Three Outcomes for Uber

Posted on Mar 16, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Part one in a series on ridesharing

My newsletter has alluded to a long-gestating post about Uber for a number of months now, and to be quite honest, its content has changed often as the company continues to aggressively: fundraise, skirt laws, interact with journalists, and subsidize its service. Uber is special among recent tech companies that have risen to prominence in that it has deep links to the physical world: at present, its chief business model is hiring out human contractors to drive their vehicles to transport other humans. The simple fact of this tech company's outsize presence in our physical world lends weight to the notion that our society must contemplate it, and its implications, carefully. Uber, already valued at a mammoth forty billion dollars, is only poised to grow. The import of how we assess and react to Uber stretches far beyond taxis; Uber offers alternative models for infrastructure, public policy, retail, economics, and the very organization of human labor.

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The Snapchat Opportunity

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 7:10:00 PM

I've been thinking about Snapchat a lot1 in the wake of its announcement of Snapcash, a feature that enables users to send each other money. This nascent business space, called mobile peer-to-peer payments, is currently led by Venmo, a company wielding significant first-mover advantage. After unpacking the deal further, I became convinced that Snapcash is about much more than simple peer-to-peer payments. Instead, it stands as the final pillar of a product strategy that could install Snapchat as one of the most fearsome competitors in the mobile advertising industry.2

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Inbox by Gmail is not a Radical Rethinking of Email, and that's great

Posted on Nov 15, 2014 4:03:00 PM

A couple of weeks ago, the Gmail team at Google announced Inbox, a new smartphone application and web app (for Chrome) that ports over your Gmail inbox and makes it simpler and slicker. I requested an invitation immediately, received one, and then used it off and on for the next day or so, unable to stay away from Gmail and commit to learning Inbox. Sensing something special hidden beneath what seemed like a coat of paint, I decided to spend a week using just Inbox for my email service.

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Apple Pay: The Secret Star of the Apple Keynote

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 3:20:00 PM

Apple Pay is a new payment service from Apple that aims to remove friction from the buying process, in both the physical and digital realms. Over the course of the coming year, I expect the service to gain significant traction and to trigger greater responses from other players in the digital payments space, such as Square and Google. In particular, I believe Pay is well-suited to succeed in areas with established payments infrastructure where iPhone market share is already high. In those areas, Apple Pay will be massive in a couple of years. Pay is Apple's boldest project since the iPhone itself.

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Watch This Space: Apple's New Device Will Only Get Better

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 10:04:00 AM

Apple Watch seems, at first glance, a rougher hewn product than most others the company has released. I predict that the company will use this first version to establish itself as a competitor to watchmakers and fashion houses foremost, and to plant solid roots in a category where it intends to compete for the long term. Pending additional information, like battery life and price, I do not expect the first Watch to move the needle on the company's revenue in a meaningful way.

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Bigger iPhones Spell Big Trouble for Samsung

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 11:34:00 AM

Last week, Apple announced two new iPhone models that are both larger than any model the company had previously released. Both are poised to be spectacular success for Apple, and will drive upgrades by customers with older models in huge numbers. The company logged 4 million preorders in the first 24 hours of their availability, which, obviously is great news for Apple. It's also great for consumers, who have been clamoring for larger iPhones for some time. It is undeniably bad for Samsung. This is for two main reasons: large smartphones ("phablets" = tablet + phone) are high-end devices, and Samsung's profit margins derive chiefly from these large devices, which, until last week, did not have a legitimate competitor.

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Apple's Guns Large, Pointed in Many Directions

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 11:18:00 AM

Apple’s got big guns pointed at a lot of people right now. Last Tuesday, Apple announced two new iPhones—the iPhone 6, a 4.7-inch device, and the iPhone 6 Plus, a 5.5-inch device. Both are larger than any previous iPhone model (which ran 3.5 or 4 inches). Often the iPhone announcement consumes the lion’s share of the buzz from the keynote, but that keynote brought two additional big reveals: an Apple payment platform, and the long-rumored “wearable” device, the Apple Watch.

For my inaugural posts on Technophilus, I cover each of these topics in more depth:

In short, Apple has guns pointed at a lot of people, and they have serious firepower.

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Welcome to Technophilus

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 11:09:00 AM

Can you feel it?

Hi there, and thanks for visiting Technophilus. We know you have lots of options when it comes to your choice of technology industry news and analysis providers, and we value your business.

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