Connected

“I’ve seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you’ve gone through all that, the girl’s got up and left. You’re much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you’re connected with about two feet of headphone cable.” Steve Jobs

Branding fidelity

“Wi-Fi doesn’t stand for anything. It is not an acronym. There is no meaning. Wi-Fi and the ying yang style logo were invented by Interbrand. We hired Interbrand to come up with the name and logo that we could use for our interoperability seal and marketing efforts. We needed something that was a little catchier than ‘IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence’. Interbrand created ‘Prozac’, ‘Compaq’, ‘oneworld’, ‘Imation’ and many other brand names that you have heard of… The only reason that you hear anything about ‘Wireless Fidelity’ is some of my colleagues in the group were afraid. They didn’t understand branding or marketing. They could not imagine using the name ‘Wi-Fi’ without having some sort of literal explanation.” Phil Belanger, founding member of the Wi-Fi Alliance

I think I can, I think I can…

“When people hear ‘version 2.0’, they think it’s the last call for the only feature train in a good long while. If you miss it, you’ll have to wait for the big three-oh to board. Nobody likes waiting, so they rush and they push to make this one. Now the big version that started out with a clear vision, one or a few great ideas, suddenly gets bogged down by feature freeloaders. When the 2.0 train is already hauling those heavy weights, surely no one will notice this little thing or that little thing. And what could have arrived in weeks turns into months. In no time short, your feature train is so overloaded that it seems like its not moving at all. Or going backwards. Certainly there is no one who can tell you when it’ll pull in. So stop it. Don’t alias your next big feature idea ‘version 2.0’. Call your big idea by its name and it’ll be much easier to spot the freeloaders. Once they have to pay full scheduling fare, you’ll probably realize that they weren’t that important anyway.” Signal vs. Noise

Yum!

“Cleaning toilets does not disgust me. I find it a thing of beauty. I get right into that toilet with my little scrubber and I scrub it. I never wear gloves.” Moby

Moby

The mythical man-month

“Assigning more programmers to a project running behind schedule will make it even later, due to the time required for the new programmers to learn about the project, and the increased communications overhead.” The Mythical Man-Month, Wikipedia

McMakeover

“After 30 years without a major design overhaul, the 51-year-old fast-food giant is adopting a hip new look. The world’s largest hamburger chain is redesigning its 30,000 eateries around the globe in a 21st century makeover of unprecedented scale… What will the new McDonald’s look like? ‘Think iPod: clean lines, simplicity’ … The signature mansard roof? … It’s being replaced by a flat roof topped by a newly designed, contemporary, golden sloping curve. Ronald McDonald appears safe: The mascot was given a leaner, sportier look just last year. And the iconic twin golden arches will still play a big role in the branding.” BusinessWeek

McDonald's

The Wal-Mart of flying

“Instead of the traditional airline pricing scheme, Ryanair charges for just about everything besides the ticket. They charge for handling every piece of luggage, every drink, every peanut, every inch of advertising on the side of planes, and soon—cell phone access during flights. The real shocker is that Ryanair earned $368M in net earnings, which gave the airline an industry-leading 22 percent net profit margin.” Chris Campbell

A grand unified theory

“I’ve got a different theory. YouTube and MySpace are runaway hits because they combine two attributes rarely found together in tech products. They’re easy to use, and they don’t tell you what to do.” Paul Boutin

The evolution of the NetFlix envelope

“But before Netflix became a dotcom darling with millions of subscribers, it had to figure out the details of how to mail DVDs cheaply and economically. Learning the ins and outs of the post office’s operations was key: Every ounce of weight in the mailer added to postage costs - but if the mailer was too flimsy, DVDs broke in the mail. Additionally, the mailer had to last long enough for reuse as a return envelope.” Business 2.0 Magazine

NetFlix

Octopuses have trick elbows

“Researchers recorded muscle activity in octopus limbs, and found that an arm generates two waves of muscle contractions that propagate toward each other. When the waves collide, they form a part-time joint.” LiveScience, MSNBC.com