Posts tagged "Google"

Does every new technology have to be a ‘killer?’

Recently, there have been several devices, applications, technologies, etc. that have been released that were dubbed ‘killers’ in their category, and I wanted to take a moment to analyze this phenomenon.  Why must these new tools ‘kill’ the existing tools in order to be relevant?  Is this just a case of the media, tech bloggers, etc. gone awry with the hype?

Here are a few examples to demonstrate what I’m talking about:

Google Nexus One, Motorola Droid – ‘iPhone killers’
Facebook Titan – ‘Gmail killer’
Google Buzz – ‘Twitter killer’

and an oldie, but goodie: Facebook – ‘MySpace killer’

For a moment, let’s just imagine that you are one of the millions of happy people that are using the latter mentioned platforms.  Do you welcome the thought of your beloved technology, application, etc. being ‘killed’ by a new entrant to the market?  If you’re an iPhone user or developer, do you welcome the idea of that platform being trounced by a competitor? Or how about Gmail users?  Do you welcome the idea that Facebook Titan could roll in and crush Gmail?  In some cases, new entrants enhance the offering that exists and making things better for everyone, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Maybe I’m just growing weary of the constant barrage of new tools that seem to be trying to take down the market leaders that people are happily using currently instead of figuring out ways to incorporate them into their new offering.  On the other hand, I welcome tools that help aggregate the vast volume of information that’s floating around out on the social web.  Google has the potential to provide some real value here if they play nice.  I was encouraged by an article I read this morning on the Salmon Protocol that Google is developing currently that would allow comments to flow in real time between the original source out to aggregators, thereby reducing redundant data and allowing a more seamless experience for users.  Right on!  That sounds like a step in the right direction.  I’d love to see more of this kind of improvements to the social graph for everyone.

The reality is that companies don’t always have to kill off a ‘competitor’ to be successful, but they do have to offer something of value that doesn’t exist already.  It’s not enough to just build a ‘me-too’ app and pressure people into using it.  Frankly, that’s what Google Buzz felt like to many people due to the way it was released.  Looking back at some old rivalries such as Microsoft vs. Apple, which has been going on for decades, history teaches us that there is room for multiple profitable players in the market.  In fact, competition is the main driver of progress, so let’s celebrate this competitive spirit!

Think about it – do we really want any of the tools or applications that we use today to be killed off by a big monolithic corporation?  Personally, I like my iPhone, I like Facebook, I like Twitter, and I like MySpace (although I don’t use it as much anymore).  I’ll keep an open mind about any new technology, but I’m much more apt to be receptive if the new tools help me with the volume of social data I’m already processing and not try to pry me away onto another platform or service or abandon the tools that are working for me today.

What do you think?  Is this just media hype or are there underlying motives behind some of these moves?


photo credit: iStock Photo

Does every new technology have to be a 'killer?'

Recently, there have been several devices, applications, technologies, etc. that have been released that were dubbed ‘killers’ in their category, and I wanted to take a moment to analyze this phenomenon.  Why must these new tools ‘kill’ the existing tools in order to be relevant?  Is this just a case of the media, tech bloggers, etc. gone awry with the hype?

Here are a few examples to demonstrate what I’m talking about:

Google Nexus One, Motorola Droid – ‘iPhone killers’
Facebook Titan – ‘Gmail killer’
Google Buzz – ‘Twitter killer’

and an oldie, but goodie: Facebook – ‘MySpace killer’

For a moment, let’s just imagine that you are one of the millions of happy people that are using the latter mentioned platforms.  Do you welcome the thought of your beloved technology, application, etc. being ‘killed’ by a new entrant to the market?  If you’re an iPhone user or developer, do you welcome the idea of that platform being trounced by a competitor? Or how about Gmail users?  Do you welcome the idea that Facebook Titan could roll in and crush Gmail?  In some cases, new entrants enhance the offering that exists and making things better for everyone, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Maybe I’m just growing weary of the constant barrage of new tools that seem to be trying to take down the market leaders that people are happily using currently instead of figuring out ways to incorporate them into their new offering.  On the other hand, I welcome tools that help aggregate the vast volume of information that’s floating around out on the social web.  Google has the potential to provide some real value here if they play nice.  I was encouraged by an article I read this morning on the Salmon Protocol that Google is developing currently that would allow comments to flow in real time between the original source out to aggregators, thereby reducing redundant data and allowing a more seamless experience for users.  Right on!  That sounds like a step in the right direction.  I’d love to see more of this kind of improvements to the social graph for everyone.

The reality is that companies don’t always have to kill off a ‘competitor’ to be successful, but they do have to offer something of value that doesn’t exist already.  It’s not enough to just build a ‘me-too’ app and pressure people into using it.  Frankly, that’s what Google Buzz felt like to many people due to the way it was released.  Looking back at some old rivalries such as Microsoft vs. Apple, which has been going on for decades, history teaches us that there is room for multiple profitable players in the market.  In fact, competition is the main driver of progress, so let’s celebrate this competitive spirit!

Think about it – do we really want any of the tools or applications that we use today to be killed off by a big monolithic corporation?  Personally, I like my iPhone, I like Facebook, I like Twitter, and I like MySpace (although I don’t use it as much anymore).  I’ll keep an open mind about any new technology, but I’m much more apt to be receptive if the new tools help me with the volume of social data I’m already processing and not try to pry me away onto another platform or service or abandon the tools that are working for me today.

What do you think?  Is this just media hype or are there underlying motives behind some of these moves?


photo credit: iStock Photo

Top 3 Reasons Droid won’t be an iPhone killer (and why this is a good thing)

competitionMotorola and Google are out for blood with the Droid campaign, let there be no doubt.  The direct, between the teeth knocks at the iPhone have definitely upped the ante in the battle of the smartphones.  But will the Droid really be be an ‘iPhone killer?’  Here are the top 3 reasons why I don’t believe so, and why this is a good thing for marketers and consumers.

1. iTunes. iPhone integrates with iTunes seamlessly and easily, and with the largest catalog of music online, you can bet that this will keep Apple on solid ground with the iPhone for some time to come.  Matt Rosoff at CNET sums this up nicely in this article.   I remember back when the LG Chocolate came out and how cool I thought it was.  That is, until I tried to get my music into the phone.  It was a nightmare.  It all sounded great in the ads and on the website, but when I got the phone home and actually started using it, my delusions of utopia quickly faded.  I’m one of the millions of people that like the fact that Apple makes it easy to catalog my music and take it with me wherever I go.  Is iTunes perfect?  No.  But it does what I need without a great deal of fuss.  The ease of use and direct integration to iPhone cannot be underscored enough.

2. App Store. Technically part of iTunes, sure, but this deserves its own point.  Apple is WAY ahead of the competition with apps, and now has over 100,000 apps available in the app store.  For many users, this is the ballgame.  Apps take the iPhone to a new level and allow unprecedented customization of the user experience.  This opens up all kinds of doors for reaching on-the-go consumers.  The opportunities are substantial for developers and forward-thinking marketers, and with so much momentum behind it, it’s highly unlikely that many successful developers or marketers are going to abandon the app store for greener pastures.  Rather, those same developers and marketers will likely look at the Android Market as a new opportunity to reach even more customers, not a replacement for Apple’s App Store.

3. Innovation at Apple. Like them or hate them, Apple knows how to innovate.  You don’t have to look hard to appreciate the truly innovative spirit of the company.  They obviously put a lot of emphasis on the user experience, not just functionality.  They already have a great product that people love, but I’d be willing to bet that they are hard at work on the next iteration of the iPhone (probably even harder now that Droid is about to hit the scene).  This is the beauty of competition – it propels the market forward.

As the competition heats up, the opportunities for everyone will expand exponentially.  This is a great thing for consumers, regardless if they own an iPhone, a Droid, or neither, as developers and marketers will look for ways to win over customers with new features, competitive pricing, sexier phones, etc.  This is also great for Marketers, because with all the emphasis on the battle for new smartphone customers, many more doors are opening for connecting with consumers on-the-go.  We are only limited by our imagination for what experiences we can enable and the value we can provide to our constituents.  That should be music to all of our ears.

What do you think is going to happen with the launch of Droid?  Should Apple be scared?

Top 3 Reasons Droid won't be an iPhone killer (and why this is a good thing)

competitionMotorola and Google are out for blood with the Droid campaign, let there be no doubt.  The direct, between the teeth knocks at the iPhone have definitely upped the ante in the battle of the smartphones.  But will the Droid really be be an ‘iPhone killer?’  Here are the top 3 reasons why I don’t believe so, and why this is a good thing for marketers and consumers.

1. iTunes. iPhone integrates with iTunes seamlessly and easily, and with the largest catalog of music online, you can bet that this will keep Apple on solid ground with the iPhone for some time to come.  Matt Rosoff at CNET sums this up nicely in this article.   I remember back when the LG Chocolate came out and how cool I thought it was.  That is, until I tried to get my music into the phone.  It was a nightmare.  It all sounded great in the ads and on the website, but when I got the phone home and actually started using it, my delusions of utopia quickly faded.  I’m one of the millions of people that like the fact that Apple makes it easy to catalog my music and take it with me wherever I go.  Is iTunes perfect?  No.  But it does what I need without a great deal of fuss.  The ease of use and direct integration to iPhone cannot be underscored enough.

2. App Store. Technically part of iTunes, sure, but this deserves its own point.  Apple is WAY ahead of the competition with apps, and now has over 100,000 apps available in the app store.  For many users, this is the ballgame.  Apps take the iPhone to a new level and allow unprecedented customization of the user experience.  This opens up all kinds of doors for reaching on-the-go consumers.  The opportunities are substantial for developers and forward-thinking marketers, and with so much momentum behind it, it’s highly unlikely that many successful developers or marketers are going to abandon the app store for greener pastures.  Rather, those same developers and marketers will likely look at the Android Market as a new opportunity to reach even more customers, not a replacement for Apple’s App Store.

3. Innovation at Apple. Like them or hate them, Apple knows how to innovate.  You don’t have to look hard to appreciate the truly innovative spirit of the company.  They obviously put a lot of emphasis on the user experience, not just functionality.  They already have a great product that people love, but I’d be willing to bet that they are hard at work on the next iteration of the iPhone (probably even harder now that Droid is about to hit the scene).  This is the beauty of competition – it propels the market forward.

As the competition heats up, the opportunities for everyone will expand exponentially.  This is a great thing for consumers, regardless if they own an iPhone, a Droid, or neither, as developers and marketers will look for ways to win over customers with new features, competitive pricing, sexier phones, etc.  This is also great for Marketers, because with all the emphasis on the battle for new smartphone customers, many more doors are opening for connecting with consumers on-the-go.  We are only limited by our imagination for what experiences we can enable and the value we can provide to our constituents.  That should be music to all of our ears.

What do you think is going to happen with the launch of Droid?  Should Apple be scared?

iPhone, Android, Google, oh my…

So, here we are on the eve of the launch of the new Dream Smartphone from  HTC/T-Mobile.  It will be interesting to see how this expands opportunities in Social Media in the mobile sphere.  Certainly there will be many more custom applications being developed for the new Android platform, so you’ve got to wonder if this is the next ‘thing’ or just another ‘me too’ (remember the Zune, anyone?).  Regardless if this particular phone grabs attention from the iPhone, it’s clear that the Android platform will definitely be a player (and possibly a game changer) as it rolls out and gets fine-tuned.  While this particular phone lacks the elegance and panache of the iPhone, it makes up for this in powerful functionality at your fingertips.  Competition is good, and I’m sure this will spark a new race to provide the most functionality in the sleekest device possible.

This almost sounds like a movie we’ve seen before with the Social Networks.  Think MySpace and Facebook a couple of years back.  In the end, they are both still relevant, and have their own strengths and opportunities for brands.  This is just one more reason to get onboard with Social Media and mobile apps right now.  Waiting around to see what happens will cost more in the end.  Start thinking about how you can add value to your customer on the go.  Whether you develop an application for iPhone or Android, engage on Facebook or MySpace, or all of the above, the time is now.  The holidays are fast approaching, and you can bet that this season we’ll be seeing a lot more Smartphones in the hands of everyday consumers.  Time to get moving!