massive greatness

by MG Siegler

Writer. Investor. Thinker. Drinker.

Page 3


No Price, No Date, No Apps, No Problem. No Wait — Problem.

I’m just now catching up on the news about the new Microsoft Surface. Reactions seem mixed, tilting slightly positive or at least hopeful. People seem to want to believe Microsoft can pull this off and that’s understandable — competition is good, and right now, the iPad has no competition. My hunch is that whatever tablet Google announces shortly will be more of a Kindle Fire competitor than an iPad competitor. This Surface is a full-on iPad competitor.

On the surface — see what I did there? — the thing seems compelling. It’s a tablet that runs Windows, and Office, and has a keyboard. There’s no denying that the keyboard/cover hybrid is a smart thing to try.

Two years ago, I think this thing would have been pretty competitive. Today? Color me very skeptical.

First of all, for everything Microsoft did show off yesterday they left out some of the most important details. Namely, the...

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The Mac’s Mid-Life Crisis

I’m writing this from the new MacBook Pro with the Retina display. It’s a thing of true beauty. I’m watching myself type these letters and I can’t believe they’re this crisp. It’s like I’m professionally printing these words in realtime.

Anyway, this isn’t a review of the new MacBook Pro. I’m in the middle of playing around with it and I’ll write my full thoughts sometime later this week. Instead, I simply wanted to think out loud for a bit about the future of the Mac, and my future with it.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been a full-on MacBook Air guy. I have a three-year old iMac that sits on my desk and is my media hub, but the vast majority of my traditonal computing is done on a 13-inch Air (and I say “traditional”, of course, because I actually use my iPhone and increasingly my iPad more than any of my Macs — but that’s another topic). In many ways, I view it as the...

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8 Months Vs. 22 Seconds

Nick Bilton weighs in on the “HBO is a slave to cable” debate. I’m actually getting sick of talking about this. There are those of us in the camp that believe HBO is foolish, and there are those who think we’re foolish for thinking HBO is foolish. There’s clearly a big disconnect here. And it boils to this:

I fully understand why HBO will not make this content available now. It’s purely a business decision. And on June 11, 2012, every piece of evidence suggests that this business decision makes sense. $12 million a month in revenue from those signing online petitions? Ha. That would not even cover the rumored budget of the first season of Game of Thrones — one show.

My point is simply that on June 11, 2013, that math is going to be a little more complicated. On June 11, 2014, it will be more complicated still. And so on.

By not acting now, and getting out in front of the situation,...

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What Google Maps Actually Just Unveiled: Anxiety Over Apple Maps

You want to know how I know that Google is very concerned about the forthcoming launch of Apple’s own mapping product for iOS? I simply followed the Google Maps press conference today.

The mere fact that Google decided to hold a press conference just five days before WWDC (where Apple’s mapping product is widely expected to be unveiled) said pretty much all you needed to know. When it was announced last week, it seemed like it may have been thrown together at the last second to pre-empt Apple’s event. Now we can be positive that it was.

Just look at the tweets about the event today.

Everyone came to the same conclusion because it was the only conclusion to come to. Even the new products that Google did manage to unveil today have vague timelines for launching. And one has actually been out there for some time. They wanted to make sure to note that new 3D technology was coming soon!...

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“Love The New Site,” Said No One Ever

A couple weeks ago, I switched up the look and feel of my ParisLemon blog. Over the next several days, I got hundreds of messages along the lines of “What did you do?!” “You fucking idiot!” “Change it back immediately!” “My eyes are bleeding demon tears.” Etc.

It turns out that I wasn’t just screwing with everyone, I did have a plan. You see, I started to notice that I was losing Tumblr followers. Quite a large number, actually. Not quickly, but slowly, over time. And because I don’t monetize that site and generally hate the pageview game (which I played for many years), “followers” is a metric that I actually keep an eye on. I want the people following me on Tumblr to be happy that they’re following me. And if they’re unfollowing me, they’re clearly not happy.

So I switched things up. I began using Tumblr in a way that I felt was more natural to the network — quick sharing, lots of...

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From Hunter To Gatherer

In my former life as a reporter, I found it somewhat lame when I would get pitched a story. Believe it or not, that included “exclusives”. Gee, thanks for dropping dinner in my lap, I guess. It made me feel like a lion in a zoo.

I was a hunter. I wanted not just the feast, I wanted the kill. More importantly, I wanted the thrill of the hunt.

What I mean is that I wanted to be out there sniffing around, finding something I shouldn’t find and breaking news that way. To me, there was nothing more exhilarating. It made hand-fed stories seem obscenely weak.

This lifestyle required me to stay on top of technology news in a perhaps unhealthy way. I can’t tell you how many stories I tracked down simply by reading between the lines of another story. If you want to be a good reporter, read everything. Go from there.

In those days, RSS was my best friend. I subscribed to and read hundreds of...

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Facebook’s IPO “Disaster”

OMG, a rational piece on the Facebook IPO. Crazy.

NYT columnist Joe Nocera talking about Splunk, which went public five weeks ago:

The offering raised $229.5 million for the company. But if the bankers had done a better job of pricing the shares — and had come closer to the $35 a share that investors were willing to pay — the company would have reaped twice as much. Putting cash in a company’s coffers is supposed to be the whole purpose of an I.P.O. Isn’t it?

The only real “losers” of the Facebook IPO so far are a select group of bankers. And that’s only because they had hoped to profit from a quick stock pop which never occurred. It really is that simple. Why everyone is so confused about this fact, I have no idea.

The IPO was a massive win for Facebook, which raised $16 billion. Let me say that again: they raised sixteen billion dollars. They can now use that money on whatever...

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Massive

As I write this, I’m 37,500 feet above Iowa. It’s slightly cold in the cabin. I can’t hear a thing besides the jet engines. I (obviously) have Internet access, but it’s not yet ubiquitous enough for everyone to assume that I have it, so no one is bugging me. In many ways, this is the perfect way to write.

I miss writing. The sad truth is that it’s increasingly hard for me to find time for it anymore. Yes, I do a column for TechCrunch, and yes, I post rants here and there on ParisLemon. But it’s usually me rushing to get something up in the fleeting spare time that I have in between meetings. That’s why I enjoy long plane rides. Like this one. All kinds of time alone with my thoughts.

So I’ve been thinking…

Wouldn’t it be great to have a new outlet where I could just focus on writing? About anything. Just writing to write — without pressure or an agenda.

While I’m very much a creature...

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