Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Gates, Jobs and Tinkering

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Current Affairs, Economics
Tags: ,

Malcolm Gladwell published an illuminating article on the late Steve Jobs in this week’s New Yorker and I recommend it highly.  If you are looking for something that delves into the dirty laundry of Job’s tempestuous personality there’s some of that but it’s hardly the focus of the piece.  Nevertheless, Gladwell, with a knack for drilling into a subject and finding something other than the usual stuff, comes out with observations that explain Jobs and help to position him in the pantheon of technology giants.

Much has been made of Job’s second act and of how he seemingly rose from defeat after being booted out of Apple—his triumphant return and the string of “i” devices that turned Apple into a consumer electronics giant and the second most valuable company on the stock ticker (after Exxon).  But what’s behind this is, you could say, regular market dynamics.  The same dynamics that elevated Jobs in the new century were the ones that contributed to his undoing earlier.

We’ve all been exposed to ideas about market dynamics by Geoffrey Moore, Clay Christensen and others.  Early markets are bare bones affairs and capturing market share is paramount for young companies making the market.  Later the survivors can go back to flesh out their creations with subsequent versions and vendors who think they can do the fleshing out early rarely survive to do so.

In the computer industry the flesh came in the form of the GUI, networking, databases and such things that added value to the basic invention.  The analogy might be summarized as first we feed everyone then we can invent cuisine.  Gladwell asserts that Jobs’ genius was in tinkering with original inventions and making them better and he gives many examples.  But he does not stop there; Gladwell compares Jobs to other tinkerers from other ages, notably the people who perfected the steam engine making it a useful tool for the industrial age.

In that comparison, Gladwell effectively makes the point that Steve Jobs was simply too early to the cuisine aspect of the high-tech revolution.  He sought to make stylish boots when too many were still shoeless.  If true, and this explanation feels right to me at least, it explains much of Jobs’ success in his second coming to Apple.  By the very late 1990s the industry had filled out and customers were in need of the finer points of technology that would do more than the mundane record keeping and making the devices actually fun to use was finally the order of the day.

Ironically, Apple had spent much of the prior decade trying to make itself relevant to masses that only wanted utility and through a series of bad business moves had brought itself to the brink of extinction.  It was a turning point for the industry and perhaps by pure luck, or the luck of Steve Jobs, it maneuvered itself through a keyhole coming out the other side as the industry icon.

This analysis takes nothing away from Jobs, the guy in the hot seat and the one who needed to make hundreds of right calls to ensure that today we have stylish, elegant and highly functional tablets, phones, personal music players and more.

Jobs has often been compared to Bill Gates and Walter Isaacson chronicles the long relationship between the two men in his biography of Jobs.  But they are not exactly opposites.  Not even Gates can be seen as an original inventor of technology and sometimes both men can be seen tinkering with and improving someone else’s ideas.  For example, Gates actually bought the DOS operating system from someone else and Windows was the stepchild of the Macintosh operating system which we all know was inspired by Xerox’s GUI.  Office is the amalgamation through tinkering of applications from Lotus, Word Perfect (and before that Wang) and Harvard Graphics.

But of the two men, Gates and the company he started are creatures of the last century while Jobs is really of this one.  I recently watched Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford from 2005 on YouTube in which he quipped that Windows stole everything from the Macintosh.  But the difference between Microsoft emulating and tinkering with an idea and Apple doing the same is that the Apple version improves while the Microsoft version is more of a copy.

Last week I was in Microsoft’s flagship store in Belleview, Washington.  It was not hard to see the Apple inspirations in every element of the store from the layout to the products and services offered though the Microsoft employees I met all seemed to believe that their company had practically invented the store concept, no matter I guess.  The store is a good idea as were Windows, music players, application ecosystems, marketplaces, handheld devices with big screens and tablets and much more.  Knowing something of the relationship between Gates and Jobs and thinking of Job’s place in history as a tinkerer, perhaps it is fitting to recall that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I am an Apple enthusiast but once in a while I need to hit them about the head and shoulders with an old tire tool.  You know?

I was in the Apple Store last weekend paying the Apple tax, buying my wife an iPhone.  It was time.  The phone she was using had a battery that wouldn’t hold a charge.  Still it was an effort to get her into the store.  But once there…What to do?  Buy a battery or upgrade?

Think, think, think pooh bear.

We bought an iPhone.  While she was spending the better part of a half hour picking out a case I messed with the iPads.

Now the iPad is a nice, nice, nice piece of gear and everyone can and ought to covet one.  But in a practical mood you have to look at the thing and ask why.

It doesn’t have a gosh darn USB port.  Not one!

It also lacks a true keyboard, which I reluctantly understand, more or less.

But it’s also a 3G device, which simply doesn’t cut it these days.

Does it even have a microphone?  I dunno.

The 3G bit is probably the most severe limitation in my humble….I can live with some of the other constraints, I think in my most charitable moments, but then the analyst in me gets busy.

Look, iPad is a content consumption device and that might be fine for most of the people on the planet who can plunk down the hundreds of bucks it takes to bring one home.  I can’t.  I am a content creator and I like that about me and I need a device that ***understands*** that.  You know?

iPad strikes me as the next form factor, and maybe the right form factor, in personal digital assistants but for it to work in my life I need output AND input.  Steve are you listening?

Meanwhile the MacBook Air series is here and that’s more my speed, I guess.  Still there is the appeal of the form factor.

Recently I wrote a couple of posts about Apple’s plan to charge vendors 30% of the transaction price for anything sold through the Apple Store (aka App Store).  For many things like software and songs I think this makes a lot of sense.  If you consider that the SG&A line of a company’s balance sheet is typically forty to fifty percent and that many of the companies that sell through the App Store have little or no marketing or sales functions, thirty percent sounds very good indeed.  In fact, with a price of a few bucks, most of the applications on the App Store would not see the light of day if their developers had to market and sell through more conventional channels.  The same is true with songs selling for ninety-nine cents.

But the post was about what happens if content providers like newspapers have to work under the same rules.  Unlike a song or software, a newspaper gets rewritten daily — you only sell so many before you need to reload and the overhead associated with active development of a daily product is high.  But also, a newspaper brings with it a recognized brand and a readership.

In that situation, it’s not clear that a service like the App Store delivers much more than a different kind of distribution infrastructure and the post questioned the fairness of a one size fits all pricing model.  You might argue that a paper with digital distribution loses its printing and transportation overhead so Apple’s offer is a good deal.  But no publisher is going to simply flip a switch to the digital world and those legacy costs will be with publishers for a long time.  Essentially, the publishers can’t afford to do both.  It’s a classic “innovator’s dilemma.”

The post concluded that Apple’s billing system might have something to do with this apparent rigidity.  A transaction-based system that works for songs and software appears ill-suited to a relationship like a subscription because it does not have to deal with the rigors of a relationship.  For instance, a billing system for subscription services needs to be very flexible and capable of making all sorts of changes to the purchased service, daily if needed.

The post got several comments including the one below, which was surprising.

“How do you know Apple’s current billing system won’t do exactly what you describe?  Perhaps Apple doesn’t want to do this.

Why should they?  They are a powerhouse in this market, and if companies don’t want to distribute through iTunes, they can hit the road.

70% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

The surprise was the “hit the road” attitude of the writer.  Today, competition is so fierce that a hit-the-road attitude seems not only wrong but like an antique from the robber baron era.  With a solution (and an attitude) like that it’s just a matter of time before other solutions, with more generous terms or, perhaps, one specialized for publishers, hit the market.

Our simple question is, what could make a company like Apple behave in such an apparently self-destructive way?  The post said that the billing system’s inadequacies might be the problem but, on second thought, that seems like giving too much “benefit of the doubt” given the number of emerging companies with billing solutions out in the market.  A company like Apple could always buy one of those companies.  It’s more likely this is a form of un-strategic overreach stemming from not knowing or understanding the customer.

Knowing the customer, or customer intimacy, has become a strategic necessity as one sector after another reverts to the mean after many years of rapid growth driven by high demand for new products and product categories.  Instead of pioneering completely new product categories, many companies today are innovating around established products and bringing out the next version.  Typically, they do this by adding features and functionality to existing products, replacing an expensive component with a less expensive one or fusing several components into one at lower cost, and by providing an experiential element to their offerings.

But I must stress that those approaches work for PRODUCTS.  Subscriptions are different.  If product differentiation thrives on features and functions, subscriptions thrive on experiences.  In this example, Apple is set up to provide low cost products, much like the brick and mortar retail giant Walmart.  But Apple is poorly suited to mediate third party experiences — notice I said third party experiences.

Apple is a master of orchestrating your experience with an iPhone or iPad or the shopping experience in its stores.  But it hasn’t learned the fine art of making itself invisible in transactions where it is only supplying basic infrastructure.  Its third party billing policies — encoded in a billing system — don’t help matters.

Beyond the billing issue is a more substantial economic issue as basic as supply and demand.  The Apple approach looks like a supply side, build it and they will come model but we’ve crossed over into a demand side era.  If you’ve noticed over the last couple of years with credit tight and the consumer tapped out, demand isn’t what it used to be.

The highly leveraged balance sheets of individuals, corporations and governments mean that, absent a return of John Maynard Keynes from the grave, demand will remain slack for a prolonged period.  Increasing or maintaining supply without doing something about price is like pushing on a proverbial string in this situation.

If you look at the newspaper industry today you will notice that readership is declining for two fundamental reasons.  Younger people don’t read papers as much as older people do and there are many more older people.  As Baby boomers give up the daily habit or (yikes!) begin to give up the ghost, there are fewer people demanding papers.

Most papers have already cut their coverage, laid off newsroom staff and wrangled pay cuts from their unions.  These actions have not been enough as advertising sales have declined and many have cheapened their products by printing fewer pages and covering less news.

Back to Apple.

Charging a high price for using its infrastructure for a third party subscription transaction is not going to excite publishers or make lots of money for Apple.  Publishers (and SaaS software companies) will go elsewhere.  There is a fundamental difference between selling products and selling subscriptions.  For all of Apple’s hip twenty-first century marketing and customer service prowess, its approach to subscriptions says loud and clear that it is still a twentieth century manufacturer and supply side fan.


Still from Apple Super Bowl Ad "1984"

Won't get fooled again?

I am watching a trend emerge.  I don’t know if it has a name yet so I will offer this — re-intermediation.  Most of us have been around the technology world in general and the Internet specifically to understand and remember its opposite, disintermediation.  Re-intermediation is a reversal of disintermediation — in many cases formulated by the same forces that caused the original disintermediation.

The Internet did a great job of disintermediation — weeding out the middleman in a huge number of transactions in every day commerce.  Disintermediation is one way of saying that customers now have more power than ever before because we have information.  Middlemen were often the holders of information and their control gave them power — to set prices, allocate inventory and more.

There was nothing illegal about how the middlemen did their jobs and some economists might argue that they facilitated an efficient market.  Suppose you wanted a car in a specific color with a five-speed transmission.  In the old days if a dealer had the right car but in a different color or trim package, that dealer could have easily told you that your selection didn’t exist this side of the Mississippi River.  That information — which might not have been right — would hopefully influence your decision to buy what was on the lot.  The dealer controlled your access to information about availability of other models at other dealerships but today you can go on-line and find an exact match taking the dealer out of the picture almost entirely.

It’s not a fun way to be a vendor these days.  Smart buyers can do most of their research online long before meeting a vendor representative and at that meeting the discussion is often over price.  Middlemen used to make money on their superior knowledge and the Internet made that a lot harder, changing whole industries.  The holy sales cycle has been replaced in many circumstances by the buying process with many different rules.  Worst of all is the realization that a vendor can be locked out of a process and not even be aware of it.

In some ways the Internet has been turned into a later day Prometheus, the Greek god who legend tells us stole fire — the highest technology of that day — from Zeus and gave it to humans.  As punishment Zeus sentenced Prometheus to being chained to a boulder for eternity.  By day a great eagle would eat his liver, by night he would heal and at dawn the cycle would renew.

Watching the emergence of re-intermediation tells me that Zeus is no longer happy with the arrangement.  He’s walking around with a fire hose trying to extinguish all memory of fire.  But the incredible irony is that the re-intermediators are, in some cases the very technology companies that started and benefitted from the original disintermediation.

For instance, in my industry I have never seen so much competition from some of the outlets that I write for as there is today (ok, not this one).  Publishers with their own, very different, business models are staking a claim to what has historically been analyst work — white papers, reports and webinars for example.  But I am not here to dwell on that part of re-intermediation, simply to note that it is a spreading phenomenon and goes beyond simple commerce.

The more interesting re-intermediator is Apple.  The company that bought a 1984 Super Bowl ad to define a market dominating IBM as Big Brother seems now to be grasping for the same kind of market dominance.  Exhibit A is Apple’s announced thirty percent cut of everything sold through the App Store.

The App Store is a marvelous thing, it consolidates demand for all kinds of products that run on an Apple platform.  Truth be told, many of the things the App Store sells could not be sold at all, let alone at prices that make impulse buying possible, if the companies that developed them also marketed them.  The overhead would simply be too great.  So in this, the App Store adds great value; however, this aspect of the App Store might also be its Achilles Heel.

What if a vendor doesn’t actually need the market consolidating power of the App Store?  What if a vendor already has a high quality brand and a customer base eager for its product?  Does the App Store’s market consolidating power actually add any value?  Or is the App Store simply a low cost conduit for a commerce stream that already exists and is simply moving from, say, a brick and mortar delivery model to a digital one?  What is the value add of Apple’s infrastructure stripped of its market consolidating power?  Thirty percent?  Really?

Such is the case of the publishing industry.  Publishers of printed materials for daily or monthly consumption have been battered by market forces for years, even decades by unions, high costs of raw materials including transportation, paper, ink, real estate and professional labor.  Some of these costs can’t be helped and publishers that have tried to lower costs by firing half of their newsrooms have simply succeeded in cheapening their products and abetting the stampede to other content formats.

So it seems like publishers have arrived on the digital doorstep exhausted and bled dry by forces beyond their control as the marketplace continues a secular shift.  Many are ready to trade in their eighteenth and nineteenth century business models for something shiny, new and digital and to hand over thirty pieces, er I mean points, of their revenue to do it.

But thirty points is too much for what they would get — which is basically distribution — and on top of all that, the publishers would forfeit their relationship with their customers.  The primary relationship henceforth would be between Apple and the reader which is like saying my relationship with my paper is primarily with the guy who throws it in the general direction of my neighbor’s garage seven days a week.

Publishers have an alternative.  They already have circulation departments that manage subscriber lists, truck routes, stores and home delivery.  Newspapers already have websites too.  Surely a circulation department is the right place from which to handle digital distribution and billing for a fraction of the re-intermediator’s fee.

Publishers — especially the newspapers — generally have waited too long to adjust their business models to the digital age.  They have watched in silence as nimble webmeisters stole their classified and display ads and they’ve glumly tried to play the bloggers’ game even as they cheapened the art of professional news reporting.  But now is not the time for the ultimate surrender to a business model that will likely complete a process of making vassals of the once proud and independent fifth estate.

There are better solutions out there than Apple’s rather arrogant demand of thirty points and publishers owe it to their readers and shareholders to investigate them.

A subscription service provider’s offering has three parts — the actual service-product, an infrastructure for delivering it and, for lack of a better word, value-add.  A provider may deliver all three as a single service but that’s not necessary.

A common form of subscription is a car lease in which a customer buys the use of a car measured in miles per year for a fixed term such as three years.  The infrastructure and service are the actual car, which remains in the possession of the lessee as long as the monthly payment stream is maintained.  Finally, the value add can be rather minimal ranging from nothing more than the standard warranty to scheduled maintenance at no additional charge.

More commonly, many subscriptions today are in the form of a pure service.  You could argue that a car lease is really a service.  But the fact that a tangible product changes hands, at least temporarily for the duration of the lease, places a car lease in a different category than software as a service for example or a subscription to content — delivered increasingly in digital form.

In a service subscription, the service-product is the actual content or use of an application and it can change frequently.  The value added is often substantial and may include telephone support and the right to modify the subscription as needed.  SaaS software vendors tout their ability and willingness to modify customer usage profiles almost at will up to and including terminating coverage at any time, hence support for the value add needs to be as encompassing and robust as the service-product itself.

In a subscription service the infrastructure is the smallest part of the delivered whole product and while the service-product cannot be delivered without infrastructure, it is a relative commodity in comparison to the content and the value-add.

This presents an interesting situation for the subscription industry because it shows concretely that subscription services have evolved to a point of differentiation, a point where all subscription providers are not the same, if indeed they ever were.  This also brings into sharp relief the situation that Apple finds itself in with an App Store selling software and songs plus content — fundamentally different products — that has only one way of selling.

Many of the applications that Apple sells through its store are uniquely tuned to its products and operating environments.  Moreover, the companies that develop the applications have little or no other access to the market — they have skeleton sales and marketing — and the price points for their applications are so low that they could not market their applications any other way.

An iPhone application, for example, that sells for two dollars could not make money for its developers in the open market and might possibly never exist if not for the App Store’s power to aggregate demand.  This is especially true if you consider that no transaction takes place between the vendor/developer and Apple until a customer buys the application.  This model frees the software developer from bearing the cost of a non-sale, the cost of general sales and marketing operations.

In the above situation Apple’s policy of taking thirty percent of the revenue from the sale makes reasonable sense.  The developer avoids the ruinously high costs normally associated with sales and marketing and has a reasonably secure path to market.  In this scenario, Apple participates in all three tiers of subscription services — infrastructure, content (owned by the developer) and value add in the form of marketing, sales and service associated with delivery.  The developer may still wish to offer additional support services, but that’s an individual call.

A content publisher — specifically of newspapers or magazines — will present a very different profile as an App Store partner by virtue of its product type and legacy business.  Like the software company, the publisher comes to market with unique content, in this case journalism.  The publisher has an established brand and a customer base and the publisher already participates in activities that build the brand and service customers (through a circulation department).

The part of the App Store of greatest interest to the publisher is the infrastructure which supplies delivery and billing from which Apple takes its thirty percent.  The question is whether the publisher receives enough value from the association given that the primary use of the store is the infrastructure component.  Opinions will vary and this is a contentious issue in some quarters today but capturing thirty percent of the transaction, while worthwhile for the software developer, might be a bad deal for the content publisher.

Software is a product, regardless of how it is delivered, that is made once and improved sporadically over time.  Content is ephemeral and a publication, by definition, needs to be rebuilt as often as it is published, typically daily for a newspaper and perhaps monthly for a periodical.

So, for at least two reasons including lower demands — primarily infrastructure (and specifically NOT branding or customer outreach) — and higher overhead to produce a product, the one size fits all approach to subscriptions appears to be doomed if Apple continues down its path of charging thirty percent.

Rather than a simple reconstruction of the publishing model through a digital store, Apple might be better off considering how it can expand readership and innovate around product and truly add value.  Since all of the content is in digital form, it would be trivial to reconfigure it by branding the components and then selling new combinations.

Sports, Op-Ed, National and Business sections of various papers can all be branded.  Suppose a transplanted New Yorker living in San Francisco wishes to follow the Yankees in the New York Times through the baseball season.  That same person might prefer the front section of the Wall Street Journal and the Op-Ed section of the Washington Post.  Today that consumer would need to buy or subscribe to three papers plus the San Francisco Chronicle if s/he wanted local coverage.  But with a little innovation a consolidator like Apple could provide the value add of bundling the discrete elements into a single deliverable expanding the papers market reach in the process.

Bundling like this requires a very flexible billing system that can slice and dice products and support the whims of subscribers who want to take up and cancel content subscriptions at any time.  Such a billing system is not usually found in an organization that sells products in one-time transactions such as for software licenses and songs.

Apple’s approach to the content subscription market may be dictated by its approach to billing and not any other business concern.  The company may be selling content as if it were software simply because its billing system won’t let it do anything else.

The alternatives are to partner with emerging companies like Aria or Zuora or to build a new billing system from scratch.  But it’s late in the game to be building something.  Some publishers have already embarked on projects of their own and the billing vendors are very active at this point.  So Apple’s options appear to be limited, team up with or buy a subscription billing provider or continue stumbling through this new market — a very un-Apple thing to do.

In this case it was the Apple IPad 2.

Yesterday’s refresh of the iconic, category making iPad looked more like a bug fix release than a new iteration.  Sure it’s lighter, supports two cellular networks and WiFi and it has the AppStore behind it but it only leaves me saying, “So?”

Here’s a news flash — I only have one cellular network and when I wanted an iPhone I switched to AT&T to get it.  I have been waiting for the next version of the iPad because of what I see as limitations of the original.  But as it is, the iPad 2 looks much more like a device that some corporation might use to control me rather than something I can use to rule the world.

Why can’t the iPad support a phone without all of the back channel machinations of getting onto a VoIP carrier and plugging in extra stuff?  Compared to the “old” version I repeatedly come back to the “get” what is the “get”?  Why should I pay more for numero dos than for numero uno?

Looking at the tablet market and the recently introduced competitors for iPad, it looks to me like they’ve all settled into good enough mode already.  Too bad.  There’s so much more to do guys!


Tablet vendors at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas had a coming out party.  Driven by the wild success of the iPad, they introduced something like eighty — that’s 8-0h my goodness — tablet PCs to the world.  Now, by itself that’s significant, especially for CRM, and something hard to miss even if you’re a proverbial blind horse.  But let’s not stop there; to understand the significance for CRM we can analyze more information.

For instance, it was widely reported last year that for the first time social media out-competed email for our attention.  Add to that the growing importance of video as a content medium and you can start to see a trend emerge.

One thing I conclude immediately is that we’re increasingly mobile, hence the need for a form factor that is easy enough to carry and big enough to do things with.  But with this we are also becoming a bit more passive in our technology use.  Passive?  With all these devices and movement?  Perhaps.  And with social media’s impact picking up the volume of transmissions will likewise and the demand for better quality interactions will follow.

Tablets, or at least the iPad, which so many vendors are trying to emulate, were developed as receiving devices, things used to surf the Internet and increasingly that means watching video content.  Granted you can use an array of screen-based and hardware oriented keyboards, but the primary use of these devices is to slurp information from the Web.  There was a report last week, surfaced by my friends at The Enterprise Irregulars, that Apple was removing the only button from the iPad for a future revision of the device.  That’s a direction keyboard enthusiasts should monitor.  TV is a passive medium and it would appear that our computing is becoming more TV-like.

I’ve spoken to a variety of marketing people recently about video and its surging importance to CRM and I’ve written about it here.  The sense of these marketers is nearly universal that tablets are fine for watching videos and that means corporate videos.

Graphics packages — Harvard Graphics and PowerPoint — were thought by many to be the killer applications for the laptop because sales people could take them anywhere and deliver a more or less standard pitch.

Video will certainly become the killer application of the tablet and that will place more responsibility on the marketing group.  Video eliminates much of the need for a presenter and makes the viewer responsible not only for attention but for presenting as well.

Thor Johnson tells me that business-to-business marketing is still by many accounts a PR and brochure business.  But increasingly tools from Eloqua, Marketo and others are turning marketing from art to science.  As marketers generate and analyze more customer data they become more astutely aware of real needs and they will have plenty of incentive to meet those needs through advanced communications, e.g. video.

Already companies like BrainShark are delivering to market the infrastructure required to develop high quality videos that play anywhere — from the smallest screens to the most advanced tablets as well as desktops.

The increased use of video will multiply the amount of data we push around the Web daily and drive demand for bigger networks with fatter pipes (or tubes if you are a member of the U.S. Senate).  And just as tools like PowerPoint gave everyone the ability to develop presentations, we must expect that before long we will all become experts at developing and delivering live or recorded full motion video.

But increasing mobility might not pan out exactly the way many people see it.  The presumption now is that mobility means more face time and that’s probably right though we’ll certainly need to pick our spots more carefully as the cost of transport rises.  In such an environment mobility might become synonymous with remoteness, as in working at some locations not associated with your corporation.

The transportation issue, which I have bored you with before, could become a serious drain on the economy.  It’s simple math, but if a gallon of regular goes from two-fifty to five bucks, your cost of transportation just took a sharp rise.  Transportation comes out of the SG&A (sales, general and administrative) line and eats into your margin like a worm through an apple.  At that point your choices all look iffy.  You could drive something smaller to your customer appointment but the cost of switching is not small.  Regardless, you can’t do much about the fuel economy of the jet that takes you to another city.  The alternative of not going is only supportable if there is a credible alternative.

At that point, the benefits of mobile and video technology that right now look like a leap in efficiency that will flow directly to the bottom line, will become fixes that help you maintain your position, to tread water.  Economists have a term for this, it’s called consuming the dividend.  You could save the benefit, which is what happens when it really does hit the bottom line.  Or you could plow the benefit back into the business and that’s what I see happening with video and mobile technologies.  That’s why it’s so important to get on this bandwagon.  Eighty new tablet introductions is more than a straw in the wind.