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Apple's flanking move with iPad Mini and life after Steve

Last week's Apple event has been widely reported in detail, but with a minimum of real analysis on the importance of the why, the how and the what being communicated.  For me there were three significant aspects:
  • Apple improving their leading position in the tablet business by making the leading product even better, as well as opening up a new sub segment of the market to flank the low end competition.
  • The whole event demonstrating that design is still at the heart of the Apple vision.
  • Showing there is life after Steve Jobs - the vision, culture and team he put in place are carrying the torch and keeping up the pace.  (I wish I'd bought shares around about the time the iPod was first announced or before!)
Plenty of reporters and commentators presented most of the facts and the numbers corectly, misunderstood the pricing of the new iPad Mini thinking it too high, and then made the mistake of missing the .9 after the 7 in the size of its screen.  So much technlogy reporting these days seems repetitive, regurgitating the technical specifications and processor chip models in the press release with little analysis and thought of what the technology ...
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Using the Cloud for personal productivity with Evernote

I've just made a significant switch in one of the main tools I use for my own personal productivity which highlights a key trend for the industry and all of us - the personal cloud.  Whether it is for work or our personal lives we use desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, media players and tablets and a lot of the time we need to get at the same stuff from each device.  For some time we've been used to setting up our smart phones so we can sync and access the same email as on the computer or the web, and the early adopters and geeky types have been sharing photos and documents too.  The personal cloud will make that easy and more pervasive for everyone.  

Let me explain more with the key tool that I use for all my writing, note taking, project documentation and capturing of ideas.  Since January 2005 I've been using what I believe is Microsoft's best and most undervalued product - OneNote.  OneNote is a free form note taking application with a user interface that looks like the Windows equivalent of a cool Moleskin notebook.  I can type, draw, insert pictures or make screen clippings and capture my thoughts in multiple notebooks.  .. ...
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Amazon's Kindle Fire diverges the Tablet market

In his book The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin called divergence the driving force that creates a new species.  Last week Amazon enhanced their Kindle range of e-readers, but also applied some divergence to the tablet market by extending in to a new sub-category of mobile tablet devices with the Kindle Fire.  I think it's going to be huge and spell a lot of trouble for Android tablets from the likes of Motorola, HTC and Samsung, and probably BlackBerry's PlayBook too.  Up to now these "me too" devices haven't put much of a dent in the Apple iPad's market leading dominance.  This particular step by Amazon is a flanking move on Apple, but in itself it won't harm iPad sales much.  Amazon is going to take a very strong position at the bottom end of the tablet market, and whatever their next step is things are getting interesting.  Let me explain a little.

Al and Laura Ries applied Darwin to marketing to explain how product categories diverge with their excellent 2004 book The Origin of Brands.  In a follow on article for AdAge, Al wrote:
"In Darwin's words, "nature favors the extremes." The "sweet spot" of a market is an illusion that soon .. ...
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Hello World!

Keeping up a blog is hard.  I've been at it since October 2005, posting regularly up until May last year, but then I went AWOL from Business Two Zero for a while until today.  My 5 year anniversary on the web came and went with a whimper, and I felt guilty, but not guilty enough to get off my arse and blog - that's got to change!  I've kept up tweeting and chipping in to the conversation at various places, but I need to get back to regular posting and making a real  contribution.  In the intervening time there have been plenty of cloud, collaboration and enterprise 2.0 developments, and I've got more involved in the standards topic.  I've also had some new technology to play with…..  I've switched to a BlackBerry Torch - finally we've got a BB with a proper browser.  I've gone Amazon Kindle, and now I can carry round dozens and dozens of books and get more reading done in the gaps and on the road.  At Christmas, my wife enrolled me in the iPad generation... Expect reviews on those 3 things in the next few weeks.  I've got a selection of books to comment on too - from Vinnie Mirchandani's "The New Polymath" to "Graceful" by Seth ...

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Is the iPad a big iPod or is it the new Newton?

Apple's ultra thin iPad

The first thing I've got to say is the title of this post was supplied in a tweet from Alan Patrick (@freecloud), but it perfectly encapsulates the controversy going on in the geek world around the new Apple tablet device announced on Wednesday.  Is it going to be as successful and "game changing" like the iPod and iTunes, or a flawed failure like the Apple Newton?  I believe it will be very successful as an e-book reader, for news consumption and Internet access, but also in bringing a whole new audience of technologically challenged people for whom a laptop or a netbook are just too complicated to own and carry around.  

It was fascinating to hear how Steve Jobs was positioning both Apple as a manufacturer of mobile devices larger than Sony, Samsung and Nokia in that context, and then the iPad as a new category of product in opposition to the netbook.  It's well worth listening to the keynote, and watching the slick demonstrations.  For me iPad follows two important paths.  The first is simple user experience and the second is Darwinian divergence in product categories.  

On the first path, the iPad uses the iPhone operating system ...