Friday, October 10, 2014

Notations on "Vision": On Transformations the Death of #Sulia, the Rise of #Ello, #MSFT & Other Thoughts

It has been quite a transformation in the Tech Space.    Right now, we're seeing transformations that is shocking to say the least.

First and foremost, Snapchat has been hacked to the tune of 200,000 images.  It is just shocking although SnapChat is claiming that third party APPS have been hacked.   There is no real protection and Snapchat has clearly screwed up by not taking the additional security  measures.   There is also the issue of Technology itself and how Tech has grown to be a rather mature industry.   It was quite an interesting development when Synametc (the folks behind Norton) have decided that they are going to split into two different companies.    We here at Outsiders remember when they executed a blockbuster $ 14 Billion merge with Veritas--a strategy that seems to have flopped.    We are also watching with great interest as HP has decided to split itself up.    Whether it will stop the HP death spiral is a broader question.

Tesla also tried to again razzle and dazzle with the rollout of Model D.    Although the stock price is dropping, the technology is quite amazing.     But, the problem is that such transformations is beyond the reach of the average "outsider" as technology evolves ever more: 

Update: Tesla D has autopilot, can park itself and greet drivers, Elon Musk said at Los Angeles event
— Mashable (@mashable) October 10, 2014

Apple has the same problem.   It will be interesting to see how Apple responds to the same challenge as it gears up  for a big day for iPad coming up on October 16.    Amazon has again tried to "circumvent" it with its' sub-100 Tablet which got a very favorable review in a recent of of the Wall Street Journal.     This is also as Google plans to roll out a 5.9 Inch "Phablet" as Samsung continues to struggle with its' business.    

It was with sadness, though, as we were witness to the death of Sulia.    We here @ "outsiders' were periodic contributors and were saddened to see this from the team @ Sulia: 

So long (for now) from Sulia

This is a sad time for all of us who worked so hard on this platform for these last five years, especially because of all of the great friendships we made with the members of the Sulia community.

Our goal was to organize the best content from the best sources in thousands of categories, and we did it well. In fact, there were many many things that Sulia did better than any other platform. But we learned that those things weren't popular or lucrative enough for it to succeed as a business. That's often the way it is with startups.

There is a small possibility that Sulia will one day be reborn, probably in a different form. If you're interested in discussing that, send an email to

To all of you who shared your time, your ideas and your passions, thank you. To our brilliant contributors, and marketers, and anyone, anywhere who ever took a moment to send us feedback, thank you. To our team, our investors and our advisers who stood by our mission and our dream, thank you.

The Sulia Team

 But with the death of one, comes another new one.   We here @ "outsiders" reached out to get on the Ello list--some say that the reviews are not that great.    But we will "hold out" any comments until we are able to get on line: 



Just a quick note if you’re on the Ello waiting list.

As you may have heard, interest in Ello has grown very fast. We're so grateful for so much love and interest in Ello.

If too many people join at once, the Ello servers will melt down.

We have an amazing technical crew, and we’re inviting people as fast as we can.

Please be patient, and don’t worry. You’ll receive an Ello invite as soon as possible.

Much love,



PS: If you’re already using Ello and getting this note, you can unsubscribe using the links below.

There is also the plight of the "mature players".     The new Microsoft CEO has been shaking things up as the Cloud Power Play continues.      Dylan, though, raises some very profound long-term questions when he posed these heart-wrenching questions about the Cloud (despite its' challenges as exemplified by the recent Snapchat Hack).  The Cloud is here--and it presents profound opportunities:                                                                                                                                      

Dylan’s Desk: How long can Microsoft keep Windows alive?

By Dylan Tweney, Editor-in-Chief
Windows 10 is coming out next year, and it’s a substantial revision to Windows 8. VentureBeat’s Devindra Hardawar called it Microsoft’s big fat apology for Windows 8.
Maybe the company needed to put so much distance between itself and Windows 8 that it skipped all the way over 9.
The fact is, Windows 8 sold pretty damn well — for any company except Microsoft. In its first 15 months, the company shipped 200 million licenses for Windows 8. Most companies would kill for that kind of market.
But that’s 100 million fewer licenses than Microsoft sold in the same period after launching Windows 7. A 33 percent decline from one version to another is the kind of problem that gets CEOs fired, or at least gracefully retired, and leads their replacements to announce bold new changes of direction. That’s exactly what new Microsoft chief Satya Nadella did, and we’re now beginning to see how his new strategy is playing out.
For starters, Windows 10 appears to be less focused on the touchscreen market — but it hasn’t abandoned touchscreens entirely. It still has the Start screen and all those touch-friendly gestures that the company introduced in Windows 8, but they’re less prominent. Instead, it’s bringing back the Start menu as the default starting point for most users. The Start screen is still there, but you have to enable it manually (if you’re a Surface user, for instance, you might want this). The upcoming “Continuum” feature will change the Start menu from a mouse-friendly version to a more touch-friendly version whenever you detach your keyboard.
And while Microsoft hasn’t elaborated much on this, it has made it clear that Windows 10 will be the same operating system on phones and desktops and tablets — instead of having a separate OS for phones.
The return of the Start menu is a recognition that, even though the PC market is shrinking, Microsoft still depends on the support of its hundreds of millions of desktop and laptop users. And even though people mocked the Start button when it first appeared in Windows 95, after a couple decades of using it, we’re kind of used to it now.
It’s a tough position for Microsoft. It knows that the PC is no longer the central device for many people, and the trend lines are clear: More and more people are using tablets, or even smartphones, as their primary devices. PC shipments declined for eight straight quarters, from 2012 through early 2014, Gartner reports — a decline of such long standing that “flat growth” (also known as no growth) actually looked pretty good in the second quarter of 2014. Still, that was 75.8 million computers for the quarter.
By comparison, tablet shipments totalled 49.3 million in the same quarter, according to IDC figures assembled by TabTimes, and will probably grow 25 percent for the year.
To summarize these figures: PC sales are stablizing after a long period of decline, while tablet sales continue to grow — but perhaps not everywhere — and approach parity with PC sales.
My take is that PCs aren’t exactly going away, but for most people, they’re no longer the machine you live with day in and day out. Instead, they’re turning into special purpose devices. PCs and laptops are the things you use to get work done or play games on, or the things that run business software in a corporate office or on a factory floor.
Microsoft, which understands business customers better than almost anyone else, has been trying to make an operating system that bridges the dying PC market and the possibly burgeoning tablet market. That’s why those touchscreen features are still there. But that’s also why the company is reviving the mouse-centric interface features it tried hard to suppress in the last version.
How long can Microsoft maintain this delicate balancing act? It is a big enough company, with enormous revenues from both its platform and productivity divisions, that it could probably continue to earn profits and deliver dividends to its shareholders for another half a decade or more without making any major changes.
But at some point, it’s going to wake up in a world where people live primarily in the cloud, access that cloud through a variety of devices, and care less about the device and its OS than they do about the content and their cloud platforms. If Microsoft isn’t careful, those devices could be Chromebooks or MacBooks instead of Windows PCs and tablets.
In short, Microsoft has one or maybe two more versions of Windows to get it right. If Windows 10 doesn’t convince people that it’s the right OS to bet on for the future of desktops, tablets, and phones, Microsoft won’t have too many more opportunities. And then it will be time for the company to settle in for a comfortably long decline into irrelevance.

Can Microsoft Change Fast Enough?   Can we "outsiders" realize that change is part and parcel of the reality out there?    This is as we here @ "Outsiders' were reminded of this admonition from Ralph Marston: 

Value in each challenge

Challenge is a fact of life. Though it might seem nice to trade your own particular challenges for somebody else’s, you’d likely find those other challenges to be just as burdensome.
Instead of seeking to be free of your challenges, seek to be motivated to move successfully through them. A life with no challenge is a life with no opportunity for growth, fulfillment or satisfaction.
Your challenges are yours for a very good reason. They are precisely the challenges that will enable you to grow stronger, more capable, and more fulfilled.
So don’t resent the challenges, and don’t avoid those challenges. Don’t complain about the challenges or pretend they’re not there.
Deal with each challenge and become stronger. Work through every challenge and feel the confidence that comes from knowing you can do it.
Life’s challenges give you the opportunity to experience yourself growing stronger. See each challenge for the potential value it represents, and make that value your own.


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