Archive for the ‘memo’ tag
An internal Samsung email presented at Apple v. Samsung proceedings on Monday shows the South Korean electronics giant had what it calls a “crisis of design” when the first iPhone launched in 2007.
Microsoft notified developers this week to stop using the “Metro” as the name for the new Windows 8 and Windows Phone interface. Apparently, a German company called Metro AG disputed Microsoft’s use of the term, although Microsoft has not confirmed this as the reason for the change. They’ve only said that for now, developers should use the term “New User Interface” or “Windows 8-Style UI” to describe the tiled look, and an internal memo states that they’ll be renaming the interface very soon. [The Verge] More »
There is much discussion around making smart moves, picking one thing over another, optimizing the effective use of attention, time, and resources. Challenging the mental models that drive those selections is considered too nuanced — and just plain hard.
Yet, it is when we challenge the reality we have constructed around the recurring situations in our lives that we have breakthroughs.
Doing something hard, making hard choices
The two stories that caught my eye this week are:
Chris Dixon shares a memo to investors and employees by Jonah Peretti, CEO that details BuzzFeed’s strategy. Long term focus, respect for readers, building all the tools, luck, and treating the whole team fairly and with equal consideration are among the points Peretti runs through.
On doing something hard:
In the early days of BuzzFeed, I had several VCs say they were interested in investing if we could figure out a way to fire all the editors and still run the site. I’m not joking.
Tech investors prefer pure platform companies because you can just focus on the tech, have the users produce the content for free, and scale the business globally without having to hire many people.
Startups that promise this vision have an easier time attracting funding which is why there are so many startups trying to be the next Twitter or Facebook or the Instagram or Pinterest for X, Y, or Z.
Meanwhile, companies that employ reporters, editors, and creative people usually struggle to get funding which is why so few publishing companies or agencies are venture backed.
Lucky for them — and for us — they were able to get funding. As Peretti says, the best reporting and the most entertaining media is usually created by people who do it for a living. It is.
Timothy Burke shares a segment from the opening ceremony at the summer Olympic Games 2012 in London from the BBC. It is a tribute to the victims of the 7/7 terror attacks in the city:
[...] it was a rather significant and emotional moment in the opening ceremony, coming just before the parade of nations—and it wasn’t aired in the United States. Instead, viewers were treated to a lengthy and meaningless Ryan Seacrest interview of Michael Phelps. NBC regularly excises small portions of the opening ceremony to make room for commercials, but we’ve never heard of them censoring out an entire performance—especially to air an inane interview.
Several threads on G+ are discussing the editorial decision, and you can find several thoughtful comments in the thread at the post. And more discussion on G+ about NBC’s decision of not live streaming the opening ceremony.
Doing something hard is making tough decisions about who we want to be as individuals and as businesses.
What mental model would you give up to keep that promise? What are the unintended consequences of sticking by a poor choice?
Have a great weekend everyone.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.
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While Apple is determined to prove that Samsung copied its designs in smartphones and tablets, Samsung has unearthed images and e-mails that prove Apple was similarly influenced by Sony’s design.
Unredacted court filings by Samsung yesterday, unearthed by The Verge, show that Apple designer Shin Nishibori was asked to create an iPhone mockup using Sony’s design elements. Many of the renders even sport a Sony logo, something that will be particularly damaging to Apple in court. The filing also notes that Apple was inspired by Sony’s aesthetic after former iPod head Tony Fadell circulated a memo internally from one of its designers.
Looking at the early designs, its easy to see how they eventually led to the iPhone 4. The front and rear of Nishibori’s design is a bit more complicated, but the basic flow of the design remains very similar. And the Sony-inspired design also sports a prominent metal band around the device — a design choice that would eventually lead to the reception disrupting Antennagate controversy with the iPhone 4.
Other court filings have also revealed some of Apple’s earliest iPad designs, which thankfully don’t resemble anything like the iPad that hit the market. Perhaps aware that its tablet would be difficult to stand up on desks, Apple explored building in a clunky-looking kickstand — a problem that it would eventually solve with its iPad Smart Covers.
A few weeks ago, we also caught a glimpse of some other early iPad designs, which showed a much heftier aesthetic.
Via The Verge
It’s still too early to tell how new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is going to right the ship, but that’s not stopping her from cheering on her new team.
In a memo sent to Yahoo employees last night (and dug up by All Things D), Mayer discussed how she first encountered Yahoo in 1994 as a student in Stanford. Those were simpler times, back when the company was known as “David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.”
“The company has been through a lot of change in the past few months, leaving many open questions around strategy and how to move forward,” Mayer wrote. “I am sensitive to this. While I have some ideas, I need to develop a more informed perspective before making strategy or direction changes. In the meantime, please do not stop. You are doing important work. Please don’t stop. If you have questions or concerns about whether to continue or not, please ask. However, with the exception of a few things that might heavily constrain us in the future, the answer is most likely: “Yes, keep moving.””
Mayer was unsurprisingly absent from Yahoo’s earnings call on Tuesday, given that her new role was announced the day before. Yesterday Yahoo revealed that Mayer could be earning up to $60 million in her first year on the job, though I have a feeling the challenge of making Yahoo innovative once again could be reward enough.
Photo: JD Lasica/Flickr
Filed under: VentureBeat
In science, an academic paper leaves the understanding to the reader. The author of the paper plows ahead and assumes that the motivated reader will do the necessary work to catch up, fill in and understand what’s going on.
In some popular magazines, when the going gets tough, the writer glosses over the difficult parts. She dumbs it down or leaves out the bits the editors assume will confuse readers.
And what about the CFO, writing a memo? Or the engineer, writing out the instructions?
Many sources, from textbooks to websites, take the position that if you don’t understand a concept or a nuance, it’s your loss. I think that’s an strategic failure on the part of the writer. (I’ll give scientists and other professional writers a pass.)
Just recently (a decade or so) we opened two doors that change the way we communicate: we can link now, which means that any time you’re worried you’ve hit something too complex, you can easily link to more data and more explanation, and second, you can keep writing. Length (given appropriate organization) is no longer an issue.
At the same time, there’s an onus on the reader to look up words and references that are easily found in a search engine before giving up.
Ikea, then, should quit trying to jam nonsense instructions with no words on tiny sheets of paper and should instead post videos or detailed instructions in native languages online. Annual reports should get significantly longer (with better hyperlinked indexes), not shorter.
No one is going to read the whole thing, ever again. But we need to make it much easier to read the part of the thing that someone really cares about.
Marktonderzoekbureau MeMo2 is vanavond uitgeroepen tot bureau van het jaar 2012. De brancheorganisatie MOA deelde in totaal zes MOAwards uit.
How badly did Microsoft want Flash in Windows 8? Enough to work with Adobe for crazy deep integration
More than ever before, Adobe Flash will be a core part of the Windows experience in Windows 8.
Flash will be built-in to Internet Explorer 10, the browser that ships with Windows 8, and it will even be updated through Windows Update — something not commonly seen for third-party applications. Now a leaked memo from Adobe VP Danny Winokur, first reported by The Verge, reveals why Microsoft was so hell-bent on making Flash an integral part of its new operating system.
In regards to rumors that Microsoft licensed Flash to make the Windows 8 integration possible, Winokur said, “That is not the case. Microsoft received strong customer feedback that Flash is an important part of the Metro style browsing experience and invited us to consider doing this work with their support.”
The news is particularly interesting since we heard last Fall that Microsoft was aiming to squash Flash support in favor of HTML5. At the time, Winokur didn’t seem too worried about that ever happening.
Much like how Android devices tout their Flash support against the Flash-less iPhone and iPad, Microsoft could use its Flash integration as selling point for Windows 8. Even Apple can’t run away from Flash in OS X, after all. It makes sense for Microsoft to try and simplify the usual headache around installing and updating Flash — though it does make things more difficult for power users who want to avoid it.
We have been working closely with Microsoft to ensure a great Flash experience in Windows 8 and recently finalized an agreement that is the basis for today’s release. Our work together has to a large degree focused on integrating Flash Player into Metro style IE10 with special privileges that enable it to run while other plugins still cannot (consistent with Microsoft’s earlier announcements about plugin-free browsing). We did this work with their support and cooperation on integrating with IE and Windows. We will deliver future updates to the Flash Player (both security and feature upgrades) through Windows Update in much the same way that Microsoft updates IE itself.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt brought the country closer by using radio to deliver his “fireside chats.”
John F. Kennedy rose to fame thanks to the proliferation of televisions in American homes.
Now, Obama is pressing forward with the new technology of his time — the mobile app.
Earlier this week, The White House released a memo about this new push.
The memo states:
For far too long, the American people have been forced to navigate a labyrinth of information across different Government programs in order to find the services they need. In addition, at a time when Americans increasingly pay bills and buy tickets on mobile devices, Government services often are not optimized for smartphones or tablets, assuming the services are even available online.
To solve the problem, Obama has put into effect a strategy with a very long name: “Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People.”
The document kicks off with this amazing fact:
When a 5.9 earthquake hit near Richmond, Virginia on August 23rd, 2011, residents in New York City read about the quake on Twitter feeds 30 seconds before they experienced the quake themselves.
Man, if you ever doubted the power and speed of social media, that pretty much says it, doesn’t it?
The strategy requires all government agencies build two, data-driven, customer-centric apps in the next 12 months. The document goes on to say that agencies should work together on a shared platform to avoid redundancies and to make the end result more user friendly. Imagine that.
The document also states that the new apps and websites be customer-centric, something government websites aren’t known for. But there’s no reason not to have an app that allows you to pay the IRS, check on unemployment benefits, renew your driver’s license even reroute your mail.
The government is on it:
Using modern tools and technologies such as responsive web design32 and search engine optimization33 is critical if the government is to adapt to an ever-changing digital landscape and deliver services to any device, anytime, anywhere. Similarly, optimizing content for modern platforms, rather than just translating content from paper-based documents to the Web, will help ensure the American people and employees can access content regardless of platform.
It’s a tall order, but it’s about time. Next to medicine and education, government is one of the worst offenders when it comes to outdated information technology. Looks like that’s about to change.
Here’s my favorite line from the document:
Ultimately, this strategy aims to be disruptive. It provides a platform to fundamentally shift how government connects with, and provides services to, the American people.
Disruptive! Fabulous. And it’s about time.
Sweating The Small Stuff: Sotheby’s Selling Original Steve Jobs Note About Atari Circuit Improvements
The auction house Sotheby’s is selling an official memo from Steve Jobs to Atari about improving the World Cup Football game. The pages – stamped and signed by Jobs himself – describe circuit diagrams and paddle layouts. Delightfully, the stamp says “All-One Farm Design” and features a Buddhist mantra, “gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl.” As you do.
If you’re thinking of picking this up you’d best have about $10,000 to $15,000 handy – although bidding could get fierce. Quoth MacWorld:
If you’re really feeling spendy, you can plop down $180,000 on an original Apple I circuit board, presumably in mint condition. Get cracking and don’t forget: Sabbe satta sukhi hontu.