艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인 豪华 | luxury | 사치

Jacob & Co. Epic SF24

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jacob & Co. is a brand that I knew of through it’s connection to hip-hop culture. They are referenced in the lyrics of 50Cent, Jay Z and Kanye West. The brand is positioning itself with more conventional luxury customers with a mix of high-end jewellery and watches. They had a recent exhibition in Monaco of their latest range on August 5 – 23, 2014.

Whilst none where something I would normally pay attention to; the most visually interesting watch they came out with was the EPIC SF 24 which had an unusual take on creating a world time display. The top is a 24-hour time indicator that seems to flip around like an electromechanical airport or railway station sign giving the watch a steam punk vibe.
Epic SF24
Some of the other details like the crown on the side of the watch reminded me a little of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Compressor series, but with a more practical lower profile that would avoid snagging whilst on the wrist. The movement is said to be a JCAA02 with SF24 module; I don’t know whether the movement is in-house designed; or more likely, a modified version of an existing movement by one of the big movement manufacturers like ETA.

It comes in a number of types of gold and titanium – an interesting choice given the challenges working with the metal.

More information
Jacob & Co. website profile page for the Epic SF24
Jacob & Co. Annual Timepice And Jewelry Exhibition In Monte Carlo | Cision

初 | hygiene | 기본

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Reading Time: 2 minutes

‘Closest thing China has to a presidential debate’: face-off between two geeks over a mobile phone | South China Morning Post – not too sure how much good this did either brand, but it did seem to provide good entertainment. I would love to see Richard Yu of Huawei do one :-) — Social Alarm Clock – I really like the idea of this, plays to the dynamics of sleeping through an alarm whilst becoming wide awake from a call

Lessons to be learned from Yahoo’s native ads | VentureBeat – interesting op-ed by an OutBrain executive

Fujifilm just one of several struggling manufacturers jumping into medicine | Japanese Times – it used to be that Japanese companies were pointed in the direction of markets by a government ministry, it is interesting that they are all now flocking towards healthcare

Charting the rise of Generation Yawn: 20 is the new 40 – Telegraph – I heard a similar thing about gen-x, particularly around apparent apathy for causes. Don’t believe it, generations aren’t amorphous: for every hippy there was a young conservative in the boomer generation

Fast-moving consumer goods market saturated in China | WantChinaTimes – bad news for Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive et al

Don’t change listing rules until lawyers have to change theirs | South China Morning Post – interesting take on dual class listings. Not viable unless there are other protection measures in place like class-action lawsuits and contingency fees – which makes sense when one thinks about how Facebook, Google and Alibaba have gamed the system (paywall)

Technohyperbole | The Economist – takes on Gartner’s hype curve

Apple To Developers: No Selling HealthKit Data To Advertisers – does this mean that marketers can’t use the data for other things? For instance, pre-screening for insurance premiums or weight loss classes?

Beijing Scientists Replace A Boy’s Vertebra With A 3D-Printed Bone — The First Surgery Of Its Kind – titanium used, so I suspect sintered metal powder rather than a printing process

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What’s eating Google’s brand?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Back in 2005 when I started work at Yahoo!, the internet was a very different place.  It was an exciting time, web 2.0 was a technological and philosophical step-change for online services. We had cleared our palates of the bad taste left by the silliness of the dot com implosion.

Social networks weren’t mainstream in the way we would understand them now – though there were social networks prior to the the then nascent Facebook. Instant messaging was just starting to move on to mobile devices and were more a source of ‘presence’ information – whether someone was free or not than mobile messaging. Instant messaging on the desktop was big and everyone thought that Skype actually worked really well at the time.

We were conscious of security, but again Skype promised privacy and security (except in China) through secure encryption.  The 800LB gorilla in the room was Google. Yahoo! had managed to survive the dot com bust and subsequent 30+% drop in online advertising revenues because of the Yahoo! Dating business. Even in a recession people still need love. By comparison, Google had been on a tear, Adwords promised marketers greater transparency where they money had gone and what action had been derived from their advertising spend. There were even some nice charts that they could cut-and-paste directly into a PowerPoint presentation.

Google’s impact was much bigger. Yahoo! had pioneered search with Jerry Yang and David Filo’s directory in the mid 1990s. You can still find an iteration of the directory at Yahoo! here. In 1999, the front page of Yahoo! still reflected that directory heritage, as you can see from this screen shot
Yahoo! early morning of March 3, 1999
By the time I joined Yahoo! we had a search page that looked much more like the clean design of Google’s search page. The product was comparable in performance to Google as well, it just wasn’t Google; which is what most UK web users wanted.
Y! search late 2005
We struggled to get media mentions for Yahoo! in comparison Google’s coverage wrote itself: Google spots Jesus in Peruvian sand dune | The Register. Products like Lycos’ IQ service didn’t get the attention they deserved because if it didn’t come from Google the digerati weren’t interested.  At the time Google had 70% or so of the share market, rumours I heard at the time from colleagues were that up to 95% of searches from Yahoo!’s UK office actually used Google – which foreshadowed Google’s European dominance.

Google’s dominance could be said to have peaked around 2006, social was starting to appear and consumers started to learn the downside of what beta meant as services started to disappear or become amalgamated into other products. Services that they wove into the fabric of their online life disappeared. Tools that helped them work became less useful as functionality was dialled back.

I have compiled a list of products that Google has launched and closed and ignored US-only products. There are some specific omissions:

  • Deja News had been already shutdown by the time Google acquired the company, Google sucked the service’s Usenet archives into Google Groups
  • Google launched ‘Click-To-Call’ twice. It was closed down for the first time in 2007 and was trialled again in April 2010
  • Hello was a Picasa-based picture file transfer app similar to ‘send file’ on your favourite instant messaging platform, it was axed in 2008, but it always felt like a feature to me rather than a product
  •  SearchMash always was a testbed for different search user experiences. It was not a product by any stretch of the imagination
  • Google PowerMeter was a piece of software from – the charitable foundation set up by Google
  • Google Directory used data pulled from the Open Directory Project, it just ranked them using its algorithm
  • Google Pack was a marketing ploy and possible revenue generator rather than a consumer product per se

A number of businesses that Google got involved with where acqu-hires:

  • Aardvark
  • BumpTop
  • DocVerse
  • Dodgeball
  • fflick
  • Gizmo5
  • Jaiku,
  • Meebo
  • Picnik
  • Postini
  • Quickoffice
  • Slide
  • Zingku

Spun-out / rebranded  products

Product nameDate of launch (DD/MM/YYYY)Fate
Google body15/10/2010Google Body was part of Google Labs. It was handed over to Zygote Media Group on October 13, 2011.  It is now called Zygote Body. The source code is available under an open source license
Google gears31/05/2007Removed from Google’s product set, Gears was released under a BSD license. News of Google’s migration away from Gears broke in November 2009

Discontinued products

Product nameDate of launch (DD/MM/YYYY)Fate
Google answers04/2002Google has taken a number of runs at Q&A services. Google Answers shut down was announced on November 28, 2006
Google deskbar06/11/2003Google Deskbar came out of Google Labs; it put a Google search box inside the chrome of the operating system, allowing consumers to Google not just from inside the browser, but also productivity software.  It was discontinued on May 8, 2006. A similar feature was incorporated into Google Desktop Search.
Orkut24/01/2004Facebook-like social network that used to be popular in India and Brazil.
Google desktop14/10/2004Searched across the computer similar to Spotlight in OS X and a web search box a la Google Deskbar. Desktop also had Konfabulator-like web applets that provided information on weather, news etc. It was announced that it would be discontinued on September 2, 2011
Google Notifier2005I can’t find a specific date in 2005 when Notifier was launched. It let desktop users now when an event was due on their Google calendar or an email available in Gmail
iGoogle05/2005Discontinued on November 1, 2013
Google talk24/08/2005Google’s VoIP client, replaced by Google Hangouts on May 2013
Google reader07/10/2005Google closed down Reader despite the outcry from users. According to Google it had a loyal but declining user base so shut it down on July 1, 2013
Google page creator24/02/2006A simple way of web publishing, which Google replaced with Google Sites in September 2008.
Google notebook10/05/2006Google Notebook was a bit like a proto-Evernote. Content was exported to Google Docs on November 11, 2011 and the service disappeared by July 2012. On March 20, 2013, Google launched a similar service called Google Keep
Google brower sync08/06/2006Rolled out of Google labs as a way of synchronizing settings, passwords and bookmarks across say work and home computers running the Firefox browser. Google’s Chrome browser has a similar function and shutting this function down would have been designed to persuade consumers to jump ship when it was discontinued in June 2008.
Google image labeler31/08/2006Google copied the idea behind Carnegie Mellon’s ESP game to find a better way to teach its search what images were. Since it depended only on common answers from two random players, it prevented foul play so to speak. It was shut down on September 16, 2001
Google code search05/10/2006Vertical search looking at open source code on the web, announced for shutdown on January 15, 2012
Google website optimiser10/2006Free website testing tool to enable site owners to get more value from their site. Discontinued on August 1, 2012
Google question & answers28/05/2007Google’s latest attempt at a Q&A service was ran as localized services in Russia, France, international English and China through a partnership with Tianya. It was closed down on June 23, 2014
Knol13/12/2007Kind of similar to Squidoo in that it allowed experts to develop a sphere of content as user-written articles. It was announced on November 22, 2011 that it would be shut down.
Google friend connect12/05/2008A social media profile that was exportable (possibly as a widget), what Wikipedia called a social networking script. Google signaled it was killing it off on November 23, 2011 to make way for Google+
Google health20/05/2008Centralised personal health record service. It didn’t get to the UK but did influence David Cameron’s thinking on health IT. Discontinued January 1, 2012
Google lively08/07/2008Google Lively was a way of creating a SecondLife-type environment for conference calls – one of the reasons why IBM was so interested in SecondLife in the first place. Lively was discontinued on December 31, 2008
Google insights for search05/08/2008Google Insights for Search was merged with Google Trends on September 27, 2012
Google latitude05/02/2009Location aware social application, similar to Dodgeball that Google had acquired and closed down. Latitude itself was shut down on June 10, 2013
Google squared12/05/2009Google squared provided some of the functionality of Wolfram Alpha, in particular adding structure and relationships to apparently unstructured data sets. It was shut down on 05/09/2011
Google wave27/05/2009Google Wave was a hybrid communications platform that allowed document collaboration and a mix of email and messaging. Google Wave was culled in a batch of ‘spring cleaning’ announced by Google in November 2011. Source code from Google Wave was released under an Apache license.
Google fast flip14/09/2009Provided a flip board type of experience aggregating content from 39 news partners. It was axed on September 5, 2011
Google building maker13/10/2009Allowed users to model existing buildings for inclusion in Google Earth as a 3D model. Shut down announced on March 13, 2013
Google dictionary12/2009Google Dictionary was launched as a standalone product after being a feature in Google Translate. It was shut down without warning on August 5, 2011. Google has a dictionary function build into search using ‘define:”
Google buzz9/2/2010A social network that integrated into Gmail, it was discontinued on December 15, 2011.
Google cloud connect24/2/2011Google Cloud Connect was a Microsoft Office plug-in that allowed you to easily save documents to Google Docs. It was discontinued on April 30, 2013
Google schemer18/11/2011An invite-only clone of 43 Things was shut down on February 7, 2014
Quickoffice05/06/2012 (date Google acquired the company)Quickoffice was an established mobile application when Google acquired the company, discontinued on June 29, 2014

The closure of Google Reader felt to me like a water shed moment. Google Reader had come along and eviserated the current marketplace for RSS readers, though the size and reach of the Google network. Names like Fastladder and Bloglines. Once the competition was demolished Google then withdrew of the sector and a scramble of cottage industry services sprung up to try and fill the gap; my personal favourite being Newsblur.

I suspect and have heard others suggest that Google has a problem getting users to use and commit to new services. I don’t think that Google Wave’s issue was consumer commitment, but poor product design, but the lack of adoption for say Google+ screams consumers and early adopters could be indicative of a wider wariness of the general public to invest their data and time in a new Google service. This maybe part of the reason why Google seems to be gradually extracting Google+ from its product matrix; just a few days ago no longer using Google+ author ranking in search.

If one looks at Google+ versus other services in Google Trends we can see a similar level of interest to say Google Reader, something that Google has already admitted was a non-viable product.

Google finds itself in a more normal internet brand marketing position: asking consumers for brand permission to innovate so that consumers will engage with their new products and services. Having been on the other side of that fence I realise what a challenge that can be.

More information

Lycos IQ
Lovely Jubii-ly | renaissance chambara
IAC | Ask and the social web | renaissance chambara
Open source intelligence | renaissance chambara

Google Click To Call
Google Tests Phone Numbers In AdWords Ads | SearchEngineLand

Google Reader
Reader May Have Died To Feed Google+’s APIs | Co.Labs

Google Answers
Adieu to Google Answers | Google Official Blog

Google Deskbar
Google’s Deskbar; Search Engine Forums Spotlight | Search Engine Watch

Google Lively
Be who you want on the web pages you visit | Google Official Blog

Google Questions and Answers
Baraza turning read only | Google Help

Google Groups
How to Search Today’s Usenet For Programming Information? | Slashdot
Google’s Abandoned Library of 700 Million Titles (UPDATED) | Wired
Google Begins Fixing Usenet Archive | Wired

Google Wave
More spring cleaning out of season | Google Official Blog

Google Gears
Stopping the Gears | Google Gears Blog

It’s Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results | SearchEngineLand