Archive for the ‘comparison’ tag
Both cities now share investment activity from Dave McClure.
Berlin-based Versus IO was Dave McClure’s first investment in a German startup. McClure invested $100,000 in December 2012 and now Versus IO has closed its first round of $2.8 million led by Earlybird Venture Capital, as well as follow in investment from McClure.
Versus IO is a comparison engine. All the information and noise on the web can make it difficult to draw conclusions from data and make intelligent purchasing decisions. Versus IO addresses this challenge using natural language processing to generate point-by-point comparisons. Users enter two things they want to compare, such as electronic products, cities, or services, and the system culls information from around the web and presents them in a list of pros and cons.
Comparing the iPhone 5 to the Samsung Galaxy S4 shows that the Galaxy has almost twice as many pros as the iPhone, including more flexible charging capabilities and a camera with more megapixels and faster max shutter speed. If you pit Mumbai against Shanghai, you see that Mumbai has a higher average temperature and cheaper Big Macs, while Shanghai has public health care and significantly more museums and sport facilities.
When Versus IO first launched, it was solely a product comparison engine. 25 million companions are now available in 18 languages and the company said traffic has increased an average of 35% a month. This financing will support Versus IO’s expansion into other modes of comparison.
In an effort to prove a willful infringement on its design patents, Apple on Friday presented internal Samsung documents in court containing side-by-side comparisons of the iPhone and what would eventually become the Galaxy S smartphone.
Led by its blundering chief executive Steve Ballmer, software giant Microsoft has “lost a decade” in its competition against rivals; Apple, Facebook, and Google have roared by it with more relevant offerings, leaving Microsoft in the dust suffering from a stagnant stock price and old-fashioned products.
That’s the argument made in a long piece in Vanity Fair published last week, and one that’s been widely debated in recent days.
But while so much fuss is being made about what’s in Microsoft’s rear-view mirror, the big test for Microsoft is the cornucopia of opportunity in its future. The company’s fate really depends on Windows 8 and the host of other products rolling out over the next year.
Windows 8 is the company’s new operating system, due in October, though it’s already being tested by developers. It’s Microsoft’s line in the sand. It’s so ambitious that it aims to cater to both touch-screen (tablet) and non-touch screen (PC) interfaces. Either companies and consumers buy it, or they don’t. True, some big players have been very critical of the OS already, calling it a “catastrophe” because of its code complexity. Its Metro touch-oriented UI, kitchen-sinked with everything else will create hassles for developers, according this line.
The critics include, most recently, executives at Valve and Blizzard, two of the biggest companies in PC gaming. Others have praised Microsoft’s ambition, however. Still others have decided to work with it, simply ignoring the pieces they want to. But Microsoft has so much more on the line right now than ever before.
In addition to Windows 8, the company’s getting ready to roll out Office 2013, Windows Phone 8 for smartphones, Xbox 360?s ambitious SmartGlass software, and an updated Windows Azure with IaaS support. Then there’s Microsoft’s Surface tablet, which could spur a whole new product line, but which could also alienate the company’s tablet partners. The list goes on. To call the company sclerotic, as the Vanity Fair piece does, is unfair. The company is on the move, and placing huge bets all over the place.
Contrast this with many other big companies, which look like one-trick ponies by comparison. Microsoft’s value has moved sideways over the past decade (see image at right). But look at RIM or Nokia, which have lost way more than half of their market value over the past three years alone. Or in a fairer comparison, Cisco, another Internet-era bellwether, which has lost a lot more of its value than Microsoft has (see chart below). RIM gets hardware, but fails when it came to thinking about software. Cisco has routers, and fumbled elsewhere. Intel, which also hasn’t done well, has only chips.
Microsoft has stayed relevant all over the place.
Back to the Vanity Fair piece for a minute. The story added little new to the record, one reason we didn’t point to it when it first appeared. And Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw hit back hard against the piece, blasting Vanity Fair for getting so many things wrong that “I don’t even know where to start.” Among other things, Shaw took issue with Vanity Fair’s criticism of its internal employee grading system (uh, every company with tens of thousands of employees requires some sort of performance system), and its dismissal of products like Xbox (it’s the leading games console in the industry right now).
Of course, both viewpoints are right. It’s true that Microsoft has been surpassed in market value by its younger, more fleet-footed rivals. But it’s also true that Microsoft continues to fight grittily in the trenches and has made valiant investments of time and money to modernize its products or launch new ones, from search technology to interface technology like Kinect. If you’ve got the world’s biggest technology offering and it relies on software downloads, and the Internet comes along, well, of course you’re going to have scramble like crazy merely to stay alive. Sure, Microsoft didn’t get social, but it allied quickly with Facebook. And even Apple has had a hell of a time with social.
Yes, Ballmer has been bombastic, foolishly saying in 2007, after the iPhone first appeared: “No chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share,” and in 2005: “Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.” And Vanity Fair’s citation of the late Steve Jobs in pointing out that Microsoft’s problems would continue as long as salesman Ballmer was leading it, is spot on. According to Jobs: “The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company.… [Then] the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off.”
The real surprise is that Microsoft has hung on as long as it has, even as the Web transformed its old business. Micrsosoft looks constantly ready to fight. Each time it looks down for the count, it gets up again and takes another swing. Microsoft hasn’t lost a decade. But the next year, more than any other in recent memory, will test whether Microsoft still has the goods to remain vibrant into the future. That’s because it has Windows 8 and a slew of other critical mobile and UI products coming out — and they all have a chance. The bigger question: Is Ballmer really the one to lead the way?
A side-by-side comparison of Google’s newly-refreshed Google Earth for iOS appears to yield inferior results when compared to the beta version of Apple’s upcoming iOS 6 Maps app.
Would you be less likely to leave an embarrassingly awful comment on a YouTube video if you had to use your real name rather than an alias?
By virtue of you reading this article, I’m going to assume you probably wouldn’t leave an awful comment anyways, but the legion of other YouTube users certainly do.
Now, YouTube is nudging its users to switch from their often goofy-sounding user names to their real identifies, which the site first pitched back in June. Basically, Google will use both the photo/picture and name on your Google+ profile for YouTube. Yesterday, Google began adding pop-up notifications urging its users to switch to their Google+ identity any time they tried to comment on a video. You get a side-by-side comparison of what your profile will look like if you choose yes.
Anyone who doesn’t want to switch over to their real name could elect to decline by giving Google a reasonable explanation. Some of the reasons people may want to decline would be because they have a well-known YouTube channel or the channel is set up for a show (or entity) rather than an individual. You can’t tell YouTube that you’d like to keep your user name to stay anonymous, as this would probably defeat the purpose of providing accountability to a user’s comments.
Eventually, I assume most people will switch over, if not only to avoid having to decline every time they want to comment. Whether or not this push for real identities improves a healthy discussion of YouTube videos on the site is yet to be decided.
One of the interesting quirks about professions in World of Warcraft is that to be able to craft all of the items in your profession, you either have to have or know someone with other professions. For example, virtually every tailor is going to learn how to make the Netherweave Robe. It’s a straightforward crafted item requiring only cloth and thread.
By comparison, the Brightcloth Robe requires both cloth and gold bars to make (it’s REALLY bright). The average tailor isn’t also a miner, which means that in order to make this robe, you either have to know a miner who can go out and mine some gold, then smelt it into bars, or you have to buy it in the in-game auction house at prices high enough that the robe isn’t profitable to make.
As a result, there are a lot of people selling (and competing with each other to sell) Netherweave Robes each day:
Meanwhile, there’s usually only one or two Brightcloth robes available for sale:
The more complicated the recipe, the less likely it is the average person is going to make it and sell it. For example, here’s the Earthen Silk Belt, which requires 4 different professions to make (leather working, mining, blacksmithing, tailoring):
There’s an obvious market opportunity there.
What does this have to do with your marketing or business?
Think about all of the things everyone has access to, the easy stuff.
Think of all of the things in marketing that are hard.
Everyone and their cousin is using Facebook. Very few people (relatively speaking) are using Facebook’s API.
Everyone’s using Twitter. Very few people are taking Twitter data and washing them through statistical analysis programs.
Everyone’s doing email marketing (in many cases, very poorly). Very few people are optimizing their programs with A/B testing (less than 1% in many cases).
What are the things that are hard to do? Does the hard work suck? Yes. Logging into 4 different characters to access 4 different professions sucks. It’s much simpler and easier to log into one character and do the easy stuff, but that’s not where the opportunity is. Do the hard work, because human nature indicates pretty clearly that most people won’t, and opportunities are nearly boundless in that space.
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I’ve been following a Google Webmaster Help thread about a site that offers statistics on hockey related content and players. In fact, the site is from 1998 and is supposedly really respected in the industry.
The webmaster said April 24th, when the Penguin algorithm was released, his site tanked.
He is not sure why and is arguing that he has quality content on his site but it is in statistical form. There is little paragraphed article related content, instead, it is database related statistics.
He said, for his user, the content is exactly what they want. But to Google, Google seems to want more article related content. He doesn’t like that fact.
Google’s John Mueller basically agreed and said he probably needs more than just stats on the page. John said:
Thanks for posting all of these details. Looking at your site, I don’t see any specific technical issues, or general issues with the links to your site. I can, however, imagine that our algorithms might have some trouble understanding the unique value of your website in comparison to other, similar sites (especially considering that the content is primarily aggregated statistics). My general recommendation would be to continue working on your website, making it the best site of its kind. There’s no single change that you’d need to make, so I’d really look at your site overall and see where you could make improvements on a general level — you mentioned that you might have some thin pages, perhaps that’s a place to start (or at least, to try things out with A/B tests, etc).
It doesn’t seem to me that this site is a typical Penguin victim but maybe lots of pages with lots of numbers triggered a Penguin related issue? I am not sure.
But those out there with stats related web pages, make sure you have more content than just numbers on the page.
This is kind of ironic being that Google is such a number centric company.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.
Image credit to BigStockPhoto for stats head.
The new Google Shopping is based off of your typical paid comparison shopping engine, such as Pricegrabber, Nextag or Shopping.com. It’s a move that presents significant opportunity to the merchants who chose to stay and play in the market-rate CPC program, with no minimum CPCs. Many small…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Did you know that more than 100,000 tweets are sent each and every minute of the day?
That’s a pretty heady number. But it pales in comparison to some of the other things that take place on the internet every sixty seconds.
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