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October 2015

A look at Pinterest’s Massive Monetization Ambitions based on their leaked Funding Round Documents (André Cramer)

(image source: Pinterest)

Last week TechCrunch has given insights into some juicy figures and financials leaked from Pinterest (Leaked Pinterest Documents Show Revenue, Growth Forecasts / TechCrunch). Andreessen Horowitz used this information to solicit limited partners to invest in its special investment fund for Pinterest earlier this year, valuing the social media company at $11 billion.

Here’s a little summary of what we know now. The key essence for me is the whopping jump projected in revenues until 2018. Compare this to the user / MAU projections for the same timeframe and it is clear what’s ahead: very decisive monetization activity in the area of advertising. Here’s the key figures TechCrunch has shared:

Continue reading “A look at Pinterest’s Massive Monetization Ambitions based on their leaked Funding Round Documents (André Cramer)”

Nice background Read incl. Infographics: 10 Myths about Cloud Computing (OpenMind)

Find out with Ahmed Banafa about myths and realities of cloud computing. Is it really secure and profitable?

Source: 10 Myths about Cloud Computing – OpenMind

Excellent Background Story on Facebook Messenger: Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s App for Everything (Wired UK)

If Facebook’s David Marcus can get every business on to Messenger, who will need Google or Apple?

Source: Facebook Messenger: inside Mark Zuckerberg’s app for everything (Wired UK)

A very good Background read on the Future of Notifications in our Digital Ecosystem: Notifications run our lives now. Is there room for any more? (Alex Danco)

Source: Notifications run our lives now. Is there room for any more? | Thoughts from Alex Danco

Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” – this one is crucial for Google! How Now on Tap helps manifest Android’s Dominance (André Cramer)

(Image source: Droid Life)

Android 6.0 Marshmallow has just started shipping, albeit only on Nexus devices. All other Android smartphones have got to wait some more. As always, OEMs have to run thru their usual and lengthy processes of adapting and testing their flavors of it. Expect this to take another couple of weeks/months before it broadly ships on non-Nexus devices.

New Features of Marshmallow

Android 5.0 was centered around – among other things – implementing the Material Design framework throughout the UI and Google’s native apps. Lots of UI polishing. Marshmallow in contrast brings some more “under the hood” improvements, alongside further UI tweaks. Here’ a couple of the key new features and updates:

Continue reading “Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” – this one is crucial for Google! How Now on Tap helps manifest Android’s Dominance (André Cramer)”

This is a terrific blueprint for world-class design development: “The Design Sprint”. A 5-day program for design, prototyping & testing with customers (Google Ventures)

The sprint is a 5-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing with customers. Learn to run your own sprints, and read about our upcoming book on sprints.

Source: The Design Sprint — Google Ventures

Great comparison: Lean vs Design Thinking (ART + marketing)

A Product Manager’s thoughts and findings.

Source: Lean vs Design Thinking — ART + marketing — Medium

Helpful background reading: get your head around everything related to get series A funding right and smooth – Series A 101 (TechCrunch)

In my prior life as a seed investor, I helped many companies raise Series A, some raise B and a few raise C.  First time founders often ask about the process, once it’s clear there’s…

Source: Series A 101 | TechCrunch

An excellent post on the development, or better, the decline of the phone call (Eugene Wei)

The distaste for telephony is especially acute among Millennials, who have come of age in a world of AIM and texting, then gchat and iMessage, but it’s hardly limited to young people. When  asked, people with a distaste for phone calls argue that they are presumptuous and intrusive, especially given alternative methods of contact that don’t make unbidden demands for someone’s undivided attention. In response, some have  diagnosed a kind of telephoniphobia among this set. When even initiating phone calls is a problem—and even innocuous ones, like phoning the local Thai place to order takeout—then anxiety rather than habit may be to blame: When asynchronous, textual media like email or WhatsApp allow you to intricately craft every exchange, the improvisational nature of ordinary, live conversation can feel like an unfamiliar burden. Those in power  sometimes think that this unease is a defect in need of remediation, while those supposedly afflicted by it say they are  actually just fine, thanks very much.   But when it comes to taking phone calls and not making them, nobody seems to have admitted that using the telephone today is a different material experience than it was 20 or 30 (or 50) years ago, not just a different social experience. That’s not just because our phones have also become fancy two-way pagers with keyboards, but also because they’ve become much crappier phones. It’s no wonder that a bad version of telephony would be far less desirable than a good one. And the telephone used to be truly great, partly because of the situation of its use, and partly because of the nature of the apparatus we used to refer to as the “telephone”—especially the handset.   …   But now that  more than half of American adults under 35 use mobile phones as their only phones, the intrinsic unreliability of the cellular network has become internalized as a property of telephony. Even if you might have a landline on your office desk, the cellular infrastructure has conditioned us to think of phone calls as fundamentally unpredictable affairs. Of course, why single out phones? IP-based communications like IM and iMessage are subject to the same signal and routing issues as voice, after all. But because those services are asynchronous, a slow or failed message feels like less of a failure—you can just regroup and try again. When you combine the seemingly haphazard reliability of a voice call with the sense of urgency or gravity that would recommend a phone call instead of a Slack DM or an email, the risk of failure amplifies the anxiety of unfamiliarity. Telephone calls now exude untrustworthiness from their very infrastructure.  Great piece by Ian Bogost on how the decline of the phone call is not just a result of the rise of alternative forms of communication but also because phones today are not that great for making phone calls. I saw Aziz Ansari do a great bit on what it would be like to travel back in time with an iPhone and show it to someone who’d never seen a mobile phone before. I can’t find the sketch online but it came after his bit on Grindr. I’ll paraphrase: “Whoa, what is that?”   “It’s an iPhone!”   “That looks amazing! So, is it really great at making phone calls?”   “Actually, no, it actually is terrible for that. But if you want to know [something really dirty related to Grindr, you can fill in the blank], this will do the trick perfectly!”  Bogost notes that the mobile part of the modern phone is part of the problem. When the PSTN was first made digital, home and office phones were used in predictable environments: a bedroom, a kitchen, an office. In these circumstances, telephony became a private affair cut off from the rest of the environment. You’d close the door or move into the hallway to conduct a phone call, not only for the quiet but also for the privacy. Even in public, phones were situated out-of-the-way, whether in enclosed phone booths or tucked away onto walls in the back of a diner or bar, where noise could be minimized.   Today, of course, we can and do carry our phones with us everywhere. And when we try to use them, we’re far more likely to be situated in an environment that is not compatible with the voice band—coffee shops, restaurants, city streets, and so forth. Background noise tends to be low-frequency, and, when it’s present, the higher frequencies that Monson showed are more important than we thought in any circumstance become particularly important. But because digital sampling makes those frequencies unavailable, we tend not to be able to hear clearly. Add digital signal loss from low or wavering wireless signals, and the situation gets even worse. Not only are phone calls unstable, but even when they connect and stay connected in a technical sense, you

Source: The decline of the phone call — Remains of the Day

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