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March 08, 2010


"It will be a huge flop or a huge success. There's no middle ground."

This is precisely the kind of insightful analysis that major corporations are looking for!

Why haven't they hired you yet?


HS working at Microsoft, circa early 1995:

Bill Gates: So, Mr. HS, what do you think of our new product, Microsoft Bob?
HS: It will either be a huge flop, or a huge success, Mr. Gates. There's no middle ground.
Bill Gates: Excellent advice kid! Here's a cigar, and 50,000 stock options!

[HS: If you knew that a stock will either go to $0 or double in value, then there's easy money to be made with an appropriate options strategy. My prediction for the iPad will be wrong if it remains a moderately profitable niche product for Apple. And I'm pretty sure I would have predicted that Bob would be a big flop.]

"Bill Gates: So, Mr. HS, what do you think of our new product, Microsoft Bob?"

From the Wikipedia: "At one point, the project was managed by Melinda French, who at the time was Bill Gates' girlfriend (the two later married)."

If this is how they met, then from her perspective this was absolutely the best product in the history of the universe.


I called flop some time ago:


It is just so stupid to me...who wants an oversized iphone and why? I can see it being a SWPL-beta manpurse accessory, in a way. But that's not enough.

The iPad is great if you want a "third device" after a desktop and laptop, so it's core purchaser is going to be SWPL types with disposable income. I already own an iPod Touch, but I can't justify spending money on what's essentially a larger iPod Touch with limited capabilities. It's portable, but not usable in public in the same way than an iPod Touch is, and the lack of a real keyboard means that it's useless for travel. Even for students, the lack of a stylus means it's of much use for writing notes. Once you look at the capabilities of the device, you can easily see why it's received weak praise from the Apple geeks. It's a second-rate ebook and tablet in the same device so while I can do many things, it doesn't do them well enough to justify its purchase like the iPod or iPhone.

I suspect the proles will stick to Apple's other products, but eschew this for a cheap netbook. I'm holding out for an Lenovo ThinkPad X100 with dual core AMD processors due my desire for a lightweight, yet cheap and reasonable laptop that can fit in a messenger bag.

Or, to make a prediction that I assign a very high degree of confidence too indeed: no matter what happens, it will be *spun* as a big success or a big flop by the media. There's no *story* in "iPad becomes moderately profitable niche product".

I haven't seen one of these things in person, but what I've heard keeps reminding me of this:


I'll be a contrarian and say moderate success.

Apple has already proven that they can get people to buy closed products that are beholden to their applications. So the biggest barriers are already past.

The fact that you cant load 3rd party apps is a down side- but its also an enormous upside for the population that never knew what they were doing in the first place. If you give your mother a laptop or netbook its going to be a tech support nightmare- she'll click banner ads and install viruses and everything else.

With the Ipad you only run Apple software. And if something goes wrong the non-tech savvy person takes it to the genius bar. Since mom never knew what she was missing there is no downside.

It sense that Apple would have done some market research to see what people are interested in and in what numbers. They already make a wireless internet platform in the ipod, so it really isnt much of a leap to give them credit for recognizing an untapped market that wanted that platform larger and simplified.

You're becoming so much like a cable news network. Of course it'll either be a big flop or a big success-- any other way you frame, i.e in between the two extremes-- it won't be as interesting. But the real reason it'll be either one of two extremes is the feedback effect. Once a narrative is established it'll affect consumer perception.

I can see the iPad becoming a big hit in Japan. All the salarymen in Japan spend long hours on the train every day commuting to work - often an hour each way, sometimes more. If the iPad was connected to their corporate software systems in some intelligent way, they could leverage that ~2 hours a day that otherwise goes to waste, by reading reports and emails, listening to PPT presentations, so on and so forth.

The iPad doesn't work for creating or editing information. But it probably does work well for *viewing* information.

It is very unlikely it will flop. It will either be a huge success or only do 'okay' ( dissapoint the high expectations).

There is enough hype and fanboy enthusiam around the product to already guarentee a decent number of sales. Apple will not lose money on it. What reason do you have that it will flop? The worst I can foresee for apple is that it doesn't live up to the business hype, and doesn't have the same impact as tr iPod and iPhone .

Half Sigma, I already carry a small soft briefcase with me where ever I go. If I have to go to the dentist, and he keeps me sitting in his waiting room for an hour, I can just pull out the ipad and do something I enjoy. I will keep magazines, books, newspapers, movies and other media on the device.

This device is so small and light that I can throw it in my backpack and forget about it until I find myself sitting around with an hour to kill.

I won't create anything in that hour but I can absorb plenty of content - both entertainment content and work content.

One other thing - when the weather is nice, it is good to sit on a park bench, or sit in some outdoor setting - why be stuck at home when all i have is a big stack of reading

Let me be clear - if i have real work to get done I need to be at a computer but if I just want to sit back and be entertained away from home this is just the ticket

I will be one of the people that gets on the waiting list for this the first day the waiting list opens up

[HS: To read on a park bench outdoors, the iPad will suck compared to one of the eBook readers like Kindle or Sony which aren't backlit.]

Half Sigma, think about it.

If you are like me, you carry something with you most of the time. Monday to Friday, a briefcase. Saturday and Sunday - a backpack.

For readers that don't carry a bag, perhaps they live in the burbs and drive a car from place to place and can just keep this device charging in the footwell of the passenger seat, ready for use

My point is, *IF* you are a person that does not drive a car around and does not carry a briefcase and does not carry a backpack, this device is totally worthless to you. Forget it.

But I think most people have an easy way to take this with them

I predict it will be a success. Not that I care, as I don't plan on buying it and don't own any Apple stock. But the bloggers I read who do care seem pretty jazzed about it.

If you can carry an iPad, you can carry a netbook which offers a whole lot more.

re:"iPad prediction

It will be a huge flop or a huge success. There's no middle ground."HS

Apple is expecting a winner. Initial production run is 5 million. A friend of mine got to use a preproduction model and was astounded by it. There is no hard drive so there is no delay, seemingly even faster than a Mac notebook with a solid state drive which once used is hard to do without. Special Apple designed chips apparently (From Dan Dobberpuhl's P.A. Semi microprocessor design company acquired by Apple in 2008 no doubt. ) permitted the graphics to display instantaneously; shockingly fast was his reaction. The bluetooth Mac keyboard works with the iPad should one want a real keyboard.

But the most important point he made, IMHO, was that he said that it was the first e-book reader that really worked. Not only that but it seemed to be light as a feather.

Will I get one? Hell yes, but v.2.0 just as I did with the iPhone.

Dan Kurt

Massive success. Instant-on and a full day of battery life. A great browser. No moving parts, hinges etc. Very simple - just one port. At school - every kids backpack will have one eventually.

I was always banging on about tablets and information at your fingertips!

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