The way you beat an incumbent is by coming up with a thing that people want, that you do, and that your competitors can’t do.

Not won’t. Can’t.

How did Apple beat Microsoft? Not by making a better desktop OS. They did it by shifting the goalposts. By creating a whole new field of competition where Microsoft’s massive entrenched advantage didn’t exist: mobile. How did Microsoft beat Digital and the mainframe pushers? By inventing the idea that every desktop should have a real computer on it, not a terminal.

How do you beat Google and Facebook? By inventing a thing that they can’t compete against. By making privacy your core goal. Because companies who have built their whole business model on monetising your personal information cannot compete against that. They’d have to give up on everything that they are, which they can’t do. Facebook altering itself to ensure privacy for its users… wouldn’t exist. Can’t exist. That’s how you win.

Stuart Langridge

THE NEXT BIG THING IS PRIVACY

on the Web

Stories of Apple now on Tumblr too!

Apple

Quietly, without marching bands announcements, my pal Nicola D’Agostino has started a companion project to his fantastic Stories of Apple – which I introduced you a while back [It was 2008, remember?].

Stories of Apple on Tumblr →

Quotes and tidbits from Apple’s history – A companion to http://www.storiesofapple.net

We currently log 20 terabytes of new data each day, and have around 10 petabytes of data in S3. We use Hadoop to process this data, which enables us to put the most relevant and recent content in front of Pinners through features such as Related Pins, Guided Search, and image processing. It also powers thousands of daily metrics and allows us to put every user-facing change through rigorous experimentation and analysis.

In order to build big data applications quickly, we’ve evolved our single cluster Hadoop infrastructure into a ubiquitous self-serving platform.
making Pinterest

Powering big data at Pinterest

on the Web

The problem here is that human beings, as a general rule, stink at assessing intangible risk, and even when it is demonstrated to us in no uncertain terms, we do little to rectify it. Free search engines that value your privacy exist. Why don’t people switch? Conditioning to Google and the expected search result quality, and sheer laziness (most likely some combination of the two). Why didn’t people flock from Facebook to Diaspora or other alternatives when Facebook screwed with privacy options? Laziness, convenience, and most likely, the presence of a perceived valuable network of connections.

via GetWired.com

Is the Web really free?

on the Web