Category Archives: Narratives

Episode 80 – Tech Narratives, Apple Earnings

A quick note: we had an glitch at Aaron’s end, which dramatically reduced the quality of his side of the audio, so he sounds like he’s on the other end of a phone line rather than using a high powered mic. We’re not sure what happened, but it wasn’t fixable, unfortunately. Our apologies, but things should be back to normal next week.

The three topics in our News Roundup this week are pretty diverse. We start with Fitbit’s preliminary earnings, which were below guidance and triggered layoffs at the company, undermining the company’s argument that its recent slowing growth is temporary. Secondly, we discuss the Comcast-Roku partnership which puts Xfinity TV on Roku as an app as a potential replacement for a set top box, with some significant caveats. Lastly, we talk about Slack’s launch of Enterprise Grid, a more sophisticated version of the app for larger, complex enterprises.

Our Question of the Week is “What are narratives in tech and where do they come from?” We talk about the prevalence of narratives in tech news – the stories that get woven around companies and trends in the industry, and which often take on a life of their own, limiting companies’ ability to shape people’s perceptions. We use this topic as a jumping-off point for talking about Jan’s new website, Tech Narratives (, which aims to evaluate these narratives and put the day’s tech news in context.

Our third segment is a review of Apple’s earnings for the December quarter. We discuss individual product lines like iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Watch, but also talk about broader issues like the extra week in the quarter, currency headwinds, the potential for finally repatriating some of Apple’s overseas cash in 2017, and what’s really going on in China.

Lastly, our Weekly Pick is a children’s book 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.

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Show notes:

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

  • News Roundup:
  • Question of the Week:
  • Aaron’s Weekly Pick was The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown (Amazon affiliate link), a children’s book Aaron has been enjoying with one of his sons recently (and which, he revealed later on Wednesday, has an emotional ending).

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