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Jay Ganaden
Design dude, Photographer, Cyclist, Snowboarder, Networker, Husband, Papa. Not in that order.
Design dude, Photographer, Cyclist, Snowboarder, Networker, Husband, Papa. Not in that order.

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Interesting speculation on Google's plans for Travel. 

"Google wants to rip apart the existing model of digital travel (populated by all manner of OTAs) and create a new architecture with it and TripAdvisor at the top of the ecosystem."

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For those that couldn't make GigaOM ROADMAP:

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Thanks +Ryan Fitzgibbon! I too am a 7/Adventurer/Enthusiast:

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Again, my notions of cycling are challenged. If I only added a few of these techniques to my criterium racing, I surely would have destroyed my competition.

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140+ years since the last big (7.0) Hayward fault quake, and everything else you don't wanna know:

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Lovely little music video, with a little PSA for family farmers thrown in. Thank...s Karen O! Abandoned
Story here:

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Design counts. [and other things Guy Kawasaki learned from Steve Jobs]
(Sat01) What I Learned From Steve Jobs

Many people have explained what one can learn from Steve Jobs. But few, if any, of these people have been inside the tent and experienced first hand what it was like to work with him. I don’t want any lessons to be lost or forgotten, so here is my list of the top twelve lessons that I learned from Steve Jobs.

Experts are clueless.

Experts—journalists, analysts, consultants, bankers, and gurus can’t “do” so they “advise.” They can tell you what is wrong with your product, but they cannot make a great one. They can tell you how to sell something, but they cannot sell it themselves. They can tell you how to create great teams, but they only manage a secretary. For example, the experts told us that the two biggest shortcomings of Macintosh in the mid 1980s was the lack of a daisy-wheel printer driver and Lotus 1-2-3; another advice gem from the experts was to buy Compaq. Hear what experts say, but don’t always listen to them.

Customers cannot tell you what they need.

“Apple market research” is an oxymoron. The Apple focus group was the right hemisphere of Steve’s brain talking to the left one. If you ask customers what they want, they will tell you, “Better, faster, and cheaper”—that is, better sameness, not revolutionary change. They can only describe their desires in terms of what they are already using—around the time of the introduction of Macintosh, all people said they wanted was better, faster, and cheaper MS-DOS machines. The richest vein for tech startups is creating the product that you want to use—that’s what Steve and Woz did.

Jump to the next curve.

Big wins happen when you go beyond better sameness. The best daisy-wheel printer companies were introducing new fonts in more sizes. Apple introduced the next curve: laser printing. Think of ice harvesters, ice factories, and refrigerator companies. Ice 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Are you still harvesting ice during the winter from a frozen pond?

The biggest challenges beget best work.

I lived in fear that Steve would tell me that I, or my work, was crap. In public. This fear was a big challenge. Competing with IBM and then Microsoft was a big challenge. Changing the world was a big challenge. I, and Apple employees before me and after me, did their best work because we had to do our best work to meet the big challenges.

Design counts.

Steve drove people nuts with his design demands—some shades of black weren’t black enough. Mere mortals think that black is black, and that a trash can is a trash can. Steve was such a perfectionist—a perfectionist Beyond: Thunderdome—and lo and behold he was right: some people care about design and many people at least sense it. Maybe not everyone, but the important ones.

You can’t go wrong with big graphics and big fonts.

Take a look at Steve’s slides. The font is sixty points. There’s usually one big screenshot or graphic. Look at other tech speaker’s slides—even the ones who have seen Steve in action. The font is eight points, and there are no graphics. So many people say that Steve was the world’s greatest product introduction guy..don’t you wonder why more people don’t copy his style?

Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.

When Apple first shipped the iPhone there was no such thing as apps. Apps, Steve decreed, were a bad thing because you never know what they could be doing to your phone. Safari web apps were the way to go until six months later when Steve decided, or someone convinced Steve, that apps were the way to go—but of course. Duh! Apple came a long way in a short time from Safari web apps to “there’s an app for that.”

“Value” is different from “price.”

Woe unto you if you decide everything based on price. Even more woe unto you if you compete solely on price. Price is not all that matters—what is important, at least to some people, is value. And value takes into account training, support, and the intrinsic joy of using the best tool that’s made. It’s pretty safe to say that no one buys Apple products because of their low price.

A players hire A+ players.

Actually, Steve believed that A players hire A players—that is people who are as good as they are. I refined this slightly—my theory is that A players hire people even better than themselves. It’s clear, though, that B players hire C players so they can feel superior to them, and C players hire D players. If you start hiring B players, expect what Steve called “the bozo explosion” to happen in your organization.

Real CEOs demo.

Steve Jobs could demo a pod, pad, phone, and Mac two to three times a year with millions of people watching, why is it that many CEOs call upon their vice-president of engineering to do a product demo? Maybe it’s to show that there’s a team effort in play. Maybe. It’s more likely that the CEO doesn’t understand what his/her company is making well enough to explain it. How pathetic is that?

Real CEOs ship.

For all his perfectionism, Steve could ship. Maybe the product wasn’t perfect every time, but it was almost always great enough to go. The lesson is that Steve wasn’t tinkering for the sake of tinkering—he had a goal: shipping and achieving worldwide domination of existing markets or creation of new markets. Apple is an engineering-centric company, not a research-centric one. Which would you rather be: Apple or Xerox PARC?

Marketing boils down to providing unique value.

Think of a 2 x 2 matrix. The vertical axis measures how your product differs from the competition. The horizontal axis measures the value of your product. Bottom right: valuable but not unique—you’ll have to compete on price. Top left: unique but not valuable—you’ll own a market that doesn’t exist. Bottom left: not unique and not value—you’re a bozo. Top right: unique and valuable—this is where you make margin, money, and history. For example, the iPod was unique and valuable because it was the only way to legally, inexpensively, and easily download music from the six biggest record labels.

Bonus: Some things need to be believed to be seen. When you are jumping curves, defying/ignoring the experts, facing off against big challenges, obsessing about design, and focusing on unique value, you will need to convince people to believe in what you are doing in order to see your efforts come to fruition. People needed to believe in Macintosh to see it become real. Ditto for iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Not everyone will believe—that’s okay. But the starting point of changing the world is changing a few minds. This is the greatest lesson of all that I learned from Steve.

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The textbook industry also disrupted by Apple.

I think I actually enjoyed going and shopping for my books at the University Co-Op. I can't be the only one who enjoyed that late summer rush, that huge crowd, the thrill and disappointment of finding/not finding your books, the smell of the book store and fresh Longhorn t-shirts.

But that's cool. It's been replaced by the same thing at the Apple store, perhaps with more frequency. :)
I have to get back to featuring startups. I can't think of a better startup to feature today than inkling. They are changing how my son will get his textbooks when he heads to college next year.

You can see the impact of Steve Jobs all over the place in this video.

Wow, is the future better because of this stuff.

This is a not-to-be-missed example of the kind of impact that Steve Jobs has on the tech industry and all of us.

Inkling: moving textbooks onto the iPad

Historically, textbooks have been neither fun to purchase (they’re expensive) nor fun to lug around campus (they’re heavy). And depending on the subject matter, they are often rendered obsolete by the presence of updated information or changes in thought. Inkling is addressing each of these issues by moving textbooks out of the physical world and into the digital world of the iPad.

Matt MacInnis, Founder and CEO of Inkling, worked at Apple for 8 years and spent much of that time in Apple’s education group. As he sat in classrooms and watched teachers ask students to put away their laptops when it was time to learn, it dawned on him that things needed to change.

“I knew even then, before there was an iPad, that something had to give,” explains MacInnis. “We had to reinvent this physical, static, heavy textbook that everyone was still using and replace it with something that was more dynamic, something that connected people rather than isolating people from one another, something that was way more akin to the way that students spend their lives outside the classroom everyday anyway, and that’s really what we’re trying to build with Inkling.”

Inkling works with the major textbook publishers like Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Wylie and W. W. Norton. They disassemble the publishers’ market-leading titles as well as all the associated ancillary media such as videos, assessment questions and 3D objects and combine all of these elements to construct something from the ground up for the iPad. The result is a textbook that is interactive, able to be updated as new information becomes available and priced 30% to 40% less than the print versions.

“In Inkling…we connect people within the content,” says MacInnis. “We like to say that when you download any Inkling title, you get the collective wisdom of anybody who’s ever used that book before, because you have access to all of the conversations of every user, globally, who uses that book…As you work your way through Inkling content, you’re dynamically assembling a study guide. Every time you make a highlight or a comment or a note, every time you see something that somebody else said that you like, it excerpts that little snippet and throws it into your notebook, and that’s something you can go back and study.”

The digital version of each title is compatible with the print version, so students can stay in sync with the professor or with another student using the print version. Over 50 schools are already either recommending or requiring Inkling for their incoming students.

“It’s the sort of thing,” explains MacInnis, “where you take a gamble to reinvent a medium and do something that’s just way different from anything that people have done before, and [you] worry whether when people see it they’ll love it as much as you loved it in design. When people see Inkling, there’s this aha moment when they recognize that the way that you explore content on a device like this is just so different from anything they’ve seen before.”

More info:

Inkling web site:
Inkling profile on CrunchBase:
Inkling profile on Twitter:
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