- Gemeente Grootegast - Martillos ICTApplication Manager, 2013 - present
- Gran Alacant PlazaOwner, 2002 - present
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- Gemeente ZuidhornICT Coordinator, 1997 - 2013
- Theodurus NiemeyerIT Production Coordinator, 1979 - 1992
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Tijdens het lezen van een artikel waarvan ik de link hieronder zal delen vielen me een aantal zaken op.
Ten eerste dat een heleboel diensten en start-ups boven op de bestaande gevestigde orde worden gebouwd. In het artikel wordt een bedrijf aangehaald wat is zijn disclaimer heeft staan dat het functioneren van het product afhangt of Google geen wijzigingen aanbrengt in zijn code.
Een voorbeeld daarvan is dat in GMail iedereen zijn e-mails nu kan indelen en dat de nieuwsbrieven en reclame-mails nu automatisch in een aparte tab komen en minder worden gelezen.
Een onderneming die zo afhankelijk is van een product van een ander, hetzij Google, Facebook of Twitter lijkt mij geen veilige onderneming om voor de lange termijn in te stappen.
Kijk naar alle tijd en geld die er in de diverse Twitter-applicaties is gestoken de laatste jaren. Twitter moet geld gaan verdienen, draait de kraan dicht en de een na de andere stopt ermee.
Dit gelezen hebbende moest ik gelijk aan het artikel denken wat ik onlangs voor over messengers schreef. (http://androidworld.nl/nieuws/messengers-blijft-whatsapp-de-grootste-en-wat-kunnen-we-verwachten/)
Mijn conclusie was dat dat de nieuwe sociale netwerken zijn, die heel klein en dus heel erg prive zijn.
Maar toch hebben een aantal van deze netwerken de sleutel tot het commercieel succes gevonden. Omdat ze hun eigen platform gemaakt hebben en totaal op geen enkele wijze afhankelijk zijn van een van de grote drie hoeven ze zich geen zorgen te maken over anderen. Line biedt zijn gebruikers korting aan via een messenger-bericht en WeChat verkoopt 100.000 telefoons via een in-app-aankoop mechanisme.
Geen reclameboodschappen, geen banners, geen database ter beschikking stellen aan een ander. Nee, je laat de gebruiker de keus, maak ik gebruik van de aanbieding of niet.
Toen ik het artikel gelezen had kwam ik ook tot een ander besef. De generatie die nu opgroeit en 15 jaar oud is heeft nog nooit een wereld gekend waar communiceren zoals wij dit nu doen niet mogelijk is.
Voor hen is er eigenlijk geen online wereld, het is gewoon hun wereld waarin ze leven. Voor hen is er geen off-en online, het is gewoon dat wat om hen heen is.
Het is misschien ook wel daarom dat de diverse Trendwatchers signaleren dat de mega-platformen als Facebook geduchte concurrentie gaat krijgen van de kleinere in de vorm van de messengers.
I worked at Microsoft in 2003-2006. Key years for its tablet PC efforts. Microsoft had something like the iPad way before Steve Jobs shipped one. But they screwed it all up.
I saw how. Bill Gates knew it was the future. But he didn't demand a really new operating system that couldn't run old apps. That's not really what screwed Microsoft's efforts, though. It was employee malaise. Lack of belief that tablets were the future of computing.
You see, back then every Microsoft employee had a big ass Dell system. Most of the programmers had huge screens. Just sat at their desks all day long. Didn't think about why people outside in the real world might want a tablet. Were too busy serving existing customers who, even years later, continue making Microsoft one of the most profitable businesses known to humans.
When I walked around campus only a very small percentage held tablet computers. There wasn't any pressure on execs to really change everything they were doing, either from above, or from employees below.
They didn't believe.
Corporate belief is a really important thing. It's the dirty work that pays for.
Belief? Programmers don't care about that, right? After all, if the code compiles, that's what matters. Not whether you believe it will change the world, right?
There were customers out there who knew tablets WOULD change the world. Even some employees. Heck, Microsoft and did invest in tablets. Something I thought was brave of Gates, he knew that if he didn't get to the future someone else would. It's just that he was up against too many people who didn't believe that Gates had the right impulses and there was way too much profit serving the Windows and Office brands (and the people who ran those businesses didn't believe in tablets and weren't willing to make the investments necessary to serve this new device and paradigm).
Which gets us to why I'm writing publicly to both my coworkers and to all of those at Google.
If we don't believe that wearables are the future we will continue to invest in what customers are paying us to do today.
Belief is hugely important inside a technology company. It will drive you on every decision. Don't believe in a contextual future where companies need to run with about 100x the data they run on today? Then you will never invest in the people, systems, and very real costs of datacenters that you will need to.
Don't believe that these kids of the future are going to wear a ton of stuff that has computing embedded? Then you never will build it and you'll let some very smart competitor like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg or Tim Cook do it and reap all the rewards, even though you were the first to show the world the future.
There's a lot on Google's side of the fence that needs to happen:
1. Gotta give us a real API so that there can be real apps. Right now there isn't one.
2. We need real apps from across the Google ecosystem, like YouTube, Maps, Photos, ChromeCast, Docs and Spreadsheets, and others. Right now there aren't any.
3. We need a low price. That might even mean you need to subsidize Google Glass as a brand for four or five years. Price it at $299 or lower and these high school girls can afford a pair. $500? I think they would rather have an iPad if we really got them to tell the truth. Anything more than $500? It's dead.
4. You need to ship BEFORE Apple ships its iWatch. Why? My friends have seen the iWatch already and are telling me it's stunning and will blow away anything the market has seen before for the wrist. If Apple gets out first, then Apple can define the wearable market and take away all the hard work that Google has done to this point to build its wearable device. If you aren't shipping by May you are dead. Period. It's that important.
For the Rackers (what employees call ourselves):
1. You need to push to be even more flexible and high performance than it needed to yet. Far more flexible and high performance. Ask yourselves, can OpenStack stand up to 100x the performance needs of today? If everyone is walking around with 150 sensors on (I predict I'll be there by the end of 2014 -- I know of some shoes coming out next year that will have hundreds of sensors on them alone) can OpenStack deal with that data flow? You better be ready for an answer by May 2014 too. Even if Google Glass fails the Apple iWatch will be pushing more data to our customers than the iPhone currently does and I bet that Apple will sell many millions of those. Plus, add in the contextual efforts that baseball and others are about to undertake. If we aren't ready with new systems designed to keep up with streams of new data then our customers will go somewhere else.
2. We need to continue to be good corporate friends of and its partners. We got the market to believe in that (thousands of people show up to your design summits, and CERN, Comcast, and tons of big and important companies are both using and contributing to OpenStack. Don't screw that up. But you WILL need to get everyone involved in OpenStack to understand that we are entering a new contextual age and that will require massive innovation. How does that get done without one of the many partners (many of whom are bigger and more important than Rackspace) putting a wrench in the innovation and slowing it down? Even more importantly, how does Rackspace continue to not do the same? If OpenStack disappears then the one shot to have the industry collaborating together on infrastructure disappears too. Belief is very important. Where we focus the energy is very important. The next 18 months are going to be critical to whether OpenStack is relevant to the contextual world or not.
3. Rackspace needs to believe in the future. Every business will be affected by the wearable, social, location, and sensor technologies (I call this contextual technology, because it will know your personal context) and every business will need to rebuild its infrastructure to support it. Will they need to learn Mongo DB? Yes? NodeJS? Yes. And maybe hundreds of other technologies, most of which will be open source, by the way. Will those new technologies run best on OpenStack and/or the Rackspace Open Cloud (the way they do today)? If so, we remain relevant and in business. If not, by 2024 we'll be another curiosity in the Computer History Museum.
4. Will you make Object Rocket http://www.objectrocket.com/ even faster? (We acquired this company recently, it makes high speed MongoDB possible. So popular we can't keep them in stock). Will you bet the company on making everything like Object Rocket? Hyper fast, designed for the workloads of the personal cloud, the industrial internet, contextual computing?
Do you believe? Are you dreaming about the Google Glass world and how you'll need to rebuild your business in the next decade before of it? Or are you already writing it off as "Scoble's folly?" As something overhyped and never going to be adopted?
Just listen to these high school girls. They believe and they don't even know what it does. Just listen. The belief is there.
Will you be?
Or will you sit around and let someone else build the future after you already showed everyone the way?
Speaking of which, why isn't Google using OpenStack and supporting open technologies in its own cloud like MongoDB? Why aren't our two companies working much closer together to bring the future to all of us?
I'm tired of letting the skeptics win at companies I'm involved in. I let that happen at Microsoft. Not again.
First, I love headlines that stretch the truth a bit. No one outside of Google got their Glass before March of last year. I got mine on the second day they were available, which was April 15th. So we really have had Glass, for, what, eight months now? Not quite a year, but that's just me being picky.
But Google Glass is doomed. Why do I say that? Because the tech press tells me so.
Now that we got that out of the way, what have I learned in my eight months of wearing Glass?
1. Nearly everyone wants to try it. Google is brilliant. They got us to pay $1,500 (plus tax) to be its PR agent. It's gotten to the point where even I don't want to wear them around. At one conference a few people in a bathroom wanted to try them on. I figure I've shared my Glass with 500-1,000 people.
2. Mat says people called him an asshole for wearing his. I never have had that happen. Instead, what happens is usually closer to this encounter I had in the street with three high school girls: https://soundcloud.com/scobleizer/why-google-glass-will-be-a-hit
3. All of our angst is because of a prototype. One that still doesn't have a good API and doesn't really have much utility (I expect that Google will have a LOT to say when it introduces the final product in 2014). Things like battery life, and even design, or lack thereof, are going to change.
4. Price is gonna matter a LOT. But I'm hearing they won't be able to get under $500 in 2014, so that means it's doomed. In 2014. When they get under $300 and have another revision or two? That's when the market really will show up. 2016, I say.
5. The camera isn't that scary. Once you have them. Lots of people are afraid I'm recording them. Then I show them how it works. Then they smile and forget I have them on.
6. The really scary thing? The eye sensor. There's a reason why didn't answer my question at last year's Google IO: that thing can probably tell whether you are drunk or sober (think about THAT tonight). It also can probably tell you when you are checking out someone you shouldn't be (wait until the wife gets an alert about THAT). Of course Google will use it to tell what brands you are checking out at the grocery store (coupon alert) or when you are shopping in a shopping mall.
7. Do I still love mine? Yeah, I do, but I am frustrated with the speed at which Google has iterated on these. I am hopeful that Google is just holding back a ton of goodness for launch but it should have had an app store, a real API that allows full sensor and phone integration, and a plan for helping developers build real businesses on these by now.
I'm also worried at a new trend: I rarely see Google employees wearing theirs anymore. Most say "I just don't like advertising that I work for Google." I understand that. Quite a few people assume I work for Google when they see me with mine. I just hope it doesn't mean that Google's average employee won't support it. That is really what killed the tablet PC efforts inside Microsoft until Apple forced them to react due to popularity of iPad.
But, really, let's get back to the headline. I think Google Glass is doomed. In 2014. Why?
1. Expectations are too high. These are on our faces and are the most controversial product of my lifetime (and that's saying something). Everyone will compare sales of Google Glass to Apple's iWatch. That is going to bring a raft of "Google Glass isn't popular" kinds of articles. Translation: Glass is doomed.
2. These are too hard to buy and acquire. They need to be custom fitted and, because they have a new user interface, users need a bit of training on how to use them. This is what will keep the price high, not the cost of making the things. If you need to spend an hour or two with a Google employee in a Best Buy just to get them working, that raises the cost and will keep these from being a high-sales item. At least in 2014.
3. Not enough apps. Enough said. That will start getting fixed after a few months of release, but early users are gonna continually ask "where's the Uber app?" Or "where's the Foursquare app?" Or "why does the Facebook app suck?" Truth is, while there are many developers excited by Glass, there are many others who look at this and see no market and a very small one that will show up in 2014. So most "pro" developers are taking a wait-and-see approach. Google hasn't helped that by not showing off a store and by making weird rules against advertising without explaining what will be allowed.
4. The current UI can't handle lots of apps. If apps do show up by some miracle how many can you really fit into the small format of Glass? Not many. This thing is gonna break if I tried to put the 300 apps on my MotoX or iPhone onto it. Why? You simply won't scroll through hundreds of apps. Your arm will get tired. And if you add too many it'll decrease voice recognition quality. "OK Glass, take a picture," now, did you just mean to use the Path app? The Facebook app? The instagram app? The SnapChat app? The SmugMug app?
5. Battery life. Right now I want to use Glass for journalism. It works pretty well for that, if you watch my Sarah Francis video I filmed on Glass: https://plus.google.com/+Scobleizer/posts/D1jSBLQQvu2 But when doing video the battery only lasts 45 minutes AND it gets very hot. I expect that will get fixed, right now video is being compressed in software. I bet that when they release the public version it will be done in hardware. But, what is real-world battery use like? Already Google has had to ratchet back a bunch of features it wanted to include, like automatic uploads of photos. It now only does that when plugged in and on wifi.
6. Photo workflow sucks. Let's say I shot a bunch of photos on my Glass. Can I see them on my iPhone? No. Not immediately. I have to plug it in and be on wifi for that to happen. Can I share from Glass? Yeah, but how do I leave a description? Use my voice, right? But the problem is that isn't very accurate and doesn't work at all in noisy places like rock concerts, which is probably where you mostly want to use Glass. Google needs to make it much easier to push images over to my phone in real time and then let me upload photos and videos from there. Why? I can edit on my phone much nicer than trying to pick out good images on Glass (and try to do something like crop or change image to black and white before uploading -- you'll soon discover there are thousands of limitations to Glass' camera that your iPhone doesn't have).
7. Facebook is our main addiction and I can't do it in Glass. Sorry Google, but Google+ still isn't used by my family, friends, or those I speak with. At one recent conference I asked who isn't on Facebook and only one hand went up. Google+ isn't nearly as ubiquitous or as nice, truth be told, particularly for mobile users. This lack of Facebook support is the #1 thing that pisses me off about Glass. Do you really think Zuckerberg is gonna put his best developers on Glass? Hell no.
8. No contextual filtering. When I'm standing on stage, why does Glass give me Tweets? Why can't it recognize that I'm at a conference at least and show me only tweets about that conference? Hashtag style. But it can't because Google's contextual OS isn't done and probably won't be done until 2015. Google Glass desperately needs those contextual signals to know when to show you appropriate stuff. Skiing? Only show me stuff about the mountain I'm on. In a meeting? Do something like Mind Meld does (show me stuff about what we're talking about). Shopping? Show me coupons and todo lists. But today Google Glass is pretty stupid, context wise, and makes the experience of using it suck in a lot of ways.
9. Developers are being held back because there isn't any distribution system for apps or Glass experiences. That will get fixed, I'm sure, but right now if a developer wants me to test out a cool app they almost always need physical access to my Glass. That isn't a good way to get lots of people trying/debugging/hyping up apps.
10. The Gruber problem. He just doesn't like the idea of Glass, even if Apple were to bring out one. http://daringfireball.net/2013/12/thoughts_on_google_glass I think I figured this one out after talking to hundreds of people. Most are disappointed in themselves and their lack of ability to put their phones down. They fear that if they were to go with Glass they would just totally lose themselves to their mobile addictions. They are right to be scared of that. If Glass actually worked the way I'm dreaming of I would be even more addicted to our online world than I am today. People are scared of losing their humanness. What makes them human. I get questions all the time about whether the Internet will decide everything in life for us and what that means. Personally after having them on for eight months I'm actually less scared of that than I was when first putting them on. Why? With Glass at least I'm looking at the real world more than when I'm using my phone. But it is a real fear and something Google will have to take on.
That all said, I'm still wearing mine. See you next week in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show. I'll have mine on, even if takes me to a strip club. Oh, wait, maybe not. :-)
So, what would I do if I were Google? Reset expectations. Say "this is really a product for 2020 that we're gonna build with you." First release is in 2014, but let's be honest, if it's $600 and dorky looking, it'll be doomed -- as long as expectations are so high.
By 2020 I'm quite convinced this will be a big deal and there will be lots of competitors by then. So, if you make it about 2020, then it isn't doomed. If it's about beating the Apple iWatch in 2014? Yes, totally doomed.
Link to live stream below.
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