Mobile Makes Facebook Just an App; That’s Great News

“Strong opinions weakly held” is a core principle of mine, and while I think I’ve demonstrated strong opinions aplenty on this blog, today it’s time to give credence to the “weakly held” part. Specifically, I have been wrong about Facebook. I’ve been a bear about their long-term prospects, and now I am a bull. My […]

Understanding Google

The surest route to befuddlement in the tech industry is comparing a vertical player, like Apple, with a horizontal one, like Google. Vertical players typically monetize through hardware, only serve a subset of users, and any services they provide are exclusive to their devices. Horizontal players, on the other hand, monetize through subscriptions or ads, […]

The (alleged) 13-inch iPad and the triumph of thin clients

The WSJ, in an article entitled Apple Tests Larger Screens for iPhones, iPads: In recent months, Apple has asked for prototype smartphone screens larger than 4 inches and has also asked for screen designs for a new tablet device measuring slightly less than 13 inches diagonally, they said. The current iPhone 5 has a four-inch […]

Services, not Devices

Microsoft needs to first understand the type of company it is, and choose its strategy accordingly. That means focusing on services, not devices.

The Uncanny Valley of a Functional Organization

Consider this Part 2 in an accidental series on Microsoft’s recent reorganization, and functional and divisional organizations. Part 1 focused on a divisional organization, while today’s Part 2 focuses on functional ones. The “Uncanny Valley” is most typically associated with animated films (although it was originally about robots). From Wikipedia: The uncanny valley is a […]

Why Microsoft’s Reorganization Is a Bad Idea

Steve Ballmer is reorganizing Microsoft into a functional organization: it is a mistake that misunderstands the company he leads.

The Dropbox Opportunity

Benedict Evans, in Glass, Home and solipsism, one of the most insightful posts I’ve read in some time: Your customers’ relationships with you are the only relationships you have as a business and you think a lot about them. But you’re one of a thousand things your customer thinks about in a week, and one […]

Apple Celebrates 5 Years of App Store With Free App Promotion

Macstories: Ahead of the App Store’s fifth anniversary on Wednesday, July 10, Apple has launched a new promotion that includes five “groundbreaking” iOS apps and five “landmark” iOS games; these apps will be available for free for a limited time to celebrate the first five years of App Store. Apple has posted an official page […]


The Internet has removed friction: that means a whole new set of possibilities; it doesn’t mean they are all good.


I answered a Quora question: It’s interesting how some folks are always looking for some sort of institutional authority.1 I’ve been quoted as “Microsoft’s Ben Thompson,” as “former Apple intern Ben Thompson,” and “batshit crazy Ben Thompson.” I actually wish the third were true, because, unlike the first two, the descriptor rests on what I […]