Thursday, April 27, 2006

Your WebTop

Ask any tech guru what the next frontier is and they will spit back the words "your web-top".

Right now and in the next few months you will be witnessing a multitude of new webtop applications going live. Google thinks that they have this industry in the bag and that the future launch of googles edition of writely will blow your hair back. (if you don't know, this is an AJAX collaborative document web app). Michael Robertson thinks that his next profitable net-venture will include his own brand of free MS Word and Excel emulating AJAX applications. One of the most promising prospects is a new company called thinkfree which unlike Robertson, offers a nice unified and pleasing design.

Each of these companies is putting in lots of time and effort to provide the consumer the most functional, pleasing, and easy to integrate FREE webtop services. In the end, only ONE WILL WIN. Consumers are too used to using Microsoft Office products and are too dependent upon a system which they trust. This brings me to my next point....

While there are countless companies trying to emulate MS office, NONE of them offer the full functionality of actual Microsoft Office products. Microsoft, one of the largest computer software corporations in the world is working hard to out-do their primitive competition. With more money, patents, they will need to get their game on and show the world what they can offer. The only problem is that they are too damn big and slow. They are GM of software. They lack a flexibility of lets just say google, another big money competitor. Will Microsoft be able to market Vista while introducing webtop software designed to compete with it? In fact, I say YES. After almost a decade of bullshitting consumers with XP, Microsoft will get theirselves together enough to gain significant marketshare in the web 2.0 revolution.

***Added on 5/14/06 is the fact that Mark Cuban is placing his webtop bets on by loading them up with over a million chips.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

You just don't get you Scott?

Why would I pay more when I can pay less? As the record labels are urging iTunes to increase the price of hit songs, consumers are doing the opposite. While the recs think they can squeeze us for upwards of 2 bones per song, we are thinking more along the lines of 25 cents.

“We can throw variable pricing in and we can raise prices of a hit song, but it doesn’t mean consumers will buy,” said Charles Wolf, securities analyst for Needham & Co. LLC. “They have an alternative — get songs for free.”

This guy seems to be the only dude with his head on straight. Apple has sold 1 billion songs, but that doesn't even put a dent into the total number of songs downloaded legal or otherwise. If they want to sell 100 billion or even 1 trillion songs then they would need to set a price that is low enough to get us to stop using P2P or torrent software. If it were 10 cents a song, then people really would rather just cough up the cash than jump through hoops to aquire their music. Of course, the only thing that is likely to drive down the price of music is viable competition among vendors. Today its 79 cents at Wal-Mart. Whats next?

But what it really comes down to is functionality. Why pay for a song that is locked up and of poor lossy quality when you can "aquire" one that is not. Unless they start offering us something more, then the pirates will continue to rule the seas....

Think multi-channel audio that can work in your home-theater and your 8 speaker car system, etc...

Think VIP access or discounts to concerts

Think some sort of physical tangible goods associated with large purchases. (Buy 30 songs and get a T-shirt...)

Because right now you just don't get it... Scott!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

You can thank Affirmative Action....

In this recent Newsweek article an African American doctor explains how she must explain to people that she is a fully qualified doctor regardless of her skin color. I recognize that some people are not used to black doctors and might not immediatly understand that this women is actually the doctor and not a nurse or assistant. There are other people, however, that realize she is the doctor yet feel uncomfortable having her as their doctor. This is a terrible thing for African American's who recieve the same training as white doctors but don't get the proper credit, respect, or trust that they deserve...

Why is this so? Sometimes, it is racism, plain and simple. Preferring a white doctor to a fully qualified black doctor for no reason other than their skin color is racist. Sometimes, however, it is not racism. Sometimes, the reason one is prone to mistrust their black doctor rests in the fact that they are simply uncertain about their qualifications.

After all, in an age where Affirmative Action is prevalent, how are people supposed to distinguish between the black doctors who earned their way to professionalism with hard work and competitive grades and those doctors who walked through a back door somewhere along the way. I recognize that if you are a doctor, then you have the same training and in order to get through all of the rigrous obstacles to becomming a doctor then you must be pretty competant. There, are levels competency however.

Being black under a system with affirmative action inherently means that you are not easily differentiated between those who got the grades and those who had the bar raised for them.

It is a disservice to all of those hardworking competent and competitive African Americans to be unrightfully suspected of imcompetency. But, this can be blamed on the system of Affirmative Action more than on blatant racism.

To make a long story short if you had to choose a doctor at random from two groups: one where all of the people were fully qualified or from another group in which an undisclosed number of them not earn their position through the proper channels....well which group would you want your doctor from?

This isn't your real estate agent we are talking about, this is the person in charge of your health.