Monthly Archives: November 2014

Xbox’s Japan chief resigned recently due to lackluster sales of the Xbox One in Japan. Only 39,000 units were sold to date; 24,000 of which at launch. That’s horrible.

When it comes to console games in Japan, Microsoft needs to realize it is David not Goliath. Microsoft can’t fight Sony head-to-head, sword-to-sword in Japan. It needs to go guerilla warfare and use a slingshot.

Here’s what I would do if I was chief of Xbox Japan:

Scale back operations. Forget the huge office, the army of people, the national distribution networks. Xbox Japan should think like a start-up and go lean. This will allow them to shift resources to initiatives that actually work, instead of pouring money into hopeless battles.

Embrace the outsider identity. Position Xbox as anti-establishment. Make fun of regular Japanese people who only play regular Japanese games. Paint the Playstation 4 as conformist — you probably wear a suit and bow a lot if you have the Playstation 4. The Xbox One, on the other hand, is about being free. About giving the middle finger to the rigidity of society; basically, American values. 🙂

Read Full Article

451 Research conducted a survey of 1000 IT pros and found that Dropbox is the most popular cloud sync and share service (chart after the break). I’m not at all surprised by that. And that’s because Dropbox is still the best at cloud sync and share.

I’ve used Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, Bitcasa, and myriad others. I’ve settled on just using OneDrive and Dropbox. The rationale for OneDrive was simple — it’s integrated into Windows, it’s cross-platform and I got 200 GB free with my Surface 2. For that amount of space, I was willing to put up with OneDrive’s quirks.

Dropbox is the best for two key reasons: first, it syncs tremendously fast. I can save a file at work and be 100% sure that saved file is waiting for me at home 10 minutes later. Not so with the others, although OneDrive has improved a lot in that regard.

Read Full Article

There’s a great story on Wired about how several accomplished entrepreneurs are doing “start-up factories,” which really just means experimenting with ideas until something hits. Kevin Rose of Digg fame, for example, has a goal of creating one new app every three months. If the app doesn’t take off, he moves on to the next one. If it does, he doubles down on it.

This was in fact the same model that my co-founder and I started with, and feecha was our first product. feecha did see some traction early, so we doubled down. The second iteration unfortunately was a disaster — it took nearly a year to launch and it was too confusing — but that’s a post-mortem for another day. We’re already working on our next thing.

After three years of the start-up factory model, I’ve come to the conclusion that it only works for “known” entrepreneurs. I.e., entrepreneurs with a large following and friends in the media. When they make something, there’s enough initial curiosity that a sufficient number of people will try it. There will always be data to judge the product by.

Read Full Article

Old time iPhone users, “I told you so.” If I got a dollar every time an iPhone enthusiast told me a 3.5-inch display is the perfect size, and then of course, a 4-inch display, I’d be beaching in the Maldives by now.

Pocket is seeing huge shifts in usage with the iPhone 6 and especially with the iPhone 6 Plus. iPhone users who had an iPhone 5 or 5S and then got an iPhone 6 Plus read an astonishing 65% more articles on the bigger (and better) phone.

Consuming on the iPhone 6 Plus is so good, iPhone users are using their iPads dramatically less. With the puny iPhone 5S, people consumed 55% of the time on the iPhone and 45% on the iPad. Then those same people upgraded, and now they consume 80% of the time on the iPhone 6 Plus and only 20% on the iPad. With a phablet, there is much less need for a tablet.

iPhone 6 users also saw a similar usage bump, just in smaller amounts relative to its superior sibling.

Read Full Article

As expected, according to IDC, iPad sales declined 13% year-over-year while the tablet market grew 7%. That’s bad for Apple. Part of it is the longer replacement cycle; another is that iPads are not competitive with “good enough” Android tablets that cost substantially less. But this is a story we’ve explored before on the Cornerplay.

What’s more interesting is Windows 2-in-1 hybrid devices, which IDC reports at 4% of the market while pure Windows tablets are just 0.6%. That means 2-in-1s are 87% of all Windows tablets.

While those are tiny numbers, Windows tablets grew 67% in an environment where iPads actually declined. IDC expects this forward momentum to continue, and for Windows to achieve 11% market share by 2018.

What do we think? Predicting technology is like trying to thread a needle on top of a speeding train, but we’re up for the challenge.

Read Full Article

That Adobe and Google are working to bring Photoshop to the Chromebook as thin client computing is big news. It works just as how you might imagine: the Chromebook receives inputs and displays outputs; servers elsewhere do all the heavy lifting.

The cloud is going to be a big deal. Photoshop Streaming is one small step towards that future.

Ironically, image editing may not be the best app example to start with. It’s unlikely that pro users will find this solution good enough. Is that artifact inherent in the image or a flaw in the streaming? Is color reproduction faithful? Is the experience going to be fast and stable enough? I still find Google Docs unworkable for complex presentations and spreadsheets.

Read Full Article

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the FAA is proposing rules that would limit drone flying to daylight hours, within eyesight, below an altitude of 400 feet and flown only by certified pilots. There will be questions as to whether these measures are too draconian, but I do think some kind of regulation is required.

My friend recently purchased a DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus and invited me to its virgin flight outside. Apparently, he tried to get the drone flying in his room, and after the blades sliced into his bed post and then crashed a couple feet from his 2 year old he decided it was probably safer to do it outside. Probably.

Outside, he got it up a few feet…and then proceeded to crash it immediately into a pillar. So far, every flight had ended in a crash. He invited me to give it a try. Foolishly, I grabbed the controls.

Read Full Article