Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert dominated the news with their monologues and they are must watch. Apple released it Quarterly results and they really look good to me :-) (Wall St disagrees, but when a company makes $50b in revenue in a quarter and $11b in profit - that's really good to me). Jokes aside, Apple is stagnant with no real new product in the pipeline and the next quarter, historically has been weak and with everyone waiting for 10th anniversary iPhone and the rumor that they won't be on sale till 2018, then it doesn't bode well for them.
Here are some interesting posts for today.
If there is one story you have to read today, read this. This is amazing and it is fun and makes you wonder on how we think and act and how our brain is wired with our core beliefs and how they shape our decision making. This is really good.
2. Organic Milk: A natural Scam? (15 mins reading - 4 mins Video)
This was a great investigative piece from WaPo and gave me insight on how the nutrients of an organic milk differs from a regular milk.
“About half of the organic milk sold in the U.S. is coming from very large factory farms that have no intention of living up to organic principles"
On grazing: "Though cows are natural grazers — like the wild aurochs they descended from — the grazing instincts of his cows had been dulled. They didn’t really know how to graze at first — they didn’t know how to bend down and get grass with their tongues, and Nor were they accustomed to walking much."”
3. Scott Galloway on Amazon and how they are dismantling retail. (Video - 25 mins)
Everyone knows that I love Amazon as a company and how Jeff Bezos is running it. If someone asks me to name 2 CEOs who really get it and are inspired to try new things, take huge challenges, and scale it, then there are only two names - Musk and Bezos. There are rumors that Amazon is considering buying BJ's - the third largest wholesale club in US and if the rumors are true and they indeed buy them, then they have solved the curb-side Pick-up problem.
Watch this 25 minutes video that Scott Galloway talks about Amazon and how they are dismantling the retail and the brands in the process.
One example stuck with me - If everyone has an Alexa, and you ordered a toilet roll, does it matter what brand is delivered to you and what if the only brand Amazon can ship is the one that has their name on it rather than one from P&G or Uniliver?
Tip: Go to 10:00 min mark and listen carefully on the examples given by Scott.
4. Surface Laptop - Microsoft's answer to Chromebooks - Who are they for?
Microsoft introduced Windows 10S OS today with a focus on Education. The prices of the laptops starts at $299 to $1000. I like the fact that they got in the game to give a serious competition to Google and it's dominant Chromebooks that are widely used in most K-12 schools across the US.
The hardware on some (Surface Laptop) of them is really nice. They are affordable and cheap. Personally, I don't know who Windows 10S laptops are for? The new laptops introduced are already selling for $349 in the market with Windows 10. The limitations are too hard to ignore and with Windows 10S, One can't install apps that are not in Windows store on the machine, and even if they are available on Windows Store, Microsoft is restricting the default options for the user. For e.g. .HTM files can only be opened on Microsoft Edge, even if a Firebox browser is installed from Windows Store. There is no option to change the default search engine and maps. Who uses bing maps? This is just plain stupid. It's like having a phone, but you can't change the default ringtone on the phone or worse having no access to the settings option. Heck, they are charging $50 to upgrade it to Windows 10Pro if you don't like the restrictions that are in place.
But the real reason where I have apprehension about the whole Windows 10S Kerfuffle is the fact that most education institute that go with Chromebooks is not because they are just cheap laptops (they are), but the fact that there is no piece of software that they have to manage like the one they have to manage for Windows machines. The updates are seamless and the best part is power wash. I have personally seen the dashboard of maintaining 3000+ Chromebooks in elementary school and it is amazing, seamless and simplistic.
Windows 10S is not a browser that Microsoft has on it's laptops, it's a full blows OS and the complexities of the OS and managing the OS. Microsoft has soften the pie with Office 365 for 1 year, but the fact that they want kids to use Office 365 is the real motive (apart from the defaults). Google gives it's suite of products (Docs, Sheets, blog, and slides) for free, but the sleeper product for Google to get more Chromebooks in education market has been the Google Classroom software for K-12 kids. Google Classroom in 3 years of existence has literally leaped frog software like blackboard, Canvas, Edmodo, and Schoology. It's not that the Classroom is extremely feature rich compared to the other products, but Classroom is the most easiest to use with full-blown collaboration built-in. Just last week Google Classroom was made open for general public.
My main laptop is HP Chromebook 13G1. It's a beautiful piece of hardware with serious specs and I got it at for a steal! With Citrix today, you can just login to your windows work machine from Chromebook and get work done easily. The only reason for me to go to my old Macbook Pro is for Photoshop and Lightroom.
With all the negatives, I actually think - Windows 10S is competing with Apple Macbook, rather than Chromebooks. Don't get me wrong, Windows 10S laptops will be used by College kids for sure, just not K-12 and that's my reasoning of using Apple as a competitor. Interestingly, Apple has lowered iPad prices to compete, but Apple does not have a multi-user account yet (Publicly). They have a shell of multiple accounts for iPad, but managing them is not even worth it.
This is the Surface Book - $1000 starting point
Tell me who is it really competing with?
Stephen Colbert - https://youtu.be/HaHwlSTqA7s?t=3m44s