Dopplr is not a service. It’s a pretty and fun toy that the Dopplr folks built for all of us to play with. And while we play with it, they get to play with it some more.
They’ve just published the Raumzeitgeist (see quote below), leading to a lovely image of where Dopplrs have been (heavily European and North American).
For me, the scary thing is that HEL-LHR was a top route (gosh, how many times did I do that one?) and Finland was in the top ten destination countries (albeit, 10th).
Go see more interesting tidbits on their site (link below).
Link: Dopplr Blog » Dopplr Raumzeitgeist 2007: Where we went last year:
Zeitgeist of course means “Spirit of the times”. You’re probably familiar with Google’s wonderful ‘zeitgeist’ report they publish annually, reflecting culture in what people were searching for that year.
“Raumzeitgeist” translates literally as “Space Time Spirit” and that’s precisely what we’ve got here. It’s about where we, the users of Dopplr, travelled through space and time on our little planet last year…
Wow, that’s harsh. The last few years’ growth has been over 10%, mostly above 20%, per year.
But, we’ve known that it couldn’t last. I mean, in the next few years, anyone who wants a phone will have one. Then what?
I had a discussion with a friend of mine who is an investor. His analysts watch the ASP and number of devices sold as a gauge for the health of the industry. The problem is that looking at those number are enough if these companies were only in devices and that the device market still had more to go (like the PC market).
Alas, this is a market quite different from others. I remember seeing presentations back in 2002 about how the pone market would soon be like the watch market – saturated and stable.
But, at least for my company, we’ve been trying to go beyond the device. Indeed, the latest big upheaval was all about focusing on services.
So, my comment to my friend is that numbers of devices sold and ASP are not longer the main indicator for Nokia. As Nokia heads deeper into services (though along the way fusing services with mobiles), analysts need to look at other indicators, such as Web service competitors, mobile offering from other services, and even devices from services, to gauge the future of the company. My challenge to my friend (and part of the reason he initiated the discussion) was that his analysts need to get their heads out of device numbers, parameters, and specs and more into the internet-fueled services world.
Link: IDC: Single-digit handset market growth in ’08 | CNET News.com:
“Over the last three years, growth in the industry during the holiday quarter has fluctuated from 18.0 percent to 30.0 percent, and this past quarter we saw it drop to 11.6 percent,” IDS senior analyst Ryan Reith said in the statement.
“The expectation that the market would maintain the level of growth it saw over the last three years was unrealistic. We expect growth to be in the single digits throughout 2008, and most likely for years to follow.”
During 2007, 1.144 billion cell phones were sold worldwide, 12.4 percent more than a year earlier.
I was over at Fjord‘s Helsinki office, visiting Christian, who was in town. He pointed out that Fjord is going to have a booth at MWC and that they will be having a chef, David Royer, from Chef à Domicile in Helsinki, on hand making some cool sweet things specifically designed by Royer and Fjord for this event.
Ha! This is _so_ something Christian and gang would think up. Food and design and mobile and user experience in one place.
Someone please get a picture or video and send me the link.
(image from email invitation from Fjord)
The biology maverick, Craig Venter, has rapidly taken the next step in creating custom organisms (link below to news article).
Recently, his team managed to test if they could replace a genome in a bacteria with one of their choosing. Now they took the next step and stitched together a whole genome.
He’s taking the right first steps. But, just keep in mind that there are many intermediate steps in what he is doing. He’s using existing organisms to help him build and grow the sequences he needs, something done in labs all the time.
That’s fine. I don’t think his goal is some purist ideal of creating a synthetic organism from scratch. I think his goal is to be able to create an organism that does exactly as he wants it. Hence, the first step was being able to prove he could hi-jack the whole machinery of a cell by replacing the genome. Next, he then creates a completely synthetic genome, based on an existing sequence, but with ‘watermarks’ and some deletions (for control reason). Which is what he’s done now.
I think his next step is to create 1) larger and larger genomes; 2) a set of lab organisms based on synthetic genomes to be used as a foundation for creating products (whatever they may be).
Heh, once again, this guy is radically changing the face of biology.
Link: Genome stitched together by hand : Nature News:
The genome for the pathogenic bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium was made in the laboratory by Hamilton Smith and his colleagues at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland. The genome has 582,970 of the fundamental building blocks of DNA, called nucleotide bases, making it more than a factor of ten longer than the previous-longest stretch of genetic material created by chemical means.
Saffo to me was always some sort of weird wizard who thought and saw differently than others. I’ve met folks who channel the future, and it’s always wondrous and bewildering.
Saffo gave a Long Now seminar recently and here (link below) is the summary (alas, I am way way behind on listening or watching them).
A few things here I’d like to throw at the Singularity Techno-Optomists.
Rules bandied about in Saffo’s talk:
- Wild cards sensitize us to surprise.
- Change is never linear. (one discontinuity can derail your favourite singular optimism)
- Look for indicators- things that don’t fit.
- Look back twice as far.
- Cherish failure.
- Be indifferent.
- Assume you are wrong. And forecast often.
- Embrace uncertainty.
Go listen to it.
Liunk: Long Views » Blog Archive » Paul Saffo, “Embracing Uncertainty – the secret to effective forecasting”:
Rules of Forecasting
Reflecting on his 25 years as a forecaster, Paul Saffo pointed out that a forecaster’s job is not to predict outcomes, but to map the “cone of uncertainty” on a subject. Where are the edges of what might happen? (Uncertainty is cone-shaped because it expands as you project further into the future— next decade has more surprises in store than next week.)
Shel Israel is a long time veteran, on the leading edge of internet services. As a big Twitter user, he’s written an open letter to the Twitter team, speaking for the users, pointing out the precarious position Twitter is moving themselves into as they start having prime-time outages.
Evan is a sly dog who knows well the ups and downs of a start-up. I think he _has_ been honest and open with his thinking on a wide range of entrepreneurial desires and decisions.
Yet, the coral reef is sick. Evan and Biz and Jack need to get back on track, not pull a Jaiku,* and grow-up by setting Twitter on a solid financial path.
Link: [via @alexdc]: Global Neighbourhoods: An Open Letter to the Twitter Guys:
To: Evan Williams & Biz Stone
RE: Fix it before we nix it
*Hm, with Jaiku and Twitter stumbling in the past few months, now is the time for the next service to come and pounce on these grumbling networks of friends and help them migrate en masse.
As part of my new job, I need to get back into the world of, ugh, corporate blogs.
Well, seems like things have moved pretty far since I was watching the scene back in 2005.
For example, this post from Johnathan Schwartz is quite well written and insightful and not what you would expect from a CEO of a large company who just spent $1B on an acquisition.
Link: Jonathan Schwartz’s Blog:
In a vortex. That’s the only way to describe the past thirty days, during which we closed out our second quarter, and put together the transaction to acquire MySQL. How’d it all start?
And then there’s GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons. Can you imagine Nokia’s OPK writing posts like this?
Link: Super Bowl Ad rejected! Fox: “Beaver” is verboten! Hot candids of Danica & Candice.
Last week, FOX network rejected Go Daddy’s Super Bowl ad because an actor referred to a beaver – a replica beaver that was, in fact, being portrayed – as a “beaver.” We were told that under no circumstance could we use that word, and if we didn’t say the word “beaver,” the ad would be approved.