Exploiting the Usability Gap

I’m always fascinated by firms that capitalize upon practical inefficiencies and piggyback on existing products or services. In both public and private realms, middleman firms pop up to smooth out the rough edges of transactions. Two recent examples: Tax prep software and parcel shipping apps. The recent kerfuffle over TurboTax’s price increase highlighted its dominant position in … Continue reading Exploiting the Usability Gap

The Necessity of Liberal Arts

I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of business, especially technology, with liberal arts such as literature and philosophy. Despite the emergence – and necessity – of STEM studies, it is clear that the study of liberal arts informs everything from product design to supply chain management to marketing. Steve Jobs phrased the dynamic particularly well at the 2011 iPad 2 Introduction: There … Continue reading The Necessity of Liberal Arts

Uber Cool Evaluations

Bill Gurley has a great article on Uber’s valuation – actually a response to Aswath Damodaran’s piece – that raises some of the various markets Uber seeks to enter. He points out: When I used to travel to Los Angeles and Seattle on business I would use a rental car. Today I only Uber. It is materially … Continue reading Uber Cool Evaluations

The Prize in Enterpise

Yesterday, the corporate marriage between Apple and IBM made headlines. Basically, IBM will bring its enterprise know-how and analytic engines to Apple’s hardware and customer service party. The partnership is a shot across the bow for most other firms, including Microsoft (the consummate enterprise partner ), Google/Samsung (whose Knox enterprise security feature aims to allay privacy fears in the C-Suite), and, of course Blackberry, for whom Apple’s move is less a warning shot than a nail in the coffin. Continue reading “The Prize in Enterpise”

Uber ‘n’ Amex: Joined at the Hip Factor

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Oh, you bet I redeemed it. A grey tie goes with just about anything.

Several months ago, I wondered why American Express didn’t offer some sort of tailored “$5 off $25” perk at Uber. After all, Amex is pretty aggressive when it comes to targeted promotions, and actively inks deals with retailers that cater to the tech-friendly and mobile-oriented crowd – the same crew that gets its lifts in Uber. In recent months, Amex has offered deals at iTunes, Dunkin Donuts, J. Crew, and Zappos – all brands that try to tap into the mobile audience. And, as I experienced firsthand, Amex’s app uses geolocation to provide targeted reminders of nearly-redeemed offers.

Continue reading “Uber ‘n’ Amex: Joined at the Hip Factor”