Category Archives: Platforms

From Servers, Phones, and Voice Assistants to Space…

Last week I joined my good friend  Den Delimarsky and his colleague Courtny Cotten hosted me on The Work Item podcast. “In this episode, we dive a bit deeper into Charlie’s approach to product ideation and design, discuss the importance of having a principled organization, and ask questions about his most recent adventure around space.” Czech it out here (I love that the transcript is available along with the audio): From Servers, Phones, and Voice Assistants to …Continue reading

Concierge Home Technology

I had written the following in my blog post announcing my departure from Amazon: I am hiring a CEDIA-level installer to completely refit my home automation system and I will project manage that. A few weeks ago someone at Control4 tweeted the following, which I replied to with a tweetstorm. This post expands on the idea I presented in that tweetstorm… Even Charlie Kindel who brought Amazon Alexa to market, with all his technological experience …Continue reading

Iconic: Photos of Every Apple Product

Last year Jonathan Zufi reached out to me asking if he could use a quote from my “Why Nobody Can Copy Apple” blog post in a book on Apple he was working on. I said sure, why not? I’m glad I did. Jonathan has released the book, Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation, and sent me a complimentary copy. Fittingly, I received it on the anniversary of Steve Job’s death. My quote is on …Continue reading

Businesses Buy Differently

My post on Why Nobody Can Copy Apple has become one of the most read posts I’ve ever written (thanks @gruber). Commenters are asking me “Can you describe more what the behaviors are that are different when building for business vs. consumers?” There are many, but central is the sales motion: the approach and process an organization uses to sell product. The sales motion for businesses is diametrically different than the sales motion for consumers. …Continue reading

"Write Once…" is Anti-Customer

Just as in the ’90s, there’s a bunch of hype these days around solving the cross-platform development problem. Mobile platform fragmentation is killing developers, and if only every device supported some common language or technology engine we could all Write Once and Run Anywhere. If only. WORA was, is, and always will be, a fallacy. WORA reminds me of the mole in whack-a-mole. It just keeps popping up and the realities of competing platform vendors …Continue reading

Why Nobody Can Copy Apple

Horace Dediu has written another brilliant piece titled “Why doesn’t anybody copy Apple?”. As he points out, Apple is fairly unique in its command of vertical integration and many people point to that as the “why”. However, Horace also admits this can’t be the sole reason and he is unable to explain what that reason could be. I think I know. Tim Cook refers to integration and a great team as unique Apple advantages (but …Continue reading

LockerGnome Guest Post on Mobile Fragmentation

Today LockerGnome ran a guest post by yours truly titled “The Fragmentation of Mobile Fragmentation”. This is a follow-on post to my post focused on Android in January, intended to express my opinions on the broader mobile ecosystem. (Note, as of right now, the post on LockerGnome does not have my byline. They are working on fixing that). “Mobile fragmentation is going to get significantly worse over the next few years. While this fragmentation will …Continue reading

The Market Sides of the Mobile Ecosystem

I’ve been using a taxonomy to describe the market-sides of the mobile ecosystem that looks like this:     Up until now, my writing on the mobile ecosystem has been focused on smartphones, because their adoption and sales dominated. Given the season of the tablet has started, I need to make some points about how tablets relate. Even though we use the term “mobile” to describe scenarios involving both phones and tablets, before I go …Continue reading

Paying Developers is A Bad Idea

The companies that make the most profit are those who build virtuous platform cycles. There are no proof points in history of virtuous platform cycles being created when the platform provider incents developers to target the platform by paying them. Paying developers to target your platform is a sign of desperation. It means developers have no skin in the game. A platform where developers do not have skin in the game is artificially propped up …Continue reading

Facebook is like a Brick

At my Future of Mobile talk at Thinkspace last week, someone asked me what I thought of Facebook’s future. I came up with an analogy for explaining my perspective, and have since developed it further. “All the big guys have potential energy. They are objects with mass at altitude. Apple, Microsoft, and Google’s altitude comes primarily from their massive profits. Facebook’s altitude results from having lots of eyeballs in their social graph. There are other …Continue reading

My “The Future of Mobile” Talk (Video/Slides)

I just wrapped up my “The Future of Mobile” talk at www.thinkspace.com.  I had a great time giving the talk and the event was sold out. Thanks to all that attended. While I’ve written about the content and I talk about the topic with consulting clients regularly, this was the first time I had given this particular talk in public. I thought it would go over well, and I sensed it did. If you missed …Continue reading

The Future of Mobile

Video & Slides from this talk are here: http://ceklog.kindel.com/2012/08/28/my-the-future-of-mobile-talk-videoslides/   I will be presenting my thoughts on the future of mobile this Tuesday, August 28, 2012, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Thinkspace in Redmond. If you’ve read my blog you know I have some pretty strong thoughts about how the mobile industry actually works. My goal for Tuesday is to drill into some of those ideas further.  In my experience most industry watchers are seriously …Continue reading

Apps Must Be Cross Platform

This is a copy of a guest post I wrote for GeekWire. View the original here. Maybe there are a few Robert Scobles out there who still believe that a significant number of successful apps in the future will be unique to any one client platform. Connected experiences across all devices is where the growth is and it would be insane for anyone, from a major brand to an early-stage startup to believe they don’t …Continue reading

Wanna Compete with Apple? Focus on Experiences.

TL;DR Apple’s insane profitability has the other big guys jealous and freaked out. None are stupid enough to try to compete with Apple on Apple’s terms. The way to beat Apple is to redefine the game by making apps irrelevant and by making mobile just a piece of the equation. The “Experience = Stuff / Time” model is a great way break the conversation down to really understand what is going to happen. In 1999 …Continue reading

Don’t Build APIs…

My first job at Microsoft was providing developer support for the early Windows SDKs. To do my job well, I spent hours studying the Windows SDK documentation, the Windows source code, and writing sample applications. I then spent hours poring over customers’ (such as Lotus, WordPerfect, and Computer Associates) code helping them figure out what was not working. This gave me a deep appreciation for API design early in my career. I saw clear examples …Continue reading

The Five Big Guys

I’m working on writing up my thesis on the future of the consumer technology business and have convinced myself that there are 5 companies that stand to dominate. I call them The Five Big Guys. This post lays the ground work for that thesis by discussing these 5 companies. In 1989 I read the tea-leaves and made the call that Windows was going to dominate and OS/2 was going to fail. I felt I was …Continue reading

Be Either an App or a Platform, Not Both

If you think the thing you are building is both an “app” and a “platform” you will fail. Oh, and if you think it’s going to be a just a platform, you will fail too. (Update: April 6, 2012 – I updated this post with some typo fixes and minor tweaks). A recent story on Hacker News gave me an excuse to write down my thoughts on this subject. I’m reposting here in order to …Continue reading