April 2011

Post image for Playbook: Maybe just right on target.

Playbook: Maybe just right on target.

by alec on April 15, 2011

There have been a rush of negative reviews for RIM’s Playbook over the last few days.  It’s been called half-baked, rushed to market, unfinished, and worse.  I haven’t seen it yet, but in my opinion, Playbook might be just right.


Yup.  You heard me.

No product team has ever produced a fully realized product on version 1.  It’s simply not possible.  Case in point: Apple’s version 1 iPhone was roundly panned as underpowered, with terrible battery life, poor reception, and no applications.  Recall that in the early days, Apple insisted that the only applications that you would ever need on iPhone could be written as web applications.  How wrong Apple was.  To its credit, Apple recognized the flaw, and pivoted quickly.

And how about the popular viewpoint that it takes Microsoft three tries to get a product right?  Well, it’s not just Microsoft, people – it’s everyone.

imageIt’s not until a product meets the market that a product team can begin to listen to customers and work on delivering the feature set that customers really want to buy.  It’s a so-called “virtuous cycle” of design, ship, refine.  The key is to ship the minimum necessary feature set, start listening to customers, and plan the next iteration of the product. That’s how great franchises are built.

We should all be delighted that the team at RIM have shipped their product.  Let’s cut them a little slack.  The hard work for them is just beginning, but at least they’re now in the game.


Voxbone and Jajah “Call Me” in the UK.

by alec on April 14, 2011

Voxbone and Jajah have teamed up on a dramatically simple, and very good service for O2 customers in the UK.  In a nutshell, for £10 per month O2 International Favourites gives you an unlimited overseas “Call Me” number that friends and family can use to reach you at local calling rates.  Calls made to that number are simply forwarded to the subscriber’s O2 handset. In addition, you also get three local dial numbers that will call forward to international landline or mobile numbers, with 3,000 minutes of service.

That ought to be more than enough for calls between friends and family back home.

More details here.

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MagicJack trips on tariff ruling

April 13, 2011

Remember MagicJack, the USB dongle for your PC that let you make unlimited calls for life?  All you had to do was plug it into a PC, then plug a phone into the dongle, and presto… never pay for phone calls again. Not bad for a measly $39.95. Unfortunately, maybe the promise of unlimited calls […]

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