Monday, March 9, 2015

Apple Watch: This Just Got a Little Ridiculous, But I Still Can't Help Myself

Did you watch Apple's announcement of all the juicy details surrounding the Apple Watch today? For the first time, I noticed that they actually provided their own real-time blog of the event. As my boss put it, every single one of these announcements is like a master class in PR.

Let's get one thing straight. If you can afford $17 grand for ^this watch here and are still using an iPhone 5, you need to re-examine your life priorities in so many different ways.
Having watched the presentation, I can safely say that my mind is blown. No, not because of the amazing amount of time dedicated to explaining the new "butterfly" mechanism on the next-gen Macbook keyboards. I meant mind blown in terms of what those fancy gold Apple Watch Editions cost. What. The. What.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Eve of the Apple Watch Announcement

Ok, so I feel like a total hypocrite - after the last post, when I was going all gaga about how I'd look at the "other side of tech" instead of what's shown to me...

I saw this while walking back from work. It's the setup for the "Spring Forward" event at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center, where Apple is expected to finally announce the availability of Apple Watch. Now, I've never owned an iPhone, and I have next to no intention of buying one now, but there's something about these events that Apple just does better than anyone else. They just revel in all the media attention.

A couple more shots...

Hello and welcome: Why I'm starting a tech channel

There are a million tech blogs out there. Why bother with one of my own? As someone who obsessively read every article on Engadget, without fail, from 2006 - 2011 — trust me, I know.

Earlier, I said that I wanted to write about stuff. For this channel, I obviously want to write about things related to technology. But what about it?

I'm actually more of a dog person.
Nowadays, “technology” is pretty much a part of everyone’s life: smartphones have saturated the market, Granny's got a social media profile, and apparently Apple is going start producing cars. That said, it's not so much that this is the part of technology that we see; it's the part that we're shown. And believe it or not, there's quite a big difference.

I want to write about technology from both the outside and the inside. "Good, Bad, and Ugly" style.

When I returned to California two years ago to join the startup scene, I only had a vague idea of what I was jumping into. What are startups actually like? How do they work? In what ways are startups and plain-ol' small businesses different? These were the questions that swirled in my head, as if I were launching a probe into an alien planet.

For all that has been made of how "tech startups" are revolutionizing every part of our lives in every way imaginable, the key to cracking the code is surprisingly low-tech and old-school: It's who you know. Luckily, I had a great network of contacts, attended a ton of events, and met some great folks up and down Silicon Valley.

The biggest surprise for me was that they are, for the most part, pretty normal people. Some can be very smart, immensely talented, but those are not prerequisites to have a dream or wish to change some part of our world. Things are not always peachy, and there are real problems that stand in the way of success. Of course, some of you may already know that startups failure rates are notoriously high. But the effect that such survivor bias has on our external point of view is less obvious.

There is, at the very least, a startup state of mind. The path from idea to reality has been so dramatically shortened, such that you could be forgiven for believing willpower alone could make up the entire gap between a washout and a billion-dollar idea.

Wouldn't it be fun to look beyond what we're shown, but see the other side of the picture, too? In all the big ways, when a cool new product comes out? Or all the little ways, when something that is life-changing is not more than a founder's idea? To me, the failures are at least as interesting as the successes. I want to write about them all.

Let's get started.