How will the iPhone5 wear?

This week there was a lot of news about the iPhone 5. It was probably one of the most anticipated new “gadgets”. This years version of it comes in both the black and white variants but they are different then previous versions. The white is a combination of white and bare aluminum while the black is fully anodized (looks like the Darth Vader version).

A few people have wondered if the black is a top coating or all the way through. The anodization process is just a top coat. Today I have seen a few people on the internet complain about nicks and scratches. There is even a picture where someone took a paperclip to the back of the phone in the Apple store (douchebag).

Transient

I have no doubt that it will chip and scratch if left without a case on it. But my question is more of how will it age? Some electronics obtain a well worn patina after being used. Michael at MacFilos wrote a post about a three year old Leica M9 that has worn beautifully.

Leica cameras are expensive and many people do not take them out of the house which is a shame. But they also possess an inherent durability as well. Geoffrey James whose camer Michael wrote about is a perfect example. The original iPhone also wore very well.

I did order the black iPhone and I am sure the first scratch will kill me - but after that I hope it ages well. John Siracusa tweeted this and I hope he is right !

The great BlackBerry marketing mess

You should go over to Ken's site to read the whole article. But I think there is so much irony in this teaser.  Especially launching something like this before RIM announcement of abysmal sales and mounting losses.  

I think they should take some of their own advice and do something different.

The great BlackBerry marketing mess:

RIM's teaser on its UK and Australia sites

It probably wasn’t the plan, but RIM may soon enter the record books for Most Self-Inflicted Wounds By A Market Leader.

After being spanked by iPhone and Android over a period of four years, RIM is fighting back with a marketing campaign. And wow, it’s a doozie.

(Via Observatory)

Apple turns over entire inventory every five days

When I read this on MacFilos I was shocked.  I have been thinking about this for a weeks now, mostly pondering how Apple is doing this so well.  What they are doing differently etc.?  Daring Fireball commented on the original Gartner Report a well. There is no smoking gun here, no magic bullet just amazing products and supply chain management.

In fact I am sure most people don't care about this at all but it is truly remarkable.  I worked for a very large manufacturer in the United States for 7.5 years.  We were a global seller with manufacturing in several countries around the world and we sold a lot of product. The company was on the the bleeding edge of JIT (just and time) and cell manufacturing.  

We moved a lot of product - but we did not turn over our inventory EVERY 5 days!. I would say maybe every 20-30 days at best.   

Apple turns over entire inventory every five days:

Tim Cook, the maestro of just-in-time source and supply, has achieved the near impossible in turning over Apple’s entire inventory every five days. Just think: All that stock, all those millions of phones and gadgets, all turning over in such quick time. No chance of the shelves getting dusty down at your local Apple Store. 

(Via MacFIlos)

The Making of the Leica M9-P

This is a video Shawn Blanc posted last week that I have been meaning to link to.  Personally I love videos that are created like this which show an item being made.  Shawn says this is classy.  I have to agree.  The care and detail that go into making this Leica kit is amazing.  No detail is left untouched.  The leather case, the lens shades and the box are all treated with the same level of precision, there is no differentiation in parts and quality of fabrication.

If you want to see a real thing of beauty spend 3:00 minutes and watch this.  If you don't enjoy it I would be shocked.

 

(Via Shawn Blanc)

How to make money online

If you didn't see this post from Seth Godin check it out here.  Below are Seth's 21 steps for making money online. So many good points here but #5 and #6 are so important.  

How to make money online:

  1. The first step is to stop Googling things like, "how to make money online." Not because you shouldn't want to make money online, but because the stuff you're going to find by doing that is going to help you lose money online. Sort of like asking a casino owner how to make money in Vegas...
  2. Don't pay anyone for simple and proven instructions on how to achieve this goal. In particular, don't pay anyone to teach you how to write or sell manuals or ebooks about how to make money online.
  3. Get rich slow.
  4. Focus on the scarce resource online: attention. If you try to invent a way to take cheap attention and turn it into cash, you will fail. The attention you want isn't cheap, it's difficult to get via SEO and it rarely scales. Instead, figure out how to earn expensive attention.
  5. In addition to attention, focus on trust. Trust is even more scarce than attention.
  6. Don't worry so much about the 'online' part. Instead, figure out how to create value. The online part will take care of itself.
  7. Don't quit your day job. Start evenings and weekends and figure it out with small failures.
  8. Build a public reputation. A good one, and be sure that you deserve it, and that it will hold up to scrutiny.
  9. Obsessively specialize. No niche is too small if it's yours.
  10. Connect the disconnected.
  11. Lead.
  12. Build an online legacy that increases in value daily.
  13. Make money offline. If you can figure out how to create value face to face, it's a lot easier to figure out how to do the same digitally. The web isn't magic, it's merely efficient.
  14. Become the best in the world at something that people value. Easier said than done, worth more than you might think.
  15. Hang out with people who aren't looking for shortcuts. Learn from them.
  16. Fail. Fail often and fail cheaply. This is the very best gift the web has given to people who want to bootstrap their way into a new business.
  17. Make money in the small and then relentlessly scale.
  18. Don't chase yesterday's online fad.
  19. Think big, act with intention and don't get bogged down in personalities. If it's not on your agenda, why are you wasting time on it?
  20. Learn. Ceaselessly. Learn to code, to write persuasively, to understand new technologies, to bring out the best in your team, to find underused resources and to spot patterns.
  21. This is not a zero sum game. The more you add to your community, the bigger your piece gets.

A few years ago I put my book The Bootstrapper's Bible online for free. You can find it here.

(Via Seth's Blog)

This Is All Your App Is: A Collection of Tiny Details

Jeff Atwood at Coding Horrors wrote a really good post comparing the details of his automatic cat feeders to the little details in your software. Below is my favorite line. Its a good read and lots to think about.

This Is All Your App Is: A Collection of Tiny Details:


This is all your app is: a collection of tiny details.


This is still one of my favorite quotes about software. It's something we internalized heavily when building Stack Overflow. Getting the details right is the difference between something that delights, and something customers tolerate.

(Via Shawn Blanc)

Auto-dimming

I am huge fan of Instapaper.  I think I have written about it before.  I love how this application looks and works and I rely on it for a better reading experience everyday.  I also have come to use it as a holding ground for research.

In one of the last updates, I believe it is 41 or 4.1.1 there has been a small tweak to the dark mode.

At night, switch to Dark Mode for more comfortable reading. Instapaper can even switch automatically after sunset.

I use dark mode at night when I am reading in bed.  One of the things that bothered me slightly was even though the background was dark and the text was white on it.  Images though were glaringly bright.  So if you were reading and there was a large image in the layout at night it could feel like there was a small hotspot in the middle of the display.

Marco has added a feature that I believe is being overlooked on just how good it is. Now when you are in night mode the If you need to see in more detail and tap the image it will illuminate to normal brightness.  It is a brilliant UI implementation.

Dark Mode with image dimmed

Tapping on the image in dark mode will raise it to normal brightness. 

Dark Mode image illuminated

 

Why do we design?

This is a question I seem to ask myself a lot. I am not a trained designer in any traditional sense of the word. I like to think up ideas and then try and execute on them. I think in the greater sense of the question “why we design” is for one of a couple of reasons.

  1. Looking for that big cash out. Recently I have heard it called the lottery mindset
  2. Desire to scratch an itch

My desires do not really fit into either of those options completely. I like to find a void and try and correct or change it with some beautiful and elegant solution. If I can make some additional money on the side, great, but that is not the initial reason for doing any of these things. Perhaps this is not the best mentality for going into a new venture but then again how good is it to create product or service that’s free and hope to get purchased. Rarely does that happen.

I have been working in an idea for several months. Getting feedback. Tryng to validate that the issue has been solved. Trying to pull all the pieces together at one time. I plan to write a series of posts on all the steps and missteps I have been through. If you are creating a product, hopefully I can share some of the mistakes I made and prevent you from doing the same.

What is worth supporting?

Today there are so many causes worthy of being supported. Charities, community work family and friends all are great and really no brainers. But how do you feel about supporting artists?

Wait wait I don’t need to support artists that is what the National Endowment for the Arts is for. Right?

Well that may be true but it also depends on your definition of an artist. I think many people are artists but don’t feel like they deserve the moniker. But my definition of an artist is someone who creates something great or wonderful regardless of their medium That can be writing, music, a podcast, a computer application or a photographer. There are many of these people who create fantastic products. Some do it for the love of the craft, some do it on the side and hope to be able to do it full time and some people have made that jump and do it as their full time job.

Lately, I am personally attracted to supporting writers, photographers and podcasters. Why these groups? Perhaps it is because someday I would like to write more professionally. For now I write my random thoughts as best best I can and hope I can learn a few things. Podcasting is another group of creators I really enjoy as well. Sometimes it is for the entertainment value, but lately I have been thinking about it's more about audible learning. I can listen to something while I am driving that is topical for me and take something away from it. Having worked as a photographer myself in the past I understand how hard it is to do great work and find others that appreciate your talen. All of these things have costs associated with them. It could be the writers time, a photographers equipment or a podcasters bandwidth charges.

Support does not mean forking over your entire paycheck either. Support can come in a simple membership. It could be as little as $3.00 a month to support that writer or purchasing a t-shirt from the site. Many times bloggers will have affliate links on their site so if you purchase something using their link to that store they will get a small piece of credit. Sometimes if could be a simple donation. There are thousands of examples like these listed below.

Here are just few examples to conisder.


These sites are out there - great work is out there. If you see something that really resonantes with you conisder supporting the maker(s).