Tag Archives for Apple

Will I be in the Queue for a Cue?

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11:  A man waits for ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

When Professors Richard Friend and Henning Sirringhaus established(?) the science behind Plastic Logic’s technology and with Stuart Evans spun the company out of Cambridge University in 2000 who would have thought that nine years later they would launch a product into a crowded market.  The Que ebook reader launched yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show is competing in a ferociously competitive market currently dominated by Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader.  Yesterday Samsung joined the party and according to the DT “a host of other companies including Indian start-up Notion Ink, are expected to use the trade fair to launch rival products”.  The main beneficiary of this high growth market is another Cambridge Cluster company, ARM, as most of the devices run on its smartphone chip designs.

The one unique selling point of the Cue is that the Plastic Logic technology does not require a glass screen which is heavy and breakable.  But this does not allow a cheaper price and Apple’s rumoured iSlate is “guaranteed” to have a better comprehensive catalogue and an intuitive interface to browse and download titles from the hyped iStore.

How I hope that the Apple iSlate uses the Plastic Logic screen and an ARM chip with a sticker “Cambridge Cluster Core, trademark (c)” on the front – then the buying decision will be simple.  But will I need my iPhone as well or do I go back to a simple phone and use the iSlate on wi-fi?  I have 3G turned off to save battery power and because I am usually in a wi-fi environment.  Will I need to sleep outside a shop in the Cambridge Cluster to be first in the Queue for a Cue?

It just goes to show that the even using the best business plan resource to work out the funding of Plastic Logic, you need to back an academic who can make the switch to marketing and driving the business forward.  But turning academics into marketing and product people is perhaps asking one person to have a talent too much.

PS Zemanta still has not picked out any pictures of the Cue……..

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Surprising news from Lakeland

Harry Wallop features Lakeland in an article in the Daily Telegraph titled “Shopping Mecca fro Middle Britain”.  The surprise is the news that that Father Rayner, the founder, ran off with the company secretary and the three brothers took over and built the business.  The other surprise that the Lakeland’s HQ at Windermere station is the second most popular tourist attraction after Windermere Lake cruises with more than one million visitors.  I guess that they were ahead of the Apple shops with the emphasis on customer fun rather than pressured sales.

One of my first jobs was counting plastic bags at what was then Lakeland Plastic.  My late Sister was so much faster that I had to count another product and staple them together.  I remember surprising Mr Rayner by saying I knew how many I had stapled by counting the number of staples in each set of staples which I inserted into the machine.  When I wrote to the Rayner brothers to remind them of the fact that I had been a neighbour and early employee I received an impersonal reply.  Maybe they did not wish to be reminded of the early days with their Father.

Now the three brothers are coming to the end of their working time, I wonder what business plan resource they are using to make sure the equity stays in the family.  The HQ is a brilliant – wish a picture appeared in Zemanta – and I am sure they will have a business plan as clever as their wonderful products.  By the way, Wendy Miranda is the customer ambassador and ultimately in charge of what the retailer sells – clever lady.

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EF at North West Start-up, Tuesday 24 February 2009

Having discussed and debated Mobile 2.0 12 months ago, this time we will discuss the growth of iPhone, Android and other technologies as platforms for creation of new products and services and their relevance to both consumers and businesses alike.

As we are approaching a new phase of mobile Internet, innovative companies are creating mashups incorporating 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, video and location based services. In this environment, it is crucial to understand the strategic and tactical steps that executives, entrepreneurs and investors should take to ensure that they are not left behind with the mobile Internet revolution. Those who develop strategies to improve customer, supplier, employee and management communications using mobile Internet are bound to gain significant competitive advantage.

Do your product roadmap includes mobile Internet? Does mobile Internet form part of your communications strategy? Want to know more? Then this event is for you.



Tuesday 24 February 200918:00 Registration and networking
18:30 Update on Tech StartUps
19:00 Speeches
19:45 Break
20:00 Panel discussion
20:40 StartUp4Slaughter
21:00 Move to Kro Bar across the road (optional)
  Equity Fingerprint is about equity Distribution from the first Equity Split to the angel and VC rounds. Use this business plan resource to shape your equity road map. Cambridge Cluster is a blog commenting on building global businesses using equity.


5 mins presentation by a tech startup highlighting a specific problem it has. Through rapid Q&A, audience attempts to find answers within 10 mins. Get in touch if you wish to grab this slot.


More speakers and panelists will be added over the coming days and weeks

Katie Lips, Social Media and Mobile Strategist at Kisky Netmedia

Katie Lips is author of “The Amazing iPhone Report”, a Guide to the platform for business owners. Katie will offer an overview of what makes the iPhone platform special and how both iPhone and Android offer supportive environments for developers and entrepreneurs. “New Mobile” is no longer a walled garden, but as developers are fast creating thousands of new apps, the ecosystem (the iPhone App Store at least) is fast becoming a crowded space. How can mobile 2.0 developers make sure their apps stand out? Katie will outline some trending strategies in “new mobile marketing” and share some lessons learnt from Kisky’s recent launch of iPhone application Coffee Buzz.

Dave Verwer, CTO, Shiny Development

Since Apple released the iTunes application store in July last year over 10,000 applications have been released and total application download numbers top 300 million so it is safe to say that the application store has been a success, but what makes a compelling iPhone application? The iPhone offers a fantastic array of hardware and software features but using these features effectively on a 3.5″ mobile phone screen can be a challenge. This session will take a high level look at the features of the phone that application designers have access to and look at some guidelines for making a killer iPhone application.

Notice: By attending this event, you grant permission for publishing photographs and videos taken at the event on public websites. Do contact us if you have any specific issues regarding this statement

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I am a beta man with Boxee

Fred Wilson has been pushing his latest investment in Boxee which is like a portal for all your music and entertainment sites.

So I downloaded the alpha release and found it hard work.  It filled up my screen and all I could think was that no one at Boxee has watched a non-geek download and open up and start clicking.

I am sure that it will be a great product as Fred Wilson is ahead of the game.  I told him that I was happy to be in his fan club but he was modest and demurred and said he was a fan of mine – some chance!  Go to www.avc.com to ask to join the alpha trial or else you join the bottom of the queue and have to wait for weeks.

Let me know when the beta trial starts and I will have another go!

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Another iPhone short-cut and battery life

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 9: Apple CEO Steve...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeI keep finding new short cuts on the iphone.  By chance I pressed the main button twice, quickly, and was amazed to see that the phone switched and the iPod volume control came up as well.  So I could see what I was listening to and change the volume immediately.  Very clever!

An iPhone user complained to me that he had to re-charge his iPhone every three days.  My reply was that he was not using it enough and you should need to re-charge the iPhone at least every day.  The latest app I found is “Trains” from a One to One teacher at the Cambridge Apple Store.  It was wonderful, except for the price, being able to sit in the champagne bar at St Pancras knowing when the next fast train was leaving for Cambridge.  Just a quick hop across the road to King’s Cross and I was on my way.

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Who looks after angels?

Wang Yangming (1472 1529), considered the most influential Confucian thinker since Zhu Xi.Image via WikipediaBill Mann writing in The Motley Fool says that China is the greatest opportunity of our lifetime if you missed the boom in the USA from 1980. He is pushing China after the recent 50% drop in the Shanghai stock market. This is because of the tremendous rate of growth and the free enterprise economy.

However he cautions that China “has an unbelievable entrepreneurial culture, but does not yet have a fully formed culture of protecting minority shareholders.” And we do? Having been trodden into the ground by some founders, options intended for new staff “stolen” by founders and offered a cap of 4x by other founders, I am not sure that the Chinese have much to learn from the unpleasant antics of founders in the USA and UK. I am forgetting the dishonest and those who pay themselves top money whilst driving the business into the ground. It is why experienced angels work in packs, get the legal people on side and then go for a strong board appointment with veto clauses. Sad but true. It is all part of the Equity Fingerprint, the business plan resource, fun ride. But then who wants to stay away from clusters and go on holidays?

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