Amid the bared midsections and flawless smiles flashed all so often on the screen comes the explosion of the ugly selfie, a sliver of authenticity in an otherwise filtered medium. Take a tour through Selfie.im, the adolescent-dominated selfie-sharing app for the iPhone, and you won’t find pouted lips but close-up shots of double chins, insides of mouths, makeup-less pores, exaggerated toothy growls and duck lips zoomed in so close that they look grotesque.
Thanks for the mention, NYTimes. Although in our opinion — there are no ‘ugly’ selfies. There’s showing off and there’s being authentic.
SelfieIM - authenticity :)
So It’s quite possible mobile social will have lots of services indefinitely. This creates opportunities, but also a pretty basic challenge to Facebook. Partly in response, it paid first 1% of its market value for Instagram and now close to 10% for WhatsApp, taking not dominance but at the least two of the commanding heights of mobile social. That’s the right way to think about value, I think - not ‘OMG $16bn!”, but “is this worth 10% of Facebook?’ The deal values WhatsApp users at $35 each (very close to what Google paid for YouTube, incidentally), but the current market cap of Facebook values its MAUs at $140 or so.
Many many smart people already read Benedict Evan’s take on mobile stuff. His analysis of WhatsApp is a good reminder for me about the meaning of innovation - and for all the business and finance speak, that’s what Benedict talks about the most: the value of innovation.
And when I think about the financials of tech, what founders get on exit is one of the least interesting bits — it’s much more interesting to consider what the product — how people are using it, how often they come back, how they will use it in the future — is worth to companies that think in the future tense. In many cases, breaking it down to value per user gets closer to the point than the overall price tag.
The best — maybe the only? — real, direct measure of “innovation” is change in human behaviour. In fact, it is useful to take this way of thinking as definitional: innovation is the sum of change across the whole system, not a thing which causes a change in how people behave. No small innovation ever caused a large shift in how people spend their time and no large one has ever failed to do so.
You know what’s so cool about Stewart? He’s the rare product visionary who’s genuinely a philosopher. He seriously considers and thinks through technology and business through the prism of human understanding. There’s not too many people like that in tech. There are growth hackers, marketers, mentors… but philosophers? We need more.
Compared with Wall Street or petroleum, Silicon Valley might need to spend a far greater share of its treasure to maintain a general faith in its good intentions. It might need to wade more deeply into politics, not to secure tax breaks for itself but to force the development of affordable housing and transit in the Bay Area and beyond, so its neighbors don’t lose when it wins.
I see the best minds of my generation… wanting to be brogrammers.
Lots of good observations in the article.. certainly issues I struggle with as I grow in my thirties. I’d love to find common ground between tech, community, arts, social work, education, unions, City Hall, to grow San Francisco into an awesome city - one with vibrant civic life and a strong moral compass. But it’s a morass. And any dialogue I hear is bitter and divisive.
The latest news on Foursquare’s partnership/investment from Microsoft got me thinking. Apologies for the tone/grammatical mistakes below - I’m writing quickly before the urge to put my thoughts down whimpers away with the deluge of today’s tasks.
I love Foursquare. I love it’s potential to change the world. I think about location a lot. I think geography is the third pillar in our future world, and Foursquare had a great opportunity to not only shake things up but also be the killer experience.
So why haven’t mobile phone makers gotten the memo and made great forward-facing cameras? Selfies taken on most major smartphones are almost uniformly of poor quality. They’re unfocused, pixelated, dark, blown-out, backlit, grainy and worst of all, distorted (I swear, I have a normal size nose!).
1) front facing cameras will get better very soon and
2) how hardware quality will affect the direction of products in the Instagram vs Snapchat camps is something to watch
What’s your photography workflow? Mine’s a mess and scattered and inefficient. I’d love a long-term solution. After the shot’s been taken - what do you use to process, store, backup.. and where do you share?
The press release for Foursquare’s 7.0 from TechCrunch today is interesting, if not terribly informative. This article is a great example of tech reporting in 2013 - a quick stab at analysis but mainly a conduit for the company’s evolving pitch.
I love love the new design - but at it’s core, the value proposition not set.
Disclosure: My wife used to work for Foursquare, but we rarely discuss our product management work in detail. I’m writing as a fan of the service and as a fascinated observer of the current state of press reporting on tech product development. I love the idea of location-ness in our lives.