Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Don't Litigate - INNOVATE!

Today will mark an important decision by the US Supreme court. They will rule on whether or not Aereo can exist.  Aereo's business model (in the event you are not familiar with them) is to install a tiny HD TV capable antenna using Line of Site on your behalf.  Then, you are able to access your own personal antenna via the Internet (on the end device of your choice) to watch conventional broadcast TV channels.

The incumbent broadcasters (who have not innovated at all) are scared that their entire business model is at stake, and so rather than innovate, they have chosen to litigate this...all the way to the Supreme court.

I am not currently an Aereo user, however I anticipate that I will be as soon as this litigation 'noise' goes away. On a separate but somewhat related rant, it always bothered me how the FCC handled requiring broadcasters to offer their over the air signals via antenna.  If you have tried it yourself using any of the very cheap (or expensive if you wanted to bother) antennas you can buy at your local radio shack, you would find that very few Americans have the 'line of site' required to be able to enjoy this.  It is a scam of monumental proportions IMO, and one that the broadcasters should have directly fixed using their own innovation.

This same fight goes on again, and again and again - It is so common, that a lot of the time you don't even see it unless you look.  Consider Apple computer, and their lawsuits back and forth with Samsung, for billions.  AirBnB being sued by various governments (hmmmm think the hotel lobby has anything to do with this?).  Uber, being sued and or blocked by local governments (think Taxi lobby).

More and more often I am seeing this across all industries as technical innovation allows people to disrupt incumbents.  It bothers me that we, as citizens put up with this nonsense.  Regardless, I watch as technology eventually always wins out in the long run. All you incumbents are doing is stalling the inevitable.  Learn, to eat your own lunch, before someone eats it for you.  It's time to Innovate, not litigate.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

You're only as good as your customer service

I'm the type of person who likes to root for the underdog.  So when Samsung first came up with their answer  (Samsung Droid Charge) to Apple's Iphone, I was all over it.  That purchase was years ago, and represents the last time I will likely purchase a product from (or recommend to my family, friends and networks) a Samsung product.  It wasn't that the phone was horrible, but it did have more than one major bug for me.  I understand that products can have bugs, but that is why I expect support when I need it.

When Samsung was unable to repair my phone (phone was only a few months old), they referred me to their website, where they would offer to buy back the phone from me.  I didn't know what to expect because I had paid $400 for my phone only months earlier.  Needless to say, I was horrified, when I submitted my product info. on their website as instructed, and learned they were offering me $50 to buy it back from me. This is Samsung telling me that they do not value me as a customer. More importantly (to their detriment), Samsung is telling me they do not need me to endorse their brand to my family, my friends and to my networks.

Thinking of buying the new Galaxy S5?  I would tell you based on my personal experience you will be better off with the new HTC One.