The Future of Media: The Flipboard Edition

In 2005, Fred Wilson authored a blog post titled "The Future of Media".  It remains extremely relevant and insightful, 5 years after its publishing, and has been proven right throughout a few major waves of innovation, such as Facebook and the iPhone. In Fred's words, the future of media has 4 major components:

1 – Microchunk it – Reduce the content to its simplest
form. Thanks Umair.
2 –
Free it – Put it out there without walls around it or
strings on it. Thanks
3 – Syndicate it – Let anyone take it
and run with it.  Thanks Dave.
Monetize it – Put the monetization and tracking
systems into the microchunk. Thanks Feedburner.

Today, I saw a new innovation that is feeding on the above points, but is also extremely good at the interface level:  The Flipboard.  And, yes, please add me to the fanboy list.  And please see the video below for Mike McCue's demo of the Flipboard.  It's really difficult to describe.

iPad First Impressions

I got a chance to play around with an iPad yesterday.  I wanted to record my first  impressions, to see if (or rather, how) they will change over time.

  • The screen is awesome.
  • The gestures are a bit more natural for me than the iPhone.
  • It really is a large iTouch.  But "large" makes a huge difference.
  • I wish it were kindle-light.  Not sure that it's as good a substitute for an e-reader.  However, if I'm traveling, I'll probably just grab one device, and naturally, it's the iPad.
  • The lack of a camera is a non-issue, at least in the first version.
  • I recently had a conversation about the differentiated advertising paradigm on an iPad.  I am now more convinced of it.  There will be new ways to advertise/interact with the audience on pads.
  • I wish it were open.  Would speed up development and foster creativity.

I remain convinced that it's a giant leap in UI and user experience. 

The iPad UI Shift

Marc Benioff (of has a thought-provoking piece on TechCrunch the future of software, emphasisizing, unsurprisingly, the cloud, and surprisingly, the iPad.

I have not yet seen or used the iPad but i agree with most of Marc's points.  I have stated that I think the iPad is being discounted using the laptop/smartphone paradigm, and that seems to me like a mistake.  The iPad will open new doors to creativity, similar to what Flash, iPhone and Facebook enabled.  And the new form factor will allow for uses not thought of right now.

And the fact that it's an Apple product will allow it to make it past Geoffrey Moore's bowling alley.  Many paradigm shift potentials get stuck there and the iPad will coast past it.  That's the Apple factor.

However, the most interesting part of Benioff's post is this for me:

In 1999, I was obsessed with the question, “Why isn’t all enterprise
software like And in 2010, the question evolved: “Why isn’t
all enterprise software like Facebook?” This week we will have the
answer to that question in our hands with the iPad. It’s a more
productive, easier, and fun way to work and live. The iPad shows us the
old world is no longer good enough. We’ll need new software with a new

The last statement I agree with, and am excited about.  And the iPad is a product that certainly makes Benioff's statement possible and credible.