May 3, 2019

Snippet: How Amazon Created the Prime Membership Program ☍

Jason Del Rey for Vox/Recode:

But the idea came with huge risks, and it spurred real tension inside Amazon. Some managers resented that their projects appeared to be deprioritized for a secret program they knew little about. Others feared that Amazon’s top customers were going to abuse the program and ultimately bankrupt the company with soaring shipping costs.

And if it succeeded, Amazon Prime was going to mean big, uncomfortable changes on everything from how managers were evaluated by superiors to how the company fulfilled orders and moved goods from point A to point B.

The whole Prime development process is something that I hadn’t really thought about (I didn’t pay much attention to Amazon in the mid-2000s)—I considered it more that there was probably a point when Prime didn’t exist and then a point when it did. Nonetheless, in the context of that time and seeing how Amazon is today, it’s an impressive risk that paid off.

April 30, 2019

News: Apple Reports Q2 Results

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2019 second quarter ending March 30, 2019. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $58 billion, a decline of 5 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.46, down 10 percent. International sales accounted for 61 percent of the quarter’s revenue…

April 25, 2019

Snippet: Podcast Startup Luminary’s Launch Week Keeps Getting Worse ☍

Ashley Carman for The Verge:

Major creators are continuing to remove their shows from Luminary, the $100 million subscription podcast startup, over its business model, and even more are leaving after the company was exposed for using a proxy server that hides listener data from creators. […]

Now, smaller creators, including Ben Thompson, Owen Williams, and Federico Viticci, are pulling their podcasts, too. Their withdrawal comes after podcasters noticed that Luminary was serving shows to listeners through a complicated linking system, depriving them of important listener data. The platform also stripped their shows notes, which can be used to share sponsored links or other relevant information.

When a podcast player serves a show, listeners’ requests are usually sent directly to the server that hosts it. Luminary said today that it’s added an extra step to that process. Instead of directing listeners to the original podcast server, it’s routing the requests through its own servers first.

While there are certainly good-intentioned reasons for doing what Luminary is doing, it generally goes against the conventions and business model of the entire podcast industry. Besides feeling slimy, there’s plenty of legal ramifications that a newly-created company probably shouldn’t want to deal with.

April 24, 2019

Article: Macs in the Age of iOS

For the last few months, there have been a number of articles, posts on social media, and general grumbling about the state of iOS, macOS, what kind of company Apple is becoming, and what the future will bring. I’ve often found myself having knee-jerk reactions to things, comparing with my own experiences, and I’ve got a few different thoughts that I’d like to share…

Snippet: Nick Heer on the Apple Watch at Four ☍

Nick Heer:

The Apple Watch is, for me, a highly polarizing product within my own head. That is: the things I like about it I really like about it; the things that I do not are deeply frustrating. I think its small size and more limited nature concentrate and amplify its high points as much as its flaws.

I had an original Apple Watch, upgraded to a Series 4 last year and it was an impressive improvement. However, there are days where I wonder if it is a bit too much and I’m kind of “locked in” because I already own the Watch, a variety of bands, and enjoy some of the fitness/health feature.

While I’m not going to go without right now, it does bring up the interesting question of if I’m going to participate in another round of upgrades, however many years down the road that would be.