Apple's new disruptive innovation - the iPhone

The iPhone will change the mobile phone industry, but probably not in ways most people are thinking. I love the idea of the new interaction interface, and I love the idea of getting the entire internet on my phone. However, the genius behind the iPhone, in my opinion, is the ability to activate the phone and service from iTunes. That's huge. This convenience factor will drive a new consumer behavior, and consumers will expect phone activation to be this easy for all phones (or any device for that matter... have you seen how terrible the Harmony Remote Control configuration is? Argh.) That will put Apple in the driver's seat, and phone carriers and manufacturers will be paying Apple to offer activation via iTunes. Mark my word.


Amazon takes top spot in BusinessWeek IT 100

Ok, not sure how authoritative a source BusinessWeek is on IT or tech companies, but they put Amazon on top of the tech heap. Nice to see Amazon recognized as a technology company and not just a retailer.


Google acquires Zenter

I innoviewed Wayne Crosby from Zenter a couple months back, and Zenter has been acquired by Google. Congrats to Wayne! And enjoy the Mountain View area.


eBay vs. Google

I know this is old news, but eBay took the kid gloves off last week by pulling their SEM dollars from their Google channel. Timing was such that it coincided with eBay Live, and Google's attempt to hold a "freedom of choice" party to encourage the eBay community to push eBay to support Google Checkout.

Now, I don't disagree that the timing had to do with Google's antics; however, companies as big as eBay don't just pull their SEM spend without having some good data to suggest that you aren't going to lose out on the deal. Something tells me that eBay is questioning their strategy on keyword bidding (and I've been right about eBay before :) ). This is something I haven't seen talked about in the blogosphere. Google is an impressive company with an impressive track record. But just like IBM, Microsoft, HP, Dell, and a plethora of other companies, they are assailable. Everyone is (Steve Jobs, are you listening?). However, the real insight here is: is SEM spend on Google really worth it? eBay is challenging that notion. What if they are right? SEM spend won't go away, but it will mean that SEM customers will spend less and less for keywords (I've learned firsthand that many small businesses find keyword bidding too expense and generate a negative ROI) in the e-commerce space.

I am looking forward to the next year in this space. I predict this is the first chip in Google's armor, and they will need to figure out a way to address (Google Analytics is a good way to counter... show customers their ROI in a measurable way) if they want their stock to keep climbing.