17 December 2014

Above Avalon: “Apple Watch Sales and Earnings Projections”

Apple Watch

I extrapolate Apple’s addressable market for Apple Watch from iOS adoption rates. I use the share of iOS devices that upgraded to the latest iOS release by the end of the first full day after release as a proxy for Apple’s most loyal customer base. I classify these users as a fair approximation of Apple’s initial addressable market for an Apple Watch. Using a 2.4-year iPhone replacement cycle, I estimate there are approximately 400 million iPhones in use today. Since there are older devices resold or passed down to children and relatives, I would label the 400M data point as a base case estimate.

Using the average between Mixpanel and Fiksu, I arrive at 13%, however Mixpanel has historically tracked closer to Apple’s reported adoption rates, therefore I increased the 13% average to 15% to reflect a greater weighting for Mixpanel. I then multiplied that percentage by the 400 million iPhones out in the wild to arrive at approximately 60M core iPhone users that serve as a prime target to sell Apple Watch (which requires an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus).

Neil Cybart

Wow, I can’t decide if this estimate is pure genius or absolute bullshit!

16 December 2014

Five Hundred Words: “Hacking The Tweet Stream”

More recently, there’s been a trend with a similar goal (to increase the 140-character limit), but immensely better execution and flow: appending screenshots of text to tweets.

Speaking of context, this is an extremely useful trick to share something without having to break (or re-work for 140-characters) the context of what you’re sharing. It often makes the experience of sharing something better.

M.G. Siegler

Twitter on iPhone with text screenshotI’ve seen this trend on as well and I’m very annoyed by it. It may be easier to share for those who post the screenshots, but as a follower I frequently can’t read the shared text because the image is too small on a smartphone screen or too compressed, making the letters fuzzy and pixelated. It’s like sending someone a scanned PDF file instead of a text reply by email: rude and completely wrong! Why not share that text snippet on tumblr, if Twitter is too restrictive for you? This way people actually have more context, because they can read the original article as well, instead of simply absorbing your self-centered opinion on it. I might have to start unfollowing people who make this a habit.

As for the engagement other people are seeing, of course it’s higher, people don’t have any other place to go without a link, they have to stare at that poor quality picture of text. And would you rather people engage with your blog, where you might run ads or get them to subscribe, or with a random tweet with no connection to your other work?

15 December 2014

Wired: “Instagram Is Getting So Good at News, It Should Scare Twitter”

Instagram owes its growing role as a news service to the rise of photos as a form of communication. They’re faster to take and often easier to decode. I think we’re at the stage right now where exchanging simple text-based messages on a social platform seems antiquated, says Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer who has been covering social media and realtime marketing for more than a decade. Twitter of course carries photos, too, but, she says, The platform is still very heavily text.

Jessi Hempel

It’s an interesting idea, except…

  • first of all, Instagram is missing a key ingredient to allow news to spread fast and reliably, namely a Share button to compete with ’s Retweet feature. Right now, if someone posts a breaking-news picture on Instagram, his followers can either like or comment, but not spread the word to their own circles about it. Other users can only discover the shot if algorithms decide to show it in the ‘Explore’ section – and even then it’s stuck there, because they can’t share it further. As I noticed in a previous article, and this one happily acknowledges further down the line, the main focus of Instagram is entertainment; ‘serious’ news makes for poor entertainment.
  • it’s quite a longshot to spin a couple of pictures of stormy weather into a news phenomenon. I checked the Instagram profile featured in the article: it has one(!) picture of the storm, the rest are interior shots and graffiti pics, completely irrelevant as ‘news’.
  • opinions from a co-founder are largely irrelevant, now that (and through it Mark Zuckerberg) completely controls Instagram.

11 December 2014

TechCrunch: “Instagram Hits 300 Million Monthly Users To Surpass Twitter”

It’s no fad. Just nine months after hitting 200 million users, Instagram now says 300 million people use its photo app every month, with 70% of them coming from outside the US. That makes Instagram officially bigger than Twitter, which had 284 million active users as of six weeks ago.

Josh Constine

I saw the same argument repeated elsewhere, but I think comparing straight up user numbers is a bit misleading here. It’s like comparing the news business to the entertainment industry – the parallel being, evidently, that is the news center of the real-time era, while dominates shallow entertainment and quick communication. At the end of the day, people will consume both news and entertainment, and they will both be viable sources of revenue, but they will reach different audiences, depending on personal tastes.

08 December 2014

What’s new in Chrome 40

Despite the round number, this version of is relatively light on updates. The most important are aimed at developers, as highlighted in the official announcement. Service Workers are likely the most relevant long-term, a new API enabling web applications to use functionality normally reserved for native apps, like rich offline experiences, periodic background syncs and push notifications. You can read a more comprehensive description of the technology in this introductory article on HTML5 Rocks. Unfortunately, support is currently limited to browsers using the Blink rendering engine (Chrome on desktop and Android, ) and ; without a commitment from on Safari, service workers will have a limited impact on the development of mobile apps.

01 December 2014

On Spotify’s strengths and challenges

Since I wrote a couple of articles about Spotify and streaming recently, I gave the company and business some more thought. To better summarize them, I compiled a SWOT matrix for Spotify, a tabular analysis listing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats a business is likely to face in the future. These will apply to some extent to any other streaming service.

30 November 2014

Jonathan Strahan - Reach for Infinity

in Bucharest, Romania

Jonathan Strahan - Reach for InfinityDupă primele două volume din Proiectul Infinity, al treilea abordează o gamă largă de subiecte, dar și calitatea povestirilor variază puternic, de la cele scurte și emoționale, la unele lungi și greu de citit.

Colecția începe bine cu Break My Fall de Greg Egan, care inventează un sistem ingenios de propulsie pentru convoaiele de coloniști marțieni. O întreagă familie de asteroizi a fost mutată pe orbitele perfecte, așa încât de‑a lungul traiectoriei spre Marte navele cu coloniști se conectează la fiecare asteroid printr‑un sistem de cabluri și sunt accelerate de rotația acestora spre următorul punct din traseu. Povestirea se desfășoară pe una din aceste transportoare, Baza, sub supravegherea pilotului veteran Heng. O furtună solară neprevăzută forțează convoiul să facă o oprire de urgență la una din stații, iar defecțiunea unui cablu obligă echipajul Baza să organizeze o salvare în stilul Apollo 13. Mi‑a fost cam greu să țin socoteala tuturor pasagerilor, ar fi bine să o parcurg din nou pentru a reține mai bine rolurile fiecăruia, dar în mare povestirea este bine construită și echilibrată. Puncte bonus pentru ideea că calculele pentru salvare sunt făcute pe ceasul unuia dintre pasageri!

The Dust Queen de Aliette de Bodard este legată tot de Marte: de‑a lungul complicatului proces de teraformare, printre lucrători se dezvoltă tradiția organizării unor spectacole care combină furtunile marțiene cu holograme, formând imagini complexe și efemere. Ajunsă la o vârstă înaintată, cea mai talentată artistă, Bao Lan – Regina Nisipurilor din titlu, îi solicită unei tinere o operație delicată de restaurare a amintirilor din copilărie pentru a se putea întoarce pe Pământ la locurile natale din Vietnam. Tânăra Quynh Ha se vede pusă în fața unei decizii grele, nesigură de capacitatea ei de a duce operația la bun sfârșit și nedorind să o piardă pe Regină, ale cărei spectacole aduceau puțina bucurie a coloniștilor marțieni. Ca multe dintre scrierile lui Aliette este axată pe memorie și relația cu trecutul și înaintașii.