Donald Jenkins
New York NY 10003 United States

Blog posts

Papering over App Store problems

The challenges facing Adobe are shared by almost all productivity apps. Productivity apps are indispensable (and thus priceless) to some users Productivity apps usually have high learning curves Well-done productivity apps require significant investment up-front Productivity apps require regular maintenance and upgrades Unfortunately, app store economics don’t really work here. f you have a low […]

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Prepare To Pay For Your Privacy

If you think the war on privacy and the rise of the surveillance state is bad enough in the First World, just imagine how bad it will be in nations where the people are poor, their governments have few checks and balances, and there’s no tradition of civil liberties. And surveillance technology gets cheaper much […]

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The Facebook cult devotees haven’t been silenced by the botched IPO

Facebook is indeed, as Blodget says, extremely expensive relative to its expected earnings over the next year or two. But, unlike most businesses, Facebook’s long-term upside has nothing to do with its expected earnings over the next year or two. It’s believed by many to be extraordinarily valuable not because of its advertising income but because it has a real chance of becoming a company unlike any that has ever existed before, with the possible exception of pre-breakup AT&T.

It’s amazing how the idea that Facebook somehow succeeded in abolishing the traditional business model (its ‘upside has nothing to do with its expected earnings over the next year or two’) is surviving even the most botched IPO in stock market history. Despite this article being almost surreal in its naivety, it makes fascinating reading.

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Facebook: not quite staring into the abyss yet

Facebook isn’t staring into the abyss—yet. But Mr Zuckerberg, like many of his generation, appears structurally incapable of long-term planning. He should have been acutely concerned at the fact that his brainchild’s IPO valuation, at about 65 times consensus 2013 estimated earnings per share, was, by any stretch of the imagination, absurd. Despite the post-IPO correction, it still is. And the idea that Facebook might somehow solve the trap into which it is being drawn in mobile by developing a phone runs directly counter to everything we’ve learned to distrust about the company.

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Apple, Google and Microsoft: have the basic strategic rules stayed immutable?

When Microsoft set its sights on a market, it would squeeze the life out of the market leader like an anconda wrapping itself around its prey. Before it was done, the company struck numerous segments, including personal computing (Apple and IBM), word processing (WordPerfect), spreadsheets (Lotus), databases (Borland and Sybase), networking (Novell) and Internet browsers (Netscape).

It’s not hyperbole to say that Apple’s phoenix-like rise and Google’s ascent are directly and positively correlated with Gates’ decision to step away from running his company as CEO in 2000.

A remarkably prescient look at Apple and Google’s recent strategies compared with Microsoft’s in times now past.

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Stuff I couldn’t do without in 2012

My annual celebration of various materialist things this year includes loincloths, shoes with holes in them and, of course, the full list of super-hype software that any Apple fanboy must use at this point in time on pain of being ridiculous.

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Exactly how Google search is actually getting massively better without your realizing it

We launch about 500 changes to search a year, more than a change a day. So if you look at search like a complicated machine, like a giant jumbo jet—although it’s probably, in some ways, more complex than that – this is sort of like changing the engines in flight before you land.

It’s been fashionable dissing Google recently. Their search has actually been getting massively better since I pinpointed a low point last year. This must-read article explains why.

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Sparrow for iPhone has made Mail app obsolete

I haven’t ever felt so positive about an iPhone app: Sparrow for iPhone is out today and comes as close to perfection as I believe was possible, especially in a field (email) which comes with quite a steep technical learning curve and in which the competition—especially Google with their laughably bad attempt at an iPhone Gmail client—have all failed. The design is superb, the interface user-friendly, quick and natively thought out for Gmail users. Every detail has been thought of, including a powerful search function that was always lacking (or lackluster) in Mail App. This is going to be a resounding success.

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