Via Gruber — this is fucked. Seriously. This is why I don’t get that excited (on a personal level) about a Verizon iPhone. I mean AT&T sucks ass but this is almost criminal. So you get charged $15 to pause your no contract contract and $35 if you stop and reconnect?
“That said, it’s a totally ridiculous book which can be summed up as Sociopathic idealized nerds collapse society because they don’t get enough hugs. (This is, incidentally, where you can start your popcorn munching.) Indeed, the enduring popularity of Atlas Shrugged lies in the fact that it is nerd revenge porn — if you’re an nerd of an engineering-ish stripe who remembers all too well being slammed into your locker by a bunch of football dickheads, then the idea that people like you could make all those dickheads suffer by “going Galt” has a direct line to the pleasure centers of your brain. I’ll show you! the nerds imagine themselves crying. I’ll show you all! And then they disappear into a crevasse that Google Maps will not show because the Google people are our kind of people, and a year later they come out and everyone who was ever mean to them will have starved. Then these nerds can begin again, presumably with the help of robots, because any child in the post-Atlas Shrugged world who can’t figure out how to run a smelter within ten minutes of being pushed through the birth canal will be left out for the coyotes. Which if nothing else solves the problem of day care.”—
“Facebook has been around for seven years. It has 500 million users. If you can’t figure out how to make money off half a billion people in seven years, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’re unlikely to ever do. Now this was all fun and games until somebody promised the Newark schools $100 million in stock based on the fantasy valuation of his under-profiting company. But now it’s real. They’re selling the skin before they shot the bear or peeing their pants to get to the hut or whatever you want to call it. It’s just not good, alright?”—
This is a much smarter version of many of my own thoughts on the matter. Jolie O’Dell and Ben Parr and I were discussing this last night and Jolie and I were pretty firmly in the “yeah, right” camp. Benji agrees it’s all on paper too and I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but I think he thinks the IPO would actually really pop.
The second paragraph I quoted (and the last in the excellent 37Signals post) is actually the most interesting. I wasn’t aware that the $100 million was in Facebook stock options. That completely changes the entire thing. I totally agree that that’s just promising money before you have it and VERY risky.
It reminds me of the book Ponzi’s Scheme by Mitchell Zuckoff — great book by the way — and one of the anecdotes is that at the height of his “wealth” Ponzi promised all this money to this orphanage or school for Italian children in Boston. They never got a single cent.
It also reminds me of the episode of “The Office” where Michael has promised to send a class full of kids to college if they graduate from high school, only to find out 10 years later that, ooops, he doesn’t have the money.
Not saying that’ll be the case with Facebook, but I wouldn’t ever want to count my chickens before they hatch. We’ve seen this before. VA Linux, anyone?
If by competition you mean “vaporware, phones sold as tablets and low quality knock-offs” all sold without an OS that has been optimized for the tablet form factor and/or touch, then yes. Competition has sure come early.
I’ll bet those $150 Android “tablets” at K-Mart are just KILLING iPad sales. Resistive touch screen! No Google Market! Slower than your mom! Get me 10!
The fact of the matter is, no true iPad competitor has shipped. I’m not talking about the bullshit vaporware projects like Notion Ink or whatever (I like to think of that one as JooJoo Part Deux) and I’m not talking about these Android “slates” that even Google admits haven’t been optimized for the tablet form factor.
I’m talking about tangible, shipping competition of a touch-based device that was both built for touch and has apps and an OS designed for that form factor. It doesn’t exist.
And yeah, it makes total sense for Apple to change the screen size of its latest hot project less than a year in. Except it doesn’t. At all.
This is an interesting topic and I’ve enjoyed discussing it in comments with people on my Tumblr and I thought I would expound a bit more.
As I said in my comments on Brett’s post:
I think that the only reason your argument (which I think is valid and definitely true for many people) can even exist is because the iPad has already forced the Kindle to drastically lower its price.
The Kindle has only been available for under $200 since June and for under $150 in the last month or so. Prior to that it was $259 for the Kindle 2 and $379 for the Kindle DX. The DX is STILL $379 and at that price, I honestly don’t know who they are targeting. …
I think the Kindle will always have its fans, but I still think the value proposition is going to remain more difficult to make until things hit the $99 level. At that point, you’re commodity and there is no stopping you. But the iPad will continue to remain a strong draw for users interested in an e-reader who want to be able to do more.
E-readers and the impact that the iPad has had on them is something that I truly do not think can be marginalized or overstated. I think that it took the iPad to bring the e-reader market to a place where it may actually become a mass-consumption device.
Looking at trends, even with the Nook, even with the line of LCD-based e-readers from Avaratek and others, the fact remains that until March 31, 2010, almost any mainstream e-reader that you could get that had access to a large library of books was over $200. In most cases it was over $250. So for half the price of an iPad, you could read books.
The iPad let you read books (from pretty much anywhere, a HUGE advantage if you are like me and you like to use multiple services based on price, title selection, etc.), surf the web, watch videos, play games, and the battery life is fantastic to boot.
That totally changed the way the Kindle had to market itself. In June, the Kindle went from $259 to $189 and now it’s $139 or $189. The DX went from $489 to $379. The Kindle DX is completely overpriced (for what it is up against — seriously, who would buy a Kindle DX over an iPad? The four people that raise their hands are either totally rich or are just being contrarian to be contrarian) but the Kindle 3 is now within the realm of attracting a new audience — and as I noted in my last post, that audience is not the same as the iPad or the original Kindle club or early adopters.
I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the iPad effectively killed Amazon’s initial strategy for the Kindle. Sure, commoditization and price wars with competitors was bound to happen, but it wasn’t significantly hastened by the iPad.
The Kindle very much has its uses and there are plenty of reasons it is better for certain individuals. I will never argue that it has a uses or that it isn’t better in some respects for some people.
But I don’t think that calling the iPad a Kindle “killer” is overreaching. The iPad changed the e-reader market significantly, just as it has changed the netbook market, and the portable gaming market.
“We’re not competing with the iPad. You can buy both if you want.” The iPad can do a lot more, but people who claim that it’s “killing” the Kindle are clearly not Kindle owners. Buy an iPad if you want to browse the internet, play music or video, check your email, or launch flaming peas at zombies. But when you want to settle down and read a book, the Kindle is a much better choice.”—
But this is only true after the HUGE Kindle 3 price cuts. You can make the argument that e-reading a better experience at $130 vs. $500 for an iPad. That same argument didn’t hold water as much when it was $280+.
And honestly, I do think the fact they had to cut the cost so much IS proof that the iPad is eroding the Kindle’s business. As I’ve said for months, what the iPad has done is move the e-reader into a commodity item. $99 E-ink units aren’t far away, and that’s a market that is wholly separate from both the Kindle early-adopters and current iPad owners.
As an iPad owner, I can’t justify yet another gadget just so I can read by the pool. Even $130 is too much for me to justify getting another device, especially when I’m so happy with the reading experience on the iPad and its Kindle app.
“This isn’t the subjective business of mediums, larges and extra-larges — nor is it the murky business of women’s sizes, what with its black-hole size zero. This is science, damnit. Numbers! Should inches be different than miles per hour? Do highway signs make us feel better by informing us that Chicago is but 45 miles away when it’s really 72? Multiplication tables don’t yield to make us feel better about badness at math; why should pants make us feel better about badness at health? Are we all so many emperors with no clothes?”—