46 posts categorized "General"

March 30, 2012

Chasing the consumer smartphone market is killing RIM

And that's why RIM must find a way to partner or acquire with a company like Microsoft, and fast. The reason is simple: If Microsoft wants to have a foothold in the mobile space in the long term, which seems like a must for their software business, they must find a way to acquire a ton of customers that are considering a switch or may be forced to switch to RIM. That planning is happening now at many companies, and the Bring Your Own Device mantra is just one side-effect of this planning process. In the absence of a plan, people bring their own device. Microsoft is waiting patiently for that suitor. They are waiting to strike, like they always do.

The enterprise won't wholesale switch to Apple iPhone and iPads.  Apple doesn't sell to enterprises and all their previous attempts have failed (A/UX, X Server, DAL, etc etc). There is nothing to indicate that this will change any time soon. Sure there are small and medium sized companies who adapt the iPhone, but that happened with Macs in the 80s and 90s, and they are back using Windows now. Apple is a consumer electronics company, not a business company. Companies adapt iPhone because their employees subsidize this effort.

RIM though is an enterprise company. I contend that their lunch has been eaten by Android, not iPhone. And that's because they squarely lost focus and decided to chase the money in consumer sales in the US (failing) and internationally(seemingly winning). These charts by Dan Frommer at SplatF indicates that very clearly:

image from cdn.splatf.com
It's easy to say that iPhone killed RIM, but that is just a coincidence. Everyone bought smartphones in 2007-2011 and now almost 70% of phones bought are smartphones. The truth is that RIM entered the consumer market in a big way across the world, and they still claim that this is the reason for their growth. Sure it is, especially internationally. But this is a low margin market for anyone BUT Apple. You can't make up in volume in a market where people are getting your device practically for free. The Blackberry sips data too, and the telecoms want to sell big data plans. So even there, the Blackberry becomes the only feature phone among the smart phone manufacturers. That feature is BBM, and the Blackberry is at the bottom of the heap. Even android with its weird interface wins out when consumers look to the next big thing and the charts show that.

There is one clear saviour for the company -- it's strength is in the enterprise. Apple's strength was in simplicity of design, Steve Jobs cut all the models of Macs when he came on board and consumerized IT with the iPod and iPhone. Now RIM needs to take their strength back again and leverage their QNX acquisition and show the world just how terrific their toolsets are in the enterprise.

This can only be done by strong partnerships with a company like Microsoft. They must focus on products spaces beyond email communication. RIM must look at Microsoft Dynamics integration (the current mobile offering on CRM2011 pales in comparison to what salesforce.com is doing in mobile). RIM must talk to the enterprise and introduce features that make sense to procurement, billing, system management. Above all they must encourage their ecosystem to write compelling enterprise frameworks and integrations. Need for Speed HD should not be the leading demo when you show launch a Playbook.

RIM must make itself an attractive acquisition target now. Noone will buy them the way they are right now, all over the place. It's like a wedding -- even the ugliest bride can get all dolled up for the big day. RIM, it's time to get married and you need to look your best for the big day.

March 02, 2012

Aereo Gets Sued by Pretty Much Every Media Conglomerate

Poor Aereo -- 2 weeks before launch they are hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit. The $20M funded company wanted to rent out mini-antennas all over New York City and allow you to watch OTA HD TV from any device on the Internet. And record the content. It would probably increase reach of each local affiliate but instead they are all suing them. One of the full legal filing documents is below. There are others.


Broadcasters v. Aereo

November 28, 2011

The most bizarre Excel formula that is not a formula - EVALUATE()

Excel is a very powerful product from Microsoft that helps people around the world make budgets, create forecasts and evalaute financial information of all kinds. It's also a great text processor. It turns out that Excel has a few undocumented formulas that have been deprecated, but that still work in Excel 2010 for backwards compatibility. One of them is not a function at all, but rather a macro that can be evalauted from named ranges only (aka 'names') in Excel. This macro is called EVALUATE(). You must enable macros to use it. Click below to see a full description of how this can be used to dynamically create formulas.

Continue reading "The most bizarre Excel formula that is not a formula - EVALUATE()" »

November 22, 2011

A 5 minute trip through the US in time-lapse photography

A quick trip around the country of the United States of America.


March 13, 2011

Family from Japan Stay in Canada?








状況が改善されるまでの数か月間、被害に遭われたご家族にカナダでの住まいを無償で提供することにしました。私たちはトロント郊外の街に住む4人家族で、家には十分なスペースがあります。もし興味がおありの方は遠慮なくご一報ください。また、興味があると思われるご家族をご存知でしたらぜひ紹介してください。トロントはたくさんの日系人や日本人 (その他アジア人) が住む国際都市で、とても暮らしやすい場所です。ぜひ私たちに協力させてください。




アレックス・シロタ (alex@newpathnetwork.org, skype:asirota)

オンタリオ州ソーンヒル (カナダ)


PS. メールは日本語でも受け付けていますのでご安心ください (Google 翻訳を使用します)。



Hello Japan!

The citizens of Canada are astounded by the awesome natural disaster that has struck your beautiful country. Things will be back to normal sometime soon. On our television, radio and electronic media we see, hear and read about older people and children sitting in shelters in cities like Sendai and many others. This makes our hearts and minds ache -- we cannot imagine how hard it is for you in this time.

We want to help -- directly.

We are looking to host a family in need in Toronto, Canada while the situation in Japan improves. If you are a family or know a family that can use some time to recover in Canada, please let us know. We will be happy to host you, at no cost, for several months. We are a family of 4 with plenty of space in our house in the northern suburbs of Toronto. We have many people of Japanese descent (and other Asian countries) in Toronto.

We want to help.  Let me know if you are interested via email or skype (asirota).

Alex Sirota

Alla Gubenko

Aaron Sirota

Liana Gubenko Sirota

Thornhill, Ontario, Canada

ps. We will use Google Translate to translate your emails into English. So don't worry!

September 09, 2010

@FreelancecampTO and International Freelancers Day Coming Soon!

Not just one but 2 exciting freelancer events are coming to Toronto or a computer near you!

The first is a virtual event called International Freelancers Day that will feature 25 speakers speaking through a virtual conference online.

September 24th is International Freelancers Day according to the website. Toronto's Mike McDerment, CEO of FreshBooks.com will be one of the featured speakers. He's terrific so definitely check out the event and the pre-event videos that you can access if you sign up for free. The event lasts into September 25th as well.

The second event is being organized by a group of rock stars entrepreneurs in Toronto including Rachel Young of Camaraderie! FreelancecampTO will be an all day event on Sunday October 3 from 9am to 5pm. It will be held at 55 Dundas, at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.

You can register today online.

And if you have a session you'd like to talk about at the event you can suggest a session as well. Selections are happening on 9/10/10 so get your ideas in today. I've put one in myself -- hopefully they'll select me!

July 19, 2010

Camaraderie Hosts Michael Bungay Stanier on July 27 2010

Read the book and join the club – it’s not too late to discuss how to do more great work.

Camaraderie is hosting a book club event featuring Do More Great Work!

Click here to sign up.

Make sure to bring a highlighter!

May 12, 2010

Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act Getting a much needed update

The Ontario not for profit corporations act is getting a much needed facelift. Particularly, not for profits are now able to engage in commercial activities. The revenues from such activities can be reinvested in the corporation's not for profit purposes.

This means that social enterprises are actually supported and encouraged it seems. An excerpt from the changes.

  • Simplifying the incorporation process. The current incorporation process is complex and lengthy, normally taking six to eight weeks to incorporate. Under the new Act, incorporation could take only a few days.
  • Allowing not-for-profit corporations to engage in commercial activities where the revenues are reinvested in the corporation's not-for-profit purposes.
  • Providing directors and officers better protection from personal liability.

January 13, 2010

Bell Entertainment Letter


Get Bell Entertainment, if you can. It rocks!

January 12, 2010

Useful tools for Small Business - CTV interview with MikeMcDerment from Freshbooks

A great interview with Freshbooks CEO Mike McDerment on 3 great tools for small business. Freshbooks, Paypal and Shoeboxed.