Tag Archives: Om Malik

No, Apple isn’t patenting developers’ work. But it still has a bigger problem

Patents are hard to understand. If any government wants to reduce the costs of running a business quickly and easily, it should revamp the system of patents to make them easy for people who aren’t lawyers to read, and harder to actually get in the first place.

So it’s no surprise that there’s been a massive amount of misreading of Apple’s patent application on “Systems and methods for accessing travel services using a portable electronic device”. What’s made it easier to misread is Apple’s – frankly stupid – use of FutureTap‘s interface for its excellent Where To? application in the descriptive part of the patent. FutureTap, understandably, are miffed because it looks like Apple is trying to steal their ideas.

And the coverage on the back of it follows suit. John Brownlee at Cult of Mac titled his “Apple submits software patent for other developer’s app, including title and design“. Om Malik at GigaOm (probably my favourite tech site) was so astounded by what he thinks Apple is doing he had to preface his post title with “Not a joke“. Continue reading

Sometimes, “think like a startup” isn’t the best option

In an interesting piece on the problems at MySpace under Murdoch, Om Malik mentions this:

Kevin also mentioned that Murdoch, and every large media company, need to think like startups.

Good advice – but only to a point. The fact is that News Corp (like all major media companies) can currently make more money online creating products which leverage other assets they own than standalone digital-only properties.

One simple example: a site tying into Avatar will have an instant audience and massive opportunity for cross-promotion and cross-sell, as long as it doesn’t suck. It won’t take years to build audience, won’t have large ongoing costs, and won’t need to have much in the way of work done on visual identity. It’s an instant money-spinner.

So if News Inc was developing digital-only properties from scratch, as I’m sure it will do in the future, “think like a startup” is good advice. But most of the time, it needs to “think like a corporate” – creating digital properties based on other media, linking them all together, and using the power of old media to create instant brand identity in the digital space.

(Picture via World Economic Forum)

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