The power of COOL! iPad, or these 7 alternatives?

Apple iPad and the 7 rivals
Apple iPad and the 7 rivals

In marketing and advertising, you need to hook somene emotionally to get a strong response. Google proved that with a simple yet effective Superbowl Ad.  I must admit, it gave me chills the first time that I saw it.  I showed my wife and found her headed for the tissues after viewing.  The picture that they painted, the story, etc. They hooked people with emotion about a story.  Apple uses their marketing and brand to convey cool and uses that hook.

Apple does cool better than anyone RIGHT NOW.   There can be a shift from time to time, but if you want a fantastic gadget or device that will tell others “I’m Cool”, or I care about great products, an Apple device accomplishes that in one fell swoop.

Will the desire to be part of the “IN” crowd with an iPad be too much for people to avoid?  Prior to the product launch, I convinced myself that this device would be $899 and I wouldn’t need to touch it at that price.  Well, Apple hit a price point where I am saying that I have to have one.  Now I ask myself the question… is it a desire to be “cool” or a desire to have a product that has all of the functions that I want, and does them well?

Here is what Apple does.

  1. Their products convey cool.
  2. They make the best stuff! Hands down. Simple to use out of the box. Well thought design and interface.

Forget the fact that some of the rival “pads” or “slates” will have more features.  What Apple is doing is providing a terrific price point and what is likely to be a terrific product.  I can say that since the iPhone is a terrific product and this is essentially a larger take on the iPhone…for now.

Will you buy just for the cool factor?  We always have choices.  Gmail or Hotmail, iPod or Zune, Tivo or DVR, Nike or Adidas, Coke or Pepsi… you get the picture.  One interesting factor is whether the product used to convey who and what you are is in public view, or just in view of a select group of friends (private view).

  • Public View Example: iPod vs. Zune. Both very nice products.
    Winner: iPod (cool)
    Loser:  Zune (not so much)
  • Private View Example: Tivo vs. cable co. DVR.  Tivo is head and shoulders above the DVR’s provide by your cable company, however, it is in private view and cool is not one of the deciding factors. Cost and function are enough.
    Winner: Any old DVR
    Loser: Tivo

If you are considering a rival to the iPad, for price, OS, or functions you need, consider the list put together by  My hunch is that Apple will have another winner on their hands.  At least in terms of market share.  How big the ‘Pad’ market is has yet to be determined.

Google is VERY Involved in Our Lives

There is no doubt that Google has become the go-to for many things. Think about it.. “would your lives be affected if Google went away tomorrow?”  My life would be affected.  I could scramble and replace many of the services that I rely on Google for, but they make many things easier for me.

The following is a terrific video that plays on the “Don’t be Evil” mantra.  It is very well done and certainly worth a view.

Apple May Be on the Verge of Kneecapping the Cable Industry

I have a theory… the new apple tablet device that has been rumored for quite some time.  Will not only do everything that the iPod does, but will also do everything the Kindle does (but better) and everything the Nook does (but better) and everything that….

It feels like convergence is here.  I watched a football game on my iPhone while trying to get to sleep the other day.  I would have loved to have a device with 2x screen size.  I would love a tablet that allowed my eyes (quickly getting old) to read with a little less strain.

Apple is working with the content providers just as they did with the record labels pre-itunes. Once you have the content, the device makes sense.

Apple may be on the verge of gaining two key television network agreements, according to The Wall Street Journal. Specifically, CBS and Walt Disney DIS which runs ABC are said to be considering a proposal by Apple to offer a subscription-based TV service over the Internet.

How would you like a portable TV that allows you to time shift and watch your shows anytime anywhere?  The tablet could be many things and also a portable TV.  A good one.  A good one with top tier content, not the limited stuff you find on a Media Center PC.  I checked out the media center content 4 years after getting my first media center PC and it was pretty disappointing.  An apple tablet that worked with the Apple TV device much the way a Slingbox works with your devices is not a stretch.

Have you noticed the number of portable (over the air) TV’s that have come out across the past 6 months?   Coincidence?  Why is Comcast scrambling to offer your content in unique ways?

Kindle was able to get a flat fee, all you can eat wireless plan.  It it possible that Apple is going to be offering the same?  Will this need 4G?  If so, we are just about there.

A lot of questions.  I can’t wait until the answers start rolling in.

via Apple May Be on the Verge of Kneecapping the Cable Industry — Seeking Alpha.

The Google PC

It is getting closer and closer.  A Google PC.  Competition is good!

Android gains fans. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is considering whether to use Google’s (GOOG) Android operating software for some of its computers. The software, which is free and open-source, could be a viable platform for netbooks, posing a direct challenge to Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows system. Although no PC maker has yet publicly committed to using Android, many in the industry, including Microsoft, consider an Android-run laptop just a matter of time.

This is the most direct move into the space yet.  Gears followed by Chrome went a long way, but a light (and free) OS is a giant leap.

Let the Traffic Shaping Battles Begin!

Traffic shaping is the practice of a broadband provider determining what data packets, if any, deserve priority. This is at the core of the battle with net neutrality. If providers are allowed to shape, then they will be able to put a throttle on traffic of their competition.

Let’s say that you have a Vonage VOIP service. What if Cox Communications decides that those packets deserve the lowest priority. What do you think would deserve a higher priority? Packets for the Cox VOIP product? Packets for the VOIP product who is paying Cox for the “fast lane” on their network? You bet and of course.

The first public volley was lobbed today (not sure why). Cox announced that they were going to experiment with aggressive traffic shaping. I have assumed that there has been experimentation with less “aggressive” traffic shaping for quite some time now.

This was followed hours later by a release that Google is going to provide tools, in partnership with Measurement lab, to let you check if your broadband connection is being ‘shaped’. This could get interesting. In my opinion, the politicians would love to throw this one to the cable and phone companies who line their pockets. However, the outcry from the public, and the market should be loud enough to slow this practice.

Why do these battles generally mean bad news for consumers?


I might say that this post has nothing to do with being a better, or more efficient, webmaster, but as I type I have to believe that it does. If you are focused on building your business, site(s) or companies, you might be fortunate (hard working) enough to have put some $$ in the bank. If so, making that money work for you is wise. The markets have taken a beating which has, hopefully, made you work a little harder.

There are times when a local investor will see a story before (if ever) it reaches the mainstream news. My back yard bank is probably one of these stories. Conservative lending practices, in house underwriting, local focus.. M&T bank should be a great buy.

Call me crazy, but everything has been taken down with the markets. Don’t get me wrong, returns will be lower and profits thinner, but money is cheap and if a bank like M&T (MTB) stays true to its conservative roots, they should emerge from this recession/depression stronger than ever. They took down $600 million from the TARP program. That money can be used to lend or fund acquisitions of distressed assets. They already picked up Provident in a relatively small, but geographically significant deal.

I was a buyer at $57-$60. I feel like I should be a screaming buyer at $50 for the same reasons.

If you are considering a purchase, be sure you have a long time horizon ~3 + years and that you don’t exhaust all of your funds. If you want 100 shares of MTB, purchase 60 and keep some dry powder ready to rebuy if it pulls back more.

Not sure about the status of the dividend, but MTB has a yield of 5.2% right now.

Take a look for yourself. Do your research. I have to believe that MTB will out pace the indexes over the next 2 to 5 years.

Everyone Should Buy Local… Except for Us

I always find it humorous when local organizations, public or private, tout the fact that you should buy local. Support your local economy, support your local merchants!

However, when it comes time for them to “buy”, they don’t follow their own advice. Take a look at the picture below:
Buy local not buffalo

This is the perfect example of a company that touts local companies and urges you to buy locally. This organization is

committed to building a more local, green and fair economy in Buffalo, NY

Just not for them. Who built their web site? You guessed it… a company out of Atlanta, GA. People will probably not notice this, but that isn’t the point., not a bad White Pages service

I don’t often do a white pages search. When I do, it feels like I don’t come up with anything more than the typical, we couldn’t find anything, but go to our partner site for this low fee, we will get all the information you need. is in the news due to the whole Mark Cuban insider trading charge.

This could actually be a positive for I haven’t visited the site in over a year. I was surprised by the news and thought I would pop by the site. As it turns out, I had a need to look up a phone number. What do you know, their white pages search worked well, and didn’t obscure the result with a pitch for a background check service, criminal record search, ancestry search, etc. Their function is actually a co-brand with, but that is OK. It was skinned well, and didn’t make me take notice. I will use again.

I would bet they are having their best week in quite some time. Mamma (Copernic), send a bottle of bubbly to Mr. Cuban!

Just copying what someone else is doing won’t work

You have to be able to copy execution as well.

I had a discussion with someone yesterday and they were nervous that if they tried a clever marketing technique that a competitor would pop up and do the same.  True.  But, it is all about execution.  Everyone has ideas, some good, some bad.  It is about execution.

If you had the attitude that a competitor will come in and copy what you are doing, you are right.  But if that attitude stops you from starting something, building something, or expanding something, you will never leave square 1.

Let them copy you.  They will.

It is all about exection!