What you may have missed in the business news last week:
1. Everyone went crazy for Twitter.
Twitter listed last week, at $26 a share. And then immediately shot above the $40 mark, valuing Twitter at about $25 billion.
To be clear: Twitter has never made a profit.
Meaning that the premise is focused on future growth. And everyone is excited by the fact that twitter works better on mobile, and embedded in every tweet is a location, a time, and 140 characters worth of key words: a social media atlas with a real time gauge of consumer tastes and preferences. Mine that, and it’ll be like googling consciousness itself.
Which sounds wonderful. But I’m a twitter user – and I just don’t have the concentration span to be on there often. And I think there’s a crisis here:
- in order for my twitter feed to be useful to me, I need to see tweets that I enjoy reading.
- but in order to know if I’ll enjoy someone’s tweets, I have to follow them and see.
- which means that my twitter feed is filled with spam (at least, from my perspective)
- and the onus rests with me to constantly prune and unfollow the boring and irrelevant
- that’s all too much effort
- so I stop going on there unless I’m looking for something specific (like a traffic update, or the Oscar Pistorius trial live tweets, or some kind of sporting event score)
- and the quicker twitter grows, the more spam that will be out there
It’s not that Twitter is a bad idea: I just think that human nature is naturally
lazy efficient. Maybe I’m a pessimist.
Also, whatever people might say about Google and co having also once been loss-making small companies – there are plenty of loss-making small companies that have never turned into Google. In fact: almost all of them. The exceptions being, well, Google. And Twitter? Twitter feels more like a Groupon.
The incoming Microsoft CEO, Stephen Elop, fresh from his success at Nokia (there’s some sarcasm, yes – but on the other hand, he did cleverly get the company sold to Microsoft), is said to be considering letting me access Microsoft Word on my iPad.
And I’m not saying that as an Apple fan.
As I understand it: the premise behind keeping Microsoft Office out of the tablet and smartphone space was to keep us all coming back to Microsoft hardware products (like the Microsoft Surface, etc). Which, in retrospect, seems a bit crazy. The only Microsoft products that still get my undivided loyalty (even if they crash constantly), are Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
Using that last bastion as a pivot for forcing consumers back into the Microsoft infrastructure seems like the kind of move to incite rebellion. Especially when, at the time, there was no viable Microsoft alternative. And by the time the Surface was released, we’d had three generations of iPad to get used to the idea of not-using-Word-and-Excel.
Mr Elop is also thinking of selling off Bing, apparently (Google got there first, Microsoft).
Those predictions resulted in the last 10 days: