Pinterest, that other network

I will admit I’m not a primary user of Pinterest, but I do use it for a couple of things.

1) Travel planning / inspiration -> the best way to figure where/what you want to do next is from images from that place. Anytime I’m traveling I do a quick search on that area to see what we could do.

2) Design Inspiration -> soaking up design inspiration to apply at home and at work.

With Nudge we actually see, if you’re targeting females Pinterest performs exceedingly well, even if you don’t optimize for it.

In fact Pinterest is a key driver of the top 10% of the content we analyze.

So, if you haven’t yet had a dabble with it you should. And then secondly they’re slowly opening up their ad product, promoted pins, so you can get visuals in front of your key demographic. It’s worth a look, I’m gonna have a play.

April 10th, 2015

Tesla and the personal battery pack, how it will disrupt electricity

Tesla is going to launch a at home battery pack, for storing electricity from solar.

Wherever you go the electricity market is quite convoluted. It’s not easy generating electricity, feeding it in to a leaky grid, then collecting payments for that grid from everyone. It’s almost like a tax system.

For example, how is the price decided? Often it’s the cost of the most expensive contributor to the network. Such that if there is a expensive coal generator, the price is set to that.

For those that are generating solar power, and are feeding in to the grid, the challenge is how do you fairly compensate for that? Of course you would want the most expensive option but the power company doesn’t want that as they lose money on it.

And those that generate electricity at the moment use the grid more as they treat the grid as a battery, feeding in to it on low consumption then drawing at high consumption.

The battery pack helps alleviate a lot of this, you don’t need to feed in to the grid, you can store it for later. And then when you need electricity you can top it up – ideally if at all.

SolarCity has already begun installing Tesla batteries, mostly on commercial buildings like Walmart stores, which have to pay higher rates when they use lots of power during peak hours. Tesla’s batteries let them store up solar power when they don’t need it, then use it when rates are high, shaving 20-30 percent off their energy bills, according to Ravi Manghani, an analyst at GTM Research.

“When batteries are optimized across the grid, they can direct clean solar electricity where (and when) it is needed most,

Source: TheVerge

I suspect, this little innovation will be the catalyst for a lot of disruption in the industry.

And who knows what will happen if electricity becomes as cheap as internet. When kilowatts are consumed like megabits.

April 7th, 2015

What would wearables look like in a perfect world?

Wearable technology would provide a seamless, invisible, like utility.

Disney has invested $1b in to just this and visiting Disneyland is almost like a little incubator for what it could be like.

This piece by Cliff Kuang over on Wired about it is excellent, give it a read or a instapaper.

I’ve yet to go but need to go check it out.

April 2nd, 2015

A global ad supported Netflix is inevitable

I’ve been watching Netflix and how they tackle the challenges in front of them for a while, my earlier post explored what would happen if Netflix was free.

There are a few driving forces here:

1) Netflix itself says it thinks going global will drop piracy. Read.

Their argument is that people are using VPNs and torrents to download anyway, as someone from New Zealand, people simply just download shows when they’re not available. However like Spotify I imagine a monthly model would have an impact on piracy.

2) There is brand demand for more digital video content.

Everyone I talk to is screaming for more video inventory, they want more people to watch more ads. Netflix in some respects has potential attention to monetize. If you’ve read my earlier post, I do think they will retain the paid model but they are positioned to earn more revenue from offering a free option.

3) If you think Netflix is more like YouTube than it is like HBO.

YouTube is a global platform of content, that is open and shared but not the best experience for lean back viewing. People go to YouTube for a purpose, as such ads seem more of a barrier. Netflix in essence has the same platform, just with more control on getting the content in. This is almost a Apple vs Microsoft dichotomy.

I think these will position Netflix in that way, with a global database, powered by digital video ads.

And under that view I think their growth potential is seemingly infinite.

April 1st, 2015

The Apple Watch

You knew it was coming.

1) Is it a sustainable form factor?

If watch behaviour is any example yes.

2) Imagine how good it’ll be in five years

A real robocop kind of future.

3) The real question is, when will you buy into it, today or tomorrow.

I’ve been wrong before but the app marketplace is what will make it sticky. Like swapping tv subscriptions, 2 or 3 compelling apps will make you switch. They might be at launch, or they might be next year.

 

March 11th, 2015

Medium is now more like Tumblr, Tumblr is more like medium

I’m a fan of Medium, I’m also a fan of Tumblr.

A few weeks back Tumblr made some changes to be more like Medium, and now Medium has done the same.

It’s a dangerous game once you start looking sideways rather than looking ahead.

March 2nd, 2015

Options Trading & Directionality

One of my personal goals each year the last few years has been to upskill in how I invest, in particular my personal long term investments. I’ve always had the philosophy that it is something that keeps me sharp, but allows me to explore other businesses and through that better understand my own.

This year on the list is to better understand Options Trading, having been a skeptic, I’m beginning to scrape the surface. The best explanation I’ve heard is, it’s options are about directionality, you’re buying an option on a direction of a company.

So, I’ve started with a few hypothesis, I believe this company is going in this direction, then found information to stack up and against that hypothesis. Then you buy an option on that.

I like that ethos, when you’re building a business you have to make lots of decisions on directionality, it’s not that you know precisely (although you probably have a gut feel, it’s that you think things are heading that way, and you need to adjust. Of course as the future becomes nearer you can get more predictable.

Then you can band your team around that, we’re going this way.

February 11th, 2015

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