All posts by Jan Dawson

Episode 42 – Evaluating Corporate VC, Facebook F8

Our News Roundup this week featured the following topics:

  • Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis
  • KGI Securities’ downbeat Apple Watch forecast for 2016
  • Hands on with the iPad Pro.

Our Question of the Week is: “What is corporate venture capital and is it worth doing?” Aaron talks us through this subset of the world of VC, where corporations such as Google and Intel engage in venture funding of startups, based on research by David Benson (Aaron’s brother in law) and others. We discuss  CVC’s reputation for being “dumb money”, what it’s intended to achieve, the risks associated with it, and ultimately whether it’s worthwhile or not for the companies that do it.

Our third topic is Facebook’s F8 developer conference and the major announcements made there, including a major new focus on chat bots in Facebook Messenger, a Live Video API, a 360 degree camera rig, and other announcements. We talk about the potential for bots in general and our experience with the first bots to be released on the platform and also about Facebook’s broad ambitions to connect the world.

As ever, we wrapped up with a Weekly Pick, this week an app recommendation from Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.


We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 41 – Apple News for Publishers, Tesla Model 3

Our News Roundup this week covered the following topics:

  • Conflicting reports on early iPhone SE sales
  • Samsung’s decent preliminary Q1 financials
  • Twitter’s deal for NFL rights.

Our Question of the Week is “What is Apple News like for a small publisher?” and focuses on our experience publishing to Apple News over the last several weeks. We talk through the reasons why Apple launched Apple News, the different ways publishers can get content onto Apple News, and the pros and cons of each. We also talk about how Apple needs to evolve Apple News to remain competitive against other options like Facebook Instant Articles, Google’s AMP project, and platforms like Medium.

Our third topic this week was Tesla’s Model 3 announcement and the pre-order process that accompanied it. We talk about the significance of those preorders, the convergence of cars and tech and Tesla’s role in that, and the interesting questions Tesla raises about how car design could change in a world without gasoline-powered engines. As usual, we wrap up with a Weekly Pick, this week one from Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.


We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 40 – Apple & Google CSR Initiatives, Build 2016

This week’s News Roundup covers three topics:

  • Music News – Tidal had its one-year anniversary and announced 3 million subscribers, while SoundCloud launched its paid subscription, SoundCloud Go.
  • The FBI/Apple case regarding the San Bernardino shooter finally ended as the FBI announced it had been able to access the phone with help from a third party
  • Foxconn finalized its acquisition offer for Sharp.

Our Question of the Week tackled the corporate social responsibility efforts of Apple and Google and what other companies can learn from them. Aaron, who is a business professor who specializes in business ethics, talked us through the history of CSR and how it’s evolved, and then covered three different areas in which Apple and Google have been involved in CSR – corporate giving/philanthropy, environmental initiatives, and what Aaron called core competencies. Aside from calling out the positive things both companies have been doing, we also discussed some criticisms of Apple and Google in this area.

Our third topic was a discussion of Microsoft’s Wednesday morning Build keynote, and especially Microsoft’s new conversations as a platform or bots initiative. We talked about Microsoft’s strategy here as well as some of the challenges it faces. And Jan’s Weekly Pick was a TV show.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 39 – Apple’s March 2016 Event

This episode of the podcast is a slight departure from our usual pattern. We dispensed with our News Roundup, Question of the Week, and Weekly Pick segments and simply spent the whole episode talking about today’s Apple event in Cupertino. Jan was at the event, and so we recorded with Jan sitting in a car just outside 1 Infinite Loop – as such, apologies for any audio issues this time around. We covered the content of the event pretty much in order, with a discussion up front of the three non-product-related topics: privacy and security, the environment, and health; followed by discussions of the Apple Watch News, iPhone SE, and iPad Pro. We’ll be back to our usual structure (and a broader range of topics beyond Apple)  in next week’s episode.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 38 – Apple Event Preview, Apple News Opens Up

Our News Roundup this week covers:

  • The announcement by navigation company HERE that it will discontinue its apps for Windows 8 and Windows 10
  • Sony’s big PlayStation VR announcement
  • A Recode article about a healthcare startup that’s working on an electrocardiogram that will work with the Apple Watch (and is led by Vic Gundotra, who formerly ran Google+).

We decided to forgo our usual Question of the Week this week and instead make a preview of Apple’s event next week our main topic for discussion. We discussed Jan’s Techpinions post last week about the iPhone SE and how that might be priced and positioned, and also talked about the prospects for a revamped iPad Air. Our final topic for the week was the announcement about Apple News being opened to all comers. We realized we haven’t really discussed Apple News much on the podcast so far, so we had somewhat of a broader discussion about its prospects too. Next week, Jan will be at the Apple event in person, and we hope to do a quick episode shortly after the event ends focused on the day’s announcements.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 37 – A 5G Primer and Samsung’s New Phones

Our News Roundup this week covers three new items: Android’s early developer preview of Android N; the conclusion of the Apple eBooks trial; and the debut of Amazon’s first live TV show. Our Question of the Week is “What is 5G? And should you care?” and piggybacks on an article Jan wrote for Techpinions on Monday offering something of a primer on the technology. We talk through the first four Gs briefly, and in particular talk about what’s unique about 4G, before moving on to where the process of defining 5G has got to, and when you’re likely to be able to actually use it. Our third topic is Samsung’s new phones, which were reviewed by many publications this week. We discuss the consensus from the reviews as well as what the phones seem to signify about the state of Samsung. We wrap up as ever with our Weekly Pick, which is another cooking-themed recommendation from Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 36 – Explaining the All Writs Act, AT&T’s New Video Offerings

Our News Roundup covers three topics, triggered by two news stories each:

  • Yahoo – stories about Verizon being the most likely buyer for the core business, and indications that Yahoo may have to further write down the Tumblr asset
  • Live video – Twitter is focusing heavily on live in general and live video specifically in 2016, while there are also signs Facebook is getting increasingly serious about this space
  • Mobile payments – there are reports MasterCard will expand Apple Pay into several new markets this year, and Google is trialling a new “Hands Free” payment technology in the Bay Area.

Our Question of the Week is: “What’s the broader significance of the Orenstein court order?” and refers to the decision this week from a New York District Court in a case involving Apple and the FBI, which has some similarities to the San Bernardino case. Aaron draws on his legal background to dissect the decision and its legal basis, and talks us through the logic and the implications for the California case.

Our final topic is AT&T’s announcement of several new video offerings that it will launch later this year under the DirecTV brand, all of which are app-based rather than satellite or cable-based. We discuss the attractions of these new offers along with some of the shortcomings, and the reasons why AT&T felt the need to pre-announce them seven months or more before they’ll be available. We wrap up the episode with our Weekly Pick, which is another movie recommendation from Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 35 – State of the Smartphone Market, more Apple/FBI

This week, our News Roundup covers Apple’s response to beta users’ feedback on iPad Pro Pencil navigation support in iOS 9.3, smartphone announcements from Mobile World Congress, and Fitbit’s earnings. Our Question of the Week is “What’s the state of the global smartphone market?”, which Jan addresses. We talk about whether the smartphone market is growing, and where, which players are growing (and which aren’t), we talk about the fact that iOS/Android and Apple/Google are no longer the most interesting competitive dynamics, and offer some predictions for the future. Our final topic is a sequel to last week’s discussion about Apple and the FBI, given all the new information that’s emerged since our earlier discussion. We wrap up with our Weekly Pick, as usual, which this week is a website recommendation from Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

  • The Verge story on Pencil navigation in iOS 9.3 and future versions
  • The Verge’s coverage of Mobile World Congress announcements
  • Jan’s live tweeting of Fitbit earnings, as a Storify story
  • Related to Apple / FBI:
  • Aaron’s Weekly Pick, Serious Eats, a cooking blog/website.

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 34 – Apple’s Cash and Borrowing, Apple and the FBI

A quick note for listeners: unfortunately, on this week’s episode, Jan’s microphone suffered some sort of glitch and started introducing an annoying clicking sound which gets worse as the episode goes on. It only appears when Jan is talking, so it doesn’t affect Aaron’s side of the audio, but you may find it irritating to listen to. Unfortunately, it’s on the master recording of Jan’s audio, and so it can’t be removed. Our apologies for the audio issues, and hopefully we’ll be back to normal next week!

This week’s episode begins as usual with our news roundup, in which we cover the launch of Apple Pay in China, Indian regulators’ shutting down of Facebook’s Free Basics program in that country, and John Gruber’s interview last week with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi of Apple. Our Question of the Week concerns Apple’s borrowing to finance its share repurchase and other cash return programs. We discuss the logic of this activity, why Apple does it, and Aaron even offers a guesstimate of how much Apple saves by borrowing rather than repatriating cash. Our other major topic today is the court order the FBI obtained this week which requires Apple to assist in unlocking an iPhone used in the San Bernardino shootings in December last year, and Apple’s response to it. Lastly, our Weekly Pick is a movie recommendation from Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 33 – iMessage as a Platform, Twitter Earnings

We kick off this week’s episode with our usual news roundup. This week, our topics are 5G (and AT&T’s announcement on this topic earlier today), Apple’s rumored March event, and ASICS’ acquisition of the Runkeeper fitness app. Our Question of the Week is finally back after a two-week hiatus for earnings season, and this week we talk about whether Apple should turn iMessage into a platform, and what that would mean. The context here is the Asian messaging apps, such as WeChat, LINE, and Kakao, and the way in which they’ve built platforms around the core messaging experience. As this trend continues, the question becomes whether Apple needs to follow suit, albeit not as a business model but as a way to stay competitive. We talk about what this might actually look like in practice, were Apple to announce it, including user and developer/business features, and the potential for more social elements. Our last topic is Twitter’s earnings this week, and what they signify. We wrap up with our Weekly Pick, which this week is a video service recommended by Aaron.

As ever, there are links to related contents and various formats for the podcast itself beneath the embedded SoundCloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.