Getting uncomfortably excited

It is not until today that I realized we Chatbase, can be as formidable as Gmail or Slack in its early days, and can eventually end up with IPO exit if we are a real standalone company.

After almost two years of stumbling our way off finding product-market fit, we have now come to find a unique way of addressing some serious big problems that we wouldn’t imagine before. There were some gloomy days and self-doubts along the way, but now I am very confident of where we are going. Super excited about what’s ahead for us.

2B和2C的产品没有区别

某程度上,做2B和2C的产品没有根本上的区别。很多时候对公司来说,只是盈利模式上的一种选择。

假设你们公司在某方面有突破的自然语义分析的技术,你们可以选择去开发一个“Siri”去接触终端用户,也可以把同样的技术打包成API或某种企业服务再卖给正在开发各式各样的“Siri”的第三方企业。可能由于市场风向的飘忽,你们公司做着做着“Siri”发现一直摸索不出盈利模式,为了趋吉避凶和提早养活员工,你们瞄向了企业市场。后端不变,前端转个急弯,换个面目又成一条活路,而且活的比预想中好很多。

这样的例子并不鲜见。苹果电脑在80年代时只想做企业市场取代IBM但现在却是消费者市场王者,Dropbox多年来在消费者和企业市场中摇摆不定自我消耗,Gmail脱下数年的消费者外衣摇身一变成为企业主打,Google Glass完全落败于消费者市场后在企业市场重拾点自信。

回到Siri的例子。你或许说,要开发Siri的技术和条件有很多,自然语义只是其中一个,不足以搭建一个完整的能面市的Siri。这种想法在如今蓬勃发展的企业市场或开发者市场里也越来越落伍了。如今各类产品的身上都插着数不清的api和各种第三方服务的输液管。你的产品若有一个特长,已然是建立一个新的商品的充分条件。

当然了当你拉近缩小从其他方面看,做Enterprise和Consumer是有各样不同 – 越靠近水面的部分(泛泛意义上的前端),差别越大。

这同时也说明了为什么很多做后端的人不会太care做2B或2C。因为他们站在锚的这一端,而舞动得热烈的是那一端水面上的船。

Paradox in American’s Tech

这几个数据让美国人变成同时恐惧外国人(特别是中国)又要包容外国人的自我矛盾体。

  1. 世界前20大科技公司有9个公司在中国。
  2. 中国人最不注重私隐。38%的中国用户愿意用隐私数据来换取更”好”的产品,而美国是25%,这会给中国科技公司带来巨大的优势。
  3. 美国的top25的科技公司里,有56%是由第一/二代的移民创立的。

这是左手打右手。

数据来源:Mary Meeker’s 2018 internet trends report

以慢制快

天下功夫唯快不破吗?

Jason Fried在考虑增加一个功能去Basecamp:只能在某信息发送了x小时后才能回复/评论。用的是以慢制快。

相比之下是类似Slack这样的即时沟通工具,革的是email这样又慢又正式的协作方式,但也促使了:情绪紧张、FOMO所以要时常在线、注意力涣散、凡事立马要做决定。

时下数字世界多被System 1的快脑袋所主导,以至于真正需要慢炖的场景无所适从。有这样的feature让评论家在匆匆下决定前先cool down一下,或许能让聒噪的数字世界往文明的方向前进一点点。

B0587FB9-D8A9-4036-9FA1-4BB954D5CCD4.jpeg

如果General Magic晚出现10年

General Magic的神创作之所以全军覆可能是有迹可寻的:在其实最需要像Mosaic这样的解决方案帮助普适时,他们解决问题的切入点都是非要做个form factor。

就连Android的最初想法也是为了给摄像头做支持。

这种做法一直延伸到Tony Fadell做出了和Google格格不入的Nest,以及Andy Robin一直手痒痒还是走回了老IOT路线的Playground。

0F987C89-427B-4C93-9318-9382269944D2

Creating Easy-to-Use Interface is Evil

There is a tendency in the design industry that designers would choose a consumer mobile app project over, for example, desktop software project for business. The reason is not hard to understand – they want to work on something popular your mom and friends can know and constantly talk about.

 

Your mom and friends, and ourselves, are all consumers. Consumers tend to consume, not create.

 

They are the characters described in Amusing Ourselves to Death.

 

Easy-to-use apps are sugar coated, so consumers feel drawn to it. The more users are addictive to your app, the more gainful your app business will be.

 

Similarly, designing those easy-to-use apps are arguably easier (e.g. non-complex workflows and use cases). As a result, some designers, like consumers, could easily indulge themselves to become weaker in problem solving.

 

There’s a “Bible” in User Experience area – Don’t Make Me Think. Ever since, UX professionals unconditionally follow “ease of use” as one of the most important principles to guide their works.
dont-make-me-think-evil

 

But humans are creatives. We need tools to help us create stuff, hard sophisticated stuff.

 

We should create more, not consume more.

 

We should enable, not indulge.

 

We should encourage the beauty of complexity, not just the simplicity.

 

This is a fight against Soylents not to take over our world full of cooked gourmet foods.

 

Secrets of Apple Store’s table

The story began several months ago when Apple’s new executive Angela Ahrendts announced the overhaul of Apple Retails strategy, and I saw pictures then realized the super clean settings underneath the table – there’s no power cord! Now in every picture showed on Apple retail site, you can hardly find any power cord attached to the display table.

How come there’s no power cord?

SMOQSt3X43L

 

To satisfy my curiosity, the next day I went to Apple Store at Stanford Mall, and found every desk has a coiled power cord coming out from the ground and extended to the middle underneath the table.

“Apple must be cheating in the photographs”, I told myself after later on I visited some other Apple retails and still found all the tables have the same curl cables.

Palo Alto

 

It was not until recently that I happened to visit Apple Park at Cupertino and to my surprised I saw all the full powered iPhones, Macbooks, and iWatchs are presented on the tables without visible cords!

Cupertino

My first guess at that time was all the power outlets from the grounds are purposely designed to be covered by four legs of the table, and the cords are hidden along the table legs. I was able to ask the Apple salesman if she could shed some light if my guess was right. It turned out that she actually has no idea of what’s going on with the power and the table, and she mentioned they moved around the table very often. So it’s unlikely that the table legs are designed to just to cover the power outlets on the ground.

 

Now my best guess is they use a *big* rechargeable battery inside the drawer of the table to power all the electronics for at least a full day. Staffs, at then end of the day, have to pull out and replaced all the batteries in order to keep things working… If this is true, the amount of work to just keep everything “simple” (as we know it for Apple) is appalling.