The secret lives of customers

Last night I heard a story.

The zoologists at the Melbourne Zoo thought they knew their animals pretty well, but wanted to check out what they were doing at night, so they started videoing what went on. What they discovered surprised and amazed them.

There was a kind of clash of civilizations between the native fauna – brushtail possums  – and the imported Zoo tenants.

When a possum trotted across the elephants quarters, the elephants would stamp on the unsuspecting possum crushing them into a mess of blood and gore. Unsurprisingly Possums don’t know much about elephants and elephants must get grumpy when a possum tries to teal their food.


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What Jack Dorsey’s Square can teach us about good product management

Square, the financial services business founded by Jack Dorsey one of the Twitter co-founders has just released a pretty cool new appointment and scheduling product. Founded 5 years ago with a elegant mobile credit card reader and app for micro and small businesses, Square now offers an impressive range of products that streamline back-office operations for small to medium businesses in a very slick way. What they are doing is fantastic product management and a quick review of their approach offers some some great learnings for product managers. (more…)

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I checked out Google Domains and GoDaddy should be worried

The domain name business isn’t easy these days. Margins are squeezed by high competition and high acquisition costs, profitability depends on achieving a high attachment to additional services like email or hosting and cross-selling services like privacy, security, or “premium registrations”, and the regulators are requesting more diligence with data verification. Add to that the basic fact that domain names aren’t as sexy a proposition as they once were, due mainly to Google improving their algorithms to remove spammy parked pages from their index, and the explosion of social media and mobile apps. Businesses now have a multitude of choices to go online that don’t require a domain name. (more…)

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Is Yo the next twitter?

When the app Yo was released earlier this year I was pretty sceptical. It was too simple to not be a giant troll by some bros poking fun at the mobile/app/social space. I mean it was released on April fools day and only did one thing which was to send “Yo” to a friend via a message which without context was pretty useless. My first thought was to create a competing app called WTF Bro! (more…)

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Road Building is hard work

The roads of the 21st century are different for me and Tony Abbott

During the 2013 election campaign Tony Abbott repeatedly promised to build the roads of the 21st century. Sadly, this wasn’t a nifty metaphoric flourish reflecting a program of investment in Internet infrastructure and education to drive economic growth. When Abbott said roads, he meant roads; coal miners need roads, ports, and cheap labour, not the Internet. You could be forgiven for thinking Abbott was actually saying he would rebuild the roads of 20th century, rather than the digital roads of the 21st century. (more…)

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Google, The Right to be Forgotten, and (monetised) Free Speech

There have been a lot of words written about the European Court of Justice ruling in May this year which forced Google to remove links to content when requested. Here are some I’ve written to expose how the issue is being handled in a simplistic way by most of the media.

The European Courts ruled that according to personal data protections search engines (Google & Bing) are “obliged to remove from the list of results displayed following a search made on the basis of a person’s name links to web pages” if they are “inadequate, irrelevant or excessive”. (more…)

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Moving on

After 12 years in many different roles, I have moved on from Melbourne IT. When I started as a contractor in the development team, the company had had two massive rounds of redundancies and was busy transitioning from being the monopoly registrar of .com.au domain names in Australia, to registrar of domains in a competitive market. Now the business is in another transition, having purchased Australian competitor NetRegistry, and seeing in the introduction of 800 new domain spaces like .company, .technology, and .wtf (more…)

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Review: Kit Universal Bluetooth Keyboard Case

When I walked into the office with my sleek iPad Air tucked away in my new Kit Universal Bluetooth Keyboard Case, a coworker looked at it and said, “What the fuck is that?” After explaining to him that with a good keyboard I could ditch the laptop altogether and lighten the load of carrying my 4.5kg corporate issue Dell, he seemed to accept it, just.

Steve Jobs famously “had this idea of being able to get rid of the keyboard, type on a multi-touch glass display” before the iPad or iPhone and I’m positive he would be more horrified with the idea of a physical keyboard attached to an iPad than the grumpy coworker. (more…)

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The Quantified Self demonstrates just how tech culture is getting it wrong

Two things happened recently that made me pay attention to wearable tech and the idea of the quantified self, and how both highlights how tech culture is getting it wrong.

The first was over lunch when I saw a senior manager plug her Fitbit into her iPhone and sync up her data. I cheekily asked her what it did for for, and she told me it told her how many steps she had taken and show she had slept. I responded that I always knew how well I had slept by the way I felt when I woke up. She didn’t disagree, but the Fitbit was a habit, and she was committed. (more…)

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How Dr Zeus’ Horton Hears a Who Can Inspire Hope that Australia’s Evil Asylum Seeker Laws Can Be Beaten

I was reading Dr Zeus’ Horton Hears a Who to the kids the other night, and I got to the bit where the well-meaning compassionate Horton meets a nasty Kangaroo who laughs at Horton’s desire to look after a “speck of dust that is able to yell”. The speck is of course a tiny planet inhabited by a race of tiny humanoid creatures called Whos, and Horton is their hero.

The Kangaroo rather cruelly tells Horton, “I think you’re a fool” and quite frankly behaves like an asshole stealing the  speck of dust and ignoring Horton’s meek request
Please don’t harm all my little folks, who
Have as much right to live as us bigger folks do!


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