Alongside Tim Cook’s appointment as CEO of Apple, the company is granting him one million RSUs. Half will vest in exactly five years from his appointment, the other half in ten years.
At Apple’s current stock price, these shares would be worth a cool $383.5 million.
For you non-math majors, this works out to roughly $38 million a year to be CEO of Apple.
As a result, I fully expect Cook to take the symbolic $1 a year in salary that Jobs himself used to take (though perhaps a nice yearly bonus too so he can live before the vesting — though he did make $59 million after his bonuses last year).
What’s nice about the RSUs is that they directly incentivize Cook to keep the stock up, which more or less means keeping performance up. Not that he’d slack off otherwise…
Twitter just recently added a photo stream on their website. it’s actually very snazzy.
I see this as being interesting idea for a few reasons. One, Twitter has grown throughout the years by being the hub or information traffic center on the internet. They always relied on third party applications to allow people to use Twitter. Take the iPhone Twitter app, or even Tweet Deck or Tweetbot. There is also Seesmic, Twitterific, and more. They all made money off of Twitter. In all situations, you never needed to be on the website to benefit from using Twitter. You could do that all from other apps. Now there is a reason to use the actual website.
Secondly, Twitter has been struggling with ways to monotize their business. How are they going to make money? One of the big ways involves users being physically on their website every day. User traffic is a powerful value proposition to advertisers. But, will users go to the website more for the photo stream? I’m not sure.
Right now my Twitter stream just showcases photos from Instagram. That’s not that special considering I view my photos from with in Instagram. I also use Mobli, Photovine, and a few others to post photos. However, those did not show up in the Twitter stream. If Twitter opened up its stream to show photos from all different applications that could be a strong value proposition. That way I wont need to go into each individual iPhone application to view photos. I could go to one central location, Twitter, and they would all show up in one place. That would be an exciting benefit.
The writing is on the wall. That’s the direction they are going. Who cares which application you took the photo in. If you share it to Twitter, that photo will be in your photo stream.
Today, Steve Jobs, a legend in the tech world, has made the decision to retire as CEO of Apple and finish his days as Chairman of the Board. I had always known this day would come but it’s still not easy now that it’s here. Here is the letter he wrote the world about his transition:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
I have mixed emotions going on right now about today’s announcement. I have always been vocal about Steve being my idol and inspiration and here he is hanging up his boots for health reasons no doubt. It’s a happy day for him but is the world better off without him leading the charge of innovation and design?
I should be happy that he is focusing on himself and his family. He deserves it. I should be happy that he, having accomplished incredible things, has decided to move to the next step in his life. Him leaving is just sad. We are all growing up. He just seems timeless; like he will never get old. We are all getting older and nothing can stop that.
The things I will always remember about Steve are the following.
He was adopted, born into a less fortunate family
He dropped out of college after his first semester
He created the first personal computer (PC)
He was 21 when he founded Apple and became a millionaire
When the company went public at 25 years of age, he was worth $217 million after the first day of trading
He recruited John Sculley from Pepsi Co to Apple by telling him, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
He was fired from the company he started at 30
He sold all of his shares but 1
He used the money he had to buy an animation studio from George Lucas which he rebranded as Pixar. He bought it for $10 million.
He also started NeXT computer which created technology that resulted in the world wide web.
He sold NeXT computer to Apple (his old company he created) for $429 million 11 years later
He instantly became Apple’s CEO and started the company down a path of profitability
After titles like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, Steve Jobs sold Pixar to Disney for an all stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. This acquisition made him the single largest shareholder for Disney giving him control of 7% of the stock. Even the Disney family only had 1% of the stock.
He created iTunes and the iPod
He created Mac OS X, and the MacBook line
He created the iPhone
He created the iPad
As of 8/2011 Apple has over $75 billion in cash on hand
His new mobile operating system will be the death of the SMS
His creation of iOS5 & iCloud will change the way we back up and share information
I just think about what he was able to accomplish and he wasn’t born into opportunity. He created it all. His vision for the world became our reality. And as I sit here, writing on a MacBook, with my iPhone4 next to me, listening to his Stanford commencement speech I just wonder what the world would be like without what he created. What would the world be like without Steve Jobs?
That’s a testament to what a legend he is. Because he was born, he changed the world. Because he dreamt of a world without possibilities and never gave up on that dream, we get to benefit. Most people would be lucky to accomplish just one bullet point above that is his technology legacy.
I remember the story of how whenever he met one of his employees at Apple he would ask them, “What are you doing to make Apple great?” Depending on their answer he would fire them on the spot. He believed so much that he was changing the world. And he was. Would he fire me? Am I doing my part in the world and in my life?
He is my idol, my inspiration, and I hope he still has a few more bullet points left. I for one will always dream big and use his life as something to model after.
Paul Graham wrote an article in 2007 about startups and how living in a startup hub makes all the difference. He stated:
"…startups are better off in Silicon Valley than Boston, then they’re better off in Silicon Valley than everywhere else too."
Everyone says, if you want to start a company, you must move to where the action is. Move to the hub of technology. I happened to be in San Francisco this past weekend so I examined what was so special about this area and how I could bring the secrets back to my city of San Diego.
I discovered three secrets of San Francisco that could potentially be replicated anywhere else. Could these be the magic needed for success? You be the judge.
1. In SF there is free wifi everywhere. It’s common practice to have it. It’s Jacks to Open if you want to be a successful coffee shop. What this does is encourage people to leave the house with their laptops or tablets more often. When you are out and working in a community environment like a coffee shop you are fostering relationships and communication. This is an advantage! In San Diego this just doesn’t happen. Speaking for myself, I dont travel that often with my laptop. I simply dont plan on using my computer outside of my house.
2; The food is good! Everywhere. I didn’t see a Panera, or a Chipotle but I did see a Starbucks hidden behind a gas station. There were no In N’ Out burgers nor McDonalds in sight. Everything was just home made, delicious, and inexpensive. Did I mention you could most likely eat it while surfing the web using that places free wifi? Where is this in San Diego?
3. The last piece are designated startup hangouts. I/O Ventures opened a coffee shop made for creating the environment of a study hall or group cafeteria. You literally sit down at a long table, laptops everywhere, power plugs, coffee and people getting work done. They have good food and good coffee to make someone want to hang out at the coffee shop for long periods of time. This place screams of startup hangout.
What about people saying that you need to be in the area where all of this is happening. What exactly is happening? Is it people working on the future of technology on the internet? That’s going on everywhere. Is it being in the local area where the VC’s and Angel investors are at? That’s everywhere and a Facebook Message away. Does it really need to just be in the Silicon Valley? There are a few changes that need to happen first.
If San Diego can become more wifi-friendly, increased the number of home made coffee shops with good food, and work on renovating these locations to be conducive to community group work then we could potentially have our own Silicon Valley on our hands.
It just comes down to having internet access, great food, and good coffee. That can be created anywhere.
I just want to express how delighted I am with Summify. I am writing this post to explain what great customer service looks like. This is in complete contrast to the piece I wrote about Airbnb.
First let me tell you that I have no investment or connection to anyone in Summify. I am merely a active and happy user of their service.
The other day I was having a challenging time with Summify with a few bugs in the system. For all I know it was something on my phone that messed it up. It may have not been Summify’s fault in the first place. I wanted to make sure other people were not having the same challenges and since I liked the application, I emailed Summify to notify them of what was going wrong with my system. This is what they quickly replied back to me:
From a customer service standpoint this response is benchmark. They didn’t need to have an answer but with this response I felt like they cared. AND they thanked me. I knew that they were on the case and would look into it. A little time went by and I received this email:
They continued with the great customer service with a follow up email stating they were still working on a resolution. They provided a quick potential work around (just in case that worked) but said they were working on a more permanent fix. At this moment I was thinking this company is awesome. Did I mention this was on a Sunday?
Here’s where I was blown away:
Cristian Strat, one of the Founders got involved. As a user of the system, this was the follow up to make sure I was happy and had a quick resolution. It continued on Twitter…
It worked. It not only make my connection to the Summify brand stronger but made me want to write a positive customer review about them. They deserve every bit they get. It’s all about customer service and Summify has this part in the bag.
FYI to all you Google Chrome users. They have now updated Google Chrome to use the same swipe back and forth features that happen with in the new OSX Lion upgrade in Safari.
This is good news because Chrome is considerably faster than Safari (although Safari looks better). Now you can benefit from the same features on Chrome! If you are currently using Chrome as your default browser, try it right now. Swipe back and forth and watch the BACK ARROW and FORWARD ARROW at work.
Foursquare continues to grow an innovate. I love that about them. Now with their Foursquare lists, they taking the next step and making their website more social.
99% of everything relating to Foursquare is done on their iPhone, Android apps because it involves checking into locations. Now they add another dimension to their core functionality. That is the ability to create lists from the web interface.
This is an interesting idea because I dont use the Foursquare interface at all. That’s a big way to bring money to their organization with adds and traffic. it’s a step towards becoming more than a great application and entrenching it into the web similar to review sites like Yelp. I’m all about it.
Here is my first of potentially many lists…and I will be updating this as time goes on:
These are my most frequented restaurants but there are many more. This list will soon grow to 20 and are not necessarily in this order by rank. This is very cool!
LinkedIN has finally grown up and moved from the Facebook copy cat status and created their own iPhone app. I can’t believe it took them this long to realize the important of their mobile user.
I can understand why years ago they modeled their iPhone app after Facebook’s, (http://bit.ly/2hljyz), because they are the monster on the block of social networks, however, their iPhone app is horrible. I would prefer to access the Facebook app from the web any day over the iPhone app because it’s just poorly made. However, Facebook made the web interface so difficult to use from mobile that you are forced to use the iPhone app. I completely get this because Facebook wants you to use their systems for better or for worse. You are stuck. So why did LinkedIN copy their iPhone app design? Simple, they didnt think for themselves and believed that they would be creating something that their users would be used to. Well, they are not Facebook and they clearly dont have 750 million users. How did that work out for them?
I am also a LinkedIN user and in my opinion, I dont go on the system unless I’m on my computer. Why? Take a guess. OK enough about LinkedIN and their lack of knowing what their users were looking for on mobile. I am now excited to say that they have, after growth and a profitable IPO, started to think for themselves and created a clean sheet iPhone app. Here are some screen shots:
My initial thoughts are, this looks amazing. I really feel they nailed this redesign. I am excited to try it out! It’s nice to see innovation from LinkedIN.
However, the challenge they will still need to address is that their users have been trained to access the site from their computer. Will they begin to use it regularly? We will see.
If you are like me then you love new technology apps for the iPhone. Inside the App store you can search for the newest, most popular apps to hit the scene and while navigating you can choose the app that has the best user reviews. After all, you can trust the opinions of your fellow iPhone users, right?
Wrong. The iPhone app store may be misleading you from a rating standpoint. Notice the rating on this app from the TOP NEW App section:
Based upon this rating it looks pretty good right? The majority think it’s a solid app. From a marketing standpoint it could be enough to get most to try it out. Let’s look into this app further:
The number of ratings dropped and so did the rating itself. Woud you download it now?
Can you trust the ratings you see on the app store? Maybe, maybe not. Either way make sure you take a second look before believing what is shown to you.
Facebook Messenger is a WIN & crushes the competition
Facebook recently launched their text messaging application, Facebook Messenger, and I think it is fantastic. After using it for a week I am beginning to see the vision behind Facebook’s creation of this app. It’s main target is attacking Google+ Circles.
Since Google+ came out, one of the core features that made it popular was the ability to group your friends into different circles for increased control over your content and communication. Personally, I am a big fan of the Circles feature and the innovation that brought to Google+. Facebook, has the “groups” feature but very few seem to use it. It failed to be a success and didn’t catch on.
With Facebook Messenger, they are taking another crack at putting together “groups” for communication purposes. The interesting thing about this is Facebook is testing the integrity of the Google+ “Circles” feature to see if that’s really how people want to communicate. With Messenger, I see them posing these questions to the user:
When you communicate with your friends, family, co-workers, followers, etc., do you always want to speak to the same people every time?
What if you had the ability to easily create a circle/group on the fly over one specific event and tracked the communication with that one group only?
When you communicate with your groups, circles, etc., are they all in one social network? Or are they in multiple?
Last night I went out with a group of friends and I thought this would be a good opportunity to test out the program. In adding the different individuals I can tell you it is extremely user friendly. I could add easily find each person that was out last night and the app even showed me if it was their iPhone that I was adding. The people I included inside the group message ended up being cross platform and some were just their cell phone numbers. I then tested out the photo upload MMS feature and it went slick. The system itself is fast and the interface is pure quality. The design team at Facebook did a great job. When testing out the speed of messages, they arrived in real time in the iPhone app just like receiving a SMS text message whereas if you were using the computer or iPad you would need to refresh the page which took considerably longer. Because the group was relevant to a specific topic, we were discussing last nights endeavors, the communication on Messenger went beyond 30 post in only a few hours. Over all, the experience was great! I really enjoyed using it.
Facebook also did something interesting by creating an app just for this purpose. They didn’t make it a piece of their iPhone Facebook regular app. Google+, on the other hand, has their “Huddle” feature be a part of their Google+ app. Could that have something to do with how much people actually use it? Huddle, which is similar to Messenger, isn’t for cross platform communication. Huddle pales in comparison to Messenger. It seems Google is underestimating the importance of creating groups on the fly. It’s too complicated to add individual users on huddle. Could that be because it is simply a feature on the Google+ app? If it had it’s own app then Google could put more focus on making it easier to use. I predict that will be something they make down the road.
So now, I’m writing this post thinking about the concept of Google+ Circles. Is that ultimately how people will want to communicate? Or will they want to custom create a group or circle based upon an event that happens. Facebook is putting that to the test.
Overall, Facebook Messenger is a WIN for Facebook. They crush Google in all categories with this product and even has me questioning the competitive advantage of Google+ Circles. It’s still too early to call with Circles but I’ll tell you one thing…Facebook Messenger has just moved into my top 5 most used apps.
After downloading this i either dont get it or wont use it from here. The user interface isn’t clean enough. It looks complicated to figure it out. I’m not even sure what I’m doing on it. I guess I can give it another shot but Instagram is just too easy to use. I dont want to have to figure this application out. I’m not sure what problem it solves.
I love that people still try to argue that Google and Facebook aren’t at war. They’re absolutely at war. And I predict it will quickly get much more ugly than the Google/Apple war.
Apple doesn’t have an easy way to threaten Google’s core business. I guess if they go with Bing across all their products by default that could hurt, but that’s not an Apple product. (Plus, I think the reason they haven’t done that yet is because they simply believe Google is better at search — Apple won’t make a call that hurts their product.) You’d think Android threatens Apple’s core business, but that’s not really happening (see: Apple’s results quarter after quarter).
But Facebook and Google could easily threaten each other’s core businesses. Google has already started going after Facebook with Google+. Expect Facebook to go more seriously after search — and more importantly, contextual advertising across the web — probably with some help from Microsoft.
Facebook has launched a new application called Facebook Messenger. You can download it here: http://bit.ly/q7pjtl
Why is this significant? It’s finally an attack against their competition: Apple’s iMessage, Google’s Huddle, SMS and various other “group texting” applications. They’ve been waiting patiently to strike and here they go with a great application that does group texting at it’s finest. And it’s now available, instantly, for the 750 million users of Facebook around the world.
MG Siegler in his post, http://tcrn.ch/qw8L6r, predicts the following:
Code found today within Messenger by 9to5 Mac suggests that Facebook will soon add video chat capabilities to the app as well. This makes sense, given Facebook’s recent tie-up with Skype for such functionality.
Could Facebook Messanger have Skype integration as well? That would be interesting. We will see what happens.
Here are a few screen shots:
The social network wars continue to battle with our “online attention” being the ultimate reward.
DJ Patil, previously Color’s chief product officer has left Color and joined Greylock investments. Why is this significant? How bout the fact that Color, which was a huge hit in technology potential that hasn’t done well against Instagram has lost their main product guy. Color, who was recently offered 200 million to be acquired by Google, turned them down. I, still, have no idea what Color is doing. No idea whatsoever.
I used GLMPS last night. Was it a one night stand?
So I tested out GLMPS yesterday at a friends 30th wedding anniversary and learned a lot about it’s pro’s and areas of improvements
It’s a lot of fun taking the photo/video glimpse and when you show a glimpse to someone it’s a wow moment
It’s very easy to use once you get the hang of it
You can add Twitter (@ and hash tags) when typing in the Title of the glimpse
The user experience from the computer and the iphone app is excellent
Areas of Improvement
Absolutely kills your phone battery life FAST
If you LIKE someone’s GLMPS by accident (inside the app) there is no way as if yet to unlike it.
From the iPhone app, after you’ve posted a picture to Facebook, and Twitter on the upload and want to go back and forward to Tumblr or Foursquare those options aren’t available. Only send to Facebook, Twitter, Email, SMS. This is annoying because I wanted to send this GLMPS to Tumblr after the fact
[In viewing from mobile] When a GLMPS has been uploaded to Facebook or Twitter and you view it from there the experience comes across cheap and loses the wow factor when compared to other photo sharing apps like Instagram or Mobli from mobile. The viewing of the GLMPS outside of the app just looks like it was rushed and that is one of my favorite part of Instagram. Many of the people I share with don’t have iPhones so I want to share the experience with them and it’s a downer.
The Foursquare app wasn’t working (which I’m not sure my phone service had a part in)
When viewing a GLMPS from (mobile) Facebook it goes from photo to video. I would rather have some way to show the wow factor and have it show a video inside the photo. The writing and design looks cheap when viewing from mobile.
In Summary, it was a fun experience but I have a few hesitations on if we will make a great couple in the future. I don’t remember these challenges with Instagram. Maybe they were there but I didn’t notice them. I could just be comparing this to Instagram but that’s the reality that GLMPS has to face. People will compare this to Instagram. It’s almost like GLMPS is attempting to do too many features at once rather than make the user experience in each area incredible and then add on. As of right now the user experience is great from the iphone app and the computer but I’m not impressed when viewing GLMPS from a mobile phone. The biggest downside for me is the battery life drain. I’m not sure if it was a result of using the flash at night or just using the application itself. It made me want to just go back to regular photos so I could use my phone more during the evening. It’s still early so we will see if this becomes more than a one night stand.
New iPhone app, GLMPS (glimpse) has just thrown their name into the mobile photo marketspace with a cutting edge alternative to traditional photo sharing.
Here’s what it does in a nutshell…
Today when you take photographs with your iPhone you click the “take the picture button” once everything is lined up for the photo. Now imagine if there was a video recording going on before the photo was taken, So you can see your friends getting ready before they begin to smile for the photo. Well, GLMPS does exactly that. Somehow right before you snapped your photo, it recorded the incident and you turn away with a snapshot and the brief moments that lead to that picture. Combine that into a clean design like Instagram and you get a nice sharing feed you are familiar with but with the enhanced motion videos.
From an integration standpoint it defaults with these connectors: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr. That is a bonus because those are top four favorites. Did I mention it’s free?
Still in the testing phase but as of first impressions, I’ll say that I am impressed. I’ll try to post more photos in the next coming days to test it out. So far so good!
“We’ve heard that you want to invite your friends, but sometimes you don’t know their email addresses… or sometimes it’s not easy to find it,” he wrote.
The new links feature, which will be rolled out over the next few days, will appear as another option in the “invite friends” section in Google+. You’ll be able to email the link, IM it to friends, or pass it around however you see fit. Since Google+ is still in field testing though, Srinivasan says that you’ll only be able to invite 150 people through the links for now.
Some of my friends and family are computer ignorant so this will be perfect.
Here’s a comment from Kevin, their CEO on the Instagram blog:
On October 6, 2011 we launched Instagram in the App Store as a way for people to easily share their lives through photos taken on their iPhones. Since then, we’ve seen more than 7 million people from all around the world share photos on our platform. Today, we’re excited to announce that more than 150 million photos have been shared on Instagram and Instagrammers now share photos with one another at a rate of 15 photos per second.
Im an avid user of Instagram. Check it out if you have an iPhone.
Turntable.fm is my favorite way to listen to music. I wrote a post about it here
It appears they are catching the attention of some influential celebs out there like the Queen Monster herself, Lady Gaga, and Kanye West. If you haven’t checked it out yet all you need is a Facebook login to get in.
You may or not be aware but Amazon has quietly backed down from Apple and removed their Kindle store link from the Kindle iphone/iPad app. Amazon has been using the “free” apps from the Apple app store to sell ebooks online through Apple’s backend infrastructure with out paying Apple for any royalty fee’s.
If you plan on downloading any new books through the Kindle then you must go to Amazon.com and download it directly from the website. Not that big of a deal. However, the reason Amazon quietly changed their system might be. Did Apple sue them?
Over the last year Amazon, most likely, has been perfecting the transfer from Amazon.com to the iPad and just using Apple along the way until they were ready to make the switch. What was the final cause of the change may only be known by the lawyers of both companies.
In a contrite blog post published Monday, Airbnb’s chief executive Brian Chesky apologized for his company’s handling of the matter, writing:
We felt paralyzed, and over the last four weeks, we have really screwed things up… We should have responded faster, communicated more sensitively, and taken more decisive action to make sure [the victim] felt safe and secure. But we weren’t prepared for the crisis and we dropped the ball.
When I look back on this situation with Airbnb I am surprised people are getting so worked up over this. Coming from the sales service industry this type of situation happens every day. Things go wrong all the time but it’s how the vendor responds that makes all the difference.
For example, if your customer had a serious issue that happened to them they would typically reach out to you for help. You have two different options on how you, as the vendor, can react to the situation.
The first is a rookie mistake. You can not respond to the customer because you dont know what to do. You aren’t sure what to say, you dont have a solution at the moment. You have the feeling that if you spoke to the customer they would be angry at you and demand some crazy resolution and you would like to simply get everything together before you engage the troubled customer. This is the absolute worst decision you could make and is covered in customer service 101.
The correct response would be to go there, physically, right away to see the customer. What people don’t realize is that the customer just wants someone to be there with them. They want to know that they are not in the boat alone. They want to know that you care about them and that you feel horrible for what happened. They want to hear that you are going to help them through it, no matter what the cost. The irony is, when you see them you dont even have to have a solution to the matter. You just need to tell them you’re on it. You will take care of them. That’s all the customer needs.
I completely understand with the situation from both sides. The customer didn’t feel like Airbnb cared about them and their situation. They felt like they were in it alone and that is really disappointing which is why they wrote about it in their blog posts. I understand how Airbnb felt. They didn’t know how to respond, what to do, what to say, and when to act. I see the same thing with our sales staff. It happens every day.
When it comes down to it, Airbnb should’ve been prepared to show the customer they cared. They should’ve ran over to the location that was trashed and met face to face with their customer and told them that everything was going to be alright and that even though they weren’t sure what they were going to do, they were going to take care of them. That didn’t happen and this whole thing blew up just like it does in every day life.
Twitter is exactly what is mentioned in here. Clear and simple.
Twitter is where people around the globe come to instantly connect to what’s most meaningful to them. This makes Twitter the only place in the world to get a real-time pulse on what people are thinking and doing practically anywhere.
This is why I believe Twitter isn’t going anywhere. They have a clear understanding of who they are, where they are going and why people use it. It’s exactly why I use it. Facebook, Google+ , do you know who you are?
Another example of how Yahoo is moving in the wrong direction. When the CEO is calling out their sales organization it’s clear there is a lack of accountability from the top. If Yahoo is going to survive and rebound similar to Apple, then they need to believe in the product (which I’m not sure what it is exactly) and they need to believe in their leader (which may now be a big challenge for the sales people). The analogy, “The fish smells from the head,” definitely applies with Yahoo.
This is a great read for those trying to learn the ropes on YouTube broadcasting. This guide breaks down everything from A - Z. If you didn’t already think YouTube was easy to use, now they are helping you be the most effective with your posts. Right on.