1. Apple No Longer Innovates, Says the Man Who Helped Steve Jobs Design the Mac
Hartmut Esslinger has quite the resume when it comes to industrial design; after all, he worked with Steve Jobs to establish the “design language” that was used on the Mac line of computers for over a decide. Esslinger’s iconolocastic firm had designed over 100 products for Sony before he signed an exclusive, $1 million deal with Apple. But the Apple that he worked with is gone, says Esselinger. The visionary founders have been replaced by leaders who can’t think beyond increasing profit.
Steve Jobs “stubbornly insisted on trying new things,” says Esslinger. Jobs knew that design could define Apple’s brand more so than any marketing campaign could. So, Esselinger’s “Snow White” design language, which integrated the Mac’s outer plastic shell with the software it contained, took off and made Macs a household item.
The re-thinking of the integration of hardware and software is one of the most important things in the near future, says Esslinger. “Flat screens have reached a level of saturation,” he says. “The cheapest way is not always the best way… There is much more freedom [in design] than we think we have.”
2. The 6 most important things Mark Zuckerberg revealed yesterday
- Facebook is currently at a crossroads. Hopefully, at the end of their journey, Facebook will be thriving in a world where everyone is on it.
- Facebook wants to become a “data map” within the next five or ten years.
- It’s important to stay focused on doing what you believe as right; sometimes, you’re ahead of the market and they’ll catch up. A good example would be Facebook’s mobile app; when first introduced, everyone thought it was preposterous. It turned out to be very successful.
- It’s tough to determine when something isn’t going to work, as opposed to it hasn’t worked yet. But this is important.
- Zuckerberg thinks the “government blew it” in its role to protect American citizens in terms of privacy.
- Zuckerberg has started teaching a middle-school class in order to gain perspective on education issues.
3. Twitter Files for IPO
Twitter, and all its 200 million users, has filed for its first public offering. This announcement came out threw a single tweet. “We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO,” said Twitter on Thursday.
Twitter’s disclosure of its filing is a variation on the new “secret” IPO process, which comes from the recent JOBS act. This gives companies the power to file with the SEC without public scrutiny. If Twitter truly does go public and sell its shares, it will have to do disclose financial documents. Although, we already know one hint of its financial realms – to even take advantage of JOBS, the company’s annual revenue must be less than $1 billion. Thus, we know the maximum amount of money that Twitter makes.
4. Why is Samsung throwing money at startups?
“The market has shifted from one where you make phones to one where you control or piggyback off an ecosystem. Samsung controls the supply chain to a greater degree than anyone else, but it has realized that it lags the leaders in software, integration, and services… Its thought process is simple: go where the innovation is happening, Silicon Valley and New York, and cozy up to these folks to get a better look at what it takes to build beautifully integrated apps.” says research director at Current Analysis Avi Greengart.
Samsung has recently announced a new venture fund made up of $1 billion. They will use this to back early-stage startups and buy talent. They’re looking to meet the hottest companies, inquire, and acquire; a different model from their VC arm. Thus, that that hang at the accelerator may become Samsung apps in a limited amount of time. This accelerator space in New York features offices and conference rooms where a young startup can grow. “I could definitely get used to working here, said Nate Gosseln, a senior manager at the startup ShareThrough. “As we look to the future, our biggest opportunities to innovate are outside of hardware,” said BK Yoon, CEO of Samsung.
5. Vodafone Hacker Accesses 2 Million Customers’ Banking Data
A hacker got into Vodafone’s server in Germany and gained access to 2 million customer’s personal details as well as banking information. Data such as names, addresses, birth dates, and bank account information were all stolen from the world’s second-biggest mobile-phone carrier. The hacker however has no access to credit card information, said Vodafone.
The attack was detected in early September, stopped, and reported to the police. Clients who are worried can check on Vodafone’s German website to see whether or not they are affected. While the data stolen is not enough for criminals to access bank accounts, Vodafone warns clients of phishing attacks. After this incident was announced, Vodafone shares fell .8% in the market.
6. J .P. Morgan’s plan to help startups stay private longer
“Come to Silicon Valley” was the message that Noah Wintroub, head of Internet and digital media banking for JP Morgan, kept telling James Lee, the bank’s vice chairman. Wintroub wanted Lee to come see that Facebook was just the tip of the iceberg; there were dozens of other maturing tech startups that could benefit from being with the bank. So, Lee came over. “Historically these companies finance themselves via venture capital and maybe a little bit of bank debt…But at some stage they don’t want more bank debt and they don’t want additional dilution. So their only real option was to go public, which they may not yet feel ready to do.” Said Lee, about growing startups.
So, Lee decided to develop and create a new system, where startups could avoid to do either. His creation, a trademarked debt product called SPL (Stay Private Longer) is a customized combination of a cash-pay coupon and a payment-in-kind note. The first company to use SPL was SurveyMonkey, the second being consumer electronics startup JawBone. “J.P. Morgan created a unique instrument designed to fill a near-term capital hole that we had,” says Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman.”J.P. Morgan has a big war chest to put into companies, so today it is tens of millions and someday it may scale up to billions.”
7. Five Things Startups Shouldn’t Digitize
- Belly to Belly Contact. When you have to connect with clients or pitch an idea, do it in person. Trust is an element that is best dealt with in person.
- Create extraordinary brand journeys. When clients visit your showroom or product displays, make sure that each touch point is designed and cared for, and that everything elicits a positive response.
- Post Purchase Support. If something goes wrong, fix the problem in person. Sometimes client relationships can be further deepened when you fix a flaw.
- Some marketing touch points.