Short Form Blogging

  • Negotiate a comfort zone on two axes.

  • Traffic is irrelevant

  • Have fun. Blogging is not your job. Don’t add it to your to-do list. If it’s not fun and you’re not done? Screw it. Take the baby to the park instead.

This “short-form” post from Gina Tripani inspired me to get back at it again. Nope, no in-depth medium style pieces, probably a lot of tools/tips style posts and a bunch of link posts (like this one). The last time I wanted to post, I ended up updating my theme, so fingers cross if it’ll work out this time.


Despite the harsh winters, I really like the New England area for the four seasons and how each season has its unique beauty. Here is a snapshot of how the same place looks in Fall & Winter.

Windows 8 Is The Perfect OS That Nobody Wants

People care about speed, efficiency, clarity, and delight. But a phone interface matching a laptop interface is about as important as socks matching underwear. It’s nice, but on most days, probably the last priority on your mind.

Takeaway: Your design could be great on paper and executed perfectly, but it still has to solve a real problem. Props to Microsoft for trying though and setting the tone on this.

London Heathrow airport has an interesting way of surveying customers

Heathrow Survey

iPhone 5C & 5S : Observations of a Product Manager

There is already a lot of analysis on new iPhone 5 C (for color) and 5 S (for sensors) including the usual fanboys such as Gruber, Siegler etc,.) and the haters (sarcastically indicating that “Google laughs at the new phone”)

iphone 5c

I wanted to analyze it from a Product Manager’s perspective.  Wall Street’s initial reaction is pessimism. Apple’s stock is down 5% the day after, but the fact that Apple doesn’t do what the Street wants it to do, gives me optimism.

Observations on the 5C

  • The creation of 5C is interesting for its positioning and pricing. Apple diverged from its usual play of bumping the price down by $100. It packaged the product differently, added color and has made what is basically the iPhone 5 a “New Product”.
  • 5C is now the “bread and butter” product for Apple. It is the first product featured on the website and the 5S is repeatedly positioned as a cutting edge product, and in many ways seems like a decoy.
  • 5C is meant to “pull up” those who would have otherwise gone for the free product, but also meant to make them feel good about the product they have. (that color!)
  • If you hate those 5C colors, you are not the target market! Anecdotally, I have heard that there is a lot of excitement about the colors from teens and new grads. Parents can expect to spend on the 5C.
  • Apple 5C plus the $30 cases (which will be ALL margin) will keep the bottom line happy.
  • The fact that the 32GB 5C and the 16GB 5S are the same price is a little head-scratching.
  • I am surprised Apple let “hon” slip through the cracks.

Observations on the 5S

The 5S is very interesting from the perspective of iterative product development. I don’t know if it transpired this way, but I can envision someone doing the “Thai food approach” (aka the Similans approach) to each aspect of how iPhones are used and looking at how that experience can be fixed or improved. The idea is that you categorize / prioritize each area in a chili-meter, much like a Thai restaurant rates their food for spicy-ness. Here is my shot at de-constructing it.

  • People take a lot of pictures on their iPhones. So, the thinking is “Let’s make the camera amazing””. The iPhone 6c (my name for the next year model when this camera becomes more mainstream) would become be the final nail in the coffin of Point and Shoot cameras, if they aren’t already dead. 3.5 chillies.
  • People buy a lot of games on their iPhones. It amounts for 40% of the total app store downloads. So, Let’s put a 64-bit processor in there to make it FAST! Nintendo 3DS is a failure, and 2DS is now on notice. Legit gaming consoles (like Kinect/Xbox, Wii, Play Station) will be the DSLRs and handheld gaming consoles will die. (not that you already didnt know it). 4 chillies
  • Better battery was on everyone’s wishlist: Oh yeah, and we have also added a 64-bit processor to it, which could make matters worse. How about we add a new processor (the M7) for some of the more battery intensive tasks. Oh, that also puts a whole new category of apps on steroids and helps us get into the market with Fitbit, Fuelband etc,.? SWEET! (although it could very well have been the other way around, where M7 was introduced to get into that category and had the benefit of preserving battery life) 5 chillies
  • People tend to lose their phones and passcodes are a pain (According to Apple, 50% dont have it enabled). Typing complicated password for buying apps is a pain, and we have data that X% of users abandon buying apps (or In app purchases) at the password stage, so Let’s make that easy. Let’s have a fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone AND make it easy to buy apps/music from the phone. This makes our ecosystem even more stronger. Win-win. 3 chillies for painpoint and 5 chillies for upside

There you have it. This post is a bit of a brain dump, but figured I’d get back into the habit and also join in on this conversation. What are your thoughts? Which model are you going to buy?