Products go through a cycle: The Walkman was hot, then the Palm Pilot was hot, and now the iPod is incredibly hot. But what will come next? Now, before anyone gets too excited, what comes next could still come from Apple and it could still be an iPod. Recall that the first hot iPod, a comparatively large and clunky device, was replaced by the iPod Nano and Video iPod, which are vastly more svelte and attractive; however, there are only so many people who really want or need a portable MP3 player, and that opportunity may have run its course. The next product will likely be something that does more than just music?and video. To be truly big, the product will need to address a variety of needs and be incredibly good at meeting the most critical. It will need to look cool and be marketed strongly. It will need to be very easy to use and viral (you see it, you want it). And it will need to be affordable and generally under $500; anything more won?t hit the volumes … [Read more...] about Imagining the Next Big Thing: What Replaces the iPod?
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Flip on your television any given day, and you might think you tuned into a feature film. The once-held stigma about “real actors” appearing on the small screen has virtually vanished, and high-quality television programming has been attracting a swarm of A-list Hollywood talent. Christian Slater, Matthew McConaughey, and James Franco have all recently made the move to TV, and the shows in which they appear are doing very well. This begs the questions: What started this migration, and will the trend continue?The rise in TV qualityLast summer, Variety interviewed several A-listers appearing in television series: Jessica Lange (American Horror Story, FX) Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Fox), Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex, Showtime), Julianna Marguilies (The Good Wife, CBS), Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder, ABC), and Clive Owen (The Knick, Cinemax), to name a few. They all declared that it’s this supposed “golden age of television” and cited … [Read more...] about Why Hollywood A-listers are flocking to TV and ruling the small screen
Part 1 of this series on getting started with CRM addresses factors to consider when deciding whether the time is right to take the plunge.Part 2 offers advice on how to choose the right CRM tool.Part 3 provides some guidance on preparing for contract negotiations.Part 4 tackles the all-important step of embarking on an implementation.Part 5 considers how to rescue a project at risk of failure.One of the greatest challenges to the successful implementation of a CRM solution is winning employee participation and cooperation."It's a quandary," Craig Klein, president and CEO of SalesNexus, told CRM Buyer. If the sales staff is reluctant to use the new system, it will be very difficult to get it off the ground.Salespeople can be tough to convince, Sheryl Kingstone, director of the enterprise research group at the Yankee Group, told CRM Buyer."They look at it sometimes as big brother," she explained.Resistance to change also plays a role. Adoption of anything new requires a learning curve, … [Read more...] about CRM for the Small Business, Part 6: How to Get Your Sales Staff to Buy In
Apple is working tirelessly to undo the damage that others have done to the idea of the smartwatch. When the company introduced the Apple Watch in September, CEO Tim Cook and famed Apple designer Jony Ive went out of their way to avoid the word “smartwatch.” The Apple Watch was described as just a watch — albeit an incredible one. Since then, Apple has courted fashion writers, designers, and fashion-forward consumers in an unparalleled campaign to ameliorate the smartwatch’s image.The Apple Watch made its first public appearance since its debut at Paris Fashion week on the last day of September. Now, the October issue of Vogue features an extensive profile of Ive, the man behind the Apple Watch. So far, not one tech journalist has received any one-on-one time with Ive or a fully functional version of the Watch, but fashion writers, Vogue editors, and famous designers have had a few brief moments with the device.Apple is clearly working hard to convince the … [Read more...] about Jony Ive focuses on the small things in Vogue interview on the Apple Watch
A few years ago the music player device space was incredibly boring. The Sony Walkman CD player was the last big thing in music players, and it had long since become irrelevant. Products from RIO, which was going through a bankruptcy, and Creative Labs were anything but exciting. Then, from left field a PC company, Apple Computer, entered the marketplace with its iTunes MP3 players. The rest is history.As was the case with the Walkman, as well as with the good old Palm Pilot, MP3 players won't always be on the top of the heap. What is the next big thing going to be?The following three products have the chance, as they mature, of becoming the next big thing because they embody some of what the iPod has to offer but are at the same time much more practical. Each of these three offerings -- from three very small companies -- has a ways to go before it's ready to compete, but the potential is clear to me.I believe we are about to see the emergence of another broad market class of … [Read more...] about OPINION The Next Big Thing: What Will Displace iPod, Follow Blackberry?
Ken Jones, cofounder and executive director of Maximo Nivel, an executive language center, knew his company needed a CRM tool as early as 2006. His company was growing fast and using a variety of tools to meet CRM needs, including Outlook. Unfortunately, like many small business owners, Jones was unaware of any CRM options available.Philippa Kennealy, MD, president of The Entrepreneurial MD, an entrepreneurship coaching company that targets physicians, faced a similar situation."I was using bits and pieces of tools," Kennealy told CRM Buyer. Her tools included a shopping cart, an auto responder and Outlook. "I had my information all over the place."Most small companies start out this way with a CRM process but no comprehensive CRM tool to support it, according to Dmitri Eroshenko, CEO of Relenta."Instead, they mix and match various tools to manage their workflows, usually with little or no planning or organizing: email, contact managers, calendars, to-do lists, intranets, Web and … [Read more...] about CRM for the Small Business, Part 1: When Is It Time to Invest?
Mathematics/Statistics A new statistical technique that puts the fine details back into computer simulations of large-scale phenomena might prove useful in capturing the influence of cloud formation, a significant source of uncertainty in current climate models. Source: Brad Marston A team of physicists and mathematicians has come up with a statistical technique that puts the fine details back into computer simulations of large-scale phenomena like air circulation in the atmosphere and currents in the ocean.Computer models are generally good at capturing the big picture, but they are often forced to ignore things that happen at small scales. For example, models of a planet's atmosphere capture the large-scale dynamics of jets and airflows, but they don't include small-scale dynamics created by things like clouds and localized turbulence, despite the fact that those dynamics can often influence the larger scales."There are simply too many numbers for the computer to simulate it at a … [Read more...] about Technique Could Help Climate Models Sweat The Small Stuff
The Apple-focused blogosphere has been filled with lots of action this week, but few items of note drew on Apple's new launches this fall -- like new iPods and MacBooks.Indeed, the news this week has been about a multitude of smaller items, like Apple's Tony Fadell, the "grandfather of the iPod," stepping down. Meanwhile, news over Apple and IBM's tug-o-war with Mark Papermaster, a top IBM chip designer, continues (Apple wants him, IBM doesn't want to let him go, and there's a pesky "non-compete" clause somewhere in the middle).In any event, which nuggets of blog traffic have the potential to affect Apple product users? There's a hardware add-on keyboard for the iPhone, a ray of hope for the Mac mini, a fix for quirky MacBook trackpads, and a falling price for flash.A Japanese blog is showing off a hardware keyboard hack to a jailbroken iPhone via a custom cable. It lets the iPhone use an external hardware keyboard instead of the built-in touchscreen keyboard. Sure, it's a bit clunky … [Read more...] about MAC BLOG SAFARI Mac Bloggers Sweat the Small Stuff: Tiny iPhone Keypads, Shrinking Flash Prices, Mac Minis
Part 1 of this series on getting started with CRM addresses factors to consider when deciding whether the time is right to take the plunge.Once a small business decides to invest in a CRM solution to replace the patchwork assortment of tools it has been using to manage its information, the selection process can be daunting.A plethora of CRM vendors offering an assortment of features have appeared on the scene in recent years, said Brent Leary, cofounder and partner of management consulting and advisory firm CRM Essentials.The small business must first understand its own requirements. Is it a new business trying to build a customer base? Is it a small business experiencing high growth or trying to leverage its Web base? Is the company bringing on more people? Does it need to manage relationships more efficiently? The right CRM tool can meet the business requirements in those scenarios and provide a fuller picture of customers all in one package, Leary told CRM Buyer.Other features to … [Read more...] about CRM for the Small Business, Part 2: Choosing the Right CRM Tool
This month begins the march to 2012 technology with the Consumer Electronics Show just around the corner. Vendors have already started prebriefings for what will likely be a cascade of announcements all happening in the same one-week time frame.This will be the last year that Microsoft keynotes or has a major presence at this show. Like Apple, Microsoft is moving to an event-driven, rather than show-driven, schedule. The reason is showcased by the fact that Microsoft will be announcing Windows 8 about a month before it is really ready to be announced. This makes me wonder if we are having a Comdex moment and this could be the beginning of the end for CES and other massive shows of its type.After exploring that issue, I'll close with my product of the week: a cool new superphone from Samsung. CES will be the coming-out party for Windows 8, but the problem is that Microsoft isn't expected to begin the Beta process until more than a month later, making this show ill-timed for the … [Read more...] about OPINION Will 2012 See the Last Big, Bold CES?