I got a decent pano shot of Chris Burden’s Metropolis II from our trip to LACMA this weekend. Wish I would have been able to sneak video, but the guards were watching for that like hawks. (Photos allowed but no video? This thing was made for YouTube / Vine / Instagram… Makes no sense to me.)

I got a decent pano shot of Chris Burden’s Metropolis II from our trip to LACMA this weekend. Wish I would have been able to sneak video, but the guards were watching for that like hawks. (Photos allowed but no video? This thing was made for YouTube / Vine / Instagram… Makes no sense to me.)

This is the angst that fills those in the news business, and society broadly. The reality of the Internet is that there is no more bell curve; power laws dominate, and the challenge of our time is figuring out what to do with a population distribution that is fundamentally misaligned with Internet economics.

Key graf in the Journal piece:

Google in the fall launched an initiative to better see—and direct—what smartphone and tablet users do on their devices. The effort seeks to mimic what Google built on the Web, with an index of the content inside mobile apps and links pointing to that content featured in Google’s search results on smartphones.

This is smart and useful of course, because there very well may be content / functionality that’s locked up inside an app on your phone that would be the perfect result for your search query. But the comparison to what Google built on the web is missing the point: the wondrous thing about the GoogleBot was that it didn’t index what was on your desktop PC, it indexed what was out there on the web and brought it directly to you.

Imagine the equivalent for apps: queries (intent-based or context-based) that return results full of rich content and services from apps, even if they aren’t installed on your phone. To do this, Google / Apple would at least need…

  1. A mechanism for developers to expose those types of app experiences. Think widgets; they’d be the investment equivalent of SEO on the web.

  2. The equivalent of the GoogleBot and PageRank for apps. The index space is finite and known (Google and Apple own the app stores, remember); but they would probably need to be running those apps (interesting virtualization problem at scale) to know what results would be most appropriate to deliver.

  3. Knowledge of the searching user to personalize results. The best result for a query about the SF Giants may be different for me (more serious baseball fan) than someone in the UK; thus, deliver the MLB app snippet over the ESPN app snippet. There’s plenty of context about the user available from the phone…

  4. A UX framework for delivering these to users at the right time (i.e. intent- or context-based queries). Google Now or Siri, anyone?

The Google Play and iOS App Stores are today’s equivalent of the Yahoo directory circa 1997. We’re blessed with 21st century device capabilities (audio, video, sound, location, motion, identity, etc.), but stuck with 20th century application distribution. In other words, how long until Google Now and Siri get opened up to every developer in the app stores?

Doug Rickard, #29.942566, New Orleans, LA (2008), 2009


  The height gives a feeling of looking down on the scene, and this affects the emotional read and subtext of the work. Also, Google’s blurring of the faces and the lo-fi nature of the images changed the individuals into symbols or emblems and representative of larger notions, such as race and class, instead of personal stories that would have wanted to emerge with recognition.


via The New Yorker (via Google, of course)

Doug Rickard, #29.942566, New Orleans, LA (2008), 2009

The height gives a feeling of looking down on the scene, and this affects the emotional read and subtext of the work. Also, Google’s blurring of the faces and the lo-fi nature of the images changed the individuals into symbols or emblems and representative of larger notions, such as race and class, instead of personal stories that would have wanted to emerge with recognition.

via The New Yorker (via Google, of course)

If you go back and apply the formula [yield = earnings/purchase price] and use zero for yield/interest rate, then one would pay an infinite amount for an earning stream. Of course that doesn’t make sense and it has not happened. But valuations are at extreme levels because you cannot get a decent return on your money doing anything else.

Rational financial argument about why money is flowing into venture funds; there’s a lot of money out there that needs to get to work. Layer this on top of the rush to eat the world with software, the massive shift to mobile, and the media’s hero worship of tech — then that’s the start of a more complete picture of what’s happening.