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Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 12/17/10

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This is the first year that I have completed my holiday shopping completely online – I have not set foot into a store and actually purchased something on my list from said store.

What’s more, I cranked out my shopping in about 40 minutes – 25% of which was me screwing around looking at things that I found interesting (curse Amazon’s suggestion/CRM engine) – from my couch using my iPad.  I found good deals via Groupon, and a few helpful things from FatWallet, but mainly everything I got flowed through Amazon and its affiliates.

(Think about all the money malls spent this year in decorations, signage, promotions, carolers, creepy elves and Holiday Piano-Playing Guys.  Not a single dollar of that influenced shoppers like me.  Yet, on the web side of things, nearly no investment has been made except to roll out some holiday deals and maybe some more festive colors for banners and buttons.  The infrastructure was already there and imminently flexible.)

I wonder how long it will be before most shoppers do what I did this year: shop from home, never setting tire into traffic, and getting everything done in under an hour.  Imagine if retailers didn’t need to go nuts with redecorating their stores and instead just focused on a smart web experience during the holidays?  How much  money would they save?  How much lower could the overall cost-of-sales be?

Anyway.  Enough about me sitting around on my couch in Adidas trackpants while I look up crazy things like Fitbit on Amazon when I should be ordering GT5.  Let’s get on to the links.

Ninjas unbox a Nexus S smartphone.  Amazing work (albeit in Flash).  Make sure you grab the nunchuks at the bottom of the comments and destroy the page after the video ends.

The 10th Annual Year in Ideas is up on the NYTimes, and it’s amazing.  Especially interesting are the picks from the last nine years that have come to fruition over the course of a decade.

A man has been cured of HIV due to a stem cell transplant.

Filmography 2010.  A mashup of clips from 270 films that were out this year put into a wonderful, actually coherent, stream.  Says its creator: This year’s movies have legitimately transformed my idea of what is creatively possible. To commemorate, I’ve remixed 270 of them into one giant ass video.

Michael Mace (CEO of Cera Technology) on what’s wrong with RIM.  For those of you who think the company is doing just fine because of its recent financial performance, you need to read this article and understand what’s going on behind the curtain.

Finally, here’s the long-awaited (at least by me) trailer for The Tree of Life, due next year.  It’s described as a 1950s period piece, but it’s also about the loss of innocence, dueling life perspectives, and the value of the human soul and unselfish love.  Can’t wait.

The Tree of Life

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More Linkology posts.

Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 10/29/10

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One year ago, I had not exorcised my deep-seated fear of skeletons. Fast forward to the present, nothing has changed.  This is bothersome to me.  Am I the only one who has stuff like this?

Instead of unearthing other petty fears a 41 year old man shouldn’t even be entertaining, here are some links.  Am I avoiding issues?  Yes.  See me next year when I’m 42 and my therapist is $5K richer.

Joe Wilcox on Microsoft’s Q1 2011 numbers.  Good news, but there are a few things to look at.  Their Xbox division, always lauded by MS brass, has income that’s a drop in the bucket compared to Windows and Office.  What’s more, their online services posted a $560M loss.

Neven Mrgan’s week as seen through his Wikipedia browsing history. Looks as schizophrenic as mine.

Mark Doesn’t Understand Animals, a webcomic.

Amazon Windowshop for iPad.  It’s equal parts awesome and beautiful.  And how about its hybrid architecture: a rich client iOS app built atop a web service.  Nice.

Eight Successful People Dong Exactly What They Want.  Very good reading right here.  (Make sure you click through them all.)

Fainting goat kittens.  What a strange disorder.

Finally, because I think it’s easy to overlook how incredible we humans are at just about everything (no sarcasm), I present to you ‘People Are Awesome’.  Watch it and tell me you don’t agree.

People doing amazing things.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More Linkology posts.

Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 7/23/10

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It’s Friday, and at some point – after you’ve finished tweaking that BI dashboard you’ve been working on — you have to do some recreational reading to brush up on snazzy topics for that BBQ on Saturday night.  Allow me to help.

Word nerd alert: go write your best love letter to whatever punctuation mark you like.

It’s OEM Windows all over again: mobile carriers are loading up new Android smartphones with all sorts of bloatware.

Zero marginal product workers: economist Tyler Cowen looks for a sane reason why economic output is up while jobs are down.

There are two ATMs in Antarctica, both owned and operated by Wells Fargo.  Who knew?

The Science of Sport looks at power output (wattage) from Tour de France riders.  If you’ve ever watched your own wattage on a stationary bike or Concept 2 rower, then you know how utterly mind-blowing these numbers are.

Khoi Vinh, former design director for the NYTimes, explains why he chose to leave his job. I applaud his honesty and acknowledgement that he’d be showing his daughter a horrible example if he were to stay in a job just for the sake of stability at the expense of his dreams and ambition.

Janet Fitch (author of ‘White Oleander’ and ‘Paint It Black’) has 10 writing rules that can help just about anyone.

Amazon’s quarterly results.  Good numbers (revenue and net income up, but a miss on EPS), but pay attention to how they seem to be positioning the Kindle – as a software platform rather than one of hardware.

A German nursing home uses a fake bus stop to foil wayward Alzheimer’s patients.

Finally, an excellent essay by Paul Graham about the act of thinking, entitled The Top Idea in Your Mind.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management), Workday and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More Linkology posts.

Linkology: Friday Links for 3/26/10

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First some administrivia: we’ve had a pretty big spike in readership this month, so I’d like to say hello and thank you to all our new readers.  This place would just be an empty echo chamber without you, so we appreciate your readership and RSS subscriptions. If you’d like to follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well, we’d love to have you.

But now, on to some more abstract things, in no logical order, that hopefully mesh with your early-Spring Friday.  Here goes.

Auto Smiley is a computer vision smiley generator that uses your Mac’s webcam to watch you work.  When (or if) you smile, the software recognizes it and pastes an ASCII smile – : ) – into your front-most application.  Talk about enforcing online authenticity, eh?

Ever wonder sort of weird ‘filler’ item you need to buy on Amazon to qualify for free shipping on an order?  Enter Amazon Filler Item Finder. Simply enter how much you’re short for free shipping and this simple tool will show you items that match the amount.  Cute.  (Although the logical question is: wouldn’t shipping, in many cases, be cheaper?)

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Top 10 Cloud Computing Flashpoints of 2009

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Jeff Kaplan (@thinkstrategies on Twitter), writing for E-Commerce Times,jeff-kaplan has an excellent list of major SaaS/cloud evolution milestones we saw in 2009.  I have included the list in its entirety below.  Jeff’s full article is here.

Wheeling and Dealing

    1. Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) surpasses US$1 billion in revenue. Hitting this financial milestone clearly shows that SaaS has become mainstream and is a scalable business model.

    2. Xactly Acquires Centive. Despite SaaS industry growth, an inevitable market consolidation has begun with this merger of two key players in the on-demand sales Download Free eBook - The Edge of Success: 9 Building Blocks to Double Your Sales compensation market. Also, Salary.com buys the assets of Makana Solutions and NetSuite acquires head-to-head professional services automation (PSA) competitors OpenAir and QuickArrow.

    3. LucidEra fails. The demise of one of the pioneers of the SaaS business intelligence and analytics market shows the willingness of VCs to walk away from even the most prominent SaaS players.

    4. Intacct establishes alliance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and its CPA2Biz subsidiary. This partnership agreement illustrates the growing acceptance of SaaS, as the association broadcasts its endorsement of Intacct’s on-demand financial management Take the worry out of managing your enterprise applications.  Click to learn how. solution as the preferred alternative to traditional financial applications to its 45,000 member CPA firms and their 350,000 SMB clients.

    5. Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) offers to buy Sun. Despite Larry Ellison’s rants that SaaS will never be a profitable business model, Oracle uses its proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) as a catalyst to promote its growing cloud computing capabilities.

Experiments and Validation

    6. Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) fortify SLAs. Faced with a steady stream of service outages, both Amazon and Google have introduced new service level agreements with more "teeth" to appease the continuing concerns of IT and business decision-makers, and to fend off the challenges of a growing number of cloud computing competitors.

    7. Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) becomes a SaaS reseller. After being a showcase user of Salesforce.com solutions, Dell becomes a Salesforce.com channel partner, offering customers access to AppExchange SaaS vendors.

    8. Marc Benioff Speaks at Oracle OpenWorld. Benioff’s presentation promotes the business benefits of on-demand and on-premise software integration in hybrid operating environments, recasting SaaS as a natural progression of the market rather than a revolutionary overthrow of legacy applications. (This speech may also be the preamble to an Oracle takeover of Salesforce.com.)

    9. Salesforce.com unveils its social computing strategy, Chatter. Rather than simply tightening its integration with Facebook and Twitter, Salesforce.com decides to build its own enterprise-class alternative, which is met with mixed reviews at Dreamforce.

    10. Gartner (NYSE: IT) identifies cloud computing the top strategic technology for 2010. There is no better lagging indicator of key industry trends than Gartner prognostications, which give them further validation and greater visibility.

(Via Dave Cohune)

Jeff Bezos Apologizes for Sudden, Unannounced Removal of Books from Kindles

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Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO:

This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our "solution" to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

Admirable.  Here’s a leader who comes out in plain English and owns the mistake his company made.  No word-mincing, no BS, no corporate double-speak.  Powerful illustration of the chief executive’s character and what he expects out of his organization.

Other companies take note: this courage reaps rewards.  Just look at the 200+ follow-up comments.

Friday nonsense: How to be happy in business plus assorted (but very useful) links

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I’ll begin with Bud Caddell’s smart Venn diagram illustrating how to be happy in business:

how-to-be-happy-in-business

…to which Caddell appends the following:

Over the years, I’ve found myself facing the following scenarios. (and I’ve added my two cents on how to move forward)

We can’t determine how to make enough money from the things we want to do, and do really well. I’m constantly surprised at what can be monetized. And on the web, there’s a market for almost anything. But this problem requires you to rapidly iterate your positioning and the type of clients you serve. Often, we’ll get transfixed on a single direction early on (because we’re desperate to solidify our business) and we’ll miss our chance to radically experiment with the market.

We’ve found things we want to do, and can be paid for, but we’re not the best game in town. Mediocrity is not a sustainable strategy. Being able to recognize your own weakness is a profound strength, and acting to improve what you do is key to any kind of long term growth and stability. Find the best talent and steal them. Learn how your competitors run their businesses, and copy what works.

We’ve come across things people want us to do, that we do well (or at least better than the competition) that we really don’t want to do. This is perhaps the most fatal trap for any business I’ve worked in. These are the sirens calling you to shipwreck. You’ll hemorrhage your best people, you’ll stop loving what you do, and you’ll lose the passion that built your business in the first place. Start saying ‘No.’

Finally, an assortment of random thoughts and links, in no particular order because it’s Friday and who really orders lists on a Friday?

Really, truly finally, I leave you with two videos that squarely insult the intersection of human capability and Newtonian physics.  Happy Friday.

Inspired Bicycles — Danny MacAskill

Damien Walters, freerunning showreel, 2009