Making Email Fun Again With Sparrow

Add Sparrow to the list of apps I'll use more than Apple's native email app.

Sparrow should be the default Gmail app. It's well designed and plays nice with social networks like Facebook to bring in profile images.

It also gives the email body space to read and and organizes email threads in minimal singularity.

Said the designer:

Our main goal was using our new app to reach Inbox Zero every day. Your work is done when your inbox is empty.

I absolutely love it when small companies have the audacity to take on monumental tasks like email. People only use the Apple mail client because that's all they know and it works well. Sparrow is just a step up and well worth the $2.99.

The Sparrow mail iPhone app is a game changer, kind of like Instagram and Twitter. Apple should just buy all three and call it their own.

Nike+ Fuel Band

I spent all yesterday with the Nike Fuel band.

I walked 8 miles, scored 4k+ Fuel points and recorded thousands of steps. My graph looked like a field goal, peaking at the walk to work in the morning and the walk back home at night.

But now I'm ready for more cool features. I want to able to check into places with a push on the band. I want apps and I want music. And I don't want these features on my phone.

Ever since I got a weight scale a few weeks ago, I've lost weight. I had data.

I'm interested I'm seeing how a month's Fuel data will change my perspective on moving. Do I walk more during lunch breaks, pick my workouts up a notch?

They say data is the new oil. It's not just applicable to personalized ads. Data influences us to make wiser decisions, especially about our health.


I set up a Posterous account last week just to compare it to the ins and outs of Tumblr.

It wasn't as intuitive or sleek as Tumblr, certainly not something I'd want to revisit every day. It really felt like an inferior blogging product.

While it doesn't make sense to blog on Posterous it makes complete sense for Twitter to buy it out.

Posterous owns the knowledge on spacial microblogging design, something Twitter wants to get into to keep more people viewing its profile pages for content.

Twitter is more aggressively pursuing long-form content for consumption within its site. It's moving beyond text because it wants to make its posts more sticky. Twitter wants you to watch a video on its stream instead of kicking you out to YouTube.

I don't see the Posterous acquisition as a threat to Tumblr. It was a strategic move by Twitter to bring in talent to make the ultimate multimedia canvass which could turn real-time events into an even better and interactive viewer experience.

“First User!”

Those were the words I overheard a second ago at a coffee shop in Austin for SXSW.

It was an amazing sound that gave me goosebumps so I had to turn around an hear the story.

The Android app Spott was just launched by two Mexican and two Dutch developers. The idea bloomed on a 72 hour bus ride from Mexico in which there was no wi-fi. Nada.

One of the guys demonstrated the app. Raw in form, it pulls in the Foursquare API and tags a pic and text and loads content into the cloud.

It'll be interesting to see how the app grows and whether or not it was just a practice project. Either way, the fact that this hodgepodge crew met, collaborated, and built and app on a bus is a story in rapid innovation. I'm witness!

The creative energy is infectious at SXSW. Catch my play by play @bombtune.

SXWS: Sexy Football Data With Manchester City’s Richard Ayers

I woke up early this morning to attend a football (soccer) panel presented by Richard Ayers. Richard is the chief digital innovator at Manchester City.

The most surprising part about Richard is that he's not even a football fan. He's a data artist and marketer that transforms numbers into captivating customer displays.

Now that Man City is winning trophies, the world's most emerging club has three primary challenges:

1. Growing the fan base overseas
2. Bringing the game to life for those not attending the games nor necessarily watching the games on TV
3. Keeping the the die hard fans happy

And therefore three primary opportunities, driven by social:

1. Acquiring new fans through social channels
2. Providing interactive games and multimedia made from mounds of player and game data
3. Locating the biggest fans and ensuring they see relevant top level content targeted for them

Richard's overarching goal is to build a truly engaging online experience that grows the fan base worldwide without offending the hardcore fans.

Success is of course predetermined based on the team's trophies which boosts profits and allows digital heads like Richard more funds to try new initiatives to expand MFC community online.

I spoke with Richard afterwards about how he plans on using the new Facebook Timeline to tell about MFC's rich history. As a US EPL fan, I suggested he add a timeline post for former American MFC midfielder Claudio Reyna. If he's trying to grow the base, he's got to make it relevant for Americans. Nationality is a key determinant in selecting a team as a new fan.

Football is the world's most popular sport. For many people, the local club is life. Football marketing has the advantage and challenge in clinging on to tradition and pragmatically growing its business in the online world.

SXSW 2012

I'm at SXSW in Austin today.  I've been wanting to attend this conference for years.

I'll be actively tweeting via @bombtune throughout if my two iPhones survive.

Who's whom I hope to meet:

Semil Shah (Votizen, VC)
Sahil Lavingia (Gumroad)
Ben Parr (Former Mashable Editor)
Tim Ferriss (Author/VC)
Kevin Systrom (Instagram)

Let's go!

Source: via Kristin on Pinterest

Indonesia’s Mobile Boom & No Square?

On Indonesia's social boom:

Indonesia is not really search-savvy, not really accustomed to using Google to search for things…it's very important that they can…make it a conversation.

Indonesia never even saw Web 1.0. All it knows is two-way conversation through social networks using mobile phones.

Indonesia is already in a post PC era and using social as a currency for conversation and commerce exchange.

So it makes me wonder why Square is pushing so hard in the US when Indonesia is begging for a micropayment revolution.

Here are some intriguing numbers on hyper connected Indonesia. Keep in mind that only 25% of its population is online.

  • 3rd largest Facebook market (43m)
  • 5th largest Twitter market
  • 90% of Indonesians own mobile phones

Indonesia may not be a BRIC country but it's clearly a digital leader and bellwether of what mobile and social can do to expedite communication and trade.

We’re All Designers

Sahil Lavingia, the kid that built Pinterest and now Gumroad:

I agree, we all need designers. But I’d argue that we already have them. They’re us: you and me. 

I don't design, professionally.  I do draw, make mockups, and build mind maps though.  I know exactly how I want everything to look and to connect to create the best possible user experience.

Communication is key for me.

Thrupence – Voyages EP of those albums that makes it difficult to feature one track so listen to the whole thing, right here.

It's even worth it for the artwork. Peep “Parlay” for hip-hop heads.

Special thanks to Strictly Beats for the dig.

iPad 3 To Dent PC Sales Forever?

The PC is making all kinds of tweaks to hold off the tablet boom like turning the screen and keyboards around 360.

The slight innovations remind me of a dying CD and DVD industry that's still trying to stay alive with bundles, extra features, and supplemental flash drives.

Tablets are taking over.  They're half of the price of a PC, incredibly powerful, and amazing on the go reading and communication devices.  All the iPad needs is more basic office software like Microsoft Office to give it the edge at the work place.

Expect the iPad 3 to put a huge dent in PC sales.   The older generation will keep the PC alive.  However, as Steve Jobs said:

But they’re going to be used by one out of X people. (link)

How I Became My Own Little Apple Store With Square

Square Register from Square on Vimeo.

It was 6 months ago today when I billed my first client using the Square app for $250.

My client told me his digits and pin code on the phone and I billed him on my iPhone at the same time.  Had he been present I would've just slid his card through the Square plugin.

He received his receipt 2 seconds after the payment.  Boom.

While I mistakenly got killed on fees it was still a worthy test.  For that moment, I became my own little Apple store.  I'm looking forward to pulling it out of my backpack again and using it more often.

New Mass Advertising: My Twitter Stream Made Me Turn On The TV

Mass marketing was probably the worst way to reach me the last few years. I stopped watching television, listening to the radio, and reading newspapers and magazines. Even the Super Bowl was hard to watch. The only way to reach me was through my RSS feed and social channels.

But now mass marketing may be the best way to reach me. For the past few weekends in a row I've watched The Grammys, The Academy Awards, and SNL because I wanted to see what people were talking about in my Twitter stream.

And these were Tweeps I admire, thought leaders, presidents, and people of importance. I couldn't miss out on the conversation.

So my Tweets became one of the 13 million social comments shared during The Grammys.

If you're on Twitter or Facebook there's a high probability you're watching TV.  We don't wait until the next day at work or school to talk about shows any more.  We talk about broadcasts in real-time amongst virtual friends and followers.

The viral nature of the second screen and social networking just pushes viewership and therefore advertising costs even higher.

Just wait until you start seeing the same ads on both screens.  You'll have to to grab an old fashioned book to get away from it all.