No I am talking about World of Warcraft but about the sound I made when I first had the iphone in hand. After 3 weeks it still amazes me and I m trying to remember all the moment I had a WOW effect for the past several years (in addition to my wife and my two kids that is ;-). Here they are:
- My first Sony Walkman in 1980
- MacPaint and Flight Simulator in 1985 - I was learning LOGO at school at the same time, you can imagine my surprise
- First Rave party and electronic music in 1990. It was a amazing party in Paris
- Hypercard in 1991
- Aston Martin DB7 in 1993
- The internet in 1994 and the first time I heard the sound "you've got mail' from AOL
- Daft Punk in 1995 - Have been a big fan ever since
- My first Nokia mobile phone in 1996
- Ikepod watch in 1999 - They are the most unreliable watches you can find but I still love them. They are the best looking watches, period. I am a big fan of Marc Newson design as well
- Ipod in 2001 - I have owned every single generation of Ipod, ordering the first one the very day it was released in Oct 2001
- Iphone in 2007
- Virgin Galactic in 2009 ? - hope I can make it to space one day, too expensive for now !
It has been two weeks since I got my Iphone. By and large this has been a very positive experience with some frustrating elements. The good news is that most of the issues can be fixed by software so I guess it is just a matter of time before Apple improves on everything. By and large the best gadget I have seen in a long time, probably the best ever. It reminds me of when I saw Macpaint on a Mac Plus in 1985.
I have been using so many phones over the pat few years that I was about to give hope on anyone doing something great. Recently I moved to Blackberry and it was a pleasant surprise and I became a crack-berry addict almost instantly. Was the Iphone up to the BB ?
- UI is BEAUTIFUL. I have never seen and touched anything like that before. This is truly a big step forward in UI vs other phones. In comparison, all other phone UI look like DOS interface
- The phone is VERY easy to use, much much easier than any other phone on the market (see this if you don't believe me)
- The design is great, feels sturdy
- Could not scratch the screen so far, despite mixing the phone with my keys all the time (and what's the point of hiding the phone in an ugly protection sleeve, feels like putting plastic on my sofa)
- Ipod feature is great. Can't wait to see the next gen Ipod with 80 GB flash memory ;-)
- Browsing on Safari is the best web experience you will get on any phone, by an order of magnitude
- Camera is descent to good, better than what I expected
- Sync with my mac works like a charm
- Emails sucks. NO PUSH email. Apple what were you thinking ? Is it truly that hard to implement this killer feature ? Still stuck with the BB for now.
- No way to search for contacts. I have 3,000+ contacts so browsing through them is very time consuming and a big step backwards in compare to what you get on Blackberry
- Keyboard is so so. No matter what people tell you, you will do typos and the built-in dictionary is not always accurate. I wonder why you cannot always use it in landscape mode (only in Safari), the accuracy is so much better.
- Lack of third party apps. Sure you can always open Safari, go to bookmarks, go to a web site but lack of apps installed directly on the phone sucks
- Lack of IM app (ichat with jabber would be great so that I could talk to my Gtalk contacts)
- Regular headset (like my life changing Bose comfort noise reduction) do not work. WTF ?
- No sync with Bluetooth
- Battery seems to be good but can be short if you demo all the features to people around you (this is what happens when you have an Iphone outside the US)
- Lack of GPS but is this really useful ? Especially in cities with big building where it may take up to 5 minutes to find the GPS signal
- Lack of 3G. Not a problem for emails, but 3G support would be welcome in the future to speed up web browsing
I watched this video in which Martin Varsasky explains his entrepreneur background:
- Started Viatel and sold it for 1,2 billions euros
- Started Jazztel and sold it for 1 billions euros
- Started ya.com and sold it for 550 millions euros with 38 millions of investments
If anyone can think of a more successful european technology entrepreneur, I'd like to know ! There maybe a few who have sold ONE company for more but THREE in a row !!
Hats off Martin !
I have been using Twitter for a few months now. Is it useful ? I am not sure folks are interested in what I am doing. Anyway I am interested to know what my close friends are up to.
I am back from Techtalk in Menorca where I gave a small speech about cafe.com. Thanks to Martin Varsavsky, I have spent a great week-end, met wonderful people. As is often the case in those occasions, it is a very good moment to share experience with fellow entrepreneurs and it is always inspiring.
In our Paris office, we are lucky enough to have a fiber optical line at 100 MBs both ways (download and upload). My Macbook has wifi G installed, so that's 54MBs max. Turns out that real life performance of the Apple Airport Express bas station is closer to 20 Mbs (I am siting 2 meters away from the station).
So for the first time in my life I have a WAN faster than my LAN ! I remember when I started my first internet company in 1995, the best we could have for about 2 000 euros per month was a dedicated leased line at 64KBs...
I was testing speed with Speedtest and I found that I am peaking at 17 MBS with the wifi and close to 60Mbs with the ethernet cord ( and I am sure it is limited by the 100MBs switch we have in the office)... Speedtest tells me that at this speed, I am faster than 99% of the broadband connections in the world.
I guess I'll have to either use ethernet form now on, or buy the new Macbook with Wifi N (supposedly much faster than the G version at 250 MBs). Has anyone had experience with N wifi ? Is it really faster in real life ? Does the new Apple Airport Extreme handles over 100 MBs in real life ?
The more I play with Joost, the more I like it. What strike me though is that they opted for technical choices that do not seem obvious those days, when everyone wants to move everything online:
- Joost a a desktop app and not a web app (it is about 17mb to download)
- Joost is not a social network site, although it uses social networks features
- Joost is not about User Generated Content but about Professionally Generated Content (see the announcement they just made about advertisers coming to the platform, everyone knows it will be almost impossible to bring big advertisers to UGC platforms)
Is this the beginning of a new trend ?
One function that I like a lot in Jajah is the ability to schedule call in advance. Since I have a lot of conference call every week, it is not unusual for me to forget about them. So now i schedule the call directly in Jajah and I get called at the exact time of the conf call.
Apparently the EU is launching a probe on Itunes for possible violation of competition rules. The issue is that Apple prevents buyers from one country from buying music on another store store from another country. For example if your Itunes account is in the UK (with a UK credit card) you will be prevented from buying the same song on the French Itunes store (which are cheaper btw). Off course this is against EU regulations.
I personally live half of my time in New York and the other half in Paris. I have two apartments, two credit credit cards, two mobile phone plan, etc... For Itunes, I had to choose which country I can buy from and this a major pain in the neck. As I have chosen the US Itunes store, I just can't buy music on the French Itunes store anymore !
I think it is time to rethink the territoriality concept in cultural goods. It's been a long time since the internet has rendered the country/regions restriction concept completely obsolete and useless. Like DRM, it is even counterproductive for content owner and fosters piracy, leaving a lot of money on the table. And content owner should also remember that the language barrier is probably the best protection. Who will actually go to a Chinese web site to order a cheaper song/video/game anyway ?
Isn't it time content owner be ready to take the same bold step as DRM and say no to country/regions restrictions ?
I am currently testing Joost and the UI is fantastic. Off course, like everyone else those days, they borrow a lot from Apple ;-)
Of interest, they really use social networks only as features, to enhance the viewing experience. For example you can chat with people watching the same show as you.
From Nabeel Hyatt blog: "online games compare very well indeed to the other hot topics of the Internet. Social networks may have owned 2006, but online games look great from a velocity perspective for 2007/08"
He was referring to a new feature of Compete.com (much better than Alexa) that compares "Attention" and "Velocity" of web sites. Here is an example:
Great move today by Apple and EMI. EMI will be offering DRM free songs for higher price. I believe this is a great move, as they will increase monetization of people who are willing to pay (with a higher quality) and let the others who are illegally downloading anyway.
"We are going to give iTunes customers a choice -- the current versions of our songs for the same 99 cent price, or new DRM-free versions of the same songs with even higher audio quality and the security of interoperability for just 30 cents more," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We think our customers are going to love this"
In my company (Boonty), we still use DRM to protect some games. We would like to test DRM free games but content owner are still reluctant to do so. The problem with DRM is that it is very often punishing honest people in hope of catching the thieves. Solving the DRM dilemma has always been very tricky and non one has come up with the right solution so far.
By the way we only protect single player games, as multiplayer games available on cafe.com do not require DRM by nature since you have to open an account that is verified each time you login. Maybe piracy can be solved with communities ?
While testing Google Spreadsheet, I discovered this amazing feature: googlelookup. What id does is very simple, it can retrieve information form the web and return it into the cell. For example I can write a formula that looks like this =GoogleLookup("John lennon", "date of birth") and it will return Wednesday October 9 1940. You can also try =GoogleLookup("Roger Clemens";"earned run average") and it will return the info !
More on this amazing feature can be found here
"Somewhat surprising, the most avid consumer of online games is the 25-45 year old female demographic"
It is true that everyone is usually very surprised about the casual gamers demographics. People assume that gamers are male teenagers hungry for violent games.
I was recently looking at the Second Life demographics (it is great that they are so open about their numbers, one can even download the full excel sheet) and casual gamers (including the ones on cafe.com) are exactly the same type of people. Here are some key facts about SL:
- Only 28.7% of users are 24 or younger.
- The majority, 71.3%, are 25 or older.
- The average age is 33 (Jan, 2007).
- The two major countries: US and France
- 41% of the users are women
OK this is a bit old but I can't help laughing every time I watch this from Ali G.
If you are a regular Second Life user, you may have noticed that they are currently experiencing significant slowdown and shut downs, almost on a daily basis. Access to the service is very often closed for "maintenance" or "emergency actions on the grid". It is said that they have a huge architecture issue and that SL might not eventually be that scalable, with about 3 users per server !!
My guess is that the architecture was designed a long time ago (SL is 7 years old after all) at a time when the company had little funding form VCs (let alone customers), especially after the dotcom crash the 3 years of nuclear winter after that. So they maybe had to cut corners, choose an architecture that was easier to implement in the first place, require less fixed costs. They maybe thought that dealing with huge scalability issues would be a good problem to solve later. Of course all this is pure speculation but this is what I would have done with limited funding.
Now they have to find a solution in an emergency (as described here). Problem is that this kind of architecture issues cannot be solved quickly, even with lots of money.
Maybe it is time for someone else to come up with a better more scalable technical solution ? Maybe Google with Google Earth, who knows ? Or Sony ?
Anyway let's hope that Linden Lab finds a solution, SL is great and they deserve to survive and thrive. (by the way you can find me in SL under "Mathieu Noonan")