LinkedIn's Direction

Ben Evans on LinkedIn

Now, I entirely understand that the LinkedIn business model is to sell my CV to recruiters, not give me useful tools to manage my network. I also understand that all the mediocre me-too news-aggregation is a way to try to get me to spend more time on the site, rather than visiting every month or two. But really, it needs to get the basics right. It needs to give me useful tools. Right now it’s a not-very-good CV database with an interface that would be second-rate a decade ago, that I have no reason to stick with if something remotely, you know, useful came along.

So, Reid Hoffman is a genius, with a great vision. I just wish he’d join LinkedIn, and implement some of it.

Looks like Ben and I have a very similar stand on linkedin. I do share his annoyances as well.But i have another point to add. Interesting thing here to notice is that I am a recruiter and he is not. But none the less we both have a very similar thought at where linkedin is heading. Simply put they are loosing focus in terms of what they intented to do and where they are headed.

When I joined, Linkedin was a professional netowrking site, now it seems more of a job portal targeted towards recruiters, As a premium user (yeah my company pays for it), I defninetely get benefits out of the way Linkedin is heading, but i doubt whether on the long run i would get much benefit at all. Professionals signed up on linkedin for the want/need of newtorking with similar like minded people and have conversations and discussions with industry experts in their industry of choice, not looking for a job or a career move. Jobs and career opportunities were not the core reason why they joined.

Linkedin is slowly pushing for more of Job Opportunities and less of networking on their site because recruiters are willing to pay to get connections/one to one interactions with professionals. That is where the money lies for them. Very valid, but what happens to professionals who are not seeking opportunities? The constant emails and connection requests are going to annoy other industry professionals. Soon either they will disable their accounts or delete them and move else where. Over the past couple of years i see a lot more recruiters joining LinkedIn than other industry professionals, which in my opinion isn’t good for recruiters in the long term.

Marcelo Somers

Google Admits WebM infringes h.264 Patents

Google Admits WebM infringes h.264 Patents

This might seem a harsh from Marco about google, but trust me it is just the truth.

Open” has very little to do with anything they do. What they’re really doing most of the time is trying to gain control of the web for themselves and their products. If they really cared about being so “open”, they’d open up a nontrivial part of their business that hasn’t already been commoditized, like their searching or advertising algorithms.

As usual, “open” is just lip service. And it works. It works damn well.

One can’t agree more with that statement.. They want to have the web under the control. Google created chromium (opensource), but how many of us get to use chromium as it is.The chromium site gives a download link to chrome and not the chromium, atleast for windows users its google chrome that they can get their hands on instantly and not chromium. So why is chromium so hard to download from the chromium site? Is there any stable build of chromium available? No.The reason is very simple, they want us to use the google branded version, so that they can keep tabs on the web and most importantly US. Why is Gmail still free? Why chrome OS, when there is open source linux? Why do they need to create Google+ rather than partner with Facebook for social search.

I can go on on ranting, but you get the point. Its very simple they want to own as much of the web as possible, keep everything under their control and they don’t care how they do it. They will do it by hook or crook. Well that stinks.

Its all consumerism

Its all consumerism

Most of us treat our money this way. The more we make, the more we spend. It’s not that we suddenly need to buy more just because we make more, only that we can, so we do. In fact, it’s quite difficult for us to avoid increasing our standard of living (or at least our rate of spending) every time we get a raise.

I don’t think it’s necessary to shun the whole ugly system and go live in the woods, pretending to be a deaf-mute, as Holden Caulfield often fantasized. But we could certainly do well to understand what big commerce really wants us to be. They’ve been working for decades to create millions of ideal consumers, and they have succeeded. Unless you’re a real anomaly, your lifestyle has already been designed.

The entire article is a good read, please read the complete story here. The article is one such peice which makes you stop and think about consumerism. Probably take a step back and realize what the whole point of life is, where we are headed, to take a look at the bigger picture of life, to realize where the limits are, to understand where fruitful life is and to get the essence of life. Hope the article inspires you to ponder and realize where you are headed, how deep in the consumerism soup you are and what you actually seek.

Apple's holiday quarter and market perceptions

Apple’s quarterly results were announced yesterday and they have done incredibly well given how the market had its own disappointments about the iPhone 5 and a lack of a new ground breaking product from its stable.
You should see the wonderful chart by Dan here to get an idea of how the quarters stacked up over the past year for apple.

What I am curious about is why do people perceive this as a flat growth. The stock dropped 10% yesterday after the announcement due to this perception. Why do people perceive it with such negativity? The profits might not have gone up, but should they look at the sales ? The iPhone especially had record breaking sales. Doesn’t that count as a very strong demand. Also there is a clear statement from apple saying the operating costs have gone up due to increase in manufacturing costs. Why don’t people understand such a small logical thing. It’s a shame that they don’t understand such a simple concept and they are trying to make money in the market.

I don’t own apple stock nor am I an apple fan boy. Did I own them I will rather keep it or buy more. It’s not time to sell it at least not yet. Just my logical thought.

Recruiters: Your Days Are Numbered. Seriously ?

It is quite true that

We’re already seeing signs of disruption.

For example, dedicated social recruiting tools such as BranchOut, Jobvite, and HireRabbit are shifting the responsibility of recruitment away from recruiting professionals and toward company employees, who get rewarded for connecting their networks to their employers. In effect, recruiters are being marginalized by collaborative filters within large networks of engaged users.

but am quite sure it will last at the least a decade, before the word recruiters becomes obsolete.But can it really become obselete? Nah it just can’t. Organisations can make their process easier for candidates to apply to jobs on facebook, twitter, linkedin or any other social medium. But trust me when your organisation needs a senior person (CXO, VP’s and similar), you NEED a RECRUITER, cause the potential candidates aren’t going to apply directly on any job boards or facebook. Mind that.

It is true that we as recruiters are being daily under pressure to constantly innovate new ways to reach out to potential candidates and build professional relationships as we pose threats with the social media evolution. But as long as our networks are strong and we have candidate loyalty, we will be in business.

iPad Mini's Pricing- Some possible reasons.

Was reading this article via Shawn Blanc’s post and I pondered on the reasoning behind the price and here is what I think besides Dan’s view point. The iPad mini’s price is more of a strategic price than anything else, and it does have a long term price point in mind. First the iPad mini has a bigger screen size and it needs to gel with apples product lines. At this point Apple doesn’t need to justify anything to either people or to its competition.Apple plays by its rules. With older iPod touch still around (I think its just there for holiday season sales), Apple couldn’t reduce the price of the new iPod touch below or equivalent to the older iPod touches/iPod Classic. So 5th gen iPod touch ships at a steeper $299. This Steep price point would boost sales of 4th generation iPod touches which sell at $199. So apple would be sold out of the 4th gen by the end of holiday season making it easy to discontinue in feb/march. So a relatively bigger device like iPad Mini, despite running a smaller resolution needs to be at a higher price point the smaller ones. Apple had no option but to price it at $329. There is another reason as well. Down the lane the manufacturing cost of retina ipad mini would be higher than current one, say if apple sold iPad mini at $279 this year with a margin of $50, they won’t be able to keep the margins same next year when they replace it with a retina display for the same price. The $329 would enable them to still keep their margins. While this year they might be making a little bonus on iPad mini’s margins than next year. Next year when the older iPod touches’s are discontinued, the new touch would be sold at lower price(say $249). Yeah I think ipod classic will be discontinued as well. And similarly the iPad mini when it gets the retina display next year, Apple can just keep the price margins at $329 and then they would have a product at every price point. Prices would be justified to their customers as well. Next year Apple’s line up of media devices might look like this. What do u think?

iPhone 5

Well it’s September 12, 2012, today. Whats so important today? If you didn’t know already, today Apple is all set to launch the iPhone 5. Yes I am convinced they will call it the iPhone 5 than just the “new iPhone”. Why so, I completely agree with the argument that Apple doesn’t need not change anything with the iPhone naming as they don’t have a mini iPhone coming like the iPad mini which is why the iPad got renamed in the first place and very clearly the invitation mentions a 5, which should relate to the phone more than the OS given iOS will be 6 when the phone ships in a weeks time.

As much as I am eagerly awaiting for this launch, I am not as excited as I am for an Apple event. It’s got nothing to do with the iPhone as such. I am sure it will be awesome as the previous ones were. Infact I am looking forward to the iPhone 5, given I am looking forward to upgrade my loyal, trustworthy, irreplaceable iPhone 4 on which I am writing this. What takes the fun out of the event is the amount of rumors that have been out over the past six months. If you haven’t been familiar with the amount of rumors, head over here for a complete roundup of the rumors about the iPhone 5.

What’s bad about these rumors is that, these kill the surprise element that Apple always has in their events. As much as these are rumors and speculations, some of them are based on valid facts from parts leaked by the suppliers. So we can be sure that some of them have to be true and in some cases we can even be sure of the specs and features. It’s very clear that the event won’t be that fun given how the recent “new iPad” event turned out after all the rumors. So expect something similar to the iPad event, even if Apple did ground breaking with the iPhone, it would look usual given the rumor was out there for good number of months in the industry. So Apple just has the software, with which they have to pull of the suprise element.

Apple has always be a company that keeps its secrecy, these days theres so much of interest in whats been cooking at Apple’s, its getting even more challenging for Apple to keep its secrets. So I think they gave up on aggressively keeping secrets1 of new versions of their products already existing in the market like the iPhone, iPod or any other mac product for that matter. Moving forward what they will keep secrets under an aggressive policy will be about a new product like the recently launched Macbook pro retina, which had negligible amount of rumours just like the upcoming iPad mini. We know nothing of the iPad mini except that it will be roughly 7 inches, and rest all is a speculation. So there will be lot more surprises in that iPad Mini event than in todays event unless, Apple PR had setup all these rumours about the iPhone just for the fun of to blow us all with a surprise of completely new phone which hasnt been in the rumours, which is very unlikely.

We will see how things go with the iPhone 5 and Apple in few hours from now. You can follow the event live from here.

1.By secrets, I mean mostly hardware secrets, because they are the ones that leak, due to external vendors.