Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-steve-jobs-saw-apple-triumph-over-microsoft-2011-10

One of the defining threads that ran through Steve Jobs’ life was his battle with Microsoft and Bill Gates.

Though Steve Jobs was always seen as the cool innovator, for a long time Gates and Microsoft were the winners in business.

Microsoft’s success ate at Jobs. It became the world’s most valuable company, and Gates the world’s richest man, because “Windows just copied the Mac,” as Jobs put it in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford.

Upon returning to Apple in 1997 he told the faithful, “We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose.” Once Jobs and Apple did that, and began focusing on iPods, iPhones, and iPads, the company’s earnings and valuation soared.

After years of fighting as an underdog, Apple’s market cap blew by Microsoft‘s last year, making it the world’s most valuable tech company.

Jobs and Apple had finally and definitively triumphed over Microsoft. It’s fitting Jobs was able to enjoy that in the last year of his life.

Did he need market approval? Probably not. But you know he loved getting it.

In reaction to Jobs’ death, Gates was as gracious as could be. He wrote, “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”

chart of the day, apple vs microsoft market capitalization, october 2011

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Source: http://gizmodo.com/5835862/how-beyonce-is-bigger-than-hurricanes-earthquakes-and-superbowl-sunday

How Beyonce Is Bigger Than Hurricanes, Earthquakes and SuperBowl SundayWhen I was a child, there was a number that crudely measured how many people paid attention to something. It was called the Nielsen rating. Perhaps you remember it. Today it’s an unimportant relic that only reveals what was happening.

The VMAs had its biggest show ever this year. A record-breaking 12.4 million people tuned in live. Which actually seems like a very small number, given how many people were talking about it. Because while MTV had a hit with the VMAs, so did Twitter. News of Beyonce’s uterine passenger, which she revealed at the show, generated some 8,868 Tweets per second. It was Twitter’s biggest moment yet. And it shows that the company is sitting on the most valuable advertising data that there is: a way to measure, package and sell unexpected things that we care about right now, in real time.

We used to rely on ratings or audited circulation numbers to determine what people were interested in. Today, we increasingly talk about Tweets Per Second. (And by “we,” I mean the always hungry media maw, smacking its lips in anticipation of sucking marrow from the next micro trend or attention spasm that might convince an otherwise disinterested viewer to flip the channel to 759—or even better, stay there.)

Whenever anything big happens in the news, CNN and Fox News and the networks increasingly break into Twitter mode, reading tweets on the air, talking about how many people are tweeting and generally going into wild-eyed social media mania.

Aside from making Mark Zuckerberg wish he had made status messages public by default from the get-go so that CNN would read Facebook updates on air, it’s revealing in that it shows that even the professional media—the ostensible arbiters of opinion and news—have realized that you and I are no longer paying attention.

We’re more interested in each other. We’re all broadcasting now. I’d prefer to hear what you have to say, especially in aggregate, than tune into Wolf Blitzer. And when it comes to measuring the impact of events, social media ratings matter more than Nielsens, or at least they should, and here’s why.

Twitter is the most important metric of attention. It is not based on past behavior. It is equally capable of measuring scripted events, and the completely unexpected. And it is remarkable because it measures not just consumption, but also interest.

Yes, the Nielsens will tell you how many people watched the VMAs, but social media can tell you how many people actually paid attention. And while maybe you could have foreseen they might be big this year, would anyone have been able to predict that the VMAs—not the Oscars, not the SuperBowl, not the final Shuttle launch—would be the most talked-about television event of the year? Twitter can tell you that. (Facebook should be able to as well.) And it can tell you that as it happens.

In 2008, when it was still a nascent service, Twitter revealed some numbers to me that showed its top events of the previous year, measured in the number of tweets per minute. How Beyonce Is Bigger Than Hurricanes, Earthquakes and SuperBowl Sunday

The chart is a remarkable demonstration of Twitter’s growth. Tweets per minute? How quaint! Tweets are now measured at a faster rate per second than they were just three years ago per minute.

But it’s more interesting to see how consistently interested we are in the unexpected. Because while Twitter has changed greatly in the past three years—from how it works, to the way we access it, to the number of people on it—the things we are simultaneously interested in haven’t changed at all.

Today, Beyonce’s VMA appearance holds the top spots for Tweets per second. Prior to that, the news of the Japanese Women’s World Cup victory held the record. (Likely because it was an event intently watched by two very Twitter heavy countries.) And while it didn’t break a record, the recent east coast earthquake generated 5,500 TPS. In 2008, a presidential debate held the top spot. It knocked off a Japanese earthquake. A Euro 2008 semi final match was the big event prior to that. What all of these events have in common is a certain unpredictability.

The thing about television ratings or audited circulation numbers is that they have never truly been about what we are paying attention to. They were (and are) a way for advertisers to make informed decisions about what to invest in based on what people have paid attention to in the past, as a predictor of future performance. They only measure what has already transpired. This may have been useful for buying chunks of time during a season finale of Dallas, but when something amazing and unexpected happens, there is no good way for an advertiser to catch up with it.

When Twitter measures tweets per second, it measures what people are interested in right now. It measures live attention. And that is very, very valuable. Imagine if, during an earthquake, a QuakeKit ad appeared in your timeline, one that was triggered only when earthquake tweets per second crossed a certain threshold. Tacky? Sure. But you can bet your bottled water it would sell a lot of kits.

This is the promise of real-time conversation, that our interests can be commoditized, live and on the fly. It doesn’t have to be just about Twitter, of course. Facebook and Google+ should be equally capable of measuring, packaging and selling our real-time, trending interest data. But it’s very clear that this new ability to measure what we care about enough to comment on right now, at this very instant, is much more valuable than measurements of past performance or passive consumption.

All the moreso because of how much society has fragmented. We no longer all watch the same four channels, or even tune in to television series at the same time. The only things that seem to capture our simultaneous attention anymore are those that offer the high drama of the unexpected and unknown: sports, politics (itself a sort of sport), provocative live television, and natural disasters that occur with little-to-no warning.

And, of course, Beyonce.


You can keep up with Mat Honan, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.


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Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/29/angelpad-round-two/

Last August, we broke the news that a new startup incubator was about to launch that was run by seven ex-Googlers, AngelPad. By November, the initial class of eight startups were ready to launch. Today, barely four months later, class number two is ready to be unveiled. And this time there are thirteen of them. At this rate, to quote the best line in Jaws, they’re “gonna need a bigger boat”.

The fact that the class was whittled down to even thirteen is impressive, as the AngelPad team had several hundred applications to go through this time, co-founder Thomas Korte tells us. And while many in the initial class also featured fellow ex-Googlers, this group is more diversified (though the Google blood still runs deep with a number of them).

Below, find a brief description of the 13:

Shopobot

Shopobot is all about leveraging your social graph to make better purchasing decisions. Say you want to buy a camera, but want advice you know will be unbiased, the best way is to ask your friends. Shopobot allows you to easily find that information on their site, alongside a timeline of a product’s price on Amazon (these are much more volatile than you may think). They’re also focusing on creating useful widgets for other sites that get around the “banner blindness” issue which most shopping widgets lead to.

Astrid

Astrid makes mobile applications that allow you to easily share and collaborate on tasks. This is ideal for groups because everyone in the group can be assigned something to do, and make it known once it’s done. And unlike some other collaboration software, the interface is super simple. From a broader perspective, the idea is to inspire others to join you in doing certain things — ideas you get from reading a book or a blog post. They have a button to make this all easily shareable. The team already has 1.7 million downloads on Android and now they’re coming to iOS.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a service built around the idea of extending the current abilities of QR codes. Right now, you scan a code and you’re often just taken to a website about a product. These guys want to create a web browser for the real world, meaning that all physical objects can have elements that show up when scanned. If you scan a QR code on a concert poster, your social graph should know that you’re into that band, and maybe one of your friends would like to go to that show with you. While the core idea is based around QR codes right now (both existing ones and new ones that they’ll help others create), eventually the plan is to get into NFC or image recognition as those technologies mature.

Cloudbot

Cloudbot calls themselves the “cloud command line”. What that means is that their aim is to be one app (both mobile and web) that allows you to easily interact with many other apps and services. You might enter in “call XXXXX” and you’ll it will call the friend’s name you entered. Or you might enter “gram XXXXX” and it will show you the Instagram photos from that person. And it uses real world data. If you type “eat with XXXXX”, the app will look at your location and the location of the friend you entered and find a good place near both of you. Currently, they have 24 integration points with various apps/services and more are coming.

Kismet

Kismet is a mobile dating site focused on real identity and real photos. The founders note that most dating sites are a sea of faces, but most are false advertising. And many mobile dating experiences right now skew towards the sleazy side of things. Kismet aims to be a more natural dating app with women in particular in mind. They look at locations you actually go to and pictures you actually take on other social networks to provide a real profile for yourself (naturally tide into your real Facebook identity as well). The idea is that where you spend a lot of your time and what you do already says a lot about you, Kismet just surfaces it for potential dates to see.

Splash

Splash is a new social plug-in for mobile games (first for the iPhone, then for Android). It’s essentially a social platform that developers can have include in their gaming apps as an always one-touch-away overlay. When touched, it shows you your friends also playing games online and allows you to interact with them. You can also send gifts (virtual goods) this way, get notifications, and make announcements. On the developer side of things, there is a dashboard to help you keep track of all of the data flowing in. Unlike Apple’s Game Center and OpenFeint which focus on leaderboards, they focus on the social layer in realtime.

Crittercism

Crittercism provides a way for developers to monitor bugs and crashes in their mobile apps. If you read over reviews in the App Store, you’ll see that many are actually bug reports — Crittercism has a way to hopefully stop that from happening as they monitor issues in realtime and provide a simple way for a user to provide feedback through their own channel. The service gets baked into the app by the developer before launch and resides in a place that a user can access and share issues (either anonymously or with a Crittercism profile). And problems are automatically tracked and emailed back to developers. The platform is already up and running on five hit apps and while it seems like something that Apple or Google could eventually offer, Crittercism’s view is a cross-platform one that very easy for developers to work with.

Stickery

Stickery makes learning-based games for kids. But while that’s already a crowded market, their twist is that there games are actually data-driven. As in, after kids play the games, reports are sent back to parents to let them know what areas the children need help with and what they excel in. “We are focused on the post-game highlights,” is how they put it. And while this seems like it could be a platform play, the team is also committed to making their own fun games. Right now they have one with seven more planned.

LocBox

LocBox looked at the crowded daily deal space and saw a big problem: customer retention rates. Because there are so many different deal services that people are trying out, everyone seems to be only partially committed to it. LocBox aims to simplify the experience by giving everyone an important cool to keep customers: an iPad. That is, they give merchants an iPad loaded with their CRM software to reduce the friction for trying out and sticking with their system — and also for customers using it.

CompanyLine

The easiest way to think of CompanyLine is as a sort of Facebook Groups for business. But a key part of it is the nice integration they have with other services like WebEx and Dropbox. It works so well that AngelPad themselves apparently use it now internally over the old way of doing things: Google Groups (again, these are ex-Googlers we’re talking about). The name is drawn from the idea that the way companies collaborate today is sort of like phone line switchboards in the 1950s. They want to change that.

Feedgen

Feedgen is a sales lead platform that utilizes social elements. They note the disconnect between marketing and sales — the amount of leads brought in by marketing don’t end up meaning much. But leads can come from elsewhere: enter social networks. Another key is the UI. They use the familiar inbox style to manage leads. You can think of it as a “priority inbox” for leads, they note (referencing Google’s newish system for ranking email in Gmail).

Coverhound

Coverhound is simply online insurance shopping that works. “It’s a complete scam right now,” the founders say pointing to how much of what you see online is little more than bait. And that shows on the other end as something like 300 leads are needed to sign just one new person up for a policy. Coverhound changes the dynamic by being a filter for both sides. They take customers basic information (name, address, email) and pull up information about them from third parties that is then used to serve up accurate estimates from the insurance companies. It’s sort of like Kayak for car insurance.

SecondLeap

SecondLeap is a search engine for people who want to change careers. It’s not about career advancement, it’s about people looking to make a true total change. The service show those people what the potential impact is in terms of years needed for a new career and what the financial impact will be. If it’s determined that the career change will be a good one, SecondLeap helps the user find the right school and loan to make the change happen.

Information provided by CrunchBase


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