A US startup called "Bytemark" started trading in the UK (my hosting company has been around since 2002). Like an idiot I asked them to please change their name because it could cause some confusion. Until then I'd not considered trademark issues, and we finally filed for a trademark of our own. Of course they filed 2 weeks before us, after I'd sent my polite request. So 2 years and about £20,000 later (only finished just last month) we defeated their objection to our trademark at a hearing, and the trademark office gave us full rights over the name. If it hadn't gone that way we could have been harassed into changing our 10-year old brand name, especially if we'd gone into any new areas of business.
My takeaway from that is that if I start another business I'll take on registration of the UK, EU & possibly US trademark as a given before launching. But when you're just starting out, it is (at best) thousands of pounds that could really be put to better use.
So here are two experiences that made me think "screw this, I wish I'd shopped at Amazon". This may just be a UK-specfic experience, but...
1) Samsung Series 9 laptop from PC World, bought from their store in April, came with Windows 8 drivers (I think) that just never worked. Mouse pointer jerking around, it blue-screened within 5 minutes on one boot out of every two. I updated its drivers through Windows, through the Samsung driver update utility
2) Bought a £150 model helicopter for a member of staff as a leaving present from Maplin (big electronics component & gadget store), to be delivered to his house. They make a picking error and deliver a completely different, much cheaper product. I call them and say, hey, you've made a mistake would you mind delivering the correct item. No. I must go over to the recipient's house, pick the item up, drive it to the store before they will acknowledge their mistake and get me what I ordered. They generously offer a freepost address for me to send the item back, but I must be sure to go to the post office and get a certificate of dispatch! [if you've never been to England this generally involves driving into town, queuing, finding it closed for lunch etc.]
I know from for 1) Amazon would take the item back without question, and I'd be confident enough ordering a replacement on the same day, giving me what I want sooner. And for 2) again, I know they would send the right item out without question and tell me to keep the mistake, it's nor worth the restocking fees.
So whenever I hear "Amazon driving retailers out of business" what I really hear is "Amazon showing how it's done by treating customers as honest & impatient, competitors continue to fuck it up". Amazon aren't even the cheapest, or even the easiest web site to find what you want, but I do know that they care about customers getting what they want quickly, and often that's why I'll pay a bit more.
Is this unfair to ALL OTHER retailers? Am I forgetting some intangible Amazon magic here?
By defining computation to be X and not Y, I have proved that X is computation and Y is not.
Yes, terribly helpful, that.
Actually, it was 90% at 24Mbps, and 100% at 2Mbps.
Skype/Facetime over wifi? Having a mobile phone conversation?
Agreed latency can suck. Does it *have* to suck? Seems like that's an implementation issue.
The promise that they will struggle to cover is 2Mbps to 100% of the population (since the 95% of the population promise is largely a 'sort out urban areas' thing and can be done by wiring and/or better modems). Bandwidth may not be their issue.
You don't have to go far into the countryside for availability to be a major problem, particularly if there are trees or hills in the landscape (true of just about anywhere apart from the fens.
And this smacks of a solution to the broadband promise along the lines of 'well, we promised fast internet to 95% of the population, and see, you have it! We didn't say it wouldn't cost 200 quid a month?'
Have separation between levels of security and have fewer & fewer admins working on them as you go up the chain. Use the old established and trusted guys at the top. Don't have thousands of people (particularly contractors) crawling all over the most sensitive data. Seems obvious really. Look at the amount of data *Private* Bradley Manning got his hands on. It's like NSA & Govt just leave the barn doors open and hope the fear of prosecution will prevent the bad thing from happening.
They'll land with $15m VC funding, specs on which beanbags they want and a tech spec that reads "node.js + cloud".
"This generation may be the one that will face Armageddon." -- Ronald Reagan, "People" magazine, December 26, 1985