Google’s great cannibalization
I haven’t visited google.com in years. Instead, all my searches happen through two channels: the Chrome Omnibar and Android’s built-in search. Both, funnily enough, controlled by Google.
Now there’s plenty of strategic reasons for Google to have a web browser or operating system (check out Chris Dixon’s post for some insight), but looking back, it’s clear that the dominant reason was to maintain control over how we search.
Seeing an emerging shift in behavior, Google went out and built these mammoth platforms, so that as my habits changed, I would remain in their warm embrace, blissfully unaware that I had been weaned from one Google to another.
The death of music snobbery
“The first time I heard Mariah Carey it shattered the fabric of my existence and I started Grimes”
There seems to be a fascinating shift happening in music, where it’s no longer uncool to admit to liking popular music. There is perhaps no better illustration of this than the “Best of 2012” list that Grimes recently put out:
Psy - Gangnam Style
Major Lazer - get free
Lana Del Rey - ride, National Anthem, Summertime Sadness
Usher - Climax
Bieber - beauty and a beat
Carly rae - call me maybe
Haim - forever
Taylor Swift - Trouble
Kitty Pryde - okay cupid
Evidently, the battle is still being fought, but it won’t be long before unabashed pop love breaks free of music snobbery’s shackles. Although I’m guilty of my fair share of snobbery, I see this as a good thing. Music should be judged on merit. And while I’ve always thought that to mean that smaller artists should get the credit they deserve, it works the other way. Popularity shouldn’t have a bearing on how you appreciate a piece of music.
Recommended Further Reading:
This Must Be Pop - A great Pitchfork editorial on this trend
Dave Grohl Interview - Whether you like his music or not, this is awesome. He trashes the notion of guilty pleasures and exalts Rick Springfield. Starts at 14:40
Grimes’ Blog - Subcribe to this URL in Google Reader to see her recently nuked blog, in context
Now then, I’m off to check out this “Mariah Carey” everyone keeps talking about…..
The Anti-Social Advantage
A frequent critique of online social networks is that they’re designed by anti-social people. ‘Nerds’, who don’t understand how true social interaction works, and think it can be replicated with like buttons and activity feeds. How ironic, that the systems which are supposed to help us connect online, are made by people who can’t even connect offline. But this is no mistake. It’s how it should be.
Everyone has the same innate desires, whether conscious or unconscious, to feel connected and liked. A ‘social’ person is merely someone who is able to satisfy these desires. It’s often tied to confidence, but can just as easily be linked to circumstance, i.e., being in the right place at the right time, for relationships to form.
And in any industry, the people most suited to designing its systems are those who acutely understand the pain points. Those who yearn for a better solution. So when it comes to social networks, ‘outsiders’ are well placed. They want it more than anyone else, and can appreciate what’s needed. Of course, it takes a special kind outsider, with keen observation of how people behave, and how interaction could be enhanced, but an outsider nonetheless.
As is often the case, through adversity comes opportunity.
For fans of Black Lips (courtesy of the “Indie While You Work” room on @turntablefm)
Even as Jobs promotes Pixar and Toy Story, he hints that Next may also go public soon. His wife, Laurene, gave birth in mid-August to their second child, a girl. With all this activity, Jobs seems stretched about as thin as any 40-year-old CEO should ever get. Is there anything else he would possibly take on right now? “You know, I’ve got a plan that could rescue Apple,” he says, in all seriousness. “I can’t say any more than that it’s the perfect product and the perfect strategy for Apple. But nobody there will listen to me …
1995 article about Steve Jobs & Toy Story, one year before NeXT was acquired, and six years before the iPod was released.
Mic In Track
Back in Napster’s heyday, user recordings would accidentally end up on the file-sharing network, because users didn’t realise what they were sharing. Many of these files were titled “Mic In Track”, as that is how popular software MusicMatch would name untitled recordings. Searching for this term on Napster would turn up a bunch of raw recordings that were never supposed to see the light of day. For a look at some of the best, including famous remixes like the “The Testing 1, 2, 3, Waltz”, check this site out:
Everything you think is going to be easy turns out to be really hard and to take a really long time. Everything you think is going to be hard turns out to be really hard and takes a really long time.
I built this yesterday for a bit of fun. It has over 100,000 views in under 24 hours.
Going to make an interesting case study in viral content.
The net value of a feature is the value to its users, divided by the distraction to everyone else
But…but….some people really love that feature!!!