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史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

互联网风投与管理者,创业企业是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一

 
 
 

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我是美国风投创始人和管理合作伙伴,曾担任过Jupiter Media公司VP,Paul Kagan Associates机构分析师,我的创业企业Applied Semantics2003年被谷歌收购,是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一。现着重投资互联网领域,对中国互联网和网络新媒体有深刻研究。我写的《零重力1.0》和《零重力2.0》成为彭博社最畅销书籍,比尔盖茨、杨致远也读过我写的商业报告。在中国,我给网易科技独家供稿。hapn.cool try it!

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The 10 Things Apple Must Do To Keep Winning  

2011-05-11 07:10:19|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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There are 10 holes in Apple’s future. First let’s go back to the future…

Back in the good old MS-DOS days I used to lug my Mac to work, plug it in and plunder away in the world of a windows GUI while my colleagues toiled with keyboard commands using green font on a black CRT.

I eventually succumbed to MS-DOS since the floppies we used to transfer work on — the 5.25″ ones that really were ‘floppy’ — were lingua franca in the office.

Eventually I enjoyed the fact that I spoke two computer languages – Mac and MS-DOS.
And before that, as a teen I sold all sorts of computers, from Macs to Zenith to Amigas.

I say all this because I was one of the real Mac and PC evangelists from the beginning of the personal computer era, out there on the front lines selling these contraptions when fewer than 1 in 100 homes even had a computer.

I still recall when Joe Sodapop ran Apple and when Gil took over and we had 25 flavors of Performas. Dark days indeed.
Now with the iPad starring in a global tour it’s interesting to see what Apple has done to get to the #1 spot with consumers. Now, computers are “cool”. And basically everyone’s got one of some sort, from a phone to a desktop, laptop, tablet.

Yet with all the fanfare and finesse that has brought Apple to this magical spot, there are still holes in its solutions, in its products for consumers and businesses.

Here they are:

1) NO UNIVERSAL SEARCH

Why it matters: As long as Google owns this piece then Apple cannot deliver a full range of services to its users. Why? People will start with Google and Google will feed them its own solutions.

2) ITUNES DOESN’T STREAM DIRECT

Why it matters: The world of media is moving into the cloud. Apple’s iTunes ‘store’ requires you to purchase and download movies, TV shows, audio, songs, etc. Downloading a movie is not practical unless you want to buy a movie to watch tomorrow. Contrast that with Amazon’s Instant Video solution that streams to multiple devices and allows download if you want. The key is the user has the choice and streaming is a “now” method. Click and watch. Cloud-based is the future.

3) APP ECOSYSTEM DOESN’T INTEROPERATE

Why it matters: The Web grew dramatically from the beginning since developers could build a page, process or data and have it interoperate with other Web pages, processes or data. The whole idea of “hypertext markup language (HTML) is to link to each other. Meanwhile, Apple’s apps are self contained and have no interaction with each other or the Web — at least on a level that the Web does. Open an app on your iPhone or iPad and that app is not aware of a world larger than itself. Users have to launch each app one by one.

4) THE MARKETING MAGIC

At some point the idea that everything Apple makes is revolutionary will wear off. iPod, iPhone and iPad are revolutionary. But not each upgrade of these systems is. Upgrades are evolutionary. The problem is the media promotes everything Apple does as revolutionary. This can hurt the company over time. Save the “revolutionary” tag for breakthroughs.

5) DEPLOYMENT TIMES

Apple acquired mobile app maker Siri last Spring and the technology hasn’t yet been mainstreamed into Apple’s mobile solutions. Siri is a revolutionary product that allows users to navigate the world quite well. This could answer point #1 above since Siri is a more natural way to search than Google.

6) CONTROL

Like many other tech companies, Apple wants to funnel the world’s information through its systems. This is what Microsoft, Google, and Sony, among others, are trying to do. If we flip the idea over, having your information on any system ensures user adoption. The analogy is a movie shown in any theater vs. just a few. The challenge is balance. The walled garden of a great experience and then the access to the universe of information and content outside it.

7) STEVE

Steve Jobs makes Apple cool. He did that in 1977 and 1997 and 2007, and today. Without Jobs Apple w8ould be a footnote, the Amiga of its day. The good thing is Steve has imbibed coolness into Apple’s culture. They need to continue to keep design and cool at the forefront. Having lived through the Performa debacle this is no small thing. Steve’s coolness is Apple and it is bigger than Steve now, like a genie out of the bottle. No more Gil Amelios or the Pepsi guy, John Sculley. They were good at other companies but not right for Apple.

8) 8) TOO COOL TO FAIL

That said, the other side of “cool” is thinking you’re foolproof. That everything you do automatically is bestowed with the mantle of cool. The problem is that that kind of ego eventually backfires. It only takes one lousy product to dampen a lot of coolness.

9) PAYMENTS

Consumers want easy payments without having to enter laborious and archaic credit card data every time they buy something. Visa and Mastercard have built a business on plastic that’s not needed. PayPal proved them wrong. Amazon did it even better. Today, Amazon has “pay phrase” where you can enter any words you like and pay using your Amazon account. Apple has iTunes with credit card data but it’s not convenient or leading edge. And iTunes has way too many “agreements” when you long on to the app store or iTunes store, agree to 46 pages before you can buy an app? Amazon has never done that. Apple needs to learn from Amazon a few things about payments. PayPal too.

10) DESIGN

The most valuable thing Apple has is design sense.  Its why the iPhone looks and feels “better” than any other smartphone. It’s why a MacBook beats a Dell or HP laptop. It’s why an iPad beats other tablets. One of the most under-rated things in technology is the value of the user experience. A lot of computer companies promote chip speed, graphic chips, etc., but these are only useful if the user experience is superior. A fast chip is wasted with a bad GUI or clumsy interface. Apple needs more ways to get inside its services other than iTunes. Apple should be design-centric and available across a myriad of access methods without having to load software. Bottom line: Apple has to work in a super magical cloud rather than clients like iTunes and iOS.
All this said, Apple is the one to beat. Right now no other company comes close to engaging the imagination of consumers on any level.

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