Five things on Friday #173

Things of note for the week ending Friday April 22nd, 2016.

Things of note for the week ending Friday April 22nd, 2016.

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1. APPLE WATCH: ONE YEAR ON

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This post ‘A year after its launch, it’s now clear that pretty much no one needs an Apple Watch‘ pretty much nails what everyone thought about the Apple Watch at announcement: it’s a nice to have, not a must have.

I really like paying for things with my Apple Watch. The servers at the coffee shop that I’ve gone to every morning for the last year or so never remembered me from one day to the next. But then, when they got a new payments terminal that accepted Apple Pay, they started remembering me, and one server now refers to me as “the Apple Watch guy.” And that’s who I am now. No one would say that about someone whipping out a new iPhone or Macbook. Though if I started riding in every morning on a hoverboard, or started wearing VR goggles in-store, I’d probably get a new nickname.

This is interesting to me.

For several reasons.

For starters, I am now on my second Pebble smart watch. Having upgraded from the original, I now sport the Pebble Time Steel variant and am very happy with the benefits that it brings.

I’ve written about this before.

And yet I do not find my Pebble experience matching up with any of the author’s Apple Watch experiences (least of all the battery life, with my PTS weighing in a hefty ten days of usage before needing a charge). This could be down to price, perception, or even just plain brand expectation – Pebble the punchy start-up, Apple… not.

Apple hasn’t said how many watches it has sold—wasn’t immediately available to comment for this story—but estimates suggest upwards of 5 million have been sold to date. Apple sold nearly 75 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2015 alone, which leaves a lot of people who have iPhones and didn’t see the need to tack on a $300-or-more accessory to that purchase. Considering some estimates show that over 60% of US adults wear watches, there should have been a lot of room for growth.

The entire article is worth a read. Really.
The one clear takeaway for this reader however was that while all Apple Watches are smartwatches not all smartwatches are Apple Watches.

Sidenote, Quartz is probably one of my favourite online publications right now. A lot of what I’m reading/recommending comes from Quartz and I enjoy the output. You should go explore some time.
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2. THE FACEBOOK / F8 10 YEAR ROADMAP

I’m a little late with the F8 analysis/write-up, so I’m not going to weigh in where so many others have already (this Buzzfeed piece is a highlight) however one thing I did want to point out – and perhaps even admire – is this chart shown at said conference.

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You see this and you think ‘Holy hell, Facebook! You guys are amazing! What a plan! And you’ve shared it with us too!’ – and it is impressive.

What I find more impressive is that everyone immediately took this at face value and didn’t ask at which point we were standing at right now. Facebook is 12 years old. It opened fully to everyone ten years ago this September (brands, why start thinking about your super-relevant ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY FACEBOOK’ posts right now?) which kinda means we should be at the 10 year mark now.

And I guess we are. VR/AR is right around the corner, AI-driven bots were showcased as The Next Big Thing at F8, and drones that broadcast INTERNET FROM THE SKY are also imminent.

The really cool thing would be if the roadmap had been written ten years ago. But it wasn’t. It was more of a ‘Look, here’s where we’ve been and look, this is right around the corner’. Less a roadmap, more a 2016/17 planning document with a few pages of your diary thrown in the front.

Impressive? Yes. Roadmap? No.

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3. KURT VONNEGUT ON THE SHAPE OF STORIES

Exactly what it says on the tin – 4mins long – go on, spoil yourself.

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4. MY FIVE REGRETS

I’m pretty sure I’ve told you about The Listserve before. You join a lottery with 20,000 or so other people. Every day, one of you gets to email the other 19,999 subscribers. It’s hit and miss but, the awesome thing is, every now and then, out of nowhere, you get a piece of solid gold delivered to your inbox.

As a list of Five Things is always made better by another list of five things and this list is a list of Five Regrets. However, said list is underpinned by a thought. A thought that, should you wish to live with no regrets, perhaps may not speak to you directly. However, when the writer of this recent Listserve met a tipsy old lady at a bar in Denver, it became clear that maybe no regrets wasn’t really worth it.

“You only get five regrets in life. If you come across a sixth regret, you have to let go of one of the other five.” – she said.

This old lady was as confident in this “5 Regret Rule” as she was drunk, so I’m assuming she’s operating on some kind of insider information and this rule is a real thing we all must follow. As I’ve gotten older, my list of regrets has morphed from things that were very specific (“I should have asked that girl out freshman year” or “I shouldn’t have gotten arrested those three times”) to a list of bigger picture regrets. Perhaps this is a sign that I’m growing up.

Here’s a link to the five regrets that he went to write afterwards.

Worth a read.

Worth a think.

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5. CATASTROPHE

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Have you seen/watched/heard of CATASTROPHE?

If you haven’t, seek it out. It’s actually brilliant.

If you have, then you’re probably going to enjoy this excellent profile of one half the writing team behind the show, Sharon Horgan* – ‘The Brutal Romantic

Horgan, who is forty-five, and Delaney, who is thirty-nine, are happily married to other people, and both have children. “One of the very first things that I joked with Rob about was how, if it wasn’t so hard to get a divorce, I would be divorced,” Horgan says. In his standup routine, Delaney sometimes equates marriage to rubbing yourself with a cheese grater, rubbing your wife with a cheese grater, and then smashing the exposed flesh, blood, and sinew together so that you heal as a single mutilated being. When Horgan and Delaney decided to collaborate on a pilot, they knew that they wanted to capture this tone. “I loved the brutality of it,” Horgan says. “At the same time, it was kind of romantic.”

Probably one of the best things I’ve read this week.

*the other half is the equally hilarious Rob Delaney – both pictured above. 

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Bonuses this week are as follows –

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And that’s it.

I’m out.

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