Tuesday, September 22


“The truth is that advertising isn’t going away. Where the advertising money is spent ebbs and flows to various places, but like matter itself, it never quite seems to be created nor destroyed. It just moves around.”
Monday, September 21
Sunday, September 20

You Get What You Give

It should come as no surprise to me that my favorite, and perhaps most level-headed, reaction to the ad-blocking brouhaha that emerged this past week comes from none other than The Macalope.

Oh, ad blocking. See, despite Patel’s contention, it’s very clearly about business and user experience. If it’s not at all about user experience, why in the heck are people paying for ad blockers? Because Apple told them to?

Marco Arment’s decision to pull his ad-blocking app Peace from the App Store after only a few days on sale revealed his humanity as a developer, but that certainly didn’t end the conversation on ad blocking. A common refrain among Arment’s detractors was the irony of selling an app to block ads. Insinuating that selling something to someone who is willing to pay a fair and reasonable price – or, for that matter, any price at all – only revels how vapid content creators on this issue have become. Irony, in Arment’s case would have been releasing the app for free, but somehow supporting its development with in app ads, not selling it to willing buyers.

Back to The Macalope, who astutely concludes that content creators are not the sole contributors to the economic model of publishing gone awry – yes, we the content consumers, carry the burden of blame as well (emphasis mine):

Sadly, the Macalope has to leave you with a pox on both houses that, as Patel correctly notes, is going to affect us all. People who say “Ad blockers are evil!” are wrong and so are people who expect to get the web for free. There’s a middle ground to be had here, but the chance to find it is probably gone and Patel’s hell is a very real possibility.

The lesson: Find something you like or need, pay a fair and reasonable price for it, and don’t groan and complain every time you find it somewhere else for a dollar less.

Monday, September 14

A New Dimension to Multitouch

App shortcuts are cool, but to me the killer feature of Apple’s new 3D Touch interface is peek & pop. Here’s a great description of the feature from TechCrunch:

The most important 3D Touch use case lets you peek into content — this way, you can preview an email, a photo, a link, an address, a message and go right back to where you were. It saves you a couple of taps and breaks the traditional tree hierarchy. In many ways, this feature is reminiscent of Quick Look on OS X.

When you are done peeking, you have three options. You can press a little deeper to actually go into this email, message or calendar view. You can remove your finger and go back to your feed, email list or camera view.

The inevitability of this feature coming to iPhone left me underwhelmed. Now that it’s here and I better understand what it can actually do, I find myself pressing hard on my iPhone 6 trying to will the feature into retroactive existence.

What the heck is Angela Ahrendts doing at Apple?

Tim Cook & company probably got it wrong when they hired John Browett. Not that Browett isn’t good at what he does, but he just probably wasn’t a great fit at Apple. In hiring Angela Ahrendts away from Burberry, they didn’t back away from Think Different. In fact, it appears they doubled down on it:

The courtship was a slow one. Ahrendts would have to relinquish her CEO title, move her husband and three kids—the youngest of which was still in high school—5,000 miles from London to the Bay Area, and change industries. She was nervous. She says she told Cook, “ ‘Don’t believe everything you read. I’m not a techie.’ And he looks at me, and he goes, ‘I think we have enough techies here.’ And I said, ‘But you don’t understand. I’m not even really a great retailer. I hired great retailers.’ And he said, ‘Well, last time I looked we were one of the highest-productivity-per-square-foot stores of any company on the planet. So I think we have a lot of those too.’”

I love everything about Tim Cook’s strategy: let the teams at Apple do what they do, but give them a leader that knows how to lead and how to equip them with what they need to succeed.

(hat tip: The Loop)

Wednesday, September 09