Should HP License WebOS to Third-Party Handset Manufacturers? - John Paczkowski - Mobile - AllThingsD
“Google has the functionality of a really complicated Swiss Army knife, but the home page is our way of approaching it closed. It's simple, it's elegant, you can slip it in your pocket, but it's got the great doodad when you need it. A lot of our competitors are like a Swiss Army knife open--and that can be intimidating and occasionally harmful.” “It gives you what you want, when you want it, rather than everything you could ever want, even when you don’t.”--Marissa Mayer, Google
People may love online deals. But a Rice University study finds that bargain-hunters rarely turn into regulars.
FORTUNE -- The growing backlash against daily-deals services got some fresh support this week from an academic study finding that fewer than half of the companies that use such services once are unlikely to do so a second time.
The study, by Utpal Dholakia, professor of management at Rice University, also found that nearly 80% of coupon users are first-timers, and only 20% of them become repeat customers of businesses offering deals through services like Groupon, LivingSocial and OpenTable (OPEN). Other companies like Google (GOOG) are actively eyeing the space.
The whole idea behind these services is that they act as loss leaders, getting customers through the door to take advantage of a bargain. Theoretically, many customers will either spend beyond the deal offer or return for more business. But Dholakia found that just 36% of customers buy goods or services beyond what was offered in the deal. Worse, less than 20% return to the business for full-price purchases.
The findings generally align with the data Groupon released earlier this month when it filed to go public. As competitors pile into the market – some of them huge, like Facebook and Amazon (AMZN) – the business will only get tougher, especially if perception grows among small companies that daily deals don't generate much new business.
"Over the next few years," Dholakia wrote, "it is likely that daily deal sites will have to settle for lower shares of revenues from businesses compared to their current levels, and it will be harder and more expensive for them to find viable candidates to fill their pipelines of daily deals."
Folks who sip a Coke, munch a Chips Ahoy or sneeze into a Kleenex this summer can't avoid noticing summer-theme package designs.
It's about sales. Marketers know shoppers can be swayed to buy a product not just because of what's inside the box or bottle, but what's on the outside. That's why package design has become a $1 trillion industry. Even a fraction of a percentage of increased sales can separate a successful selling season from a lousy one. So consumer product giants are adding a splash of summer to packaging.
"People look at brands and see a sea of sameness," says JoAnn Hines, a package design consultant. "But a unique shape, design or color that says summer can take them out of the me-too category."
Where summer designs are sprouting:
•Tissue boxes. Last year, Kimberly-Clark stuffed Kleenex into summer-designed boxes that looked almost like watermelon wedges. Nearly 100% of the sales of those fancy boxes — which sold for a premium — were incremental, says Christine Mau, brand manager. So they're doing it again this summer with boxes designed to look like waffle ice cream cones. She says the summer design can prod some consumers to put Kleenex in rooms they hadn't considered before, such as the kitchen.
Apple’s radical notion is that touchscreen personal computers should make severely different tradeoffs than traditional computers — and that you can’t design one system that does it all. Windows 8 is trying to have it all, and I don’t think that can be done. You can’t make something conceptually lightweight if it’s carrying 25 years of Windows baggage.
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The fear of the never-ending onslaught of gizmos and gadgets is nothing new. The radio, the telephone, Facebook—each of these inventions changed the world. Each of them scared the heck out of an older generation. And each of them was invented by people who were in their 20s.
Mark Zuckerberg didn't create Facebook for people with kids and mortgages. Technology is created by the young, for the young. The young revel in new gadgets with small, deft thumbs. They beg for them in acronym-laden speeches because OMG, you need this stuff to be cool IRL. Then they use them to take lewd pictures of themselves, even though this is obviously a very bad idea. They are the fearless ones.
Why are the young able to thrive, tossing away instruction manuals and digging in with reckless abandon?
Thankfully, Jean Piaget, one of the first developmental psychologists, figured out part of this puzzle years ago.
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Sometimes smartphones are a little too smart. If you’re like many people, you probably love your smartphone, yet somehow over the course of time, you may have also become its slave. You may not be exactly sure when it happened, but you probably remember a moment when realized you had become more attuned to the presence of that little blinking red light, alerting you to a new message, than you were to whatever it was you were doing. Now, you can be in a meeting, talking with friends, watching TV or trying to finish a project on the computer, and the call of that smartphone wins every time. You haveto check or the thoughts, urges and anxiety running through your head won’t ever leave. And, truth be told, you probably like the small rush you get whenever that little light or chime goes off – somehow it feels like a reward no matter what the results are.
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