The Critical Path is a talk show contemplating the causality of success and failure in the evolving story of mobile computing and related industries. Using Apple as a lens to look at existing and emerging tech markets, we try to understand what it means to be great. Hosted by Horace Dediu, Anders Brownworth, and Judd Rubin.
With an eye on the March 25th Apple Event, Horace contemplates what may be coming, shares his thoughts on Facebook announcing a pivot to privacy, gives an update on the Micromobility Kickstarter project and says too much about his salad's secret ingredients.
The conversation begins with Horace and Judd discussing Wolfgang Schivelbusch's The Railway Journey, then expands to include sea faring, the trouble with boilers and one of Horace's historical fantasies.
Horace handles a few of the curve balls included in the latest AAPL earnings report, answers some #CriticalQuestions and dips a toe into the ocean of possibilities regarding Apple's ventures into Health Care.
Horace wonders whether or not Ghandi and Mao would use the same iPhone, shares what he'd like to hear in the upcoming AAPL earnings call and, finally, reveals which Ikea serves the best meatballs in the entire world.
Horace shares his thoughts about how Apple may contribute to the transportation and health care sectors in the years to come, and catches up on some 1990s television in 2019's first episode of The Critical Path.
The new iPad Pro and some #CriticalQuestions inspire a conversation about cheaters and what insights lamp posts can and cannot provide. Later on, Horace shares some exciting news about Micromobility California.
In the first half of this special double episode of The Critical Path, Horace shares his thoughts on one of the first, and most powerful, corporations ever, the Dutch East India Company and how its impact can still be felt. Later on (54:00), in advance of Apple’s upcoming event in NYC, Horace explores what specifically made New York... New York.
In the first of a series of special episodes of The Critical Path, Horace aims his lens at a seminal innovation from the past, compares and contrasts adoption patterns of yesterday and today, and delineates the reasons why pigeons were not ideal.
Horace shares his thoughts on the recent iPhone and Apple Watch event, his insights into the shift announced by Apple VP Lisa Jackson and what we might extrapolate about future products from the Watch’s user interface(s). Horace is joined by Judd Rubin, who fills in for Anders.
Horace and Anders discuss Apple's Mac business and how the PC is being used less and less but will stay around in large numbers for a very long time. They also take listener questions from Twitter using the hash tag #CriticalQuestion.
Horace and Anders discuss how the iPhone 7 and Airpods evolve the Apple ecosystem. Then they take listener questions via the Twitter hashtag #CriticalQuestion and inevitably finish by covering the car market in some detail!
Horace discusses Apple's investment in Didi. Can R&D expenditures tell us anything about future performance? Horace and Anders take listener questions and the discussion devolves into health and dental benefits for henchmen in an evil lair.
Horace interviews his son on what the next generation will think about cars. Insights only a 10 year old can offer and we take a few questions from the audience. (recorded live in front of an Airshow audience)
172: This is my iPad Pro, and this is my other iPad Pro.
On this special "in person" edition of the Critical Path, Horace and Anders discuss Apple's latest product offerings, the iPhone SE and the new 9.7 inch iPad Pro 9.7, and take listener questions via Twitter.
In this live recording of Critical Path, Horace takes questions from the Twitter audience in real-time. Topics include how to value Apple, collaborative platforms and the Apple Car & production methods.
Horace and special guest Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies discuss the Glance conference. They investigate the job of the Watch and touch on the changing responsibilities amongst the upper ranks at Apple.
Horace and Anders discuss the iPhone analog audio port, the lightning port's use by Apple Pencil and Apple's viewpoint on privacy and the environment. Horace rounds the episode out with a definition of disruption.
Horace discusses politics and disruption with Michael Tofias. Is disruption of government possible? Michael pursues the study of American political institutions, elections, Congress, and computational political economy to reveal how disruption might play out within governments.
Horace and Anders welcome Henri Dediu for an advance look at technology and the world from the point of view of the next generation. Insights from this unique perspective and your questions on this special episode of The Critical Path.
Horace and Anders discuss Uber's transportation business and discuss how software modularizes the world. In the second half of the show, they take listener questions posted to Twitter using the hashtag #CriticalQuestion.
Back from the Apple Watch event, Horace gives his trip report discussing watch pricing and what we now know of how Apple intends to sell them. What cognitive illusions might come into play as people consider the watch?
Horace and Anders discuss Apple's brand reorientation from the intellectual and analytical to the emotional and instinctual. Moore's Law is fundamentally incompatible with luxury so new measures are necessary. What should one call this new paradigm?
Horace discusses his latest work at the Christensen Institute and considers why the educational system works the way it does. Can large scale education be modularized? In the second half of the show, Anders and Horace discuss the rumors about the possibility that Apple might be working on a car.
Horace presents the next class in The Critical MBA. Having too much of a fundamental footing could be a disadvantage when evaluating what theory might apply to a given situation. Could this be why so many fail to understand Apple? In the second half of the show, Horace and Anders discuss Amazon as retail goes online.
In this special "live" version of The Critical Path, Horace gets the numbers just minutes before Apple's January 27th, 2015 earnings call and dissects them live. The show picks up just after the call finishes with a quick recap and discussion of yet another record quarter.
Horace and Anders discuss the current uncertainty in the commodities markets and take a look at the logical segments of the adoption curve. Could the conventional wisdom between invention and product in the market be wrong?
Horace and Anders discuss this year's CES, Apple's record $25B in payments to developers as well as the initial installment of the Critical Path MBA. How is business taught in schools? What is a business school graduate optimized to do? Horace explains what one might need to know when considering a business degree.
Can we measure the time between inception of an idea and the disruption it later causes in the market? Startups are there to discover a job nobody sees yet but not all laboratory experiments make it to commercialization. Horace and Anders discuss the timing of disruption and look at Bitcoin as an example.
Turning our focus back to "Jobs to be Done" theory, we look at how producers can exceed consumers and the role of the focus group from the "Jobs to be Done" viewpoint. We examine "Jobs to be Done" as an essential core of the product process. Where does this kind of thinking belong in an organization? Should we be redefining what being "the best" means? We close with a discussion about the "Job to be Done" of social media and how it might relate to the seven deadly sins.
How does an organization's structure, resource allocation and measurement dictate it's capabilities? Horace and Anders discuss Amazon's AWS business in comparison to their traditional online retail business and the Apple and Google strategies.
Apple's Services business is growing by leaps and bounds. How much of that can be attributed to iCloud? Horace and Anders consider how big the iCloud business is for Apple, as well as Apple's recent stock price rise in this "rolling show" on the way to the airport.
Horace and Anders on the irrelevance of shareholders. Anticipating an Apple October 2014 event they discuss how the iPad and tablet designs could evolve. Diving into how brands can manage disruption through a whirlwind tour of products from cameras to watches to cars.
Horace and Anders analyze the possible business models for Apple Watch, how it may be introduced, distributed, sold, and bought. What impact will the Watch have on Apple's top and bottom lines? They further look into possible introductions for the rest of 2014. Horace sounds about to give up hopes on Apple TV.
Horace and Anders discuss Opening Weekend Sales of iPhone 6, Accurate Timekeeping Device, the 3rd tentpole of Apple Watch, leading to a brief history of wristwatches, a study of Job-to-be-done for the watch and what it signals about Apple's future.
Horace also announces his new role at the Clay Christensen Institute, and the resumption of Airshow World Tour starting with Airshow Seattle on Nov 8.
Steve Jobs said death is the best thing in life. And yet we seek immortality, or at least life extending technologies. What are the possibilities and implications of a salubrious app? Is life extension the next killer app?
How and why does Apple get paid for Apple Pay? Anders and Horace dive into the payments value chain and break it all down for you: what's in it for users, merchants, issuing banks and payment networks. What are the risks and opportunities for Apple? Is there a disruption about to happen?
Horace talks about CapEx and begins unpacking the massive topic that is The Capitalist's Dilemma. We focus on the surprisingly under-discussed data with regard to Apple's acquisition of Beats. The deal was officially announced within hours of this recording.
Horace and Moisés catch up on a few weeks of topics, from Apple earnings to iPad discontinuity to ecosystem disparity to followup on ComiXology. Why would you ask a freshwater fish what it's like to live in the open sea?
Horace and Moisés talk about Amazon's acquisition of ComiXology, digging into the very "local" nature of book publishing in general and the extreme regional differences in content popularity and delivery.
Horace builds on his discussion of Google from the previous episode in light of the Nest acquisition news. We also look at the relatively unreported news regarding China lifting its 13-year ban on game consoles and the variables it introduces to a "big niche" industry.
With new ChromeOS and Chromebook data, Horace returns us to the topic of Google. How do they define and view their customers, products, and businesses? Who actually serves whom? What user data is collected, how is it used, and why?
Horace and Moisés discuss iPhone's move onto China Mobile and the long-brewing implications. They dig into how Apple's potential reach dwarfs that of Google, Facebook, and Amazon combined in the People's Republic, and look back briefly on 2013.
Horace and Moisés discuss the sudden decline of Bitcoin due to a crackdown in China, from the purpose of Bitcoin's existence to the nature and concept of a functional currency. What do we hire currency to do?
Fresh off of back-to-back AirShows, Horace discusses the future of his "cinematographic" presentation style and announces Airshow World Tour. We also look at episode #103's very prescient prediction of Amazon's move into delivering their own products.
A history of retail as a series of innovations in transportation. How to think about Amazon in a continuum of changing consumer behavior. The source of Amazon's market power and its hypothetical disruption. What would Amazon do and not do to improve its business.
A history of Cinema as seen through disruptive lenses. How did the medium evolve from novelty to experimentation to establishment of a predominant business model to concentration of power, regulation and ultimate stagnation. How to measure "performance" of a medium via the median age of the audience and how that affects the advertiser's calculus.
The fascination with highly visible but largely unknown business models continues. How do infomercials work? What is the value of fashion? How can you make money when no creative idea can be protected? Why is Apple building a sapphire manufacturing facility? It's all part of a pattern.
The closing of one and the onset of another era. In this hundredth episode of The Critical Path we look back to some of the big questions we asked and ask them again with hindsight and foresight. They are:
1. What happens to entertainment in the era of pervasive connectivity and computing?
2. What happens to privacy when citizenship requires divulging all your secrets to commercial entities?
3. What happens to the structure of computing when diffusions of innovations are instantly global?
Horace and Moisés look beyond Apple's rumored "watch" project to contemplate the real reasoning behind recent executive acquisitions from the world of high fashion (and what it signals). Is Apple now driving "lifestyle" more forcefully than ever? We examine redefinition, from public face to product, and Mac Pro to (possibly) iPod nano.
Horace discusses AirShow NYC and his appearance on Bloomberg Surveillance, alongside blockbuster opening weekend sales of 9 million iPhone 5s/c units. We look ahead to what else Apple may have in store through sustaining and disruptive innovation.
Relative to Apple's iPhone 5c/s introduction, we extrapolate the implications of their "most forward-looking phone" by examining product against price point, feature set, and the mysterious possibilities within iPhone that Apple has yet to unlock.
A special episode in three parts: 1) Too many variables: The mechanics of the Microsoft Nokia deal 2) Climbing Everest without oxygen: The implications for Microsoft and 3) Post-abyss: The implications for Nokia.
We begin with a defense of Ballmer for preserving great things, continue by condemning him for not having destroyed those very same things and end by asking whether anyone could have done the right thing.
Horace talks about Microsoft's reorganization from Divisional to Functional, and the implications on their Windows and Mobile OS roadmaps. In doing so, he and Moisés touch briefly on the subject of last episode, Scott Forstall's ouster from Apple.
Horace expands on last episode's discussion of organizational structure, as well as his recent appearance on Screen Time with Guy English. We begin speculation on the job iWatch would be hired to do, and preview the relaunch of High Density.
Horace reflects on his analysis of iTunes purchase data, details the just-announced AirShow in Chicago, and touches on fascinating "heat maps" of mobile platform use. We close our week of three shows by talking about "deep focus" and Citizen Kane.
In the second part of our WWDC wrapup, we delve into the large-scale shift represented by iOS 7. Siri guides us on the journey from navigation to consumption in our latest AsymCar segment, and Horace examines what iWork for iCloud means.
In the first part of a post-WWDC "doubleheader", we look back at AirShow and begin our dive into the keynote, with regard to Apple's hardcore product (Mac Pro), Mavericks, iTunes Radio, and examining discovery versus playback.
Horace proposes a classification of analysts and their motives and how to think about the value of commentary. We delve into how Apple executives obtain and preserve authority and talk about the disruptive impact of Nintendo. Also a hint about a new Perspective presentation before WWDC.
The Apple Q1 financial performance review with a short look at the impact of warranties on gross margins. The growth question: why financial analysis cannot offer insights into new product creation, and why makers of things think different. Finally, a new installment into Asymcar: why the process of car making is over-integrated, over-serving, and over-concentrated.
We cover misleading headlines with respect to the iPhone at Verizon while questioning the ebb and flow of media tone on Apple news. We also dive deeper into Asymcar and how to think about car manufacturing. Finally, how to approach industry analysis regardless of your industry.
A report on Ùll with recollections from Don Metlon and Michael B. Johnson (Dr. Wave): what is a functional organization and why is that a thing of beauty? What do Pixar and Apple have in common? What is Horace's favorite Pixar movie? Also a new mini-installment on "Asymcar", what's wrong with cars?
This week we cover a bit of Facebook Home, a bit of YouTuber economics, the best analogy ever heard for Google's business model, and we kick off Auto industry analysis with the "Five Whys"-the paradoxical questions that nobody seems to be asking about cars.
Youtubers, BlackBerries and what Facebook is planning with their "Home on Android". Horace and Moisés discuss how co-branding, strategy, and secret deals intertwine, with illustrations from Intel, Sony-Ericsson, and Acura
The more we deconstruct and take apart iTunes, the more we come to respect how it cannot exist independent of the system it's a part of. Its scope and scale and its history and future all indicate that there is more to it than just a store and that it might be a platform in its own right. We get into some more details about all these details and talk about where it came from and where we think it will end up.
Beginning with the data on activations, we traverse the strategic implications of a shift in Android governance and management. Along the way we also cover Samsung's marketing strategy, budget, and the Galaxy S4 launch.
New data allows us to estimate the components of iTunes with more precision. The entire business is now transacting over $17 billion a year. We take a look at how this insight can be gained and what it means for the future of commercial media.
A review of the Apple Store international roll-out process; a preview of an analysis of Apple's innovation culture as described by Tim Cook; a reflection on the sustainability of growth: personal, institutional and societal.
We take on the future of TV again, given the developments and experiments hitting the news. Hanging in the air like a big matzah ball is the question of a catalyst to bring long form video to the age of software. Not just digital production and distribution but an integration of software into the product itself. We get there via a quick recap of Asymconf California.
A discussion on a forthcoming blog post titled "The Last Feature Phone". Also why stock markets are intractable: the problem with understanding the motivation of buyers and sellers of equities, especially those who act on behalf of others as fund managers. Finally, a review of what's on Horace's to-do list for 2013 and a hint at the new 5by5 show High Density, the first episode which is linked in the show notes.
On Samsung's use of Capital, Value Chain Evolution and Below the Surface. Why would you read the balance sheet of a tech company, the difference between R&D and capital spending, how to prevent suppliers becoming competitors and what are the economics of systems and application software in a device-centric model. Finally, why you shouldn't confuse obscurity with secrecy.
An update on Asymconf California, a discussion of engagement and why Android does not get enough of it, why Amazon likes giving away Fires and the causal hypothesis of Samsung's success in smartphones. That plus announcing a new 5by5 show: High Density.
A dialogue with Benedict Evans, mobile analyst. Benedict has observed not only the technology and telecommunications industries as an equities analyst but also worked for an operator and a major media company. We take a look at mobile strategy and what the media industry will evolve into.
Horace and Moisés talk about the consequences of Samsung's absorption of all Android profits, the limits of iPhone's addressable market, Apple bear markets and, like an object in orbit, how Apple seems to always be falling but never hits Earth. Finally, Horace introduces Asymconf California.
In this episode Horace and Moisés discuss the iPad mini launch weekend (vis-a-vis older iPads and Windows 8), the curious case of choosy late adopters of smartphones in the US and the mystery of Apple's capex late in the year. Horace spins a yarn about how Apple is playing chess with Sharp and Foxconn (and others) vs. Samsung.
61: Testing the App Supernova: An interview with Maxwell Wessel
Horace interviews Maxwell Wessel, fellow at Clay Christensen's Forum for Growth and Innovation at Harvard Business School. We explore the notion of apps as a disruption for multiple industries, especially entertainment.
Horace and Moisés discuss Apple's recent announcements, Horace's trip to Taiwan, and an Asymco special announcement. They also analyze claims that Apple has stopped innovating, and look ahead to where Apple's "puck" is going.
59: Gut-level Affection, An interview with Jean-Louis Gassée
Horace talks to Jean-Louis Gassée about the early years of personal computing from 1968 to 1991. Covering his early roles at HP, Exxon Office Systems and his years at Apple, the story takes us back to a time and place that seems so distant and yet so familiar.
Horace and his new regular co-host Moisés Chiullan (5by5's Screen Time) discuss composing presentations on an iPad while on the road and, at long last, the completion of the Critical Path book. They also examine Apple's honing technique in design, and how it contributes to forging products that are as uniquely experiential as the traditional samurai sword.
What job is there for the iPad mini to do? How do we stay focused on fundamentals when it comes to analyzing Apple's stock price? What will it take to get Horace to use App.Net again?
A conversation with Philip Elmer-Dewitt on Apple's relationship with the media. How did the relationship evolve, is it changing and how is Apple addressing different media channels. Philip brings 30 years of experience to Apple journalism and provides some poignant anecdotes about Steve Jobs, the folklore of Apple and the disruption of journalism itself.
56: Strategic Disadvantages: A discussion with James Allworth
James Allworth, Harvard Business School Forum for Growth and Innovation fellow and co-author of How Will You Measure Your Life joins Horace for an in-depth discussion of the vulnerability of Apple to low-end disruption. Specifically, assuming the iPhone reaches a point of over-service, did Apple arm its suppliers with the means to create its replacement? We dip into case studies of Dell, HP, HTC and Microsoft and touch on how iPod escaped this fate.
Horace and Moisés discuss the early consumer response to iOS 6 (Maps in particular), and how people appear to greatly prefer native apps to their web app counterparts. They also dig into just how large an opportunity cost Apple is capable of absorbing in the interest of protecting their platform. In doing so, they examine the native app vs. HTML5 debate.
Horace is still out crossing the globe on secret missions, so Moisés Chiullan, host of Screen Time, fills in for Dan. This week, Horace covers his Swipe Conference presentation on the history of personal computing and the shift to new platforms that foreshadows the dawn of a new era, the state of the US mobile market and where Lumia fits into the fold, and how Samsung moves forward in the wake of the litigation.
With Horace criss-crossing the globe on various secret missions, Moisés Chiullan, host of Screen Time, fills in for Dan this week. In this episode, Horace follows up on last week's predictions now that the Apple v. Samsung verdict has been finalized ... or has it? Horace and Moisés also dig into the algebra needed to decode how many tablet units which manufacturers have sold, and what that means for Amazon's Kindle Fire in particular.
We cover three topics: 1. Safety and air travel: the bases of performance that don't get credit 2. The unintended consequences of litigation: US v. Microsoft and lessons learned for Apple v. Samsung 3. Product Portfolio theory: is focus impossible for everyone but Apple?
The crumbs of data falling off the Samsung v. Apple trial table get some scrutiny. Horace expands on some of the hints from the partial release of information and then continues with a discussion of how market data is collected and whether it should be trusted. That leads to a question of whether private (or paid) analysis is "better" than public (and unpaid). The benefits of having access to the vastness of collaborators online and the public sources of info might be tipping the balance. Finally, we talk about how big ideas go from sounding impossible to being inevitable and who gets rewarded for making them so.
Horace takes another look at the aviation industry and asks whatever happened to air taxis. Then we go back to the manufacturing miracle of WWII in order to ask what might be the limits to growth. That helps us describe the "top down" opportunity for iOS and mobile computing in general looking at the overall mobile phone market. Finally Dan asks what are the qualifications needed for an analyst to perform wide-ranging reviews of industries.
We turn our attention to the notion of competition. It's a concept that has many contradictory connotations. What we anticipate as sporting or fair is never the way business or war is conducted. How should you think about this and why does it matter in every decision you make professionally and personally?
This episode is recorded on the day after Apple's second quarter earnings release. We go through all the income statement updates and discuss what went wrong (almost everything) and what went right (precious little). We use statements by management about India to answer the question of where the emerging market potential is for iPhone. Putting aside some of the missed opportunities or bad timings, the quarter is reviewed as less than the stellar performance we've become accustomed to but not bad all things considered.
Dan and Horace cover the valuation question regarding Apple and tech in general as seen through investors' eyes. We also look at who is most vulnerable in the ongoing mobile computing disruption and who are the up-and-coming challengers. Finally, Horace introduces the Perspective app which he uses to do all his presentations and a new platform for publishing complex or rich data.
We start with a discussion of RIM's latest quarterly performance and follow with a description of the inherent tension between managing and leading. To further illustrate this divergence we discuss the conflicting messages from Microsoft relative to the Surface.
Dan and Horace reflect on the Osbourne effect of Windows Phone 8 on Nokia and how to value a company in distress. In particular, we talk about the potential of a Microsoft acquisition and the conditions needed to make it happen. Horace takes two reader questions: How did Samsung succeed while other vendors failed with Android and what are the pitfalls that could cause Apple to stumble.
Horace and Dan look at Microsoft's Surface through disruption colored lenses. First, the ongoing evolution of the computing value chain and how it foretold us of Surface. Second, how the economics of Microsoft's businesses makes Surface compelling. We also begin a new segment tentatively called "Reader Questions". This time it's education: is it disruptable? If so how can we tell and where will it lead us?
Having just returned from China, Horace gives his impressions which leads to a discussion about industrialization and innovation and how countries "mature" and what is Apple doing in China and the new relationship between Apple and strategic partnerships and the new stats from WWDC 2012 about developer revenues and how that differs from Android and the 400 million Android devices activated vs. 400 million iOS devices built, in China.
Dan and Horace talk about the distinction between what Facebook is and what its value is perceived to be. We touch on both the opportunities and the challenges for social media and how these are reflected in the IPO. We note how and why Facebook integration in iOS might happen. Horace has a few words about China, WWDC, and the future of apps on TVs. It's all about context.
This week, Horace follows up on his discussion of automobiles and road infrastructure by talking about how road networks were rebuilt in European countries to accommodate cycling. That leads to hints about the challenge of re-building energy infrastructure to support new power train technologies. Finally He and Dan also analyze comments made by Tim Cook at the recent D10 conference about Apple TV and disruption of the entertainment industry.
Dan and Horace take a nostalgic trip through the automotive industry. Horace asks why should a 20 year old car (which he happens to own) be replaced? Why are cars built to be disposed of and why aren't they meaningfully improved based on new jobs to be done? In this episode we look at the auto industry as a proxy for other "network-based" industries which reach plateaus of innovation and can go no further. Plus, Horace challenges readers to guess what car he drives.
Horace interviews his teacher Clay Christensen to discuss his new book, How Will You Measure Your Life. We discuss some of the concepts of learning, jobs to be done and approaches to self-disruption. We also cover what Clay is working on next in his writing and research. Lastly, we talk about what Apple should worry about in its disruptive journey.
A review of Apple's performance in the first calendar quarter. Covering the iPhone's predictability, greater China and international opportunity swamping the US opportunity, the iPad surprise and what mobile means to Apple. Dan and Horace ponder what it means for the largest company in the world to also be the fastest growing company in the world. We discuss whether there is a mobile bubble and, as a bonus, Horace predicts the launch timing of the next iPhone.
Horace and Dan talk about the recently ended Asymconf 1.0 focusing on the risks taken and rewards obtained. We cover the concept, technical implementation, dynamics and where the show will go from here. Horace describes the fascinating "lost tapes" of Steve Jobs and Nokia's latest anticlimactic results.
Dan and Horace are back to discuss the latest news from Nokia, RIM, HTC and Sony and what they have to do with each other. We touch on the distinction between market and product orientation and meander into the question of what is the value of the enterprise vis-a-vis the product it sells and what management has meant and what it should mean. We even tackle the history (and future) of history.
Horace talks again with Dan Abrams about film budgeting, Kickstarter, pre-production, location, technology for production, and a surprise announcement. We also discuss the project-oriented nature of movie production vis-a-vis "pipelined" product development, the history of studios and how they evolved, Pixar and much. much more.
Horace talks to Mike Schneider, a feature film development executive about what development means in the context of filmmaking. We cover the changes the development process faces, the impact of technology on business models and the future role of development in a more integrated film value chain.
The thirtieth Critical Path is an extended edition covering a broad sweep of topics: The new iPad and the value of filling the gaps, trip report on the Apple Investor Summit, Conversations with a TV show writer, Tim Cook's attack on the cash mountain and an update on Asymconf. Horace also talks about his cure for jet lag.
We discuss the five characteristics of disruption: Net growth and value creation, inevitability, increased speed of change, necessity for macroeconomic growth, historical consequences. This and much more will form the basis of discussion for Asymconf.
Horace interviews writer/producer Dan Abrams. Dan talks us through the budgets and cost structures of independent movies as well as the obstacles to innovation presented by the current industry structure. We talk about some of the new concepts that are emerging as means to overcome these obstacles. We also talk about new forms of distribution and financing that enable long-tail film and TV content. Dan also talks about his upcoming mockumentary about the Global Financial Crisis (www.falseprofitthemovie.com).
iPads and what we'll hire them to do for us. We talk about how measurements of the market show an unprecedented growth in mobile computing and how that leads to a new context for computing along axes of non-consumption. That could mean that the devices will become powerful enough to allow most people to be creative and reach self-realization.
Act I: An analysis of the manufacturing cost structure for iPhones
Act II: The $10 billion App store economy and how to quantify value of apps per iPhone
Act III: Like GM and IBM, rather than seeing it as the exception, Apple may be the rule that defines an era.
We talk about Apple's fourth quarter, Horace's trip to California and his visit to Colbert Report. It's all leading up to a fusion of entertainment and technology to create something never seen before. Something wonderful.
Horace talks to Prof. Bill Torgerson from St. John's University about the writing process and how it survives and/or thrives as a commercial enterprise. We touch on writing for movies and compare the collaborative process of "content creation" vs. the "single voice" of an author. If you make software you really should pay attention to how art is made. And vice versa.
Continuing our discussion of the creative side of Hollywood accounting, Dan and Horace take on the way income from movies is distributed and why no movies ever make money. The observations sharpen focus on the over-arching influence distribution has on the creative process.
19: The hiring and firing of milkshakes and candy bars
Horace talks with Bob Moesta, a pioneer of Job To be Done research. We go over the theory and process of understanding what products are really hired to do and ask why this understanding is so hard to come by. In a discussion rich with examples from multiple industries Bob illustrates how marketing, design and engineering are all dancing around the question of how product should be developed. Could the universally accepted compartmentalization of corporate functions be a root cause to product failure?
Dan and Horace ponder why some companies are more mysterious than others. We ask whether transparency and simplicity of business models is a sign of strength or weakness. We compare the measurement, creation and capture of value and why we should celebrate the mortality of businesses.
Horace interviews James Allworth, author, Fellow at the Forum for Growth and Innovation at Harvard Business School, and a former Apple employee. James describes what it's like working with Clayton Christensen and takes us on a journey through the latest academic and applied research being conducted on the theories of disruptive innovation.
Horace interviews Dan Benjamin on the motivation, basis of competition and trajectory of the 5by5 network. By studying where podcasting came from and where it's going we provide proof of existence of disruption in "big media".
Horace talks to actor Hoon Lee about the challenges of disrupting the creative arts in general, and theater in particular. By observing the changes in the performing arts we look to how mainstream media will change in response to technological and economic pressures.
In the first of the Critical Path Interviews, Horace discusses the disruptive potential of cloud computing with Randy Bias. Is the new ecosystem the coupling of devices with backend cloud APIs? How do we calibrate new business models based on tightly coupled super-platforms.
Dan and Horace talk about innovations in emerging countries related to mobile service and how that might foreshadow changes in the developed world. We also discuss why some industries seem to be exempt from disruptive innovation and suggest that there are boundaries societies set to value re-definition.
Dan and Horace talk about the tension between relying on data and using intuition to make strategy decisions. We also apply this dual approach to think through the next evolution of user interaction and the jobs we might hire mobile computers to do for us.
Dan and Horace talk about patents and litigation as a means of defending innovation. We go way back to the beginning of the last century and talk how patent wars have played out in the past and how they affected the fortunes and fates of innovators.
Dan and Horace talk about Apple's quarter with an eye toward the operational commitments being made. We cover the cost of store openings, data center purchases and machinery used in manufacturing iOS devices. By tracking capital expenses we can get a clue about where Apple wants to go.
Dan and Horace talk about some of the more profound implications of "intelligent assistance" in personal devices both in terms of business models and in terms of industry dynamics. Getting assistance is an implied bargain we all make as internet citizens but what do we pay for that assistance?
Horace and Dan look at brand theory and decide it should not be left to the experts. Also, we ask what jobs products are hired to do and tie that to the meaning imparted in the brand and visual imagery associated with it.
Horace and Dan tackle corporate valuation and hypothesize whether amateur bloggers know more about Apple than professional analysts. We also look at the ancient economic history of Windows and how that still shapes it today.
In this inaugural episode, Horace Dediu and Dan Benjamin try to weigh the strategic implications of Apple's WWDC announcements. We take a look at the impact on RIM, operators, Google and Apple's flirtation with Twitter.