Free Marketing at the Apple Store

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann used to “surreptitiously put Pinterest on every computer in his local Apple store.”

I still do this. There’s a rush of excitement in loading up your website on the store’s machines. You could be discovered!

With nearly 100 million visitors a quarter, using Apple store computers to display your work is like stealing free ad space. Don’t tell me you haven’t done this before.

The Apple store is a free museum, much like the public walls are Banksy’s canvas. How else is anyone going to find out about you if you don’t dare to show your work?

Blend in. Show the people what you got. But don’t just do it because you can. Believe your work is actually worth seeing.

We need separate devices

It used to be that we kept our devices separate, our MP3 player from our phone along with our books, cameras, and notepads.

Today, the phone has officially swallowed these things into one. And the quality is just as good if not better than the separate products by themselves.

For example, the camera on the iPhone 5 is sharper than any handheld camera I’ve ever had. I rarely miss a chance to catch a good idea or observation because of the phone’s quick accessible notepad in my pocket. And my book and music collection is more organized and searchable than it ever was in CD format.

There’s only one major issue in converging all of these amazing features into one device: Distraction.

Convergence saves us time, money, and space but it owns our attention. We can hardly read a book on the iPhone without itching to check our social networks, texts, and email. Sometimes we even do these things simultaneously while on a call.

The phone stimulates dopamine which in turn makes us addicted to checking. There’s always a fresh stream of content and new likes to see on our own shares.

For the past few years, the Kindle has been my only sanctuary from all this digital madness. The interface is completely dedicated to reading, although you can still share clippings to your social networks. I never do though for the simple fact my Kindle requires Wifi and because it just takes too long; certainly more than standard three clicks.

A lack of functionality in digital devices creates more focus. We don’t need one potent smartphone device, we need a few unconnected devices so we can consume or work uninterrupted.

My Kids Are Obsessed With Technology, and It’s All My Fault – NYTimes.com

A father wrestles with technology in the age of distraction:

Midway through my 20s I underwent a reformation. I began reading, then writing, literary fiction. It quickly became apparent that the quality of my work rose in direct proportion to my ability filter out distractions. I’ve spent the past two decades struggling to resist the endless pixelated enticements intended to capture and monetize every spare second of human attention.

When we whip out our smartphones in line at the bank, 9 times out of 10 it’s because we’re jonesing for a microhit of stimulation, or that feeling of power that comes with holding a tiny universe in our fist.

But the only reliable antidote to such burdens, based on my own experience, is not immersion in brighter and mightier screens but the capacity to slow our minds and pay sustained attention to the world around us.

Apps like Instagram help see the world around us. Twitter helps us learn from people of interest. The Internet is a force of knowledge and creativity but also a sharp distraction in doing what matters. Attention is scarce.

Alternative Thinking

Consensus begets decision. We all want to agree and keep on moving on. But consensus is the not the end to alternative thinking.

“The role of thinkers is primarily to keep options open.” – Milton Friedman

Work needs to be reevaluated, rejudged, and twisted into something new. No product nor marketing campaign should be repeated regardless of success.

Steve Jobs continually disrupted his own business, killing off the iPod with the iPhone and now the laptop with the iPad.

Learn from the past and experiment in the future. An agreement is only step one in the implementation process; there’s other ideas yet to be explored.

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens

Turning the pages of a paper book is like leaving one footprint after another on the trail—there’s a rhythm to it and a visible record of how far one has traveled.

I actually read faster and comprehend more on screen.  I also feel like I have more control with a digital device, even if I’m one click away from Twitter.  

Replicating the physical reading experience on the digital screen shouldn’t be the goal.  Learning more is.  You’re one click away from Wikipedia upon reading on a Smartphone or tablet.  That’s more context that helps understand the bigger picture, how it all connects.  

Digital reading is just a different style of consumption that will one day become the mainstream way to learn.  It’s all about pictures anyway.  

Cheers to print!  

Tablets now Taking A Greater Global Share of Web Page Views Than Smartphones:   Adobe found that Inter­net users view 70 per cent more pages per visit when brows­ing with a tablet com­pared to a smartphone — so tablet users are doing more leisurely (and presumably leisure time) browsing. Even more evidence that “PCs are going to be like trucks.”
Tablets now Taking A Greater Global Share of Web Page Views Than Smartphones:   Adobe found that Inter­net users view 70 per cent more pages per visit when brows­ing with a tablet com­pared to a smartphone — so tablet users are doing more leisurely (and presumably leisure time) browsing. Even more evidence that “PCs are going to be like trucks.”

“PCs are going to be like trucks”

Steve Jobs in 2010: 

“When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that’s what you needed on the farms. Cars became more popular as cities rose, and things like power steering and automatic transmission became popular.

PCs are going to be like trucks. They are still going to be around…they are going to be one out of x people…

When I am going to write that 35-page analyst report, I am going to want my Bluetooth keyboard. That’s 1 percent of the time. The software will get more powerful. I think your vision would have to be pretty short to think these can’t grow into machines that can do more things, like editing video, graphic arts, productivity. You can imagine all of these content creation possibilities on these kind of things. Time takes care of lots of these things.”

This year, about five times as many smartphones will be shipped versus PCs, and tablets will surpass PCs for the first time. According to Jobs, the right way to look at this isn’t that mobile devices are creating a new market. It’s that mobile devices are relegating PCs to special-purpose, mostly industrial devices.

People keep clinging on to the fact that some things like Excel or Word are not transferrable to the tablet.  That consolidation will come, the same way everything else is convering (camera, MP3 player, etc.).

The Tablet Market Grows Cluttered

If Coke is synonymous with soda, the iPad is synonymous with tablet. It doesn’t matter how many different types of sodas or tablet are released, Coke and Apple still own those platforms in branding and take a majority of the profit.

In buying a tablet, you also want the best content. Neither Google nor Microsoft can match the apps in the iTunes Store. That’s why Steve Jobs was so adamant about making it easy for app developers to distribute, even if iTunes only broken even.

Do you want to spend a little extra and buy the Ferrari of tablets or do you want an Acura which gets you to the same places but doesn’t have the speed, sexiness, and gadgets? Think about this analogy if you’re buying a tablet this Christmas.

Format Shifting

We format shift daily, often hourly, without noticing it. Whether you stand up or sit down, compute on the go, you’re probably moving amongst several devices including Smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop.

Every device gets synced to the cloud so we can easily pick up where we left off on any device.

Like many people, I’m just as comfortable writing long-form on the phone as I am a laptop. In fact, I write better with my thumbs. I also prefer to consume my RSS feeds including Twitter, on the iPad since it allows me to see more content in one view. It feels like a lot more clicks to read through those same streams on a laptop/desktop browser.

If you own all devices, you’ve probably figured out by now which activities you enjoy doing on them the most. You’re also equally at comfort with whatever device is closest to you at the time, most typically your phone since it’s in your pocket.

Knowing how to use different devices to work and play is now a fundamental skill, especially for techies and online marketers. Everything on screen is the same yet different.