Since Paul Krugman wandered into my field of economics today, I thought this might be an opportune moment to recount various things I have said about Amazon and its dispute with Hachette over the last few months. Krugman’s problem: Amazon has too much power, plain and simple. Well, it isn’t that plain or simple.
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Apple’s iPad launch event last week was fairly uneventful. The iPad Air 2 looks impressive and the Retina display iMac even more so. But there will be no queues in front of Apple stores this time around. Indeed, most of the event was filler, perhaps to cover the fact that Apple’s product strategy does not have the Jobsian balance it once had. (I mean an iPad Mini 3, “give me a break, it is barely an iPad Mini 2.1!)
Alex Blumberg, formerly of This American Life and Planet Money is starting a new business. The business has something to do with creating a great network of podcasts (actually, three episodes in I’m not entirely sure but that is a matter for a future discussion). Naturally he is podcasting his own experience in this and I’ve been listening.
One of the newest ventures in the Creative Destruction Lab is ‘Instaradio.’ They have put out an app called RAUR and I have been playing around with it. What RAUR does is offer a dead simple way of broadcasting audio straight from a mobile phone. Basically, you set up an account and then, when you have something to say, you click a microphone, say it, and it posts it to the web. That’s it.
A few books have been released recently where entrepreneurs impart their managerial and strategic advice on the world. Of course, they are all successful which means that ultimately they are explaining what they did that made them successful. We should be sceptical.
A couple of things have happened this week regarding the use of voice as a form of communication. First of all, Apple’s new iOS8 allows users to send others short voice messages instead of text messages.
Two pieces appeared on Medium in the last couple of days about Amazon; both critical and complimentary in their own way. But put together they reveal a contradiction at the heart of what Amazon is doing in terms of social value.