Apple Bank Card

Game Changers.  Apple has a history of changing entire industries: The Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, The App Store, iPad, iBooks, Apple TV, etc.  The change to these industries are digital and disruptive.  What’s next?  It needs to be something BIG, very B-I-G.  Apple’s market capitalization is approximately $500 Billion with revenues of over $100 Billion … Continue reading “Apple Bank Card”

Game Changers.  Apple has a history of changing entire industries: The Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, The App Store, iPad, iBooks, Apple TV, etc.  The change to these industries are digital and disruptive.  What’s next?  It needs to be something BIG, very B-I-G.  Apple’s market capitalization is approximately $500 Billion with revenues of over $100 Billion annually and growing.  Apple is currently the largest company in the world.  It needs something to be big enough to impact its bottom-line — to move the needle.  It needs to be something that consumers use frequently.  What’s next?  I suggest the Apple Bank Card – a virtual credit card. Continue reading “Apple Bank Card”

Steve Jobs: Digital Disruption

At first we might have dared it was luck.  Then he did it again and again and again.  Each product more revolutionary and bold than the last.  During the dark ages, when he was in exile from Apple, while he created PIXAR and NeXT and creating the intersection between fine arts and technology, the rest … Continue reading “Steve Jobs: Digital Disruption”

steve jobs keynote

At first we might have dared it was luck.  Then he did it again and again and again.  Each product more revolutionary and bold than the last.  During the dark ages, when he was in exile from Apple, while he created PIXAR and NeXT and creating the intersection between fine arts and technology, the rest of the tech industry was advancing much slower than it could have.  When he returned, he changed Apple by sheer will into the world’s largest start-up  — which has innovated and grown at such a frenetic pace that the rest of Silicon Valley has not been able to keep up.  Apple has one of the deepest executive talent pools, the most powerful supply chain, and while the largest company in the world by market capitalization is still the fastest growing company in the S&P500…. Continue reading “Steve Jobs: Digital Disruption”

Steve Jobs & Larry Ellison: The Line in the Sand

Legend has it that when Steve Jobs was about to make his return to Apple, that he met up with his good friend, Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle.  At that time, Microsoft was the dominant tech powerhouse and Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy.  Both Oracle and Apple viewed Microsoft as a formidable adversary. … Continue reading “Steve Jobs & Larry Ellison: The Line in the Sand”

steve jobs keynote larry ellison keynote

Legend has it that when Steve Jobs was about to make his return to Apple, that he met up with his good friend, Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle.  At that time, Microsoft was the dominant tech powerhouse and Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy.  Both Oracle and Apple viewed Microsoft as a formidable adversary. To keep Microsoft and other tech powerhouses at bay, Steve allegedly drew an imaginary line and reportedly said, “Larry, you take the enterprise-side, we’ll take the consumer-side.”

This alliance has served them well for the last decade and counting.  In the meantime, Apple made a alliance with Google. Apple had the best front-end systems, and Google had the best back-end systems. But that alliance has been weakened, if not broken.  They are “frenemies.”  But these alliances, among many others — Intel, NVIDIA, ARM, Facebook, open-source, etc. – has been a multi-front attack on Microsoft and now Google, Amazon, Facebook, and even Intel. Now that the Apple-Google alliance is over, could there be a new Apple-Oracle alliance?

Oracle has made many major acquisitions in the meantime, and one of its most interesting plays on the enterprise side has been able to acquire technologies based around Java: BEA (WebLogic), Tangosol, and Sun Microsystems (creators of Java) itself.  Additionally, with the Sun Microsystems acquisition it inherited MySQL, Solaris, and ZFS.

However, there has been clamor recently that the next area that Apple can move into is the enterprise world.  “What is taking so long?” analysts conjecture.  The Line in the Sand. Apple has dabbled in enterprise, such as their xServe, xSAN, OS X Server, iPhone with encryption and Microsoft Exchange support, etc. However, Apple has not gone all-in on the enterprise and seem content to stay, for the most part, on the other side of the line.

There are some pieces that could benefit both Apple and Oracle if they begin to cross-license their technologies without necessarily causing both companies to compete with each other.

For example: Oracle’s superior ZFS could becoming the new file system for Apple Mac OS X and iOS.  In fact, it was announced by Sun CEO a few years ago to be the next file system for Apple, before Oracle acquired Sun. Oracle could license this file system to Apple.

Apple’s Bonjour, AirPlay, iChat, FaceTime, and iTunes streaming could become an interesting play for Oracle to compete with Cisco and others in the networking industry. While Bonjour and AirPlay are Local Area Network (LAN) plays, iChat, FaceTime, and iTunes streaming could utilize more backend systems. And we know that Apple is building one of the biggest data centers in North Carolina. But will they need Oracle at all to move into the cloud?

Steve Jobs suit

Recently, Larry Ellison made the comment that Oracle is looking into buying a chip company so they can be more like Apple — by owning the entire hardware/software stack. While most analysts suspect that the most logical companies to acquire would be AMD or NVIDIA, what if Oracle made a play to move to get into the mobile industry by buying ARM? But, why would Oracle buy ARM when Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA chips are used for big iron? We can argue that while ARM is still a mobile chip company it is beginning to move into data centers with ARM powered servers, like those developed by Smoothstone. As ARM evolves into not just an extremely energy-efficient, but powerful computing chip company, it will become more attractive to back-end companies, like Oracle, to be used for their back-end database and middle-ware products.

If Oracle were to purchase ARM, that could change and possibly forge a different atmosphere between Apple and Oracle. The risk is that Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs may end up competing. Today, ARM sells their chip licenses. Would Oracle give Apple a discount vs. other ARM licensees? Or would Apple just be another regular licensee, as they are today? Would pricing lead to discord between Oracle and Apple? Interesting to see if these two massive companies can continue to stay at arms length and stay out of each others’ sandboxes — while mobile remains one of the hottest categories in technology today. (Side note: Apple was a major contributor to ARM back in the 1990’s and at one point owned ~50% of ARM).

Another thought, is that Oracle could buy EMC and, its subsiduary, VMWare and move into the cloud virtualization market. Today we have the big players such as Google, Amazon, and RackSpace in the cloud market, but there is still no clear-cut winner of virtualization of private clouds. This would be an interesting play for Oracle, but again, could this impact Apple’s move into the cloud and see Oracle and Apple as potential competitors?

The story is still being written for these two companies and their respective founders, but the most interesting thing to me, is how both sides were able to draw an imaginary line, follow-through with their plans, and be so successful without competing. Two friends from opposite worlds, one line.

steve jobs tux larry ellison black turtleneck

Apple’s EcoSystem

Tomorrow, the world is expecting Apple, Inc. to revolutionize the world, once again.  It’s revolutionized the world several times: personal computing, the iPod, the iPhone, and hopefully, tomorrow — the iTablet (or something along those lines).  However, we must realize that all these hardware devices have fairly dependent ties to iTunes for content and that … Continue reading “Apple’s EcoSystem”

steve_jobs_top_secret.jpg

Tomorrow, the world is expecting Apple, Inc. to revolutionize the world, once again.  It’s revolutionized the world several times: personal computing, the iPod, the iPhone, and hopefully, tomorrow — the iTablet (or something along those lines).  However, we must realize that all these hardware devices have fairly dependent ties to iTunes for content and that is a revolutionary product, itself — though it needs some tuning.  That’s why the game-changer is not just some kind of Tablet.  I’m expecting an update to iTunes.  Maybe, iTunes.com or something in the cloud.  We have heard many times that Apple is building a massive data center.  We already have MobileMe in the cloud, what’s the next logical step? Continue reading “Apple’s EcoSystem”

The Apple Netbook / Mac Tablet $699

Talk in the rumor mill keeps flying to the topic of Apple needing to release a Netbook to survive this economic downturn.  There have also been ongoing rumors that Apple will release a Mac Tablet – essentially a large version of the iPod Touch or iPhone.  These rumors could become reality if Apple decides to … Continue reading “The Apple Netbook / Mac Tablet $699”

Macbook Air

Talk in the rumor mill keeps flying to the topic of Apple needing to release a Netbook to survive this economic downturn.  There have also been ongoing rumors that Apple will release a Mac Tablet – essentially a large version of the iPod Touch or iPhone.  These rumors could become reality if Apple decides to combine the two.

Apple has realized that almost 40% of its income now comes from the iPhone!  If it can create a Mac Tablet that is always Internet-connected, like the iPhone 3G, it would be a “netbook.”  In addition, Apple would be able to charge an extremely, low, upfront-price by having telecommunication carriers subsidize its Mac Tablet.  In these times, people are looking to cut costs, so a low-cost Mac with a built-in Internet connection would be an attractive item.  I suspect, Steve Jobs has this ace up his sleeve.  Success from the iPhone should make its way into the Mac line.  What do you think?

10 Ways To Go Viral

We’ve all seen it before, a small company comes out of nowhere and takes the world by storm. Within days everyone seems to know about them. How is this possible? Many times this happens by accident, but other times, it has been carefully planned out to go viral — spreading the news like wildfire.

Dandelion

We’ve all seen it before, a small company comes out of nowhere and takes the world by storm. Within days everyone seems to know about them. How is this possible? Many times this happens by accident, but other times, it has been carefully planned out to go viral — spreading the news like wildfire. Continue reading “10 Ways To Go Viral”

iTunes Movie Rentals and Old Media

Word on the street is that Apple is about to unleash iTunes Movie Rentals. If this turns out to be true, what will be the socio-economic impact of Apple’s latest move? Will iTunes dominate the movie industry as much as it has the music industry? Obviously, Hollywood is wary of this recent development. The movie … Continue reading “iTunes Movie Rentals and Old Media”

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Word on the street is that Apple is about to unleash iTunes Movie Rentals. If this turns out to be true, what will be the socio-economic impact of Apple’s latest move? Will iTunes dominate the movie industry as much as it has the music industry?

Obviously, Hollywood is wary of this recent development. The movie industry was wary when Apple made a deal with executives, in late 2005, for television shows to be downloaded for $1.99/each in the iTunes Store. Again, they worried when movies could be purchased for $9.99/each via the iTunes Store. Their fear is that purchasing movies will somehow cannibalize movie theater and DVD sales. Continue reading “iTunes Movie Rentals and Old Media”

lonelygirl15 Marketing Strategy

In June 2006, Bree, a 16-year old teenager also known as lonelygirl15, took the world by storm by broadcasting herself on YouTube. Bree, talked about her life via videoblogs (vlogs) and quickly became an online celebrity. So many people viewed her show that it soon eclipsed the popularity of many television shows — as well … Continue reading “lonelygirl15 Marketing Strategy”


In June 2006, Bree, a 16-year old teenager also known as lonelygirl15, took the world by storm by broadcasting herself on YouTube. Bree, talked about her life via videoblogs (vlogs) and quickly became an online celebrity. So many people viewed her show that it soon eclipsed the popularity of many television shows — as well as gaining a large following. Continue reading “lonelygirl15 Marketing Strategy”

Steve Jobs’ Master Plan

“Digital convergence” is a word that has been thrown around since the early-90’s. It seems every company has tried its hand at it, but none have really succeeded. Now, however, digital convergence is starting to become a reality in the mobile space and the living room. There is no company better positioned to dominate this … Continue reading “Steve Jobs’ Master Plan”

Steve Jobs

“Digital convergence” is a word that has been thrown around since the early-90’s. It seems every company has tried its hand at it, but none have really succeeded. Now, however, digital convergence is starting to become a reality in the mobile space and the living room. There is no company better positioned to dominate this arena than Apple.

As iPods and iPhones sell like crazy and the uptake on Macintosh computers grows strong, many believe that it is plain luck that Apple survived near bankruptcy and experienced a rebirth when Steve Jobs returned to the company [in 1997] he co-founded in 1977. However, this has not happened by chance, it is part of Steve Jobs’ master plan.

Continue reading “Steve Jobs’ Master Plan”