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October 2, 2011
infoneer-pulse: How did we misread the future so badly? Mind you, this Second Life hype didn’t involve distant, sci-fi predictions about the future. (“Someday we’ll all commute to the moon using unisex RocketCrocs!”) This was just five years ago. We were just months away from the iPhone. After enduring a lifetime of mega-fads that flame out—the Apple Newton and PointCast and the Segway—why are we so quick to extrapolate a few data points into a Dramatic New Future? Well, here’s the frustrating part: Sometimes the Dramatic New Future arrives, exactly as promised. The mega-hyped Internet? Yep, worked out OK. Ditto Google and Facebook and iPods and iPhones. This predictive crapshoot is rough on business leaders—your employees are going to bug you, every time, to greenlight the corporate blog. Or the storefront in Second Life. Or the special on Foursquare. Which efforts are worth it? How can you know, for sure, in advance? » via Slate
November 13, 2011
parislemon: Jordan Crook reports that Sony COO Phil Molyneux unveiled Sony’s new retail strategy at a press conference this morning. Wait for it… Sony Stores! As Cook notes, the strategy is basically “follow Apple’s lead”. But I’m confused, wasn’t this also their old retail strategy? It sure sounds like they’re basically doing the same things they were doing with the Sony Style stores but holding a press conference to say the strategy is new because it didn’t work the first time around. The real problem — which I’m not sure either Sony or Microsoft really understand — is that simply building stores which look like Apple Stores isn’t enough. It’s the Apple products in them that make them successful. Apple’s strategy with the stores worked because they knew they had the best products, they just had a hard time conveying that with the existing retail channels. The products quite literally sell themselves, they just needed the most efficient and effective way to get them in peoples’ hands. At the same time, they realized there was a huge opportunity for competent human beings (who don’t work on commission) to usher users into this brave new world of computing everywhere. It was the perfect one-two punch. That’s the Apple Store. But if you open a Apple-like store and your products just aren’t very good, guess what happens? The opposite of success. Think of it this way: if you opened the nicest looking store in the world that sold bags of shit, would it be successful? Focus on the products first, not the stores.
November 30, 2011