Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Amazon shareholder letter circa 2000

Classic innovation vs efficiency thinking

Per Scott Devitt from MS

 In the 2000 shareholder letter, Mr. Bezos stated, ""Price performance of processing power is doubling about every 18 months (Moore's Law), price performance of disk space is doubling about every 12 months, and price performance of bandwidth is doubling about every 9 months. Given that last doubling rate, will be able to use 60 times as much bandwidth per customer 5 years from now while holding our bandwidth cost per customer constant. Similarly, price performance improvements in disk space and processing power will allow us to, for example, do ever more and better real-time personalization of our Web site.

In the physical world, retailers will continue to use technology to reduce costs, but not to transform the customer experience. We too will use technology to reduce costs, but the bigger effect will be using technology to drive adoption and revenue. We still believe that some 15% of retail commerce may ultimately move online."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Efficiency vs Innovation

It seems that about every nine months I visit my Yahoo mailbox (Yahoo has the largest installed base in the US with 282mm identities and is second to Hotmail worldwide). On my most recent visit, I was greeted with an extensive upgrade. The home screen was touting a 2x speed improvement, better spam control, new social features and unlimited attachment storage; with a whopping 100Gb limit/attachment (in cooperation with YouSendIt). All these adjectives sounded great. Indeed, it's much improved, and it's as if the team went down a check box of features in a methodological way and executed in an efficient manner. Yet, sadly, like much of Yahoo today, it offers little in the way of real innovation or insight. It lacks passion.

The stagnation of Yahoo, while incredibly visible, is not a solitary event, in fact, after reading Jane Jacobs' Economies of Cities and Carlota Perez's Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (thanks to Fred Wilson for suggesting it) there's a real science into why Yahoo is a shining example of markets ruthlessly punishing companies losing their innovative way, while not embracing the next logical developmental milestone; efficiency. Microsoft, as an example of successfully crossing this chasm. It is hardly innovative, however, under Steve Ballmer's leadership, it's undeniably an efficiently run organization.

Markets experience overlapping cycles. For example, we have the ebb and flow of financial markets, represented by the financial exchanges and innovations from fleet footed vendors spurring the advance/decline of production markets.  Each are related and often complementary, but with different foundations and drivers. Carlota Perez highlights that new markets are financed through production capital (much time and innovation and relatively little money), funding the ways and means of production. Later, financial capital (facilitated by the banking industry) supplies the means for massive deployment and broad sharing of wealth (ignoring for this discussion inevitable bubbles). While Jane Jacobs points to the drive to efficiency as the antithesis of innovation. Using the growth of cities, and the failure of planned urban renewal as examples, she gives a series of cases of how central planning stifles innovators. 

From the outside, I assumed that when Carol Bartz was brought on board at Yahoo, she would be a terrific hire. A no nonsense manager with a purposeful perspective, it seemed that she would bust through the layers of bureaucracy holding back the Company from building on its success and innovating within the social and mobile waves hitting the industry. The Company under her leadership did pare down the bureaucracy and had clear lines of authority, but it lacked a fundamental and axiomatic truth. In this industry a company must evolve and innovate in order to prosper. Yahoo did neither. 

Press reports about numerous Private Equity players preparing bids to acquire Yahoo are logical. With an abundance of Financial capital available, they surely will bring efficiencies new owners will demand. I just hope, that building on the failure of Ms. Bartz, there is a remnant of the culture that made this a once proud company and they uncork the beauty of Production capital which is so sorely needed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do It Yourself (DIY) vs Do It For Me (DFM)

Two unrelated events over the past few weeks highlighted for me an acceleration of change in the application and infrastructure ecosystems. Until I 'upgraded' to iOS5 on the iphone, and Apple killed the independent Siri application, I had been running Siri on my 4. Its feature set (along with Dragon Go!) is billed as a voice assistant, really a software layer that sits across a myriad of databases and retrieves the data it thinks you are looking for. Rather than opening a specific application and conduct a search, the application interprets and parses verbal instructions, searches various databases and returns an answer it thinks solves the question at hand. The application essentially provides a service for me (DFM) which replaces manual searching (DIY). 

A multitude of examples abound for DFM services which range from (storage/back-up), Google or Yahoo News (algorithmic filtering), to Amazon's suggested items to buy. Many are assuming the role of gatekeeper or curator for the personalized serving of information or commerce options. 

I was exposed to another example of DYM in the techie world while attending PuppetCon with Cloudsmith's management. Firms such as Puppet Labs are shielding administrators from layers of complexity via their automated IT management solutions, which enables IT professionals to manage dynamic cloud infrastructures. Companies, such as Twitter and, could not provide the massive global solutions they offer without folk like Puppet. Creative programmers and business folk are leveraging the latest infrastructure advances to mask complexity, enhance access, and increase utility. A killer combination.

Each time we get an advance in processing, bandwidth, storage or displays, programmers busily optimize/advance their programs by packing in more and different utility for users. It's one reason why older devices seem to degrade over time; the upgraded applications are no longer designed for their device and, the last generation(s) are ill equipped to keep up. 

Here's a video of Eli Pariser describing the potential downsides to enhanced filtering. It's really informative:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Techstars NY

Yesterday,  one of the NY based technology incubators, TechStars, hosted a session for its most recent 12 graduates to present their companies to a group of 500 investors, peers, and company executives. It was one of the most impressive young company events I have been to in many years and highlighted a few NY-centric points:

  1. This generation of companies is far different from their brothers/sisters of a decade ago. In a similar venue (though before incubators) just about every presenting company would have highlighted a business that was perched, precariously it turned out, on three fragile letters....CPM.  This group of entrepreneurs were starting companies that ran the market gamut, ranging from infrastructure to application and business to consumer.
  2. The number of second time entrepreneurs, with pedigree from great companies was notable, as were the dropouts from Penn and the one high school coder
  3. The scope of early relationships/investors with Google, MSFT, Amex and Accel was impressive

Here's a brief summary of the presenting companies, in order of appearance:

Contently- marketplace which connects writers with brands. Thesis is that every brand needs to produce their own content. Issue is to ensure they get high quality content. Contently manages the matching, workflow and payments.  Organizes the market, like Bitwine, and is compensated as a % of the deal. Have 2,000 writers in market now. AMEX Open Forum is now a partner (not sure what this means). restaurant ecommerce like a Sabre for food. GOOG ventures is a seed investor.

Urtak- A polling infrastructure (think Q+A which you can embed on your site). The company objective is to organize the world's opinions, while increasing engagement (and providing metrics) on the sites which use their infrastructure

MobIntent-A tool for the creation, optimization and management of mobile ad campaigns. Mobintent simplifies the workflow across medias and claims 3x uplift in cost/click over Admob

Spontaneously-mobile application to enable people to meet friends at the last minute; or a tool to manage your free time

Piictu-a visual network based on a mobile app. Photos are now a foundation for interaction rather than static images.  Piictu creates a network around the photos. 130k downloads in 8 weeks. Users spend 2.5 min each app session. 62% of users post photos. SoftBank, BetaWorks and RRE were seed investors

Sidetour- 'Peer to peer market for experiences'. For example, booking a luge track session with an Olympic competitor. Or to paint graffiti with an artist. The company earns a 20% fee for running the marketplace. Avg price per booking has been $60/person with 6 people per session. Foundry and RRE are investors

Ambassador-social referral platform to help brands create and manage (incentivize) ambassadors. Have an API which integrates into your site and they handle the tracking/management.

ChatID- let's companies engage with consumer via chat, but does not have to be on the company landing page (e.g. talk to a Sony rep via the BestBuy site). Feels like a LPSN competitor, but is more broadly architected to work across many chat front ends. Co-founder is on the XMPP (Jabber) committee. It works from any device and on any site. 70% of companies have chat on site, but conversation must start on their site, until now. The chat market has silos of incompatible systems, their click to chat, keeps customers on site, while engaging with multiple vendors.

Wantworthy-avg woman spends 25 minutes browsing shopping sites/day for entertainment. Company's objective is to pioneer 'time shifted buying' via a portable wish list invoked from a widget downloaded to your toolbar

Dispatch- centralized cloud management. Drag and drop amongst your services and share content In a world where I am now using five different cloud services, having one unified layer, with social sharing capabilities is compelling. I have signed up for the beta and anxiously await its release.

Coursekit- social network for education. Going after Blackboard. A place for students to download files, and stay to discuss/share content. Free download for individual teachers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Platform philosophy

Attached is a great post from a Google Engineer, Steve Yegge, which appeared in SAI today. The author is extolling his managers/team to think of GOOG+ (and other applications) as a platform which enables others to write to it, creating a win/win for all (though not necessarily a proportional win/win).

Monday, September 12, 2011

A new set of ears and eyes

Over the past couple of months, I have noticed a series of iOS applications which utilize the camera attached to a phone or iPad that bring order to the 'chaos' around me. In each of the applications the image taken by the camera is compared against a specific database of objects (or GPS location) to give search results without ever invoking a browser. For example:

Zagat updated their search capability with an eye icon on the top of the application. If you scan your camera around a street, up comes the summary restaurant rankings, with no clicks, and no 'formal' search invoked

Fooducate uses bar codes to give you nutritional rankings, and suggestions, for packaged items

Skin of Mine uses pictures of your skin (moles, spots, etc) from your camera to search against their database of  skin disorders and either analyzes the issue, or offers to put you in touch with a professional for a consultation. Nice lead generation for the derm folk, and a streamlined process for the consumer

LeafSnap, referred by my farmer friend Ron, enables you to identify various trees by snapping photos of their leaves.

Google Shopper, is a mobile search tool that relies on a camera for searches on items outside of their 'Featured items'. For some items, such a books, no bar code is required, as it scans the image of the cover and matches it against their database. It's really amazing to see it in action and it's GPS abilities increases its relevance. eBay also lets you search for scanned products via RedLaser (acquired last year) or its own application.

I suspect that camera and/or voice enabled applications such as Siri (acquired by Apple) or Dragon Go! are now well along the way of fundamentally changing a user's interaction with their computer/phone/tablet. From past experience, we know that when the user interface substantially changes, such as with Windows, various browsers, or the iPad, tectonic market shifts follow.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Random bits

Interesting people have raised a number of points that I need to think about:

1. Now that Facebook has 600 million members, and has an ARPU (Average revenue per user) of $3.00 I suppose that majority of future revenue growth won't be centered on new member acquisition, but on ARPU. Shifting their emphasis to establishing a platform has energized a development ecosystem of tens of thousands. Inevitably, they will have to declare which applications (e.g. payments) will be subsumed into the platform. I would not be surprised if they want to grow ARPU by 5x over the next three years.

2. Vendors in the online commerce arena are innovating at a tremendous pace. The LA Times utilizes Groupon to power their platform, the NY Times is working on their own group buying product, and local papers, such as the Bergen Record have entered the market too . To top it off, MSFT has partnered with The Dealmap, which aggregates group deals by city. Moreover, Paypal is now offering 'exclusive' sales to customers via Ruelala Customers, (e.g. SMB's) now have a raft of choice and group buying margins surely will doubt more innovation is on the near term horizon

3. With the FTC about to open hearings on privacy, many behavioral advertising companies, which rely on cookies, will be under pressure as sites cleanly give viewers the opportunity to opt out of being tracked. At the same time, many sites are investing greatly in adding engagement tools, which enable far greater on-site profiling. It just may be this is the best thing that happened to many of the now protesting vendors.

4. Isn't it fascinating that people often choose less quality and greater price? For example, streaming video offers less quality than DVD's, MP3 is has lower fidelity than analog systems, and digital cameras have less resolution than analog. Luke Williams of Frog Design, has a number of provoking thoughts about innovation and the way that changing behavior is paramount to success by new vendors. He says that companies that concentrate on incremental change are eventually doomed (I felt he was talking about MSFT).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The next day

Over the years, I've participated in many theoretical academic debates over which is more important; the CEO or market. It's similar to the 'nature vs nurture' parable which modern genetics has resoundingly answered (both).

It's true that rising tides lift all ships, but it takes a captain to determine when to sail, as well as choosing the proper port to leave from and to enter. I've come to greatly appreciate CEO's and the myriad challenges they have in the day to day implementation of company plans and strategy development. Coming off a few board and new prospect meetings only highlighted this appreciation. Let me share a few of 'the next day', after the board meeting issues these CEO's are dealing with:

1. The pivot- Six months ago this company introduced its product to the market. A beautiful looking social application which has garnered a fair amount of traffic, but basically zero uptick to a paid version which fuels their 'freemium' business model. Angel cash is getting tight and a new module, enhancing the value of the base solution will race against the clock. Build momentum to attract new capital or shut out the lights.

2. The approach- After working 4 hard years and creating value, this company has been approached to be acquired. The CEO is moderating disparate shareholder interests where some want to defer a sale till greater value is earned, some want to sell now, and a few shareholders are agitating for a large financing round.

3. The team- The CEO hired what seemed like a wonderful senior officer, introduced him to investors and integrated him into the organization. It's six months later and he thinks it's a bad hire; the fit's just not there.

4. The acceleration; or 'what's next'- Business is great, metrics are up, team is happy. But (and there's always a but) all agree we will see slowing growth in the next 18-24 months. Got to find another market or add more value to existing customers. If no solution is found, we should exit soon.

These may seem like distinct issues, but a CEO faces these, and many more, multiple times in a year. If there's a blind spot in her vision, it will surely be exposed and may very well likely maim the company. The best CEO's address the issues rapidly and move on to 'next'.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lowering the 'Why not 'barrier

I had lunch with John Frankel the other day. John is a prolific investor in early stage internet companies through ff Asset Management and a person with well formed opinions about where to invest. Next to his office is a magnificent building. I was checking out its history and architecture via Wikihood on my iPhone when John spied me in the middle of my research and it sparked a discussion on how it was possible, but so difficult to do this same research only 4 years ago. Though possible, it would not have been real-time, would have taken multiple applications to perform, and by the time I realized what was necessary to pull together the project (and a project it would have been), I would have run out of patience and been onto my next task.

John calls this the Why barrier. He goes on to explain that the layering of API's, proffered free of charge, has created the opportunity for so many applications to offer so much to so many for such a 'cheap' price that the reasons to not gather information, or use an application are falling every day. Apple has passed 10 billion downloads in its App Store, with 7 million downloads in the last 12 months. Moreover, it's only getting easier to find and download applications, a trend he sees only exploding as inter connectivity, and the vast data exposed and collected, married with GPS data, only increases application utility.

Why not?

Monday, February 7, 2011


I met with a young pre-revenue company last week and asked the founding CEO what his post-funding plans were to augment his team. He replied that the key hire required was a COO to free him from the day to day details so he can concentrate on strategy and business development. It was a fair resonse, moreover, COO is an ambiguous title, a role that shifts from company to company. I think of it often as being employed as a VP who is first amongst CEO report equals.

The meeting got me thinking about the role of a COO in such a young company. I probably have a faulty memory, but outside of co-founders dividing up titles (e.g. you take Chairman and President, I'll take CEO and Director), I can't recall any successful early stage company employing this structure. I think there are a few important reasons for this:

1. Young companies need flat organizations. Too many reporting layers slow response time in an era of agile development and fast market shifts.

2. Companies need a singularity of leadership associated with vision and execution. This can be achieved with co-founders, but it's really hard, post founding, to bring on board a 'co-leader'.

3. The CEO must dive into all the details, filters hinder her ability to get a visceral feel for what needs to be done. If the CEO is not detail oriented, or has a blind spot for a key company function, odds are that is the area where the company will suffer.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tension in the shift from application to platform

Facebook announced that all Facebook games must use Facebook Credits starting July. This is mandatory, and I am sure there are great reasons for the standardization of its proprietary currency on its proprietary platform. To somewhat ameliorate the pain, and as a carrot to match its stick, Facebook will offer prominent placement on the games dashboard as an incentive to make the switch.

From an economic perspective, and similar to the tax paid to other proprietary platforms (e.g. App Store), Facebook takes a 30% share of all purchases. Some key games are not yet using the credits system as Zynga’s CityVille (100MM users), has its own in-game currency. Time will tell if this will become an exception, or a war.

Few software companies, led by MSFT, have navigated the tricky waters around the shift from offering mostly solitary applications to offering a platform integral for other vendors to build upon. Facebook made this transition in record time with the introduction and rapid adoption of the Open Social graph. It has been a stunning success as within nine months thousands of companies have written their applications to tap into Facebook's data flow and add value to tens of millions of users. This transition firmly established FB as the defacto standard for social computing; its Operating's 'dial tone' is now unique and unchallenged.

With this success comes a fundamental cultural issue for FB and its ecosystem. Now, instead of concentrating its efforts solely upon the satisfaction of its users (and customers), FB has a litany of 3rd party developers, serving as a proxy for millions of their users, to satisfy. As the shifting sands of 'interests' between FB and its ecosystem change, tension will arise. For example, it's not at all unlikely, in fact highly probable, that FB will emerge as the most acquisitive software/internet company of this decade. With so many broad and mostly untapped markets (e.g. social commerce to name one) available, it is natural that the company's growth focus will shift from garnering more users, to monetizing them. This shift, or flashback from application to platform to hybrid model, will place FB in direct competition with its ecosystem.

FB Credits comes on the heels of Facebook Messages, a unified application which links texts, chat and email together. Perhaps, of great utility for its users; certainly a great threat to independent vendors. For those of us who watched the MSFT 'movie' and are witnessing Apple's ascent, all should expect FB's platform to expand wider, eclipsing many adjunct segments.

Back to Credits, Zynga may have sufficient critical mass to withstand the assault today, perhaps, it should be the foundation of an application arm within FB in the not too distant future? In any event, I expect prudent CEO's to build applications, and investors to concentrate diligence, on whether there is expected to be sufficient value for members, whereas an independent company can they build its own social graph; yes, connected to FB, but wary of its intent.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Fisch Bowl

Carl Fisch is a teacher at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado and put together this wonderful presentation on the pace of change.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sharing the wealth

I received 5 emails this AM promoting different crowd enabled discounts for restaurants, nail salons, and kids birthdays. Each invitation was for the benefit of a small business which I had never before frequented. It got me thinking.

It's amazing the shift we have seen in the past three years in company creation. We are witnessing history's fastest growing firms across multiple segments:

Entertainment company- Zynga

Communications company- Twitter

Commerce company- Groupon

New market (social networking) with a huge leader, Facebook

Delving a bit deeper, it seems as if the elusive riches to be garnered by providing useful marketing and lead generation services to the 4+mm Small and medium sized businesses (SMB) will finally be cracked. We have seen a glimmer of this opportunity with the success of Constant Contact (CTCT). This public nearly $900mm market cap company has served more than 150,000 customers with its ubiquitous e-mail marketing solutions. Historically, the three largest obstacles to success in the market were architecting a truly easy to use solution at a reasonable price, surmounting the high cost of customer acquisition, and dealing with high customer turnover (churn).

In the past two years multiple local oriented options have become available to businesses, led by search (cross platform) and display; but now expanding to social, email, group buying, affiliate, and mobile advertising programs. Each has great merits to help SMB's reach their potential customers more efficiently. Though not directly competitive, each market will also vie for the same marketing budget allocation. I suspect we will see a dramatic shift/rise in SMB spending; first away from local print and later split amongst print and more accountable mediums.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Short video on Why Facebook was valued @$50B

The numbers are huge, especially the new friend requests and invites:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Generation skipping

Goldman was once the gold standard for technology banking. They had lead relationships with IBM, lead the Microsoft IPO, then missed the Internet when Rick Sherlund left for an ill fated Hedge stint and saw Morgan Stanley's Mary Meeker grabits mantle.

The Facebook deal puts them back in the pole position. Using capital as a weapon, smarts as currency and courage in its convictions, Goldman has bought and clawed its way back to the top. The deal highlights entree, exclusive distribution and a great ability to connect the dots.

They missed a generation, but are back.

You'll love the video link:

A guy walks into a gym and

sees a pharmacist, a jeweler, a publisher and a toy store owner.

This is my weekend basketball game restricted to non-athletic, trash talking never-beens who enjoy communal grabbing, sweating and cussing. Losers hit the sideline and talk business and Sunday's chatter was really illuminating.

The pharmacist is using Constant Contact for e-mail communications to customers ($30/month for 1500 mails). He's fixated on maintaining market share vs the big boys as CVS and Costco are mere short drives away. His challenge is to attract new customers, while differentiating his store with a service oriented mantra and he's experimenting with $100 thank-you coupons for people who refer friends who fill prescriptions at his store.

The jeweler has an online presence which lists inventory, but no prices. He does not want his walk-in customers to know they can get better prices from him on-line. He has no lead generation or prospect tracking system. He's really interested in figuring out what to do as more of his customers are flocking to eBay and Blue Nile.

The publisher puts out a quarterly free advertising supported glossy hyper local tome that concentrates on fashion, home/landscaping, and charity functions. His 2 person sales force doubles as editor and photographer. They have limited online presence as he's just not sure how he would drive traffic to the site and whether readers and advertisers will have the same positive sensation looking at the layouts online vs holding the glossy paper. Nonetheless, he's trying to figure out how to value a premium domain name, in the heart of his geography, which just became available. Asking price is $10k and unique organic traffic is in the upper hundreds per month.

The toy store owner has a monthly online ad budget. He's just shifted 50% of his spending from GOOG Adwords to Facebook. The ability to target his offers by gender, age and geography has produced encouraging, albeit early results. He's looking for a central dashboard to monitor all his programs (mail, GOOG, FB, and email).

It's so clear that small business owners are grappling with a sea change in the way they reach and maintain their customer relationships. They are willing to experiment, but feel like the sightless in a savage land. What is clear is that Groupon's early success is but the tip of the iceberg that will float many entrepreneurial ships carrying small business owners into the digital age.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The circle game

I met with a few fellow software/internet investors and the oft discussed topic of the 'web is dead' long live mobile applications came up. Elad Baron of PlumWillow also brought up the subject recently.

In the '80's application software heralded the death of timesharing. Then, in the late 90's desktop software was declared dead as it was thought browsers would support rich applications delivered by huge pipes. This did happen but these cloud based applications provided a different type of an experience, one that was more information and real-time oriented. Information at my fingertips was redifined and broadened; it was now the world's information. This had the effect of slowing the growth of desktop software, but not obviating the need for it. The market expanded in a way that forecasters didn't expect and grew much larger than most dreamed.

The rise of mobile applications are again changing our computational behavior. From my own experience, I am spending less time on my desktop and more on my fingerheld PC (aka a smart phone). I have 52 applications installed on the device, yet this pales compared to my kids and many of my peers. These applications are for the most part quite different from a generation ago in that they rely upon the internet to be valuable. A combination of instant updating, 'social' awareness, and GPS functionality has greatly expanded their utility. In fact, it's getting more difficult to determine when I am in an application or when I'm using the web to search through Yelp, my mail, or to read the news.

It seems as if the market is again expanding in unexpected ways. It's 'dead' if the area you have focused on has stopped growing, or is shrinking. It's a new world, if your market is growing.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Looking forward again

I've just completed my annual exercise of looking at the new technology devices/applications I have adopted during the just completed year. I don't think it's as expansive as last year, but quantity may not be the indicator of the extent of the platform shift we are seeing as fingertip held computers exploded on the scene last year. At last count 700,000 'smart phones' were being activated each DAY based on the Apple, RIM and Android platforms. Gone from the conversation, but still trying are are Nokia, MSFT and Ericsson. Each frantically trying to carve out a reason for existence in a market which is passing them by.

Here's the cosmic new list:

1. I became an Apple fanboy. First it was the ultimate convergence device the iPad. It united my TV viewing, news reading, and communications. To the dismay of my wife, they united at all hours in my bedroom. Jobs is right, the device is magical and his comments on the introduction when he said that he's not sure how it's ultimately going to be used, gave great insight into how an entrepreneur's passion can win...over the bean counters.

1a. The applications on the iPad, with its gesture based control, are magical too. Of special note are Star Walk for astronomy, The WSJ, NPR, Google Voice and my favorite, DoodleJump. Of course, Findmy phone willbe the one that will save my bacon.

2. After a brief fling with a Samsung Android device powered (though the right word is crippled) by Verizon, I adopted the iPhone. It's really extended the internet to my mobile fingertips and, unlike Blackberry usage, it's now 80% web/application based, rather than 80% mail used. Ever notice how folk in elevators now are buried in their screens and no longer look at shoes?

3. Facebook Social graph introduced in April and has transformed the application into a platform which is integral to the success of a host of follow-on applications. So far, I've enabled 22 applications to interact with my Facebook social grid. It looks as if the 'social dial tone' is the operating system of this decade.

4. Played with many applications in Google Labs. The list expanded from 5 pages to 7 pages of tools, trifles and applications

5. Dropped using the Kindle as the iPad implementation is good enough

6. Installed Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. Amazing to see how a version 9 of anything can be so replete with bugs as to be practically unusable.

7. Began using bar codes to get more information/prices on items. Scanbuy Redlaser and TheFind are the three I use most often. They are so different and each has its strength/weaknesses.

8. Watched my daughter create an outfit, get comments from her friends, then purchase a pair of shoes on PlumWillow

9 . Geo location based capability is no longer unique many of my applications have them and if they don't they shortly will. Leading the list of most useful is Yelp's implementation.

10. Donated my daughter's Nintendo DX. Fingercomputing, and it's drive towards 'permacheap' applications and functionality has obsoleted this device.