My daily readings 08/09/2010

    • A web app is liberated from the usual pattern of logo on top, menu
      on the side, detail links in the footer, and so on.
      Start from a blank slate:
      think about your users’ needs and tasks,
      and design from there.
      You should still leverage existing web conventions,
      but only when they truly make sense in the context of the app.

      With all the extra space,
      you might even do the opposite of a small-screen mobile app:
      instead of shrinking the normal browser view into its most important details,
      consider expanding it into a power view.
      For example, use side-by-side comparisons, graphic visualizations,
      and more detail than you do in your standard website

    • A web app offers a rich, engaging experience for the user
      that is


      indistinguishable from native desktop applications.

      Apps typically should meet or exceed users’ expectations of
      how functional a web app can be.
      Web apps should use and exploit features, visual clues,
      and interaction paradigms previously found
      only in desktop applications.

      For example, using modern techniques and browsers,
      web apps can offer desktop notifications, geolocation,
      beautiful typography, drag-and-drop, high quality graphics, and more.
      They can use cross-origin resource sharing
      to consume content from remote sites,
      and they can use WebSocket to show live content
      and support real-time communication across the web.
      Ideally, the user forgets about the browser
      and focuses solely on the application.

    • A web app is extremely responsive,
      both in user perception and actual behavior.
  • tags: iPad apps

  • tags: Startup Women

  • tags: Javascript

  • tags: Startup funding

  • tags: Education

  • tags: Scrapbook Collaboration

  • tags: iPad APP

  • tags: HTML5 javascript

    • Runs awful for me in Firefox, but looks and runs great in Chrome. Really impressive – I think this is the first ‘pure HTML’ demo I’ve seen that really sells me on what can be done with Canvas, <audio>, etc – it doesn’t feel like a compromised or ‘it’s cool because it’s in the browser’ experience, it’s a legitimate demo that stands on its own without even considering how it was made.
    • I especially liked the part where smoke came out of the fan vent on my laptop.

      But seriously, if this is where things are headed, why not just run compiled binaries in the browser? There, I said it.

    • I think this is a great trend for usability and security. For software companies that can actually do it well.

      But at the bottom of the article it mentions that Adobe are experimenting with doing it. Argh!

      Flash yes, I can see it. But Reader? I don’t want it to update on the rare occasions I open a pdf.

      Actually the only reason I oppose Adobe doing it is because I think of them as having some pretty awful programming teams. And whoever writes their updaters is one of those bloody awful teams.

      Certain parts of their products are very buggy compared to Google, MS or games programmers. They just do not have quality across their brand.

      My constant nightmares with adobe updaters across a wide variety of machines has made me believe this.

      When it comes to updaters Adobe have always chosen the worst paths, annoying prompts when you hadn’t used readers for weeks, horrible confusing UIs and obviously not thoroughly tested.

      They’re just not up to the task.

      I guess what I’m saying is this trend should be welcomed, but with a pinch of salt, some companies like Google and MS I trust to do it. Others I would not (Adobe if you hadn’t guessed ;).

    • Great point. I love the auto-update feature on Chrome but I share the same fear as you if Adobe was to start doing it.

      Only software companies with mature software, good release management and clear product vision should go down this road.

      Google earned their rep here. There are white papers about the binary diff algorithms they developed to push down Chrome updates as efficiently as possible.

      I can see Adobe trying to “silently” push Reader 10 down the pipe, with the installer weighing in at 600 megs and throwing up tons of horrible dialogs and thrashing your CPU as it’s “automatically” installed and resulting in a broken Reader.

      Hyperbole of course, but Adobe has long been banished from my computers because of their awful updater agent and performance regression in new versions of software.

  • tags: HTML5 BBC

    • “This tiny company (19 employees)”

      “Flipboard has raised $10.5 million”

      “Flipboard hasn’t worked out a business model yet”

      From what I saw of Flipboard, it looks very nice. But these numbers seem pretty high for an iPad app.

      Inherently, an app/service like this doesn’t have any network effect, any “virality” besides literal word-of-mouth (you using it doesn’t make me know you’re using it, unlike services like Twitpic let’s say: when you post a picture, it makes me aware of Twitpic) and can be replaced instantly without me losing anything.

      Again, the app looks great and it got a fantastic start. But I’m curious how it will pan out in the coming months.

    • While I like Flipboard, I have to admit: I still use Instapaper much more. And, yes, I think they are comparable.


  • tags: iPhone Android

    • Nexus One. I’m surprised you’re even asking. Fully Linux-friendly, hackable, powerful and doesn’t have any crapware from carriers or hardware manufacturers. Buy it at full price and sign up for a $59/mo month-to-month plan from T-Mobile. Enjoy built-in tethering and guaranteed upgrade to the latest version of Android.

      I own N1 and iPhone 4 and I believe that N1 is a superior phone. It doesn’t need to be plugged to a computer for everything and as a phone it works much better on TMobile than iPhone does on AT&T: the reception is worse on the iPhone, it wouldn’t accept MMS or SMS with non-English characters in 2010. WTF. The software (Android) is totally in a different league too: integration with Google calendars, maps and contacts is truly amazing, and you quickly get used to your phone automatically recognizing phone numbers and addresses in arbitrary text.

      Another huge thing is Google Voice: you can dial any number straight from your address book without even worrying which country you’re calling to, that’s mind blowing to me (and I use it daily).

      I bought both because we’re doing software development for both, but I’m not proficient enough to comment on their APIs and programming environments. I do prefer Objective-C to Java though

    • I’ve been an iPhone fanboy (I admit it) since the first generation. I even waited in line for 13 hours for the iPhone 3g. I’ve spent over $1000 on iPhones and accessories now (I’ve probably made most of it back considering I sell the old one when I get a new one). I was completely dedicated to Apple and its magical phone. But one day I got a little curious. A friend of mine got the Droid and was in love with it. I figured that I should at least give the Android platform a shot so as soon as Google announced the Nexus One for AT&T I had it ordered and in my hands the next day. I must admit at first I was incredibly angry with the UI, it felt very clunky. Also the touchscreen keyboard was awful and wasn’t even close to the accuracy of the iPhone’s keyboard. After the first two days with the phone I was a little depressed that I had really just shelled out $500 for this junk.

      I stuck with it though, and the Nexus One eventually grew on me. What I started to realize was that it was a phone that wasn’t built to be pretty or cute but rather useful. For example, all alerts that came in I would know about via the trackball lighting up a particular color (I had red=text or missed call, green=email, blue=twitter @reply). The status bar also made it very easy to see what was happening on my phone without ever having to actually unlock it. Finally I didn’t constantly have to unlock my phone, go to app X and see what just came in. Because the marketplace is so lenient, I found everything I could ever want in regards to apps. Wifi Hotspot creator, LED Flashlight app, NES emulator, eBook readers, etc. It’s all there and the majority are free. I never paid for one app on my Nexus One and it did so much more than any iPhone I ever owned. Sure, the apps are never quite as polished but you get over it and start appreciating the functionality. On top of that, being allowed to put whatever I want on my phone by simply mounting the SD card is amazing. Not having to deal with iTunes BS was so liberating.

    • You should take a look at the Samsung Captivate which is a Galaxy S Android phone for AT&T, if you want to move to Verizon the Droid 2 should be released later this month (I’m planning on getting the European version of that, Milestone 2 I assume they’ll call it)
    • Between Google Sync (over the air email/contact/calendar sync ActiveSync), Pandora and Rdio (streaming music services), and the App Store updates, I almost never sync to iTunes.

      I’m not sure how it would be if I couldn’t as every so often i do sync some music or movies. But cloud services are making iTunes and the USB cable more and more irrelevant.

      It’s a shame Apple is so bad at cloud services itself.

  • tags: Market research

    • – Are there any public market comparables? If yes, their P&L and financial statements may be useful. Even if there is not a pureplay public competitor, if they have a business unit that competes with you in some sense, you might be able to download their 10k (annual report) or 10q (quarterly) and get some insights in the notes that management must provide or business unit level financials they might provide. This is available for free on or even Yahoo finance I imagine.

      – If there are public market comparables, look for equity research about them. In particular, look for reports entitled “Initiating Coverage”. These reports when a bank or fin institution starts covering a company usually start with a market overview which can be pretty amazing for intel about the market. Warning: These reports are expensive so best to find a buddy on Wall Street with access to Bloomberg or Reuters who can find download them for you.

      – As a proxy for interest in the space, you might want to see if VCs have recently invested in companies that are similar. Their interest is both a good validator of the market and based on their investment size, it’s a proxy for how big the market opportunity might be. This doesn’t get you to your specific numbers but maybe a proxy for market interest.

      – Google it. Kind of lame, and I’m sure you’ve done it but just google “number of investors in the United States” and you may get some places to start. Sometimes even eHow or yahoo answers will be the first breadcrumb to finding something useful

      Now to more specific sources for your market:

    • – Goto the website of FINRA which is for Financial Industry. It’s mainly for brokers and wealth managers I believe, but there will probably be some line on there about how Finra was established to protect the X million US investors. There may be other regulatory bodies with data. These government sites are a treasure especially if you dig around. They’ll prob give you investable assets, # of people, etc etc.

      – See if you can find the going public documents of some past successes in the online investing space. I believe went public. Maybe you can get their S1 filing for when they went public and you can find some stats in there. They are trying to “sell” their IPO at the time so they may provide some stats on how big the market is.

      Hope that is helpful.

      Have you found research reports that might be valuable but are too expensive? I’d imagine a space this big would have tons of research reports about it. Perhaps an incorrect assumption.

  • tags: WebAPP Marketing

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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