Apple Cauterizing HealthKit At Launch Shows How High The Stakes Are 

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Last week, in the fevered cauldron of iPhone 6/6+ reviews, iOS 8 rolling out and shiny new iPhone hardware going on sale it was easy to miss the glitch in Apple’s oh-so-choreographed release matrix: a bug in its new HealthKit develop tool.

Apple introduced HealthKit to developers at its WWDC event in June, along with a Health app which acts as a repository for viewing all the health and fitness data collated via HealthKit.

The idea behind HealthKit is to make it easier for health and fitness data to flow between apps, with fine-grained user permissions built in, allowing the user to control and build up a more holistic — and therefore useful — overview of their personal wellness, using whatever combination of health and fitness iOS apps and devices they choose.

But such was the serious nature of the last minute HealthKit bug that Apple locked the tool down entirely — so…

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Online Shopping Isn’t as Profitable as You Think

Harvard Business Review:

online and off – sometimes maybe you need offline too ?!

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

When I argue that e-commerce isn’t likely to destroy innovative omnichannel retailers, I typically receive passionate responses. Am I really suggesting that the growth of e-commerce will slow before it annihilates most physical retailing? And how could I possibly argue that the economics of omnichannel retailers are as favorable as those of pure-play e-tailers?

Growth rates first. Several organizations track e-commerce sales, including the U.S. Census Bureau, ComScore, eMarketer, and Forrester. All show similar trends. For example, Forrester’s data on the top 30 product categories (which account for 97% of total e-commerce sales) indicates that e-commerce growth fluctuates with economic conditions but is clearly slowing overall:

U. S. E-commerce Growth chart

This is a familiar growth pattern: E-commerce as a percentage of total retail sales seems to be following a classic S-shaped logistic curve. If historical trends continue, e-commerce’s share of retail will rise from 11% today to about 18% in 2030, albeit with big…

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The Cost of Continuously Checking Email

Harvard Business Review:

Multi tasking is a myth !

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Suppose each time you ran low on an item in your kitchen—olive oil, bananas, napkins—your instinctive response was to drop everything and race to the store. How much time would you lose? How much money would you squander on gas? What would happen to your productivity?

We all recognize the inefficiency of this approach. And yet surprisingly, we often work in ways that are equally wasteful.

The reason we keep a shopping list and try to keep supermarket trips to a minimum is that it’s easy to see the cost of driving to the store every time we crave a bag of potato chips. What is less obvious to us, however, is the cognitive price we pay each time we drop everything and switch activities to satisfy a mental craving.

Shifting our attention from one task to another, as we do when we’re monitoring email while trying to read a…

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A Tale Of Two Patents: Why Facebook Can’t Clone Snapchat

Soumya:

Patents again but playing out interestingly with no one saying anything !!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Facebook released Slingshot, its second attempt at an impermanent sharing app, last Tuesday. The app borrows heavily, in concept and features, from Snapchat, as well as smaller startups like Frontback and Look.

Slingshot and Facebook Messenger feature the same photo and video recording interface–a very user friendly mechanism where you tap the main button to take a picture, and hold that button to record a video.

There’s just one problem: Facebook may be violating Snapchat’s patent, “Single mode visual media capture” that was approved over a year ago.

Representatives from both Facebook and Snapchat declined to comment for this story, but the patent appears to describe the way both companies’ apps record media:

“An electronic device includes digital image sensors to capture visual media, a display to present the visual media from the digital image sensors and a touch controller to identify haptic contact engagement, haptic contact persistence and haptic contact release on the…

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How to Negotiate with Someone More Powerful than You

Harvard Business Review:

negotiate with power !

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Going into a negotiation with someone who holds more power than you do can be a daunting prospect.  Whether you are asking your boss for a new assignment or attempting to land a major business deal with a client, your approach to the negotiation can dramatically affect your chances of success. How can you make the best case for what you want?

What the Experts Say
“There is often strength in weakness,” says Margaret Neale, the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Having power typically reduces a person’s ability to understand how others think, see, and feel, so being in the less powerful position actually gives you a better vantage to accurately assess what the other party wants and how you can best deliver it. And when you do your homework, you’ll often find you’ve “underestimated your own power, and overestimated theirs,” says Jeff Weiss…

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The Crazy Genius Behind Solar Roadways

Soumya:

Solar panels on the tarmac ….

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Here’s an idea crazy enough that it just might work: Pave the streets with solar-powered panels that have their own built-in heat and LED lights. That’s what Scott and Julie Brusaw hope to accomplish with their ongoing Solar Roadways project, which they just funded through a hugely popular crowdfunding campaign.

The husband-and-wife team has spent the better part of the last decade developing solar-powered modular panels that could be installed in roadways and parking lots, and would be able to collect power from the sun. Those panels could also keep streets clear of snow and ice, while illuminating them with LEDs.

Rather than paving streets and driveways with asphalt, the Solar Roadways panels would theoretically be able to decrease our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels by generating massive amounts of clean energy. Panels are made from ruggedized glass and connect to one another through a mesh network, so that even…

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Facebook Gets it. Google Doesn’t.

Soumya:

Facebook is addressing a strong desire for privacy by its users. This needs be known and understood!

Originally posted on Uncrunched:

Facebook announced a new way for people to log in to apps “anonymously” today. You still log into the (third party) app using your Facebook credentials, but Facebook sends absolutely no information about you at all to the app.

Read all the coverage about it on TechMeme. The tech press is impressed, even to to point of wondering if there’s a catch.

I don’t know the details, such as if this is something all apps have to implement if they want Facebook login, or if developers can opt not to offer it while still using the “normal” FB login.

But it doesn’t really matter. Facebook is addressing a strong desire for privacy by its users.

Distill that even further and it comes down to this – Facebook is treating its users, at least in this case, like its customers.

Then there’s Google. Today I read that they’re going to…

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4 Ways the Best Sales Teams Beat the Market

Harvard Business Review:

How the winners at sales keep winning !! It is not easy but it can be done and it is a frame of mind that makes it all come together !!

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Customers today use an average of six channels during the buying process, and the number of channels available to them is only increasing. Competition for those customers has also increased as margins have tightened. Digital channels have upended the well-trod ruts of sales and marketing organizations — already, nearly a third of all B2B purchases are done digitally. All of this increased complexity means sales leaders must rethink how they source leads, manage pipelines, and sell more effectively.

Rather than being overwhelmed, the best sales leaders have figured out how to overcome this complexity to drive above-market growth. Our analysis of 73 B2B technology companies shows that across sectors, the top 25% of companies achieve more than twice as much return on sales investment compared to the bottom 25%.

What do they do right? Based on our experience and analysis, they maintain a clear focus on four things:

1. They measure…

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How to Succeed at Key Account Management

Harvard Business Review:

A very useful guide to get the KAM thinking and activities rolled out in an organisation!

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Key account management (KAM) is one of the most important changes in selling that has emerged during the past two decades. KAM is a radically different organizational process used by business-to-business suppliers to manage their relationships with strategically-important customers, and it produces measurable business benefits.

Not surprisingly, smart suppliers are keen to implement KAM. But, sadly, many KAM implementations fail and are abandoned. In other cases, suppliers find that they have to make big changes to the KAM programs to get them to function.

The good news is that many of these failures are unnecessary. KAM is a major change, but the chances of success can be dramatically increased by following the seven steps described here:

Step One: Recognize that KAM is an organizational change, not a sales technique. KAM implementations take years, not months. The companies which have implemented KAM most successfully have been those who thought of it…

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Whatsapp – Email overload & Enterprise social networks!

The last few years I have been really getting acquainted with several companies in my line of a work as tech sales guy. I see several organizational problems that I see building up due to unfettered tech and its wrong usage.  I’d love to solve them and have a few suggestions and being who I am they are inevitably about the more adoption of technology! I mean hey Whatsapp just got bought for like $10 +billion and people have a huge opinion about it. But all it did there was just move text messaging from the voice on CDMA+GSM spectrum network to the Internet Protocol/data network on the GSM+CDMA spectrum and added a layer of take and share media and files, create private friends or family social networks and on the mobile!

Email overload at the workplace is the latest big thing now that I really want to handle – it is so current now that were you to type in that search word – damn there’d be an article an hour back like say this one when I started to type this out. The solution is not too tough really – all you have to do is move that traffic else where on other servers that can handle it and is not as crowded and with less noise.

Go Yammer  and the ESN way. ESN is something I think I coined if no one has used before: enterprise social networks. If you don’t want to use Yammer – you may as well use FB – create corporate FB Ids centrally etc. But the point is it is they are there and can be used. You could try moving to the sales force dot com platform and use that as your workflow and sales force automation systems also and create that process. People like it or not read their FB messages, twitter feeds, Whatsapp dialogues more than anything else. More than SMS perhaps! There is even bug report on mozilla asking to see if reddit can be used to replace yammer?

Also the medium makes it such that people are forced to stay on script; brevity is the soul of wit as said Polonious in Hamlet  – a Shakespearean play. People need to have to be brief by the urgency of the medium and the forced restriction of space. Occasionally it spawns it’s own language like BRB, IMO, IMHO; LOL; BTW! Plus it brings in the concept of presence ; you know who is logged in on a server somewhere on the internet and can send receive files etc!! There are also possible videoconferencing and tele calling available which makes ESN the best way to go to handle email overload. In a very Marshall Mac Luhanesque manner; the medium becomes the message! Also it is open source capable and can be mostly configured for free with admin levels rights requires payments but it gets the work done!

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