The good news is we only have a week to wait!
Blood Glucose - Sept 7 Apple Event?
There is an outside chance that Apple could announce the addition of blood glucose monitoring to the Apple Health app. Several new sensors have come on the market and it could very well be that Apple has designed them into the watch or at a minimum will ramp up production of their own version. A price point of $79 would seem to fit just below what the subscription services are charging and it would be similar in size and distribution process as an AirTag. Something like the Abott Freestyle Libre 3 would be a great match for the iPhone and Apple Watch.
The good news is we only have a week to wait!
Apple Fall 2014 Predictions
There has been a ton of media coverage speculating on all sorts of Apple products in the pipeline and guesses as to what is coming out this fall.
First of all, nobody knows except Apple. All of the pundits are guessing. Even if you are working on the assembly line putting the phone together, you have no real way of knowing when it will launch.
Prediction #1: iPhone 6
Yes, there will be a new iPhone this fall and it may be called the iPhone 6, it may be called the iPhone Air, or it could just be the new iPhone.
Screen size: There is speculation that it will have a bigger screen or that there will be 2 different sizes of screen and my guess is that we will not see the larger screen this year. I think that when Apple extended the screen the last time that the change was made for the next 3 - 4 years which means we probably have 2 more years of this form factor. Part of the reason is that people get really upset having to buy new sizes of accessories. Seems silly but it's that kind of thing that ends up annoying people.
Prediction #2: iWatch
I am going to go out on a limb and say that there will not be an iWatch introduced this year meaning 2014. The wearables market is already seeing gear from competitors like Samsung, LG, and the much anticipated Moto360. The reviews on these devices basically say "Nice but not great" which tells me that it would be a bad move to introduce a new iWatch because the market is already wondering if these are necessary and launching it so soon after others makes Apple look a bit desperate.
Most people assume whatever Apple introduces will be incredible and with the other watches only working with Android, Apple isn't really losing current customers unless those customers switch from iPhone to another phone. That could happen but the numbers won't be significant since people would have to break their contracts and do massive data migration.
The only reason I could see to introduce the iWatch in the fall would be if it will have the health / fitness tracker capabilities. Everybody will want one in January as they fight off the holiday pounds and look to get in shape for spring.
Prediction #3: Macbooks in multiple colors
The Macbook lineup have been excellent over the last few years but with a lot of great Apple products, they look a bit boring after a while. This fall would be a great time to introduce color to the Macbook line.
People were willing to pay $200 extra in the past for the black polycarbonate Macbooks and I think that being able to get them in multiple colors would spring a little life into the sales of the product line. Not that Apple needs to sell more as they do well enough but when the competition is cheaper and getting thinner, it would be nice to be able to buy a black Macbook Air to show off some style.
Prediction #4: CarPlay
With CarPlay launching this summer / fall, there is going to be a lot of visibility on Apple from the support perspective for the in car experience. While it's not a requirement that it launches without any issues, having any problems that become news will be a black eye on their launch into this marketplace.
The aftermarket systems from Pioneer and Alpine are going to do very well. There are a lot of people out there who don't want to use a GPS, an iPod, a Stereo, and CD Player in their car when their phone can do it all. CarPlay will be a hit because it gives people exactly what they have always wanted
These are the slides from the presentation at Minnebar today.
Time to build the personal data hub
It's been interesting reading about all these other apps that people are downloading to share "secret" information that is really just gossip for grown ups.
The marketplace seems to have a lot of me too apps that are just a copy of something else that just got a Series A round. It feels like the de al site gold rush when Groupon came on the scene.
Everything seems to be derivative today and I think that's good. It's an evolution from what works for today's technology to what will work for tomorrow.
But I also like to see what is called punctuated equilibrium happen in the marketplace. This is the idea that evolution is very slow or non-existant for a stretch of time and then all of a sudden a change occurs and there is massive change and all is disrupted.
The iPhone caused punctuated equilibrium in the phone marketplace. The Internet did this to shopping in the late 90's and then the market did it to the internet in the early 2000's.
I don't think that smart watches are going to be a massive change to the market but they will definitely have an influence.
What I do think is going to be the major driver of the future is all the people who are now buying devises connected to the internet that report data back to a cloud database.
The challenge will be that, like all the deal sites, these devices are silos of data and the company that allows me to join the databases and make everything communicate easily will earn the money and the market and all others will need to adapt to their way.
Our first MVP
We are launching our first MVP tonight at the Beta.MN event in downtown Minneapolis. There's going to be about 300 people and we are looking to get feedback on our location based survey startup currently operating under the name "RoomPoll".
We have all the startups that are attending loaded with feedback forms as well as the event and the RoomPoll site too. It should be a fun night with a lot of great networking for those interested in Minneapolis startups.
If you are there, find the guy with the RoomPoll shirt on and say "Hi!". Especially if you are a developer wanting to help build out this great new startup!
New Year, New Opportunities
2013 was a busy year. 2014 will be busy too. Where does the time go?
For some odd reason, it feels good to "reset" at the beginning of a new year even though it's an arbitrary point in time. I keep saying to myself, "If I can just get through December..."
DSTRB has a few things in the works for 2014.
First, we are forming a board of successful business people from a variety of backgrounds to hear pitches from people who have ideas for businesses. Think Shark Tank meets support group! The goal is to provide free advice, direction, and if necessary, funding to help them get their ideas off the ground. We want to help build an environment where people feel comfortable taking calculated risks and reaching for their dream of building and launching a business.
Second, we are working on a prototype of a new service that is going to help people understand the world around them and provide a framework for launching multiple businesses based on this new service. We are quite excited about it but will reveal more in a few months.
Last, we are looking to build out a group of developers that would want to be a part of DSTRB when it comes to building MVP's (minimally viable products) for DSTRB and our clients. We strongly believe that we can build the next great internet company but in order to do that, we need to have developers who can think differently about compensation and the efforts it takes to launch. If interested, email us at jobs@DSTRB.com
iGoogle is shutting down in 18 days
I'm going to miss it. I have all the things I want on one page. And now I'll have to go somewhere else to get it.
I think Yahoo has an alternative to it but I'm not thrilled with having to use my yahoo account as I don't really use my Yahoo email or profile.
I recognize that Google needs to drive products that drive money and that this specific product probably fell out of favor because nobody wanted to own something that was too difficult to monetize or manage but it was definitely convenient for me.
I'm sure when it's gone there will be a few sites that will pop up like when Google killed off Google Reader but this one doesn't seem to be drawing as much attention compared to Reader which is fine.
Time for me to figure out a new option.
One terabyte free
"Everyone gets a free terabyte."
What a great statement. And I hope it causes other online photo databases to respond the same way that email providers did when Google provided 1 gigabyte of email storage which at the time was unheard of online.
Flickr has always been one of those sites that I had tried and thought it was o.k. It didn't have the exact tools I wanted and I slept better at night knowing my photos were safe on my computer. The other main reason was that online storage limits for photos was nowhere near the capacity I wanted without having to pay a monthly fee.
This move by Flickr makes them relevant again in my opinion. This is a big, bold move and if this is any indication of how Yahoo! is going to go after competitors in their spaces, I'm looking forward to what Yahoo! has planned.
I've never really gotten into the Picasa / Google photos services enough to make it something I use all the time but I'm close to wanting to just put all my stuff in the cloud and photo storage and sharing will be the next thing I am going to focus on.
Flickr is back in the discussion because they took away a barrier that won't matter in a few years. Storage is always getting cheaper and to jump to 1 terabyte for me is a big deal but for Yahoo!, I'm guessing it's not that big of a deal.
Nice move by Flickr / Yahoo! Innovation doesn't always have to be shiny or new. It can sometimes just be "more".
Movie people are getting on board the Netflix original content bandwagon and I think this is the beginning of a major shift in how content is produced or even packaged for consumers.
Netflix announced today that it will be bringing 10 episode season one of the series Sense8 to Netflix in late 2014. This marks the first time the Wachowskis, the people behind The Matrix triology, V for Vendetta, and other movies, will work in television. Or does it?
Is Netflix really television? The lines between television, movie, internet, and even mobile are starting to get blurred to the point that it really doesn't matter anymore. You can watch a movie on your cell phone and then switch to your TV when you get home. So is that television or mobile or does it matter? If you are Nielson, it matters. If you are Comcast, it matters. But if you are the consumer, it doesn't matter.
With House of Cards and Sense8 going directly to Netflix, it confuses the definition. I've never watch the television series Louis "live" on FX but I've watched it via Netflix on my AppleTV on my television. And when I watched it, i've watched a few episodes in a row. But what is an episode? 30 minutes or really 22 minutes due to time for commercials? 60 minutes or whatever it is with commercials?
If you consider that a television season is 12 episodes at 22 minutes each, you are really talking about a little more than 4 and a half hours of content. But what if you started to take away the conventions of the standard television show and time constraints and gave the creator control over time? Maybe some seasons will be 20 episodes while others are 10 but with longer segments. Would ABC's Lost series been scripted differently? Would we get better story telling and character development? Could you do different character arcs or even although the view to pursue their own development?
Netflix knows something we don't which is what everybody is watching and what everybody wants. They are potentially the Google of visual media. Remember when Google filed their IPO and it seemed very risky? I think television and movies will be changing a lot over the next 5 years and we'll remember how television is today the same way we remember television before there were DVRs.
Google Reader is gone. Accept it.
There's been a lot of people upset that Google Reader is being shut down. You can read a summary of the anger over at TechCrunch. Many people are asking Google to bring it back and even posting online petitions to plead Google to keep Google Reader alive.
I feel that it's time for us to move forward. Accept it. Google is a grown up company and can do what it wants. Google is doing something that few companies rarely do which is getting rid of products that, while popular, don't fit in with their strategy or direction of business anymore. 7 years of use from a product in this day and age is actually a long time.
There has been an incredible shift over the last 7 years in both consumer products and software. 7 years ago, we didn't have Twitter. 7 years ago, we didn't have an iPhone. Amazon's Kindle didn't exist. Evernote didn't exist. You couldn't buy a Mac with an Intel chip inside. The first gen iPod Shuffle had just come out.
Technology changes, adapts, and disappears. It's uncomfortable. Remember the promise of the Palm Pre? You have the choice to complain but Google has the choice to change. But look at it from another perspective: it's an incredible opportunity for others to take advantage of this shift. And there are plenty of options out there if you just Google the words Google Reader Alternatives