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Voice Input – Some Observations1


I have an excellent voice assistant on my Android phone. I never use it. I could be dictating this blog post using the same voice assistant. I don’t do that except when I want to prove that I can. We have had Alexa and Google Home in our home. We shut them off and sent them away. But we use the Siri voice assistant on our AppleTV all the time. Why? Well for one, searching for video content does not have to be exact. Just close enough. So when you say “Allen Iverson crossover Michael Jordan” into your AppleTV remote, even if Siri doesn’t translate that perfectly, YouTube understands it and delivers up one of my favorite basketball moments reliably. Second, the keypad entry on AppleTV is horrible. I spent some time yesterday setting up apps, entering passwords, etc and it is about the most frustrating experience I’ve had on a computer in a long time. Siri on the AppleTV is so much better than the alternative and reliably good enough that it has become the way we interact with our AppleTV. Another example is my car. I have a Jeep and it has this awful smart car UI called UConnect in it. It’s the worst. Except I can say “call Joanne Wilson” while I am driving and it does that pretty reliably. I have called a person we know named Jan Wilson a few times by accident, but that is way better than another kind of a accident in my Jeep. So while voice imput has not taken hold in our life where text input works reliably and conveniently, it has taken hold where text input is not reliable, convenient, or safe. What this tells me is the path forward for voice input technology, which has gotten very good, is in applications that are not mainstream yet but can get mainstream by solving the data input problem. And, in fact, that is what is already happening. https://avc.com/2018/08/voice-input-some-observations/

Voice Input – Some Observations1


I have an excellent voice assistant on my Android phone. I never use it. I could be dictating this blog post using the same voice assistant. I don’t do that except when I want to prove that I can. We have had Alexa and Google Home in our home. We shut them off and sent them away. But we use the Siri voice assistant on our AppleTV all the time. Why? Well for one, searching for video content does not have to be exact. Just close enough. So when you say “Allen Iverson crossover Michael Jordan” into your AppleTV remote, even if Siri doesn’t translate that perfectly, YouTube understands it and delivers up one of my favorite basketball moments reliably. Second, the keypad entry on AppleTV is horrible. I spent some time yesterday setting up apps, entering passwords, etc and it is about the most frustrating experience I’ve had on a computer in a long time. Siri on the AppleTV is so much better than the alternative and reliably good enough that it has become the way we interact with our AppleTV. Another example is my car. I have a Jeep and it has this awful smart car UI called UConnect in it. It’s the worst. Except I can say “call Joanne Wilson” while I am driving and it does that pretty reliably. I have called a person we know named Jan Wilson a few times by accident, but that is way better than another kind of a accident in my Jeep. So while voice imput has not taken hold in our life where text input works reliably and conveniently, it has taken hold where text input is not reliable, convenient, or safe. What this tells me is the path forward for voice input technology, which has gotten very good, is in applications that are not mainstream yet but can get mainstream by solving the data input problem. And, in fact, that is what is already happening. https://avc.com/2018/08/voice-input-some-observations/

Control – SNAP, an exemplar in control


Source: http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/control-snap-an-exemplar-in-control/ Big Red Car here filled to overflowing with a good church sermon. I will have to digest it a bit. So, one of the things the Big Red Car preaches to his CEO coaching clients is, “Retain control of your company at all costs. When you lose control, the probability of your being replaced goes up astronomically.” This is what the Big Red Car says when a venture capitalist wants to make an investment resulting in an “after money” equity ownership of 20%, but wants two seats on a five-man Board of Directors. “Uhhh, CEO, if the VC owns 20% then he gets 20% of the board seats. That’s one, not two!” Interestingly enough, CEOs seem to always win this argument. This is a matter of control. SNAP SNAP took this idea to a higher level when it went public. The IPO created three categories of common stock.  Class A – the stock sold to the public through the IPO – NO VOTING RIGHTS.  Class B – the stock owned by critical employees and some early investors – ONE VOTE PER SHARE.  Class C – the stock owned by the founders (Bobby Murphy CTO, Evan Spiegel CEO) – TEN VOTES PER SHARE. Bobby Murphy, CTO; Evan Spiegel, CEO; and Rupert Murdoch – three guys who believe in controlling their company. Bravo! In this manner, the co-founders control 88.5% of the votes, meaning they have total, absolute control of the makeup of the Board of Directors. Bobby and Evan control SNAP like a rented mule. If you have control of the Board, they cannot fire you. Rented mule ready to haul the freight for Bobby and Evan. “Where to, boss?” So, Big Red Car, is this a good thing? Yes, it is if you are Bobby or Evan. Evan Spiegel, CEO of SNAP, received a spectacular dividend when supermodel Miranda Kerr agreed to his proposal of marriage. They were wed in the backyard of their $12MM home in front of 40 persons. She was a stickler for maintaining control of SNAP. “Oh, Evan, you wily billionaire CEO, I love the idea of a Class C stock with ten votes per share, darling. It’s so romantic.” Control, a new idea, Big Red Car? Well, actually, dear reader, it is not.  1. Mark Zuckerburg controls 60% of all the votes at Facebook.  2. Rupert Murcoch controls 40% of the votes at 21st Century Fox and News Corp.  3. Google is controlled by Sergey and Larry — haha, like we’re close friends – OK, that’s Sergey Brin and Larry Paige who control 52% of voting shares. Bottom line it, Big Red Car OK, here it is, y’all. When you buy non-voting stock or minority control stock in a public company you are betting on the controlling person. This means if you own SNAP you are betting on Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel. Jockey, horse, course, y’all. It also means you may get a stock performance like this: SNAP IPO price $17.00 SNAP first bounce price $24.48 (44% pop) SNAP current price $12.73/share Here is what happened to SNAP since the IPO: Not a great outcome yet. The other thing of some note is that the “Evan & Bobby show” conducted a three minute Annual Meeting on Thursday last, taking no questions. They did file a perfectly journeyman-like Form 10K with the US SEC as required by law, but they did not have much of an Annual Meeting. OK, so when you bought that SNAP Class A, you knew you weren’t getting any votes, you knew Bobby & Evan controlled everything, but did you know you wouldn’t have a “real” Annual Meeting? So, high marks to the founders of SNAP (Bobby & Evan) for maintaining control of their company, but the Big Red Car is unimpressed by the company stock performance and the arrogant Annual Meeting. But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrPrint Related Source: http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/control-snap-an-exemplar-in-control/

What Was, What Is, and What Will Be


A friend shared this book and blog with me called Vanishing New York. Both chronicle the loss of the culture and institutions that made NYC a magical place to live in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Certainly rising rents, rising wealth, a rising proportion of apartments owned by people who don’t live here, and all in all, a major bout of affluenza is afflicting Manhattan and possibly greater NYC right now. But I personally struggle with sentimentality and wistfulness. Yes, the NYC that I fell in love the in the early 80s is no more, replaced by something that is much harder to sing the praises of. But what interests me more is not what was or even what is, but what will be? Where is NYC heading? How will it manage it’s transportation crisis? How will it cope with rising sea levels? How will it deal with entire blocks of empty store fronts, brought on by the rise of ecommerce and landlords who won’t accept that their space is no longer worth what it once was? I loved this Atlantic piece that suggested NYC should reimagine it’s massive array of subway tunnels as the underground highways for autonomous vehicles. I have no idea if that is a good idea or even feasible. But I love the ingenuity and thinking the author displays. The Gotham Gal and I are making an apartment building in Brooklyn that is heated and cooled by solar power and has enough left over that we can sell it to the deregulating energy markets in New York State. We hope to make a few more of these buildings and maybe we will inspire other developers to do the same. I am drawn to the vitality of life in the outer boroughs where the melting pot vibe still pulses through the neighborhoods. Of course, gentrification can and will mess them up the same way it has messed up Manhattan if we aren’t careful. But we still have time to implement policies that can mitigate the negative aspects of gentrification. My point is this. We can, and probably should, bear witness to what has become of NYC and what we have lost in the process. But we must also be working on, investing in, and imaging what NYC (and life in general) can and will become. Change is the only constant. Fighting it is a losing proposition. Shaping it is the winning one. https://avc.com/2018/08/what-was-what-is-and-what-will-be/

What Was, What Is, and What Will Be1


A friend shared this book and blog with me called Vanishing New York. Both chronicle the loss of the culture and institutions that made NYC a magical place to live in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Certainly rising rents, rising wealth, a rising proportion of apartments owned by people who don’t live here, and all in all, a major bout of affluenza is afflicting Manhattan and possibly greater NYC right now. But I personally struggle with sentimentality and wistfulness. Yes, the NYC that I fell in love the in the early 80s is no more, replaced by something that is much harder to sing the praises of. But what interests me more is not what was or even what is, but what will be? Where is NYC heading? How will it manage it’s transportation crisis? How will it cope with rising sea levels? How will it deal with entire blocks of empty store fronts, brought on by the rise of ecommerce and landlords who won’t accept that their space is no longer worth what it once was? I loved this Atlantic piece that suggested NYC should reimagine it’s massive array of subway tunnels as the underground highways for autonomous vehicles. I have no idea if that is a good idea or even feasible. But I love the ingenuity and thinking the author displays. The Gotham Gal and I are making an apartment building in Brooklyn that is heated and cooled by solar power and has enough left over that we can sell it to the deregulating energy markets in New York State. We hope to make a few more of these buildings and maybe we will inspire other developers to do the same. I am drawn to the vitality of life in the outer boroughs where the melting pot vibe still pulses through the neighborhoods. Of course, gentrification can and will mess them up the same way it has messed up Manhattan if we aren’t careful. But we still have time to implement policies that can mitigate the negative aspects of gentrification. My point is this. We can, and probably should, bear witness to what has become of NYC and what we have lost in the process. But we must also be working on, investing in, and imaging what NYC (and life in general) can and will become. Change is the only constant. Fighting it is a losing proposition. Shaping it is the winning one. https://avc.com/2018/08/what-was-what-is-and-what-will-be/