More details emerge of the simple yet clever tech behind Live Photos →

I did not know this about the iPhone camera:

As you may already know, existing iPhones start taking photos the moment you open the app. This is how Apple provides the camera with the ability to take photos instantly, with none of the delay (‘shutter lag’) you see with some digital cameras. The camera has already taken and temporarily stored a whole bunch of photos, and it simply keeps the last one taken as you press the button and discards the rest …

Additionally, there’s good info on what the camera does for the new Live Photos.  


Don’t follow your heroes →

If you wanted to start a successful software company today, you wouldn’t want to follow Bill Gates’ playbook. Creating a new desktop operating system, and an expensive office suite of applications to run on top of it, won’t work in 2015. It worked for him in the 80’s and 90’s, but that was a different time.

Understand what others did, but don’t try to copy. It usually never works for many reason. I learned this the hard way.


Visa Invests in Stripe at $5 Billion Valuation and Strikes Commercial Deal, Too →

The companies will also work together to make new digital payments experiences possible, though neither side had many details to discuss. Lastly, Visa plans to help Stripe expand quicker in emerging markets where the credit card company has strong relationships with other financial institutions.

Credit card processors could you more competition in emerging markets. In Colombia you need to pay close to $1k to enable recurring payments – ridiculous.


Google Wants a Piece of Air-Traffic Control for Drones →

Alan Levin for Bloomberg Business:

At least 14 companies, including Google, Amazon, Verizon and Harris, have signed agreements with NASA to help devise the first air-traffic system to coordinate small, low-altitude drones, which the agency calls the Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management. More than 100 other companies and universities have also expressed interest in the project, which will be needed before commercial drones can fly long distances to deliver goods, inspect power lines and survey crops.

Hopefully this system will have government oversight but not be operated or controlled by it. Decentralization of the system is key to foster innovation in a quickly evolving space like this.


Speed as a Habit →

Dave Girouard writing for First Round Review:

I’ve long believed that speed is the ultimate weapon in business. All else being equal, the fastest company in any market will win. Speed is a defining characteristic — if not the defining characteristic — of the leader in virtually every industry you look at.

Decisiveness is so critical to a success of a company that I worry when a decision falls through the cracks at Koombea or when we’re working with a founder or product manager that can’t make up her mind.

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to live with most business decisions for a long time. If you are doing things right, most desicions will be obsolete within a matter of days or weeks.


Apple reportedly joins talks with cell providers to launch new ‘e-SIM’ cards →

This would be a welcomed feature. I carry a small pouch filled with SIM cards.

The idea behind the talks is a universal standard for embedded SIM cards (“e-SIM”) that are built into the phone and not user accessible. These subscriber identity modules would allow customers to sign up for service on any network they wanted, then allow them to switch at any time (obviously with some limitations placed by the carriers).

The one caveat is that most carriers suck at anything software. Case in point: Movistar in Colombia hasn’t implemented visual voicemail, eight years after iPhone’s debut.


Apple Reports Record Third Quarter Results →

The Company posted quarterly revenue of $49.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.7 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $37.4 billion and net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Compared to Microsoft and Google’s $22.2 and $17.7 billion(respectively).


The Angel VC: The evolution of the SaaS landing page →

Christoph Janz on the evolution of SaaS landing pages:

When you look at the landing pages (or homepages or marketing sites, however you want to call them) of today’s SaaS companies, they usually look quite beautiful. They typically have a clean, simple and friendly look, with very little text and a lot of images or videos. In many cases, these websites could just as well advertise a consumer product. This doesn’t come as a surprise, since the consumerizaton of enterprise software has been one of the most important driving forces in the software world in the last years. But B2B software websites haven’t always looked like this and it’s fascinating to see how much things have changed.


Google’s product strategy: Make two of everything →

Found this on Hacker News after I posted the previous link about Google’s cost cutting. Ron Amdeo from Ars Tecnica wrote this back in October 2014:

Google likes to have multiple, competing products that go after the same user base. That way, if one product doesn’t work out, hopefully the other one will.

Throwing shit at the wall to see if it’ll stick will work eventually but not the best strategy.

This multi-product approach is good for Google’s long-term health, but it also wastes a lot of resources. There is duplicate work going on all over the place, but if Google is flush with anything, it’s resources. Adsense and Adwords bring in so much revenue that, for now at least, the company can afford to be wasteful.

Guess it didn’t take long for this strategy to become wasteful. This reflected lack of focus, not a “hedging your bets” strategy. Curation is the most important thing about product design. Having multiple products you offer competing against each other is not “healthy competition”. It’s a sign of lack of unified product vision across the company.