Archive for 2012
I was reading about the Walter Isaacson biography on Steve Jobs, who among other things is a master salesman. In that Isaacson highlights several times that Jobs really didn’t care too much about getting rich, but he cared about making great things.
In the coming year, I am going to have to do a lot of salesmanship, which makes me uneasy. This blog entry however is not a work of salesmanship, it hews much closer to the earlier days of my blog where I wrote just for me.
I’ve never considered myself a salesman. The very word makes me edgy, nervous, and disgusted.
That being said I can be a damned good salesman. I had a friend who first brought this to my attention, I didn’t want to believe him, but he narrowed it down and said I could be a good salesman if I believed in the product.
There are several times when I was a superb salesman. The first real time that I recognized that I was being a salesman was when I was a credit card collector for Citigroup. I was at times enthused and at times weary about this job, but once I got into it I was consistently the first or second performer on my team. I never was the browbeating threatening debt collector. I’d go through an initial script that was simply establishing the status of the account, then I’d end with something along the lines of “What happened that you fell behind on this?” If it was them losing their job, I’d ask how the search to find a new one was going. If they had another issue I’d similarly ask what happened. I’d also inquire how they’d want to handle the debt. I always saw debt collection as problem solving. I had a handful of tools that I could use to help the customer out, and I’d work with them to apply the best one I could.
I remember once this older woman, who was well on the road to being senile. I had looked at the notes on the account and several people had not been able to work with her. I kept pushing through, working to find a common ground and spot to start at and work from. In the end, I ended up crediting much of the balance, and arranging a payment for a small bit of the balance. (Something along the lines of $17 or so.) I also strongly suggested that she find a family member or someone she trusted in her church to help her with her finances. I can see many people saying that this is a bit harsh and outside of my purview as a collector, but it was clear after the ninety plus minute phone call that she wasn’t completely in control of her faculties, and her finances were something that was causing her more grief than it should.
I also remember a time when I was at Speakeasy when I had a customer transferred to me who was livid. She was the office manager of a dental office, and had just gotten our voice and internet service. Sadly we had really screwed her install up from the beginning. The solution that was sold to her didn’t really fit their needs, was technically not the best one to fit their needs, and to top it off she had fallen through actually getting helped by us for almost three months. I asked her if I could spend some time reading over the notes on her account and give her a call back, simply because this was the first time I had ran into the account. There were a huge number of notes, and it took me around forty-five minutes to get through all of them. I called her back, she wasn’t available and I left a message. Later that day she called and accused me of never calling back.
We had destroyed a lot of trust and respect over those two months, and I remember calling consistently and working with her to both further understand what had happened, her perspective, and to find a way to fix things up. This is a long story, which quite simply I don’t know all the details of anymore. But there was a long period where I had to convince her of my good intentions, by making promises, perfectly keeping them, and continually keeping a dialog open.
I sucked at it.
I kept pretty closely to the script that was provided to me and quite frankly didn’t really give a shit about the opera. I’d spend a few hours Monday through Thursday calling folks who had seen the Phantom of the Opera the season before trying to get them to buy tickets to what really is quite a different art form. In the end, I wasn’t able to make enough headway at it to feel that I was successful at it, and I gave up since it took too much attention from my full time job.
In thinking through these, its really interesting to me what I’m good at, and what I sucked at. I’ve got to have some options to work to build rapport and engage with the person where they’re at. I still don’t like the salesman word, or even the idea of selling. Beyond an amount that I need to live, it isn’t about making money, its about adapting and developing a solution that works for everyone.
I have two cats. One of them is quite talkative and always wants to come visit me in the restroom as I do my business after I come home.
If I leave the door closed he’ll meow to no end and annoy me while I’m in the restroom.
If I leave the door open he’ll go in and out and annoy me even more while I’m in the restroom.
If I let him in then close the door behind him, he’ll usually continue to meow and annoy me.
So I’ve discovered the best way to use the restroom in peace is to pet him a few times, and put him on the other side of the shower curtain until I’m done. This has worked for a long time, he’ll sit there quietly and mind his own business for the most part until I’m done.
However, now his brother wants to visit me in the restroom as well. So I do the same thing and put him on the other side of the shower curtain. In the past they’ve just both sat there quietly…
Until tonight! When I had this feline racket to contend with!
I’ve been a member of the Seattle Tech Startups for quite a while. Its a great spot for advise, geekery, and debate.
Recently we’ve been discussing one member’s thought on creating a demotivational poster that ranks Web 3.0 services according by the D&D alignment system. (An example using sci-fi/fantasy characters.)
One of the list members said “that Facebook is the ultimate evil out there right now, but yet pretends to be good.” another member asked the first member to explain, when Jason Gerard Clauss over at ClaussConcept jumped in and provided a succinct list that clearly conveyed my uneasiness and dictate of Facebook. Without further introduction, Jason’s post:
- While Google does use your personal information to serve you ads, increasing the value of their ad space, they seem to respect the privacy of your information, keeping it locked within their walls. Facebook has no qualms about publishing your actions to the world and in fact Zuckerbag has publicly identified himself as an enemy of privacy.
Google and most other companies have an attitude toward UX wherein they determine what the user wants and then attempt (with varying degrees of success) to serve the user just that. Facebook’s MO is to design the UX based around their own goals, no matter how much the user hates it, bludgeon the design into the user, and correctly realizes that eventually the user will wear down and forget what a good UX was. Google and Apple never face the level of backlash for their changes that Facebook does because Facebook is openly defying user desires.
Facebook is extremely hostile toward grassroots organization and intelligent debate. They completely ruined the old group system which was much better than the current piece of crap which is inferior for group organization. They even made it impossible to convert old-school groups into pages (which have no fan limit). There remains no good native forum tool on Facebook. It’s certainly not for lack of resources. It’s intentional. It’s all part of the plan to stupefy the user.
It wasn’t until G+ basically forced them to that they introduced obvious features like unfollowing posts and grouping people into circles. It goes back to their interest in turning people from individuals to hollow, identical vessels all connected superficially to one another, each knowing about the next person’s every detail right down to their last bowel movement.
- Facebook deleted Wikileaks’ fan page.
Finally… Mark Zuckerberg, that bug-eyed little creep. Nuff said.
I still use Facebook as I have many friends who insist on using it, and who likely will continue to do so for quite some time. However, I limit what content I put on there, and I whip its UX into shape with Social Fixer which works in a rough open source way.
Rima Greer of Campanile and Handbell Musicians of America emailed me a few weeks ago to ask if I’d be willing to write a ringEr-Note on my experiences of ringing handbells in a quartet. I pretty quickly said yes, and it just recently went online. It got the title of “The Negotiator” by the editors, which is appropriate given the theme I wove through it. I’ve posted it below in all of its glory, and tweaked it a bit for those who don’t know all of our acronyms and whatnot of the Handbell Community. Enjoy!
I first started playing handbells when I was twelve. I joined The Miami Valley School‘s Middle School Handbell Choir as a logical outgrowth of my vocal choir and theatre performances. I continued to play handbells through my senior year of high school with the exception of a misguided half year break when AP Statistics and Handbells were scheduled for the same period, and I put academics before music. Halfway through my senior year, I switched to playing handbells, as I wasn’t able to focus on academics for other reasons and figured I should at least make beautiful music.
In college, I looked around a little for a handbell choir to play with, but I didn’t find one. Life happened, so I stopped looking. I moved to Seattle just over five years ago. After a year, I went visiting several Unitarian Universalist Churches. On my first visit to University Unitarian Church I knew I had found a congregation that was a home for me. That evening I was browsing the website, and when I found that they had a handbell choir I practically woke up the whole building. I sent an email to the director, she replied, and I agreed to join the handbell choir that night.
After not touching a bell for over eight years, ringing as part of a choir was quite difficult and it hurt my brain. I was able to do every individual part of performing: how to ring a bell, how to read music, how to follow a director, how to listen to my fellow ringers, but doing them all at the same time was quite difficult. I stuck with it and by the end of that year I once again felt that I knew what I was doing.
Through my church handbell choir, I learned of a workshop on beginning ensemble skills offered by Nancy Kirkner, a Seattle handbell soloist. I found some of the beginning activities to be quite easy, so Nancy provided me with a few exercises that were a bit trickier. I continued to take Nancy’s classes, and I joined a group that she took to the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers’s Area X conference in 2010. I had an awesome conference experience, and was thrilled by my first massed ringing experience!
Near the end of our rehearsal cycle for Area X, I received an email from Kay Hessemer on behalf of herself and two other ringers from Nancy’s group inviting me to join a newly forming handbell quartet. I joined but was hesitant on spreading myself too thin. I still remember our first few weeks of rehearsals. I played the soprano position and I walked out of rehearsal exhausted; my brain hurt, I felt discouraged, and I realized I couldn’t read music as well as I needed to.
I took care of the music reading part by getting a music flashcard app for my iPhone. In my many years away from performing music I lost the ability to look at a note and tell you what note it was. Through all of my handbell experience at church I simply had counted the notes from middle-C, the G of the treble clef, or the F of the bass clef. This worked in standard Alluredian assigned choirs where I played two to four notes for the whole piece, but it didn’t work for playing in a quartet, since by the time I counted up from the G everyone else was four measures past that note.
I realized later that I walked out of those initial rehearsals exhausted because I was building new skills in my brain. I was used to weaving where I’d work through three or four bells, then I’d go back to ringing just two of them for a bit. Reading through a passage of notes, figuring out how to get my hands around the bells in time, and putting the bells back in place where they belong wasn’t something I had done yet. (Putting bells back in place also took my quartet mates a little while to figure out as well. As a result, we half seriously called ourselves “Bells Out of Order” for several months until we decided on the much more prosaic name “The Resonance Ringers”)
It has gotten easier as I’ve played quartet music to simply sight read my way through a new piece. It’s not perfect, and some decisions that I make during sight reading hamstring and foul up my playing later. I’ve learned that playing quartet music is very much about negotiating. First, you must negotiate with your previous decisions on how to play a piece. I’ve worked on pieces where I don’t settle down on my decisions on how to play the piece for months, and there are times when I’ve found myself within a week or so of a performance deciding on a better way to ring through a specific passage. (I generally don’t implement that change until after the performance.)
You must also negotiate with your fellow players. In quartet music the bell you just played often will be played by another player. (Often I’ll find while I’m sight reading that the bell I’d like to play is in the hand of Jean Leavens, our usual alto ringer. Although, she claims that its usually the other way around.) As I’ve worked through pieces we discover many times where we need to work out how we’re going to work on a passage. Perhaps I’ll put down a bell sooner than I usually would’ve because another Jean needs it, or we’ll work out passing bells between players.
We also negotiated for access from University Congregational Church to borrow their fourth octave of bells to play alongside the third octave we play on at our usual rehearsal space, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal. In exchange we’ve agreed to play for two of their services per year.
Sometimes you need to negotiate with the music editor, and those who have played the piece before you. I have on more than one occasion taken Wite-Out to hand markings and notations that I find distracting. Also, in many pieces Joann Miles, our usual tenor ringer, finds the sea of ledger lines above the bass clef to be difficult to read smoothly, so she either rewrites her part in the treble clef, or resorts to writing in the letter of the rarer notes. (Joann passes her thanks to all editors who put the tenor part on its own treble staff.)
Finally, you negotiate with the composer. We’ve found Bach to be a tough negotiator. We’ve worked on Charles Maggs’s arrangement of Bach’s “Bouree II” from English Suite #2. We still nervously glance at the tempo marking of 140 beats per minute to the quarter note, but that has been a great challenge and we’ve been able to play it at around 120 beats per minute. We have also looked to add embellishments to some pieces. Right now, we’re working on an arrangement of “Amazing Grace” from 1989. It’s beautiful, but it was arranged before singing bells, so we’ve added a few of those at the beginning and doubled the melody in a the last verse.
Playing in a handbell quartet is one of the best music experiences I’ve had. I get to engage with music at a deeper level than I ever have before, I’ve cultivated close friendships with three wonderful women who are “slightly” older than me, from three different faith traditions, whom I wouldn’t have gotten to know as well otherwise, and I get to play bells a whole lot more. What else is there?
So my friendly agreement with Handbell Musicians of America says that I need to put this on the page: “Reposted with permission from ringEr-Notes, an online publication of Handbell Musicians of America.” That being said, I never remember assigning my copyright to them. Alas, the Handbell community still has much to learn about copyrights.
I ran into someone today who told me something “couldn’t be done.” Not that they’d tried thinking through the problem, fiddled with how to make it work, or actually implemented something toward that end. Simply that it couldn’t be done. I have a bit of loathing and disgust that comes out when I run into situations like this.
I’m reminded of a conference call when I worked at Chiquita. I forget what the end goal was for my transportation team, but we wanted the port to load trailers of fruit and I think hold onto it at the port for a while. What annoyed me was our port operations people got into a mindset of “we can’t do that” without having any good rational reason behind it. In this instance, I think we ended up dropping the line of reasoning on that call, and I asked my supervisor to escalate the problem up the ladder.
But, back to the earlier instance. Its something that the operating government agency really wants input on, and knows its a problem… Luckily I have some free time on my hands and access to the data so I’m going to go after doing some analysis, because I like this sort of stuff.
I’m one of the two co-leaders of the coffee crew at my church, University Unitarian Church.
One of tasks for coffee crew is to send out a weekly reminder email. For reasons of tradition, interest, and keeping myself entertained I often tell a little story, share witty observation, or make a joke. (They all loved last week when I told them that we had gotten an espresso machine and were going to be taking orders for lattes before the service to be ready and prepared after the service.) This week I shared part of my understanding of truth which seems as if it belongs here. I’ve omitted people’s names but beyond adding a few links its the same email I sent just a few minutes ago. Enjoy!
Good Morning My Dear Coffee Ministers,
I was telling her the story of my faith journey and at one point I had become a hardcore(ish) atheist, believing that god didn’t exist, and I had explored some secular humanist groups, but I was unsettled with their positions and exposed beliefs as I realized they were as dogmatic as some of the other religions I was moving away from. She then asked me how I had such balance in my view of the world. True to form, I didn’t have an answer at that time.
But as I’ve thought through it, I realize that this really comes from a core belief of mine that completely absolute truth is unknowable, and probably non-existent. Now if this was the daily standard of truth that I used, it would be a formula for not being able to operate in the world, so I have lesser standards of truth that I use. Of course, I have one exception to my understanding of truth, and that is its an immutable truth that coffee is good.
Serving up truth for first service is the rock solid team of [a rock solid team of three folks]. If all y’all could arrive and get started setting up around 8:30 am that’d be wonderful.
Continuing the deliverance of truth for second service is the team of [another great team of three folks]. If one of you could arrive by 11 am to relieve the first crew, and the rest could arrive before first service that would be most helpful.
Cleaning up the true-coffee soaked towels this week is [a guy with a washer and dryer who used to co-lead coffee crew with me]. If everyone could gather them up as you work through the day that’d be wonderful.
I’ll be checking in as my covenant group is providing the center table. I’m not sure if this’ll be a busier or slower coffee crew because of easter. I’m guessing it’ll be an average sunday, but so we’ll find out. As always, if there is anything that [my awesome co-lead on coffee crew] or I can help you with in your true coffee ministry, please let us know.
I wrote this comment on YouTube:
Thank you to everyone poured their hearts into making this video.
I could nitpick about the phrase “same sex attraction” or some of the other phrasing, but I recognize that the people who are in this video are struggling with their feelings, thoughts, teachings, and societal messages that they have received over decades. In the face of this they have they have chosen love.
Many of the comments accuse Mormons in this video of trying to “repair their image” or arguing that they are part of a “hateful cult”. I’m not going to make excuses for Prop 8 or many other anti-GLBT efforts that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has engaged in.
No church is perfect.
My own liberal faith has its negative history in our treatment of GLBT people. In Unitarian Universalist LGBT History & Facts it notes that “In 1969 the first UU minister came out as homosexual on the national scene: Rev. James L. Stoll. He never served a congregation again. Prior to that, ministers discovered to be gay were fired from their congregations (though once one was rehired as a custodian).” Yes, that was 43 years ago, and as a faith we’ve walked on a path of greater acceptance and inclusion. I know this path was trail blazed by many individual Unitarian Universalists who shared their vision of love in the face of others who sowed mistrust, uneasiness, and half-platitudes of acceptance.
Both the Mormons in that video and I agree on at least one: a vision of love and inclusion.
I know that the Mormon community isn’t where I’d like them to be on accepting GLBT people, but I fully embrace those Mormons who are Standing on the Side of Love. I welcome them into my community, my home, and my heart.
So, over the past several weeks, I’ve had the thought “Hey, I should write a blog entry about ______.” pop up in my head quite frequently. Also, I watched Hank Green talking to Charlie McDonnell, where he alludes to a week where he made a video a day for YouTube.
I contrast this with yesterday, where I needed to do some resume rewriting and well, it was like pulling teeth to write anything. I only got that done by threatening to myself and a friend to buy that friend dinner unless I had a copy of my resume in her email box before she woke up. (I understand that resume writing is less attractive and more difficult than most other types of writing, but still its writing.)
So I need to stretch myself to put that writing muscle back into order.. So some rules for this writing goal:
- A blog entry must be at least four paragraphs long, and a paragraph must be at least three sentences.
- Blog entries must be at least daily, for May 1 through May 7.
- A day will be determined by Nick’s logical day naming system.
- This blog entry doesn’t count as a blog entry on May 1st.
- Blog entries for this challenge must be tagged with “One Entry a Day for a Week”.
- May 2 Addendum: If more than one blog entry is written on a day, it cannot be credited toward a future blog entry.
- Rules are intended to be broken, but not this rule.
Okay, lets get this challenge started.
I don’t have any significant first hand knowledge of the protest events and the few crimes in Seattle today. I’ve read three or so Seattle Times articles: A summary article, an article on the downtown core battening down the hatches, and a victim’s account. I’ve also read the Slog’s live blog of the day. But here is an experience of my day, and my thoughts on what happened.
I got up around 10 am. (but I was also up to 3 am working on my resume, so shush.) I spent several hours around the house working and reading. My first realization that something had happened came when my cousin asked me if downtown was still chaotic, and gave me a link to a Seattle Times article on what had happened.
I walked from my house down to the waterfront and didn’t leave the waterfront until Bell St. I’ll admit part of this was to just stay out of the downtown core, but I was also curious about what the detour mess looked like. I’ve used this route many times in the past when going to my destination, because walking along the water has many advantages, namely: Water, Fewer streets to cross, and wider sidewalks. (I also got some pictures of the ferris wheel parts.) The detour mess still looks like its shaping up, but doesn’t look quite fun.
My first personal sighting of the protest, although I didn’t realize it at the time, was seeing the Unicorn Protest leader, turning off of Bell St onto an alley way. I then snagged some cash at a nearby credit union ATM to then take to a bank to get quarters for laundry. The first bank I wandered by was a US Bank in Belltown, which had a sign in the window “Due to security concerns we will be closing at 4pm”. Unfortunately, it was 4:10 pm. I kept wandering toward my destination and I saw a protest or march blocking third and preventing busses and traffic from moving. I continued walking on when I came upon a Wells Fargo. Oddly the bank was locked, but the manager was letting people in and out from the back door. I walked in, got my quarters and after being directed back to the back door I left.
I went off to my bell rehearsal in Shoreline, which is one of those things I do just about every Tuesday. On the way, I discussed with one of my quartetmates on how I was getting home, and that I’d kinda like to avoid Downtown, as I didn’t know what would be happening there. The bus routes that around our rehearsal all go to Downtown or Belltown before I can transfer elsewhere. (Discounting an annoying routing on the 358 to the 48, to the 49, I don’t mind connections, but I avoid double connections.) So my quartetmate drove me to the origin of the 65, which is conveniently about two and a half miles by car from our rehearsal spot, although due to the bus system in North Seattle isn’t really easy to bus to. I then hopped a 49 and snagged a cup of coffee at my favorite coffee shop, Roy St Coffee and Tea and following my routine, I hopped a 60 home after Roy St closed. (Yes, I realize I still ended up double connecting with a long layover, but I’d rather layover at Roy St, its like my Cheers, most of the folks know my name, the folks there all have different troubles, and the employees are often they’re glad I came but sometimes they just wished I buzzed off.)
So for me personally this more or less was a non-event.
First, I appreciated the mayor’s comment when he signed an emergency order, “The First Amendment uses of 5-foot-long, 3-inch rod sticks is outweighed today by our desire to preserve public safety and confiscate weapons.” Simply the fact that he recognized that he was limiting First Amendment rights is huge. Usually in instances like this the rhetoric is all about safety and order, and our constitutional rights are ignored.
I’m actually quite annoyed at the
protestor’s terrorist’s choice of targets. (Yes, they were terrorists, they’re attempting to use violence in an attempt to coerce the political process. They had a poor attempt at it, but they attempted never the less.) So per the Seattle Times the targets were:
- A Wells Fargo Branch
- The US Appeals Court
- Multiple cars on Seneca Street and Sixth Ave
- A Homestreet Bank Branch
- An HSBC Bank Branch
- Niketown’s Seattle store
- American Apparel’s Downtown Seattle Store
- Nordstrom’s Corporate Office
- A prominent Starbucks location
So lets go for the easiest first. Individual people’s cars. There was active terrorism against people simply parked their cars in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Tactically thats the fastest way to make an enemy, damage an American’s car. For most Americans a car is one of their major personal possessions, and part of their identity.
The Appeals Court? Sigh. Our courts aren’t ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but of the three branches of our government its the branch in the least need of reform.
The retail stores. Okay, so Nike, Nordstrom, and Starbucks are all big corporate names. None of them strike me as especially egregious in treating their communities and employees, but none of them are especially excellent either. Nike has of course had its foreign labor problems, but this is simply reflection of the greater changes in our world economy. (c.f. Apple being targeted for outsourcing, although they’re not alone.) Targeting the American Apparel though on the other hand, is just stupid. This company has a strong commitment to American labor, and treating its employees with respect and supporting their right to unionize. If anything the protestors should’ve walked in, bought a shitload of stuff, then smashed the windows of American Apparel’s neighbors. Oh, and if you’re going to smash Nike’s store, don’t do it while wearing Nike shoes.
Finally, we have the banks. So HSBC is a worldwide bank with a small presence in the US Market. Honestly, it fits the image of big bad multi-national, although I don’t think they had a significant negative affect during the mortgage crisis. Wells Fargo is a mediocre national bank. I understand they’ve been financing private prisons, but it simply is a business, if they didn’t loan the money someone else would. Trying to stop private prisions by targeting Wells Fargo is like trying to prevent the Titanic from hitting an iceberg with a single paddle, there is no power there. I’m most annoyed about the Homestreet Bank branch, this is a local Seattle institution, it really is a ho-hum local bank that has done nothing evil. It was the third runner up in my church‘s search for a new bank. I would’ve had no problem with my church placing its money there, although we had a better option. If you’re going to target a bank (not that I’m advocating this) I recommend going after Chase and Bank of America. Both have documented horrible failures in the mortgage crisis both Nationally and in Washington State, and both have contributed to the greater mess that the crisis on Wall Street.
After spending a good bit hacking away at the keyboard to write this blog entry out, I’m struck by the fact that much of this is simply a call for help, a plea for something to be done, and pent up rage. The black bloc that struck had 75 people, they could have easily circled and disrupted business at a free standing location of one of the businesses. (Okay I’m thinking the Bank of America on Olive Way..) There is power in taking the upper hand and confronting your enemies with a peaceful tactic, that gains support from the public. Hell, I admire Starbucks, but I would’ve respected and understood the black block circling the Pacific Place Starbucks.
There is massive energy pent up to cause change, but it must be channeled and directed to have the maximum effect.
Apple should bring iMessage to Android phones.
At first glance this seems like the worst idea: Take a signature portion of the iOS experience (and soon to be OS X experience) and bring it to your direct competitor, thus reducing the differentiation between your product and your competitor’s product, which ultimately reduces the attractiveness of your product.
But iMessage as a product isn’t competing with Android. No, its competing directly with Blackberry Messenger, but indirectly with carrier’s SMS and MMS offerings. AT&T knew this when in advance of iMessage’s release they switched their SMS/MMS package offerings to two options: $20 for unlimited messages, or $0.20 per SMS or $0.30 per MMS. This means that anyone who wants to send more than 100 SMS message should just pay the $20 per month.
iMessage isn’t competing with Android directly, but why would Apple spend resources on bringing a product to their competitor’s platform? Simple, the same reason Apple brought iTunes to Windows: Bring their design aesthetic to a competitors platform to support one of their product, the iPod. iMessage is stronger when it has more users.
But bringing iMessage to Android also supports Apple’s existing customers, because right now iMessage brings only a few benefits: Syncing messages between multiple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod, and OS X Laptop), and delivery receipts. This is nice, snazzy and cool in and of itself, but it still leaves people saddled with SMS and MMS messages being delivered only on their iPhone. For a customer is great benefit to cancel that $20 per month SMS plan and pay individually for the few text messages that come from feature phones and other sources.
When Apple brings iMessage to Android they open up a platform that has the potential to reach 82% of the smartphone market. But in bringing iMessage to Android it places it as a formidable competitor to SMS and MMS messages, which also forces RIM and Windows Mobile into a market corner. We’ve seen this play out with computer modems, fax machines, ethernet, and Wi-Fi. These connectivity innovations gained their dominance not because each manufacturer had their own proprietary method of connecting, but because they made and generally stuck to an agreed upon standard.
Finally, bringing iMessage continues to push network providers into the role that Apple wants them to be: Providers of dumb pipes. Steve Jobs spent quite a bit of time trying to think through building the iPhone into a platform to synthetically create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum. iMessage doesn’t get Apple all the way there, but it chips of a small piece of the wireless carrier’s differentiation from being a dumb pipe, and that brings us a wee bit closer to the future.