Skip The Redundant Screens & Make My Car a Free Wifi Hotspot

While Apple CarPlay is interesting in that there will finally be an option to have true integration between an iPhone and “the built-in vehicle human machine interface“, I’ve always been leery of factory installed consumer technology hardware in automobiles.

Screens and 8 Track Tapes - partners in junk heaps

Whenever I see images like the one on top, I think about the image on the bottom #installedobsolescence

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Pingup Launches BookNow: New Mobile Booking App for Local Businesses

BookNow by Pingup mobile appointment scheduling app launched

So, here’s more news about what’s keeping me and my colleagues at Pingup happily busy. We’ve launched a new app called BookNow by Pingup. We are continuing to expand the number of local businesses you can schedule appointments with in real-time.

Teach Your Way to New Users

"In Gox We Trust" educating consumers on Bitcoin and other technologies

“In Gox We Trust” educating consumers on Bitcoin and other technologies

OK, I admit it, I wrote this primarily so I could write the caption above. Overall, I’m taking a neutral-to-skeptical view on Bitcoin. However, Tibanne Co.’s launch of Bitcoins.com as an attempt to popularize its adoption, is quite notable. Many publications have already covered this in detail. I’m more interested in what it represents for technology marketing.

Popularizing nascent “invisible” technologies

Example of explaining concepts on Bitcoins.com

Source: Bitcoins.com

Educating the broader population, about brand new technologies that catch on after they incubate among ‘early adopters’, is no small feat. For technologists and marketers, there’s a lot to learn from these recent efforts. What’s challenging about platform-type technologies like Bitcoin or Twitter, just to name a few, is their ethereal quality. You can’t put a Bitcoin in your wallet.

I’ve been marketing software for many years, and I’ve always envied companies that create physical products. Apple can simply place a perfectly photographed iDevice on their homepage, and that’s almost all that’s needed to produce a pavlovian response in gadget lovers. Selling software and services requires different tactics, and I think we’ve yet to find a predictable framework for doing so. Mobility and expanding options in “channels” only increases the complexity (and opportunity) of this task.

Teaching to the Trend Continue Reading →

Avoid Huge Pendulum Swings in Design Trends Like the F*(#@+g Plague

OK, bear with me for a minute on this one. So, if you’ve ever watched “Project Runway”, you will probably recall Heidi Klum’s matra of “(in Fashion) One Day You’re In & the Next Day You’re Out” – this coming from a woman who’s managed to remain a model for 20+ years on a show that’s in it’s 12th season. Ironies aside, she’s basically right.

In design, especially any kind of digital design, the trend of ‘what’s in’ is churning at an ever-increasing clip. In addition to this, there’s a growing emphasis on trends being driven by what I’m inclined to describe as a ‘swinging the pendulum’ principle. It has become vogue to swing wildly in the exact opposite direction of any trend on ascension, as if this, is in and of itself, is an aesthetic vision worthy of utmost respect. For example ‘design above the fold’ turns into ‘There is no fold.’

Extreme Swings in Website Design Trends

Extreme Swings in Website Design Trends: http://house.pl/kampania/ compared to http://motherfuckingwebsite.com

This article was basically touched off after spotting a new extreme swing, as represented by these two sites: “This is a motherfucking website.” and “Words“. These sites are actually very interesting and useful, because they are stand-outs abuzz on twitter – for the moment. They are created by intelligent folks as sign posts or warnings – don’t blindly worship at the altar of design fad X, and lose sight of principles Y and Z. They are extreme aesthetic reactions to the perceived negative side-effects of well intentioned, but increasingly popular design trends, spawning a wake of crap in their hapless application by folks who may have temporarily lost sight of what’s important. Continue Reading →