Why Wearable Tech Just Isn’t Ready

Published by on Nov 10th, 2014, 3 Comments


“Gimmick” is a strong word that’s all to easily thrown around when talking about technology. As consumers, we’re quite quick to disregard any new product on the market as a shameless cash-in preying on ignorance and hype. Even the greatest bard of them all, Shakespeare, was quick to weigh in. As his eponymous character, Richard the III, says of wearable tech in his famous monologue, Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before (its) time. Into this breathing world, scarce half made up. And that so lamely and unfashionable, That dogs bark at me as I halt by them 

OK, I hear you. Shakespeare decidedly never raised his voice on wearable tech. However, I shall – and I decree the entire category as gimmickry released before its time. Allow me to explain. (more…)

Why I Hate Apple (but secretly love them)

Published by on Sep 16th, 2014, 20 Comments


One more thing…

These three little words might not mean anything to most people, but to any real tech lover like me it means a hell of a lot. This short phrase has been a staple of Steve Jobs’ second tenure at Apple, and it has become synonymous with some of the big products that have come to light at their launch events over the last 15 years.


Blogging and Disclosure – Is it Necessary?

Published by on Mar 27th, 2013, No Comments

DisclosureIn America the Federal Trade Commission have come out with some interesting rules on the disclosure required by bloggers and twitter users that are seeded free “stuff”. Locally we have no such regulations and it’s interesting to see what sort of regulations have been put forward:

  • Where and how to disclose: As far back as 2009, the FTC was already publicly recommending that disclosures not be buried at the bottom of a post or on a separate page
  • The disclosure needs to travel with the content: The disclosure must be in every Tweet. You can’t tweet a single disclosure that covers the whole conversation; there is no guarantee that readers will see the disclosing statement. The hashtag #spon is not sufficiently clear. The word “ad” is sufficiently clear, but needs to be in a prominent place. The FTC also suggests not using a #ad hashtag after a URL or shortlink as it could be overlooked.
  • Longer disclosure required: When an advertising claim merits a longer disclosure than is practical for the format, a hyperlink to additional information is acceptable, provided that anything material, or “triggering” is included in the original advertisement and the link is clear and conspicuous. In other words, you cannot bury CRITICAL disclosures in hyperlinked pages, but you can provide additional details.


Dropping 8ta is a Great Move by Telkom

Published by on Mar 4th, 2013, 3 Comments

8taAPPThere’s been a lot of talk about Telkom dropping the 8ta brand despite pushing millions into marketing the brand. Respected brand journalist Chris Moerdyk essentially says this is the biggest mistake Telkom has made in ages.

Chris is quite patently wrong. Yes, Telkom have plowed tons of money into the brand and it’s now a waste but the truth is that 8ta is actually a terrible brand. It’s confusing, the colours are frankly quite heinous and their stores are clinical.

Telkom is also a crap brand but the truth is that 8ta is actually a decent mobile network. Their data is well priced and they are the cheapest for phones such as the iPhone 5.

In addition, Telkom users can now get add on data or voice contracts on their current account without extra credit checks and hassles. Telkom has suddenly expanded their footprint for walk in stores or, in the case of both stores being in a mall, save costs. Let’s not even get into the concept of business customers who now have the ability to bolt on a cheap contract to their ADSL or voice line.

The Twitterari, tech journalists and marketing consultants might think this a bad idea but they’ve clearly never been into a Telkom store during the day. It’s busy, it’s chaos and it’s an amazing opportunity for Telkom to suddenly tell the general public that they happen to have a mobile network.


When Bad People happen to Great Brands

Published by on Feb 27th, 2013, 9 Comments


We live in South Africa, a country where labour is cheap and readily available. We also routinely complain about poor service in South Africa. The connection here is that since labour is so cheap it’s easier to constantly hire people, give them minimal training and then set them loose on the hordes that will enter your stores.

You’re essentially stocking your store with cattle that are unable to answer any questions but will work for the lowest common denominator salary.

A perfect example is almost any technical store. I’m not exactly expecting a salesperson to know the manufacturer of a motherboard but I do want them to avoid telling gullible customers that the iPad Mini has a retina display. I also find it fairly amusing that most iStore employees have Blackberry’s.

This isn’t a fringe case though; most store attendee’s have little care of empathy for their customers. They’re doing a job and they only care about a paycheck at the end of the month. That said, is it the fault of the store attendants or is this an issue that stems from the top? (more…)

Opinion: Why I Wouldn’t Touch A BlackBerry 10 Device Ever

Published by on Feb 6th, 2013, 18 Comments

As I write this, Blackberry (they are no longer being called RIM) are launching their new devices to the world. Their new Blackberry 10 OS might be innovative and their new devices look vaguely decent but I still wouldn’t buy one. I can’t exactly bash them before I’ve tried them but here’s why I’ll avoid these new Blackberry devices like the plague:

  1. I don’t trust them:  (more…)

Why Apple Hates You But Loves Your Mother

Published by on Sep 25th, 2012, 5 Comments

Gary Meyer is the MD of iClinic, a digital strategy and management consultancy, a technology lover and amateur futurologist.

On a recent visit to my parents’ home, I had an interesting conversation with my mother that really got me thinking. It started with her excitement at telling me that her iPhone (which she’s had for 3 years now) could play music. This was of course shocking to me. My mother is one of the smartest people I know. When she doesn’t know, she has the skills to find information and learn and she’s also someone whose technological expertise far outweigh my own. How was it possible then for her to be unaware of something as simple as the iPod feature of the iPhone, arguably one of its core features. This told me there was a problem, and I wanted to try and understand where the break in information flow happened. Turns out, my mother’s never visited, she’s never read the instruction manual nor has she ever bothered to ask anyone about the iPhone. When I asked her why, her answer was simple. “I had no reason to, my iPhone makes calls and I can send text messages. That’s really all I want it to do”. This really bothered me for sometime, as I felt I had let her down, she has this amazing device that she just wasn’t getting the full benefit of. It took me a long to time to accept the fact that, quite simply, she just didn’t care. It didn’t bother her at all.


Is Blackberry About to Lose Its Most Loyal Fans?

Published by on Oct 21st, 2011, 6 Comments

In the bigger scheme of things, the 5 days of Blackberry services outages after years of humming along is not that big a deal. It really is a tiny fraction of running time for a relatively stable system that has been very popular worldwide, but perhaps more significantly, growing in popularity in developing markets. The problem is rather that it could not have come at a worse time for Blackberry.

Blackberry has in recent months (or even years) been facing increasingly stiff competition on the handset front. Sure, their latest phones like the Torch and Bold 9900 are fairly good phones in their own right. But compared to the latest Android superphones and the iPhone, RIM clearly has a few challenging years ahead. When Apple was revolutionizing the mobile industry with a new finger friendly touch interface, RIM was still focussing on things like the loudspeaker’s quality. Different priorities…

But RIM had a plan – their loyal fanbase would stick to Blackberry’s great BIS service, which gives free web surfing and email for only a few dollars a month. And until now that seems to have gone the way they have planned. While first world consumers might have grown tired of the Blackberry handsets, the developing nations in the world have adopted Blackberry in a big way. And it is not the traditional enterprise client base – it is the super connected, price sensitive, social networking younger generation that needs their latest twitter timeline fix in between classes that is going for Blackberry.

So why is everyone so peeved off at RIM? Once again, 5 days is not a big deal. But in a developing world where your Blackberry is not your secondary internet device, BIS’s stability is more critical than ever. (more…)