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What Silicon Valley Can Learn From Seoul - NYTimes.com
By JENNA WORTHAM JUNE 2, 2015

One thing Silicon Valley hopes to learn is how to get Americans to actually pay for things on their phones. For years now, Koreans have carried out important daily transactions, like paying bills and shopping, on their smartphones. ....Silicon Valley might also learn how to cater to more customers in more countries around the world. Most Korean companies have been internationally minded since their inception, aware of their own limitations: South Korea is such a small market that entrepreneurs are forced to consider how they might adapt to business abroad.

But without a more affordable, better mobile web, even the best new offerings from American entrepreneurs will be stuck in the past. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons Silicon Valley’s innovators should learn from South Korea is that to radically change how everyday people live their lives, they’ll need to convince their nation to invest in infrastructure, so that we can actually use the services they want to sell us.
Jenna_Wortham  Seoul  South_Korea  mobile_applications  internationally_minded  Silicon_Valley  Wi-Fi  infrastructure 
june 2015 by jerryking
Search for a Market Niche, and You Might Find a Crowd - NYTimes.com
By JENNA WORTHAM FEB. 8, 2014

Tristan Walker decided that his moon shot would be revolutionizing the skin-care and beauty-product industry for African-Americans....Kartik Hosanagar, a professor of online commerce at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said that even the smallest companies would soon have to start paying attention to so-called unconventional markets.

“There are still two Silicon Valleys,” Mr. Hosanagar said. “Young entrepreneurs in San Francisco, working at a tech firm, surrounded by the tech 1 percent, solving problems for the 1 percent. And there are companies that manage to break through that and become relevant. The Googles, Twitters and Facebooks of the world.”

The companies that break out, he said, are successful because they are adept at appealing to all users. But even those tech giants must think ever more broadly if they are to have continued success and growth. Signs suggest that these companies are trying to extend their reach and understand the complexity and diversity of their users and potential users.
African-Americans  niches  entrepreneur  moonshots  Foursquare  Andreessen_Horowitz  unconventional_thinking  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  underserved  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  Jenna_Wortham  Tristan_Walker  pay_attention 
february 2014 by jerryking
Digital Diary: Facebook Poke and the Tedium of Success Theater - NYTimes.com
December 28, 2012, 7:03 pmComment
Digital Diary: Facebook Poke and the Tedium of Success Theater
By JENNA WORTHAM
start_ups  Facebook  Jenna_Wortham 
december 2012 by jerryking
A Surge in Learning the Language of the Internet - NYTimes.com
By JENNA WORTHAM
March 27, 2012

The market for night classes and online instruction in programming and Web construction, as well as for iPhone apps that teach, is booming. Those jumping on board say they are preparing for a future in which the Internet is the foundation for entertainment, education and nearly everything else. Knowing how the digital pieces fit together, they say, will be crucial to ensuring that they are not left in the dark ages.
Codeacademy  software_developers  Jenna_Wortham 
march 2012 by jerryking
Zines Have a Resurgence Among the Web-Savvy - NYTimes.com
By JENNA WORTHAM
Published: October 22, 2011

Zines, print magazines generally available only in small quantities, have enjoyed a resurgence among the Web-savvy. The word “zine” is a shortened form of the term fanzine, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Fanzines emerged as early as the 1930s among fans of science fiction. Zines also have roots in the informal, underground publications that focused on social and political activism in the ’60s. By the ’70s, zines were popular on the punk rock circuit. In the ’90s, the feminist punk scene known as riot grrrl propelled the medium. ...MOST zines are labors of love, done as side projects and hobbies. The goal isn’t to turn a profit, but rather to capture a cultural moment, which in turn, offers the creators the freedom to explore and experiment.
Jenna_Wortham  zines  DIY  handmade  small_batch  exclusivity  publishing 
october 2011 by jerryking
Free Texting Apps Are Threat to Wireless Carriers - NYTimes.com
By JENNA WORTHAM
Published: October 9, 2011

Apple plans to introduce a new service called iMessage, which could quickly become the biggest fish in this pond. The service lets iPhone owners send messages with text, photos and video to other iPhone owners over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. The service, part of an update to Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, will automatically handle messages sent between iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users who have upgraded to the latest software.

The basic idea is the same with both old- and new-style messages: short bursts that pop up almost instantly on the recipient’s phone. But the path that they take is different. A text message is sent over cellular networks. Services like iMessage transmit messages over the carriers’ data networks and the Internet, much like e-mail. Cellphone customers pay for each text message or sign up for a texting plan, while the newer messages will fall under a customer’s wireless data plan.

Analysts say Apple is trying to duplicate the success of services like BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, a free application for BlackBerry smartphone owners that lets them send messages back and forth as in an instant-messaging conversation. It has engendered loyalty among BlackBerry users and has kept some from switching to an Apple or Android device.

“BBM is the stickiest feature of the BlackBerry experience, even more than e-mail,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics who follows the wireless industry. “Once you have that, you are considerably less likely to switch away from the consumer experience. IMessage makes the whole iOS universe more valuable.”
text_messages  free  wireless  mobile_applications  Apple  social_messaging  messaging  Jenna_Wortham 
october 2011 by jerryking
Technology Devices Either Sell Big or Die Fast - NYTimes.com
August 23, 2011 | NYT | By JENNA WORTHAM & VERNE G.
KOPYTOFF. In recent years, technology companies have been cutting their
losses with increasing speed...These days, big technology companies —
particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet
industries — are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every
release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is
the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper
indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer
over time. ...this accelerated lifecycle of high-end hardware is being
described as “Darwinian.” ...Companies kill new products more quickly
now because of the higher cost of staying competitive, ..The crush of
tech bloggers and Twitter-using early adopters .. raises the stakes
around how well new products perform in the marketplace...One needs
everything in place: the content, the applications and the
experience--to have a reasonable chance at success. [JCK: "everything in place" = ecosystems]
accelerated_lifecycles  attrition_rates  blockbusters  content  culling  Darwinian  ecosystems  hits  Jenna_Wortham  kill_rates  mobile_applications  new_products  product_development  product_launches  social_media  smartphones  speed  tablets  UX  winner-take-all 
august 2011 by jerryking
Weary of Looking for Work, Some Create Their Own
Published: March 13, 2009 | New York Times | By MATT RICHTEL
and JENNA WORTHAM

Plenty of laid-off workers across the country, burned out by a merciless
job market, are building business plans instead of sending out résumés.
For these people, recession has become the mother of invention.......[JCK: “Forced
Entrepreneurship.” Possible idea for Canadian community colleges?]
career  economic_downturn  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  Jenna_Wortham  layoffs  recessions  start_ups  mercilessness 
march 2009 by jerryking

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