Lesson learned: native wins, HTML loses

February 25, 2011

We are now witnessing the coming of a new era. 

The internet without the web.

Read it again.

The holy grail of the internet developers, the only multi-platform technology than can reliably run everywhere, including them shiny iOS devices – HTML (and HTML5 in particular) is losing battle against a bunch of proprietary SDKs like Objective C, Java ME, and Silverlight. You can’t even call these a programming language!

The mobile development is all the rage now, and apparently for many years to come. The number of mobile devices is going through the roof and all of a sudden, a tablet is going to be enough of a computer for 95% of the users. And if you develop for mobile, you don’t want HTML5 for many reasons:

- if you need access to camera, notifications, or run in the background;

- if you need the app to look good and have decent performance;

- if you need to make money from the app, like charge for it;

- if you need the users to somehow find you app.

Right now, almost any HTML mobile app is a joke comparing to its native counterpart. And because the mobile apps are not scarce (they stopped counting the AppStore when it reached 400,000) the users will choose only the best apps with the best user experience. If you read it as “the users will choose only the native apps” you read it right.

Funny enough, Google, which is supposed to push HTML5 the most is not doing the job very well. Their Chrome OS, built around HTML5 and web apps is virtually non-existent. While Android is very alive and is flourishing with native apps at accelerating pace.

So, when people stop buying computers and stop going to the web sites from their mobile devices, the web will again become a hacker thing. Remember Gopher? Look it up here, if you haven’t ever seen it.


Lesson learned: iPad wins

February 14, 2011

It was a year ago when people started making funny jokes about the iPad. Then the device showed up in stores and turned out to be a good one. People loved our MobileNoter for iPad, and it helped our sales a lot. But more interesting is that Apple sold 14.8 million iPads in 2010.

That’s huge for a market created overnight, out of nowhere.

Even more interesting are analysts predictions for iPad sales in 2010. Remember, these are high paid analysts, whose insights are taken into account by top investment banks in the worlds (figures are in millions):

- David Bailey, Goldman Sachs           6.2

- Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley     6.0

- Shaw Wu, Kauffman Bros.              5.0

- Mike Abramsky, RBC Capital Markets   5.0

- Ben Reitzes, Barclays Capital           2.9

- Chris Whitmore, Deutsche Bank       2.0

- Scott Craig, Merrill Lynch               1.2

- Doug Reid, Thomas Weisel             1.1

- Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer             1.1

Analysts data are taken from here. It goes to show how disruptive this Apple’s shiny tablet turned out to be. Apparently, more surprises to come. Apple is about to unveil iPad 2 while there are still no worthy competitors out there for the old iPad.



Microsoft ditches Windows Phone 7, part 2

January 25, 2011

In addition to the Microsoft Office coming to iOS, there are other signs that Windows Phone 7 is not going to enjoy a long and thriving life. One of them is Intel’s plan to conquer the ARM processors market. Neither Intel nor Microsoft can longer ignore the flourishing market of ARM-based devices. So Intel is going to make ARM chips and Microsoft will make Windows 8 run on ARM-based systems. When they talk ARM devices, it’s not just tablets and netbooks. They explicitly meant smartphones too!

Let me state this again:

 – Intel is going to produce ARM chips that are going to be effective enough for smartphones;

 – Microsoft is going to make their next version of Windows run on Intel’s ARM chips;

 – This combination is going to power smartphones in the future.

While this is a good thing overall (more hardware and software for smartphones to choose from), it’s a death sentence for WP7. If an ARM version of Windows 8 runs on Intel chip based smartphones, nobody will need the current stack of hardware and software known as Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft ditches Windows Phone 7

January 20, 2011

Microsoft still hasn’t revealed sales numbers for their Windows Phone 7 and they probably have a reason not to. Meanwhile, Steve Ballmer said during CES that Microsoft “is going to continue to invest in WP7 aggressively in the future“.

 However, there are several indications that they already lost faith in Windows Phone 7 and are not willing to bid everything on it. One of them is the release of OneNote for iPhone.

Why did they release it at all? Microsoft will never move a finger for a market smaller than say $1b. Obviously, they don’t expect to make any significant money off OneNote for iPhone. But if they port their entire Office suite to iPhone and iPad, that’s a totally different matter. With the number of devices going into hundreds of millions that’s a $1b market.

Here is the problem: if Microsoft kept Office suite exclusively to Windows Phone 7 platform, it would have been a strong advantage of WP7, especially in the eyes of corporate users. Apparently, the Office division in Microsoft won over WP7 group and the exclusivity won’t hold. And WP7 is doomed without all the help it can get from Microsoft.

Microsoft released OneNote for iPhone. Guess how we feel?

January 19, 2011

We feel excited! For one, it’s a shame that Microsoft didn’t bring a gun to a gun fight:

Yes, that’s a true screenshot of Microsoft OneNote application page from AppStore.

For two, our site traffic and sales are peaking. This is kind of marketing of our MobileNoter that we could never hope for. Stay tuned for more news about this release.

How does Microsoft feel? I guess somewhere along these lines:

How Google and market forces are making us STUPID

January 7, 2011

From the moment people realized the value of being in top of Google search results, the battle between Google and scammers started. Google has been fighting well, adjusting its ranking algorithm all the time. Also, Google taught us that it is vital that every page of your site contains relevant, information rich content. Content is the most important part of your google ranking.

Well, what Google forced scammers into is the worst informational nightmare: scammers learned how to create real content on the cheap and on the scale. They build content farms, like Demand Media with tens of thousands “writers” that produce hundreds of thousands crap articles like this or this or this. If you are lazy to click the links, I will spell out the last one for you: How to Practice Doga With a Dog Who Won’t Sit Still. Doga is yoga for dogs in case you didn’t know.


The problem with these articles is that they are very legitimate content produced by humans, and most of the time it is very hard to tell that the information inside is inaccurate or utterly false. So Google likes them and provide them with top rankings, thus throwing all this junk into the people doing searches.

As a result, Google has become a jungle again: a tropical paradise for spammers and marketers. Almost any innocent search takes you to websites that want you to click on links that make them money, or to sponsored sites that make Google money.

Most of the writers know pretty well what’s going on. For example, one of them said: “I was completely aware that I was writing crap. I was like, ‘I hope to God people don’t read my advice on how to make gin at home because they’ll probably poison themselves.’ “Never trust anything you read on eHow.com,” she said, referring to one of Demand Media’s high-traffic websites.

Why did she do it? She just graduated from prestigious journalism program, and it was an easy way for her to make money. Even though some people claim to make several thousands dollars a month through this junk-writing, the highest price for articles is about $15 a piece. There are bigger offers out there, like this one for $205, but there are always strings attached. With AOL, they might not publish your article at all, for example if someone else wrote it before you, and you have no way of knowing that until they refuse the publication.

Why do the companies do it? It’s a lucrative and growing business. Demand Media for example is planning for IPO in 2011. Others, like Examiner.com or Suite 101 are growing like weed, claiming to have over 50,000 “writers” each.

At the end, it is the market forces that created these content farms that poison the web with thousands articles a day, written by people who have no clue about what they are writing. And unless Google stops rewarding these crap creators, there is no way of ending this madness.


Word Lens: hype machine at work

December 22, 2010

You have certainly seen the demo video of Word Lens by now. Every major (and minor) tech blog has written about it.

This is a cool demo of an insanely cool product, right?

Right, except it isn’t a recorded demo, it’s a faked marketing video. The same kind of video as here:

Except the idea is not new and even the product does not work as advertised. Here is what people who tried it are saying:

People from OCR industry confirmed that the Word Lens translation quality is dismal and any established OCR software like ABBYY FineReader or OmniPage would eat Word Lens for lunch. With all the hype out there about instant translation, expect established vendors to release similar applications pretty soon. Maybe even Google will do it, or they’ll buy Word Lens instead.

Meanwhile, we should appreciate Word Lens marketing creativity. The video is so cool that people started saying that all the time and money they have invested in learning Spanish is a waste. Can you believe THAT?


Evernote to OneNote converter released

December 8, 2010

We released Evernote to OneNote converter last week. Several thousands people have already downloaded it. Of course, this is not going to put a dent in Evernote’s 5 million user base. Our goal is to let more people know about MobileNoter and apparently we accomplished that. Our sales for November skyrocketed through the roof. We are going to release an Android version of MobileNoter before the end of this year.

With Android and BlackBerry releases we plan to get the number of MobileNoter users past 100,000 people by the end of 2011. This might seem not too big, however, this is roughly the number of paying users Evernote has now! And it took them 3 years and $45.5M of funding. We are going to match them in 2 years and with no external funding at all.

lifehacker.com – your access to 21st century thinking people? Think twice!

October 19, 2010

You know lifehacker.com of course – it’s been in different “top blogs” lists like forever (since 2005 when it was founded). If you google “What is lifehacker?”, you’ll get the following nice things said about it:

  • The definition of the term “life hack” has since expanded – today, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever way might be called a life hack.
  • Lifehacker is an online community dedicated to 21st century thinking people.
  • Lifehacker, the software and productivity guide, is a blog that covers tips and tricks for streamlining your life with computers.

OK, take a look at what kind of tips and tricks they got for 21st century thinking people who streamline their lives with computers:

and this:

The Two-Bowl Method? Come on, you can’t make this up! I hope somebody did get a patent for that.

Just released a YouTube video we are proud of

May 27, 2010

This is a new marketing video for our MobileNoter product. It’s incredible what you can do even with a small budget these days. Anyway, here you go:


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.