Archive for January 24, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Amazon, Apple, and the Beauty of Low Margins

Eugene Wei:

Attacking the market with a low margin strategy has other benefits, though, ones often overlooked or undervalued. For one thing, it strongly deters others from entering your market. Study disruption in most businesses and it almost always comes from the low end. Some competitor grabs a foothold on the bottom rung of the ladder and pulls itself upstream. But if you’re already sitting on that lowest rung as the incumbent, it’s tough for a disruptor to cling to anything to gain traction.

MacWrite and MacPaint, a Coral Reef

Dave Winer:

Software evolves like a coral reef. I've written about this many times. Something happens, a ship sinks, some fish live in the wreck. Their predators come there too, because there's food to eat. Then they die and their skeletons form a new structure for life to cling to. Eventually you have a thriving ecosystem. No one uses MacWrite or MacPaint today, but in a sense we all do, all the time.

I have fond memories of using them on the Mac 128K at school. The yellowish plastic of the case made it look like an antique compared with the Apple IIc and IIGS, which were much faster and had cursor keys.

The History of the Scroll Wheel

Eric Michelman (via Mark Christian):

Having Word scroll in response to the wheel roll while Excel zoomed was very controversial since people didn't want them to be incompatible (even though Ctrl-roll allowed each to do the other function too). Ironically, most of the pressure at that time was on Word to go along with zooming since that was still considered the primary use of the wheel.

About App Icons

Louie Mantia:

If we really think about it though, these shopping carts aren’t appropriate for any of these three apps. Zappos and Amazon only exist as online services that have never used a physical cart, and more-so their primary business is to sell you products! It’s a given what their intent is, so instead of focusing on the cart, why not focus on the brand? And regarding Apple, could you imagine an Apple Retail Store featuring a glowing white cart logo embedded in the stainless steel outside the storefront?