I am not an Apple fanatic. I’m not a disciple of Apple products but I use Apple products like the iMac, iPhone and iPad2 because they are helpful. I use Apple products because they simplify and make mundane tasks nearly magical. I use Apple  (Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL) products because I enjoy the experience. It was the iPhone that proved that to me with little slices of functionality called “apps.” And I thank the innovative brilliance of Steve Jobs for the conversion.

Steve Jobs, like other legendary visionaries such as Ford, Disney and Edison revolutionized markets and our lives. They truly did “think different.”

Steve Jobs created things that we didn’t know we needed and now cannot live without them. Like moths to a flame, we were magically drawn to these innovations that change not only how we think, but how we interact, how we create and how we view technology. Like no other business leader in our time, Steve Jobs taught us that if you impact someone’s life, you win their loyalty (and dollars) for life.

Apple was not always the first device in a market. he once said, “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” There were other mp3 players, smart phones and tablets. But does anyone think of the iPod as an mp3 player, the iPhone as just a smart phone or the iPad, a tablet? Jobs thought differently. He took technology and edited the crap away. He removed the complexity. His genius was simplifying complexity and making a user experience that was so unlike anything we had ever seen. He provided this insight in an interview in Newsweek interview, Oct. 14, 2006,

“Look at the design of a lot of consumer products — they’re really complicated surfaces. We tried to make something much more holistic and simple. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don’t put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through.”

The concept of constantly simplifying and seeking elegance was Jobs hallmark. Jobs was not “most people” and he proved it in so many ways. My appreciation and respect for Steve Jobs is founded in this persistence to simplify. Steve Jobs didn’t just talk about it. He didn’t just apply this principle in his products. He lived this concept. It is as if this ability was in his DNA.

In 2005, in a commencement speech at Stanford University, Jobs gave us a peek into his DNA:

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

A life ended too soon. Gratefully, Steve Jobs lived his life with an urgency to innovate and revolutionize.- thinking differently until the end.


Raising kids isn’t easy. You know….the arguments, the sibling rivalry. Throw college football into the mix and make it the BCS Championship and you can have a real brouhaha.

Thats the story for my brother, Shawn Halladay and his wife Karen who are taking their two college kids to the BCS Championship game.  The Halladays live in Salt Lake City, Utah and have two kids attending college. Although there was no previous family connection to these schools, their daughter, Anna (’12) chose Oregon and her brother Patrick (’13) matriculated at Auburn.  Given Auburn’s ranking of #1 and Oregon’s finish of the regular season at #2, it has made for interesting banter at the dinner table, on Facebook and via email as both teams are unbeaten this season and showcase two of the best offenses in the country.

The Halladays will be there as the 13-0 Auburn Tigers from the SEC take on the 12-0 Oregon Ducks from the Pac-10 tonight. Looks like the making of a family feud.

The odds in Vegas show Aubrun as a 2.5 point favorite but I would like to know the odds of a brother and sister attending the schools that are undefeated and playing for the BCS National Championship.

Talking Trash

The drive from Salt Lake City, Utah to Glendale, Arizona is about 700 miles and 12 hours of trash talking. Nothing like a road trip to get everyone amped up.

the road to the BCS for Auburn and Oregon and brother and sister

Still friendly on the way to the BCS Championship

Of course Anna will be wearing the neons green and yellow of Oregon and Patrick will proudly don the more traditional blue and orange of Auburn. I guess you could expect them to be separated by their parents who received special shirts from another family member for just this occasion.
“My brother got me a yellow shirt with green letters that says ‘Go Oregon (daughter) and Go Auburn (son),” said Karen. “My husband’s shirt is Navy blue with orange letters and says the same thing. “
Good luck Anna and Oregon. Good luck Patrick and Auburn. Good luck to my brother Shawn on the drive home. Someone is going to be bummed.

I love physics. It explains so much. And I love internet marketing and social media. Combine the two and what do you have? A better explanation of why brand managers need to pay attention to internet marketing.

In the video below Dan Cobley from Google Europe shares how the laws physics can guide us in the world of internet marketing, branding and social media.

How can

  • Newton’s Law
  • Heisneberg’s Uncertainty Principle
  • The Scientific Method
  • Increasing Entropy

relate to marketing?

Check it out. It is very interesting. And when you are done you may not remember the physics (unless you are a physics junkie) but you will remember the marketing.  And hopefully what you remember will help your brand.

Apps – the nifty, niche software that are the fun and frolic of smart phones are a rocket that is screaming to a PC near you – and Houston, there is a problem.

Just think about many of the coolest apps on your iPhone, android, Blackberry or Palm. These apps are focused, simple to use and simple to find on your phone.
the apps market is taking offYou pick the apps that you want for your phone and I get the apps I want on my phone. It is personalized and easy to configure. I try apps because they are free or nearly free and keep the ones that I love the most.  Why wouldn’t I want this same opportunity on my desktop, laptop or netbook?

We all want apps on our PCs but my PC is nothing like an iPhone or Android. So how would apps work on a PC? I don’t think apps do work given the current desktop and navigation of a PC.

Windows was built for local software that is much different than apps. Traditional PC software is big and takes advantage of the powerful PC platform. Apps are small, modular and niche oriented. They access info fast and provide specific results. With so many cool things on the web and without apps to quickly access them on my PC, I tend to keep 10-20 windows tabs open and the same number of browsing tabs. And so the PC has become a nightmare to navigate and getting more crowded every day.

Good News – Bad News. The good news is that apps as you know and love them will come to the PC. The bad news is how and then how will I quickly get to them? Will they be in a folder somewhere under “All Programs?” If so, my nifty, niche “apps” just became hard to find, boring and useless.

A smartphone gives you one click access to apps. These apps do their thing and then close and then you open another app. On a PC you have to navigate to the start icon, then to programs, then try and remember the folder to launch software. Windows does not iPhone keypad appshave an answer for the huge app economy that is coming. Add 90 to 100 apps to a PC and the PC dysfunction will grow exponentially.

I want apps on my PC – that is where I sit all day at work. I want them so I can post a quick update to Facebook or Twitter. I want them to quickly find a synonym for “alacrity” and I want them to help me easily keep track of my workouts. But if I have to navigate through five levels of folders or sort through 100 apps sitting on my desktop, then never mind. I will just continue to check my bank balance using my thumbs and a keyboard that is 1.5 x 2.5 inches.

It seems records are made to be broken. In the technology space we are in an amazing era where the rate of change just keeps accelerating.
mobile apps downloads accelerate

Imagine clear back to June 2008 when Apple launched its iPhone App Store and offered an initial 552 apps for the 14 million or so iPhone users. Today, there are more than 170,000 iPhone apps for sale and more than 3 billion downloads. The iPhone is by far the leader in apps available and downloads with more than 80% of the available apps.

According to a recent study, app downloads for mobile phones are expected to reach 50 billion by 2012. Sales from these downloads are projected to reach $17.5 billion. That is a stimulus package.

So sit back and take note so you can tell your grandkids about that period where apps went from non-existent to a double digit billion dollar market in the span of four to five years.

Is the Desktop Dead?

Stan at Mashable noted the huge potential for mobile apps and GetJar CEO Ilja Laurs predicts the desktop will soon be dead.
It is easy to see how mobile apps will eclipse the traditional desktop Internet. It makes perfect sense that mobile devices will kill the desktop.
His comment was based on a recent study that was commissioned by Lithuanian-based GetJar, indicating a huge surge in the number of mobile app downloads and the overall size of the mobile app market. GetJar is an independent mobile phone application store with more than 60,000 mobile applications for major mobile platforms such as Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile. According to the study, created by Chetan Sharma Consulting, mobile app downloads should jump from 7 billion in 2009 to almost 50 billion in 2012.  By this time, the market will be worth 17.5 billion dollars.

I agree, the desktop is dead – at least as we know it. Just one small factoid keeps eating at me. There are still 1 billion PCs and everyone in our office sits in front of one everyday for 9-10 hours. I would venture that your place of employ is similar. Where are the apps for these devices?

What we need is a desktop that takes advantage of this huge market and the consumer love for apps. But could anyone ever conceive that the current desktop environment could ever be a viable platform for apps?  Apparently no one in Lithuania – and in its current state, I can’t either. What we need is a game changer.

What we need is a better way to navigate the desktop and a method to organize 90 to 100 apps on the desktop. What we need is a simple and easy way to organize and access apps on the desktop. I this smish has the answer – a desktop platform that brings you the joy and ease of apps to your PC.

I think a billion PC users would love to see their desktop resuscitated with apps.  Would you?

More boards are in the water with riders hoping to catch that wave of a lifetime.

The Silicon Valley Insider

apps across platforms

While the iPhone App Store continues to dominate apps that are available for sale, Google’s Android’s growth rate is extraordinary and the Blackberry and Palm are trying to elbow in.