Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Most Memorable Product Launches This Year

Launch PR has released an interesting case study into the most popular product launches this year. It’s fun to see what products won over the collective mind thanks to buzz via word of mouth and advertising. So props to the following marketing departments.

  1. Apple iPhone (37%)
  2. Microsoft Windows Vista (26%)
  3. Febreze Candles (14%)
  4. Domino Oreo Dessert Pizza (10%)
  5. alli Weight Loss Capsules (10%)
  6. Oreo Cakesters (10%)
  7. Diet Coke Plus (9%)
  8. Subway Fresh Fit Meals (8%)
  9. Motorola Razr2 (8%)
  10. Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips (7%)

Not much of a shock there, with the iPhone edging out the competition. I hadn’t heard of a couple of these, like Listerine Whitening Strips  or Orea Cakesters, but a lot of it goes to show that the most practical product is not necessarily the most recognizable — case in point: Motorola Razr2 and Windows Vista.

Advertisements

Cell Phone Service Brought to You By…

It seems like advertising can pay for anything nowadays. We have free newspapers, free TV programs, free web services: all in exchange for an inundation of consumerism thrown at us from every angle. A few years ago the idea of a project on the web being able to support bandwidth for hundreds of thousands of 200+ MB each, HD video downloads seemed absurd, but thanks to some well placed advertising from domain registrars and liquor brands, video podcast Diggnation is doing just that.

We’ve even see ad-supported service provider models spring up (but not survive) like NetZero for free Internet access. So what industry might be next to give consumers free service thanks to advertising exposure? Stowe Boyd of /Message suggests it could be the cell phone industry.

In his post Boyd points out that ad-supported cellular content is already on the way in the United States, starting with MySpace as the first major site to offer such a model. Blyk will offer free, ad-supported mobile phone connection in the U.K. Is the U.S. next?

Unlike the U.K., which is currently beyond 100 percent mobile penetration — despite how little sense that makes (are people buying multiple cell contracts for themselves?) — the U.S. stands at 84 percent, says MocoNews. A free cellular provider might be exactly what the cell industry needs to gobble up the last bit of the U.S. population resisting the mobile market.

Google WiFi, free wireless Internet access for residents of Mountain View, Calif., is a good example of what we might see in ad-supported service providers. While Google WiFi doesn’t currently show ads, the model (especially when run by a technology advertising firm) is certainly there. I think we’ll be seeing big things in the next couple years in terms of ad-supported services.

Motorola’s Answer to the iPhone

I put together this 30-second iPhone parody video for YouTube. It pokes fun at some common cell phone features that are missing from Apple Inc.’s “Jesus-phone.”

The video focuses on three key features of my sub-$100 Motorola Krzr K1m: custom ring tones, instant messaging and a removable battery.

Continue reading

And then comes a patent reform

The House Committee on the Judiciary passed the Patent Reform Act of 2007 today, the first major reform to the system in decades. This is a pleasant followup story to my post yesterday criticizing the patent system.

The reform adds additional protection for inventors and marks a shift from the “first to invent” system to a “first to file,” according to a report by Ars Technica.

The act has been criticized by companies that rely on royalties from patents but receives support across the board from the technology world (and from me).

Are technology patents worthless?

Unless you have a formula that cures the common cold or you’re Thomas Edison sent here from the past, you might not have much need for the U.S. patent system.

A patent used to be “inventor’s insurance” and kept innovation flowing. In the new technology frontier, dozens of companies are coming up with overlapping concepts and similar ways of implementing them, only to find out years later that some unknown company with no proof of concept carries the rights to the idea.

Continue reading

Top 10 Asshats of the Tech Industry

Among all the heroes of the technology industry — the Bill Gates, the Steve Jobs, the Kevin Roses, the Deidre LaCartes — there are just as many, if not more, asshats. Whether it’s arrogance, stupidity or a sweat gland deficiency, let’s explore the 10 biggest asshats of tech.

Continue reading