooth.
Listen to the audio interview I recorded with Bill and David Rosales, director of watch technology. In the recording you’ll hear more about what they are trying to do with these watches and why they are showing them around Silicon Valley months before they will turn into real products: they want developers to think about how they would use them and get in touch (leave a comment here and they’ll see it). Leave a good idea and they might even drop by your house and give you one of these concept watches.
Talk about constraints, though. You only have a few pixels to display information. A Tweet is even too long (you can display it, but you’ll have to scroll it, or have multiple screens).
Today’s rain in Half Moon Bay, though, reminded me why watches are interesting devices. I wouldn’t dare bring out my iPhone in a downpour. Or, on a ski lift with gloves on (I might drop it, which would make the trip really suck because it costs $600 to replace it). But, a watch could display important information, like my wife is calling, or give me a sense of the kinds of emails that are hitting my inbox. Calendar info. Weather info. Etc etc could be displayed.
The watches themselves, Bill told me in the interview, will cost “around $200.” I’m looking forward to getting mine. In the meantime it’s fun to dream about what could be displayed from my new Nexus S phone.
Are you interested in wearable connected devices like these? Why or why not?