Connecting the dots

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Steve Jobs passed away last week and for some reason this is affecting me more than I could expect. I know it sounds stupid, the guy was fighting against an aggressive pancreatic Cancer and had been through a lot, but somehow during all this time I was always expecting him and his ideas on Apple’s events, as if his medical conditions could freeze for some hours until he can do his magic again for us.

Unfortunately, the magic has gone. Our Michelangelo has died and now we will need to connect the dots alone, build the future without our Hari Seldon.

A lot of things have been written already after his death, a bunch of inspiring and funny histories from people who had the opportunity to work with him – or heard from someone who had, always showing a stubbornness man who knows exactly what to do, how to do and with the perfect timing. I don’t aim to replicate any of those histories here, I just want to register my feelings in the cloud so I can come back in the future and remember all this.

Steve build – and rebuilt – one of the greatest software companies the world have ever seen. Of course the design was a very important part of Apple products, but the core was always the software. Apple products were able to successfully connect this brand new world we are living with an amazing tool called Internet, previously used only for the academical and military environments. Steve and his company build bridges for everyone, making technology accessible. No manuals, no debugging, no coding, just amazing products that just works.

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

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Projeto 30 Dias Sem [#3DS] – Televisão

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Desde o ano passado que eu venho tentando replicar no meu cotidiano a excelente idéia do trying something new for 30 days, porém fui deixando isso de lado, aquelas 20 abas constantes no chrome foram aumentando, e eu acabei esquecendo isso na gaveta. Acontece que no Google I/O desse ano rolou uma ignite talk com o Matt Cutts – aquele cara responsável por deixar o nosso gmail livre de SPAM – que me motivou a colocar esse projeto em foco novamente.

Pois bem, seguindo os conselhos dele resolvi começar com algo simples: 30 dias sem televisão. O momento não podia ser melhor, demandas agressivas no trabalho e na universidade, somadas com a eliminação precoce do Fluminense da libertadores indicavam que seria fácil ignorar aquele objeto futurista que fica no centro da sala. As regras eram simples, nada de TV por 30 dias, exceções apenas para DVDs – como eu disse, comecei no nível easy mesmo, meu objetivo principal era me desafiar a cumprir o prazo sem roubar.

Sexta passada consegui terminar esse primeiro ciclo e foi bastante tranquilo. Já faz um tempo desde que eu não dependo de televisão para me manter informado ou me entreter – todos os programas que eu assisto são facilmente acessíveis via torrent e as principais notícias que aconteceram eu consegui acompanhar sem problemas pela internet, o Twitter inclusive faz um belíssimo trabalho no quesito real time news, como foi com a saída do Palocci e com o WWDC da Apple.

Senti que as noites renderam mais em casa também, consegui dedicar mais tempo para a minha esposa e a outras atividades com ler, cozinhar e afins. Durante esse período houveram dias que eu cheguei em casa e instintivamente sentei no sofá e peguei o controle remoto, mesmo sem querer assistir nada… incrível como a gente fica condicionado a um ritual sem sentido como esse. Meu objetivo nunca foi cortar a televisão 100%, não sou um cara radical e ainda vejo algumas vantagens nesse meio. Isso foi apenas um projeto e esse foi o caminho mais fácil para começar.

Depois desse primeiro teste acabou a brincadeira, a partir de sexta comecei um novo desafio: 30 dias sem jogar. Nunca fui um viciado em games (a minha esposa vai discordar, mas ela também acha que tem poucos sapatos, então ficamos quites), nem tenho videogame em casa… tenho apenas os jogos casuais no iPod que me fazem companhia nas viagens diárias pelo metrô. Vai ser difícil ignorar o Angry Birds naquela loucura da linha azul, mas vou tentar aproveitar essa oportunidade para finalmente ouvir aqueles cursos online do iTunes University que estão mofando no meu HD, ou mesmo ler alguns dos livros que estão na pilha desse ano.

Wish me luck ;)

Neutrality Farm

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On the last couple of days the Network Neutrality buffet has gained some new spices with a NYT article saying that according with some sources, Google and Verizon were in advance talks to seal a deal in which Google would agree to pay for having its content (presumably) pushed quickly to consumers throats.

As we expected both companies have already denied this rumor, but it became clear that they are talking about something – something big – and most publications right now are betting on Network Neutrality, especially before FCC dropped yesterday from proposing the so called “network neutrality rules” to the US Congress.

I’m obligated to believe on those speculations, Verizon and Google build a strong partnership after the Android phones overtaken the US market. What I’m not sure right now is what they are pretending to propose… you see, this is a polemic discussion which involves really big guys interests – like top media contents and operators, mostly companies who control the environment but doesn’t want to change the current business model. These guys are the ones like Murdoch who insanely accuse Google to profit over their contents.

Google has been a fierce network neutrality defensor using the name of “Open Internet”, but I’m afraid they are loosing the debate a little bit in favor of the old-dinosaur companies. This is for sure bad news for users and small content providers, because in my opinion this is a classic binary discussion: there isn’t a mid-term – for example, prioritize video streaming traffic (for a monthly fee) over normal video. If this happen I believe it will kill the hole network neutrality philosophy. The operators will continue under-investing on their networks, offering a crappy service for their users and charging more for real-quality speed (this make any sense?) plans.

Some of you may have read “Animal Farm” novel from George Orwell, in the book the animals concludes they were mistreated by the humans and decided to organize themselves and lead by the pigs revolt and assume command from Mr. Jones farm. Achieving their dream of freedom, the animals were really happy and to protect this environment the pigs proposed the Animalism –  a philosophy way to live with some commandments, one of them goes like “All animals are equal”. Later, after the pigs were corrupted by the power the commandments suffered some adaptations and end like the classical quote “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others“.

I hope Google knows what they are doing… otherwise the “don’t do evil” will also suffer some adaptations.

To Cap or Not to be Capped – That’s the Question

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So the “all you can eat buffet” is gone. Since this morning AT&T – the second largest carrier in US – will no longer offer a simple $30 monthly plan for unlimited data use. For now one the new smartphone customers will need to estimate – there is an app for that? I don’t think so #opportunity – how much data they will need and sign up for the data plan that fittest them best.

Most heavy users geeks – aka the earlier adopters on this market – are against it and I agree with them. But first let’s try to understand this situation looking to both sides.

Today we saw at the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) Steve Jobs releasing the new iPhone 4 with a bunch of new amazing features, like a front-facing camera – also upgraded the old one to a 5mp quality –  and HD quality video recording. So what we are seeing here? yes, the new gadgets are encouraging us more and more to use and depend on largest data plans – the iPad is another recent example. Google is also following the same path with Android and the hole cloud strategy, Microsoft, Yahoo, Nokia, HP and etc all wished to do the same in the nearest possible future – aka as yesterday. Most of the App Store business model success depends on people being able do download and discover new applications anywhere, with the new OS4 those same people will be doing multitasking on the iPhone – listening to Pandora while writing and email for example – this is already a reality for those using Android FroYo. So fact: more data will be used/needed by the current users baseline, period.

Forcing a limited plan will discourage those activities since people will prefer to wait to buy and try new apps when they were connected to a WiFi network. That song you just listened on Pandora will not be bought and that last The Office episode will not be downloaded until you find a trusted hotspot. Less people buying, less attractive this model will become and everyone loses. I mean everyone – the customers will lose new great experiences and features and the internet players and the carriers will lose revenue.

On the other side we have the carriers, some of them dinosaur-companies who lost themselves into the innovation curve and are now dizzy trying to understand what their customers really want. Fighting like hell to not become the future dumb-pipes the telcos are trying to apply for this new market the same formula from the past, underestimate their infrastructure demand and poorly invest on CAPEX and OPEX so they can get their faster paybacks. If anything goes wrong, blame the government for the taxes and let’s go.

This is not going to work, someone needs to assume the risks and heavily invest on their networks – I heard LTE? – and upgrade their capacities. Don’t you get it? more people using it, more you win – the Google’s philosophy. I understand that it’s hard to avoid the dump-pipe scenario but they need a huge invest on innovation and create some “win^3” partnerships – real ones, not this Apple and AT&T iPhone exclusivity contract.

Build and they will come.

#PIDAY – A Geek Amazing Day ;)

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A standart date for most of people right? but today with the geek being the new sexy (bazinga!) this is going to change thanks to the amazing #piday celebration. This is the third time I celebrate this date and since the beginning I’m doing my part on propagating this idea between my peers.

If you still didn’t get it the #piday is about the similarity between the date March, 14 – or 3/14 – and the irrational constant 3,1415… whose value is the ration of any circle circumference to its diameter. Anyway… I was lucky enough to have a wonderful girlfriend who understands my geek behaviors and not just that, but also supports my crazy ideas. So today for the first time we did a Pi Cake!

Pi Cake

Look at how cute it is - You know that write using coconut flakes will be something that I'll never forget.

Unfortunate none of my friends couldn’t show up – actually I’m still trying to explain to them why we did a cake with a PI simbol on it – but next year I hope this will be different. I also learned that today it’s Albert Einstein birthday, great han? next time I’ll probably celebrate with two cakes – or 3 cakes and 1415 candys… don’t know yet.

To learn more abou Pi visit the piday.org and be prepared for March, 14 of 2015.

Guiness World Records and the iPhone/iPod Touch owners

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Guiness World Records and Warner released on the Apple Store an app called “Video Game Score” a new game app that let iPhone and iPod Touch users compete to become a real Guiness World Record holder.

The deadline is August 15, and who secures the most pontuation until that date will be crowned the iPhone gaming champion and shorlisted for inclusion in the “Guiness World Records 2010 Gamer’s Edition”.

In order to participate, consumers will need to buy the application ($4,99 ouch…) and create a GameSpy account so they can sync their performances. The game features some wierd challenges like create the largets bubblegum ball and a cockroach eating (ich!).

I find it an awsome idea, I like those new technological ways to promote products – in this case, the Guiness World Records book, that I’ve never bought it on my entire life! So, anyone can explain me why I’m thinking spend almost five bucks on that app so I can try to win this contest?

via mobile marketer.

IF SELLING PIZZA WAS LIKE SELLING TECHNOLOGY

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Last week I was reading some twitts from @radfahrer when I found this old funny text (pt only) comparing the communication&marketing business with a pizza business. After reading I thought that with some little changes it could work for us too, so here it is:

Imagine the situation below

  1. Your customer calls you asking for a pizza but he’s more concerned about the delivery cost than with the quality of ingredients that you are going to use to cook it.
  2. When you are still making the pizza the customer calls asking for a “pizza-preview” so he can approve – or disapprove – the way you are cooking it.
  3. After he receives the pizza-preview the customer asks for a small modification: replace the yellow mozzarela for a green one, simply because its his favorite color. Now you have to throw away all the old pizza work and start making a new one, which will give you much more work and will probabily taste awful.
  4. The customer calls you one random night asking for 500 pizzas and telling that you have 15 minutes to delivery it, he explains that he’s going to give a very important strategic party on the next few hours and he decided to call you – his main business partner – just now.
  5. You summon your best chefs to help you on this special request because it’s urgent and leave the other client’s pizzas waiting aside, so they call you complaining that their pizza is late.
  6. After you prepare almost all the pizzas from the urgent request the special client calls you communicating that his pizzas isn’t urgent anymore, he confused the days… in fact the pizzas are for tomorow night.
  7. Your client hear of a new fashion cool unique ingredient and he is conviced that his pizza must have this ingredient, even that the fashion ingredient doesn’t have anything to do with pizza, giving you a headache to implement it.
  8. Your customer asks for a high-urgent pizza delivery that needs to be done in 5 minutes. After you use your best chefs – and even hiring freelancers chefs to help you on the job – and again delaying the other requests, you delivery it and the customer takes 4 hours to start eating those pizzas.
  9. The customer asks for a pizza that pleases people who likes small, medium and big pizzas – a magic one – without worring if it will demand the double of the normally work – he doesn’t agreed to pay more for this also.
  10. You cook a wonderful perfect pizza for your customer and delivery it on time and than he calls you complaining that he doesn’t have the necesssary tools – knifes and forks – for eating it.
  11. The client calls you asking for a super ultrablaster enhanced pizza and simply doesn’t understand why you need to charge so expensive for that pizza if the chinese can cook a pizza for much less.
  12. Other customer calls you and asks for a pizza, he’s shocked by the price and tells you that his nephew can cook a pizza too by a tenth of your price – he uses a pizza-template from the internet and get his ingredients at eBay.
  13. The client requests a wonderful pizza but warns you that he had already order the same pizza at 5 different restaurants and tells you that he will agree to pay just for the one he enjoyed the most.
  14. The customer send you an email attaching a zipped 20MB file containing more than 5.000 pizza’s recipes and a history of all the pizzas he ate on his life and asks you for a pizza. When you ask for which kind of pizza he awnsers that “this information has already been shared”.
  15. The customer decides to create a public pizza request based on the lowest price and asks for a unique pizza flavor that you have never cooked before, so when you ask for more information about this special pizza – and calculate how much you are going to spend at the ingredients – he tells you that “aditional information will be given only to the winner”.
  16. You have a security-freak customer that wants his pizza to be delivered only at his security guard house, after doing that the guard needs to delivery the pizza himself to your client’s house – which is next to your restaurant – after that he calls you complaining that the pizza arrived cold.
  17. Your client request a pizza and you agreed to receive the payment just 90 days before he ate the pizza – and only if he liked it, otherwise you need to cook it again.

I make up a few hehehe… any similarities?

It’s just a joke, but I find interesting to see how different business like marketing and telecommunications presents those same issues… I mean, sometimes the concept of partnership is put aside on this business on my personal opinion.

[]’s

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