Tag Archives: jeremy toeman

Feb 15

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Blogging, Products

Apple: Doin’ It Right

Apple is now the most valuable tech company on the planet. In fact, the Cupertino firm is worth $100 billion more than Microsoft and Google, its next closest competitors. According to TechCrunch, Apple is “a little over $90 billion away from becoming the overall most valuable public company in the world.”

Impressive, especially when one considers that the company was six weeks away from filing for bankruptcy not so long ago. So what is the secret behind Apple’s turnaround?

I have long maintained that there are no real secrets to Apple’s success. The company creates simple, stable products that people want to use. They engage in brilliant marketing and advertising campaigns to promote consumer electronics that are well designed. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop mentions Apple’s success in his infamous “burning platform” memo.

Apple demonstrated that if designed well, consumers would buy a high-priced phone with a great experience and developers would build applications. They changed the game, and today, Apple owns the high-end range [of smart phones] . . . The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience.

The focus on experience is telling here. Apple’s emphasis on design and usability creates products that are both stylish and enjoyable to use. There is a “cool factor” and a “fun factor” embedded in all of Apple’s devices. Simply stated, Apple designs, builds, markets and delivers technology that people love to use. The positive emotions users feel when using Apple technology results in increased and repeat sales.

Feb 02

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Blogging, Outreach

These Applications Will Boost Productivity, Reduce Stress

Jeremy Toeman recently authored a guest post on the SimpleProductivity Blog that examines ways technology can increase productivity and reduce stress. Quoting from the article:

Managing your time effectively can greatly increase your productivity and remove unneeded anxiety in your life. There are amazing tech tools out there that will improve your productivity and save you time.

Too often people get overwhelmed or upset with the gadgets in their lives. I believe that great technology can help people live a simpler, more beneficial life.

The piece then looks at several applications that can save you time and help organize your life. From Evernote to Stage Two’s own creation NudgeMail, there are a variety of lifehacks available to you for free.

We want to thank SimpleProductivity Blog for helping us evangelize amazing tech to a new audience.

Feb 01

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Apps, Products

26% of Mobile Apps Used Only Once in 2010

Localytics is reporting some startling numbers: in 2010, 26% of all mobile applications were used only one time. This stat shows that first impressions matter and users will quickly abandon applications that do not immediately meet their expectations. It also points to the need of looking at engagement – and not just downloads – when measuring success.

Tracking downloads is often a first step to gauging an app’s success, but download stats often provide an incomplete and inflated view. High download numbers always feel great, but if those customers never open the app or abandon it after just a few uses, those high download numbers are really part of a high churn rate.

Mobile Application developers should keep these numbers in mind as they strive to create user interfaces that are pleasing, stable and useful.

Jan 27

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Smart TV

Netflix Passes 20 Million Subscribers

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Netflix has surpassed 20 million subscribers, capping off a growth spurt so strong that it has surprised even the company’s top management while providing more cash to satisfy the hunger for increasingly expensive streaming content.

Netflix on Wednesday posted fourth-quarter net income that increased 52% to $47 million on revenue that grew 34% to $596 million.

Their growth points to consumer demand for streaming video and the evolving nature of digital media.

Jan 26

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Blogging, Gadgets, Stage Two, UI/UX

Fortune: How Steve Jobs Gets Things Done

We ran across this interesting Fortune article today that examines how Apple CEO Steve Jobs gets things done.

He doesn’t just develop new products; he changes games. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad, along with iTunes, have created massive disruptions, forcing players in the music and telecom industries—among others—to change their business models.

The piece is well worth a read. It examines how Jobs is able to create successful consumer tech again and again during his “second act” at Apple. While there are a number of factors at play here, the article pays particular attention to how Jobs focuses on product design and User Experience.

He views a product as an experience, not just an object. He can visualize what it will look and feel like, and can then execute it to near perfection. He makes advanced technology friendly to consumers based on his uncommon talent for connecting it to user experience. He has an innate feel for design, convenience, simplicity, and elegance in the product.

Fortune also points to his ability to manage people, make critical decisions and identify new opportunities as contributing factors to Apple’s meteoric rise in the past 12 years.

Steve Jobs didn’t invent phones, MP3 Players or Tablet PCs; he made them simple to use and desirable by focusing on how hardware and software design relate to the user experience. Steve Jobs gets things done by demanding the best from his people and building technologies that people desire.

Jan 20

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Gadgets, Products

Windows and Android Tablets are Coming- But For Who?

Apple recently released their sales numbers for the iPad, and the device seems to be catching on.

Apple shipped 14.8 million iPads last year, generating $9.6 billion in revenue. Last quarter alone, it shipped 7.3 million iPads for $4.6 billion in sales.

And, as Tech Crunch noted, no one saw this coming. Both industry analysts and tech bloggers failed to predict the success of Apple’s tablet. Jeremy Toeman even thought the iPad could be a technological bread machine; a device that starts out with a “hey this is kind of cool factor” and then loses its appeal and usability over time.

Before the iPad, no one was buying tablets. Now, everyone is buying them.

So other computer makers have jumped on the Tablet bandwagon. CES was full of Windows tablets and also a few Android Tablets. (This is not the place to argue whether or not Android will make a great tablet. They won’t. Apple COO Tim Cook has even dismissed Android tablets as “bizarre” and vaporous.) This article points to a serious question for the consumer electronics industry: Who are the target users for these non-Apple tablets?

If hardware manufacturers are shipping $500 tablets, who do they expect to purchase them?

No consumer will want to spend more than $500 for a Windows or Android tablet. At that price point, they will simply purchase the iPad. It is desirable, it is stable, it is fun and has a cultural allure attached to it thanks to Apple’s brilliant design and marketing. If you went to the store and wanted to buy your Aunt Mable a tablet, would you get her an Acer tablet or an iPad? Exactly.

Even pricing below $500 is problematic for Apple competitors. A $300 tablet is just close enough to the iPad’s price that people will probably wind up mowing a few extra lawns or clocking some overtime to get their hands on the genuine article from Cupertino.

At $250 people may simply opt for an iPod touch.

I hate to give the entire touch market to Apple, but it is hard to imagine a scenario where non-Apple tablets show similar growth in such a short time. So where do Windows Tablets thrive? Here are a few sectors that present real opportunities for non-Apple tablets.

Apple Haters

There is a small, dedicated group of Apple haters who will support non-iPad tablets. They do so for mainly ideological reasons and although they have a vocal presence in some corners of cyber-space, they make up a negligible portion of the total tablet market.

Medicine

We are quickly approaching a world where medical records and information will be displayed on tablets. Windows and Android devices could thrive in this vertical.

The Military

Someone is going to sell the Pentagon a lot of secure, battle ready tablets. Smart manufacturers should keep an eye on this space.

Kids

A “cheap,” sturdy tablet for kids is a no-brainer. Part coloring book, part media player, part game center- think Leap Pad on steroids.

To conclude, there are a number of specific verticals where Windows tablets and Android devices can grow rapidly in the coming months. But for average consumers, the iPad remains a desirable, functional device that people seem to enjoy.

Jan 13

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Blogging, Clients, Events, Gadgets, Marketing, Outreach, Press, Products, Smart TV, Stage Two

CES By The Numbers

The following numbers were compiled during Stage Two’s journey to CES this year.

Number of Clients Named Finalists for iLounge’s Best of Show CES 2011: 1

Broadcast Interviews Held: 7

Number of Clubs We Talked Our Way In: 6

Number of S2 Clients Named Mashable Awards Finalists: 1

Number of Articles Published Mentioning S2 Clients: 199 (and counting)

Number of Stage Two Clients Featured in this Wall Street Journal Article: 2

Alcoholic Beverages Consumed: 94

Times Clients Appeared Live on G4 TV: 1

Press Briefings Conducted: 343

International Articles Posted: 7

USA Today Video Interviews Delivered: 2

Number of Cigars Smoked: 4

Number of Tweets Sent: 296

Total Hours of Media Training Provided To Clients: 53

Client Mentions in Rolling Stone: 1

Impressions Delivered: Millions

Number of Miles Walked: 129

Times We Ate Reese’s instead of Dinner: 3

Number of Colds Caught: 1.5

Ars Technica Articles Published: 1

Number of Business Cards Collected: 384

Number of Filets ordered: 1

Jan 12

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Stage Two

80% of TV Viewers Still Watching Live Television

Home Media Magazine cites a recent report from Centris Research that one out of five viewers are now watching time shifted TV. Quoting from the article:

A 52% increase in household use of the digital video recorder (DVR) in the past three years has contributed to 20% of viewers watching recorded programming, according to a new report.

A 52% increase sounds remarkable until you consider the fact that 80% of television viewers consume live television.

With one out of five viewers opting for time-shifted content, the report suggests consumers are warming to on-demand functionality, including the concept of “TV Everywhere,” whereby pay-TV subscribers have the ability to watch recorded programming from myriad devices.

The report should not be suggesting anything of the sort. While it is true that the time shifted numbers are trending upward, when 80% of TV viewers are still watching live broadcast television, the DVR is the exception and not the norm.

That means that for the 6 hours and 47 minutes the TV is on per day in an average American household, only 81 minutes of that content is time shifted. Put another way, of the 35.6 hours the average American watches TV per week, only a little more than 7 hours are content from a DVR.

Industry professionals and media analysts all understand that the future of TV is time shifted DVR content. The future of television includes place shifting and mobile solutions and smart screens and Ten Foot Apps and a slew of new solutions. What this study clearly shows is that cord has not yet been cut and that these dramatic changes will emerge slowly over the next few years.

Jan 10

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Stage Two

Smart TVs, Ten Foot Apps On The Rise

Richard Kastelein has a great Connected Home, Smart TVarticle up at App Market that makes a strong case for the growth of Smart TVs. He cites data from Park Associates that points to rapid market adoption of Connected Televisions and Ten Foot Apps in the coming years:

Consumer desire for on-demand and online video content will drive sales of Internet-connectable TV devices to reach nearly 350 million units worldwide by 2015, setting the stage for intense competition in app development.

Kastelein’s post comes in response to a recent Gizmodo Australia article that argues for less Smart TVs and more dumb monitors in the living room. The Australian tech blog argues that the high price point and uncertain future of television apps require consumers to purchase a set top box like Apple TV to take care of downloading content.

The App Market article takes on a couple of straw men arguments that detractors of Smart TV use to deride the rise of connected televisions. The first is price. Again quoting from the App Market article.

A TV is a huge purchase.

No it’s not.

TV replacement cycles are sinking as fast as the pricing. I paid more for my desktop than my Samsung Connected TV.

Not to mention as they continue to come down in price (and they will as the CE manufacturers generate more revenue via connected TV) we will simply put more of them in our houses. Hell, why not put one in the bathroom? Or in every room in the house.

MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte was right. TV Everywhere includes the idea that all kinds of surfaces are likely to become screens in the future. I imagine, like in Europe and the US, the average Australian household had close to three TVs already. All easily replaceable.

Kastelein then points to the staying power of 10′ Apps, arguing that content providers and hardware manufacturers are invested in the interactive home theater for the long haul. He concludes by stating that Smart TVs reduce wires, cords and clutter that additional boxes introduce to the living room.

Smart TVs are coming, despite negative tech reviews to the contrary. How the connected home will look is still a bit hazy, but it will certainly include interactive, social and streaming content- in addition to Apps and one or two over the top set top boxes.

Jan 07

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Blogging, Clients, Events, Gadgets, Press, Products, Stage Two

Wall Street Journal Covers Orbotix, Pogoplug at CES

Special shout outs to two Stage Two clients – Orbotix and Pogoplug – who feature prominently in a new Wall Street Journal article from CES.  Lizette Chapman writes a strong piece that focuses on tech start ups showcasing their products at the Las Vegas trade show. Quoting at length from the article:

[Orbotix] like so many of the 3,000 others exhibiting here, is launching – at no small expense to his company or his investors.

“This is the show. Everyone’s here,” said Paul Berberian, CEO of Orbotix Inc., a Boulder, Colo.-based company that makes a robotic orb that you control with your iPhone.

[SNIP]

Not too far away, Cloud Engines Inc. CEO Daniel Putterman also had chosen CES to launch his company’s new product. Founded in 2007 and employing 40, the San Francisco-based company is exhibiting its personal cloud device, Pogoplug, at Sony’s booth and at ShowStoppers, a press and analyst schmoozefest.

“We could have spent millions of dollars to have a booth here, depending on size and location,” he said, barely audible amid the noise emanating from the blogger’s lounge in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall. Putterman said his company, which raised a $15 million Series B round from the Foundry Group, Softbank Capital and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners in December, will ultimately spend in the tens of thousands.

“We’re a small company, so when we spend money on marketing and education, we want to make sure it’s worth it.”

Congrats to Orbotix and Pogoplug for rising above the noise at CES this year!

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