Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Goodbye Winamp and Nullsoft

AOL announced would be shut down on December 20, 2013. That marks an end to the 15 years old mp3 player software by Nullsoft.

Nullsoft started by Justin Frankel with Winamp software. I respect the company which started as a small company with 1 popular software and grown into a multi-million company. Nullsoft was acquired by AOL in year 1999.

Justin Frankel created Gnutella after Nullsoft acquired by AOL. Gnutell is a peer-to-peer software to share files (which include mp3 media files). AOL order Nullsoft to taken down the software, because AOL think Gnutella will harmed AOL's music business.

Winamp and Nullsoft was created at the right time and sold to AOL at the right time. A group of creative software developers with a big company backup sounds like a good match. Policies and bureaucratic kill both of them.

Winamp is not able to re-create itself within AOL. There are rules to be follow straightly. Justin resign in year 2004. Winamp does not make it's way and lost to others (eg. iTunes).

Nullsoft and Winamp certainly has made a (small?) page in software history. I salute to Winamp, Nullsoft and Justin Frankel.

Winamp from time to time
Ars Technica has a good coverage

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Secret Recipe offer with WeChat 2013

As celebration of 16th anniversary, Secret Recipe (Malaysia) has a buy 1 free 1 offer through WeChat. You can buy 2 slices of Secret Recipe cake with price of 1 (the higher price if the 2 cakes have different price). The offer is from 16-30 November 2013.

Coupon offer through WeChat

WeChat (微信) is a mobile messenger software from Teccent, to compete with Whatsapp and LINE. WeChat just started with 2-3 years time, with aggressive marketing campaign, WeChat users grown rapidly. WeChat reported to have 300 million users early this year 2013.

WeChat is not just for messenger. WeChat try to include (almost) every function of the other web services into this mobile application. This buy 1 free 1 offer is similar with coupon.

How to get the offer?

The coupon will valid for 1 hour time after activated. Only activate before purchase.

1. Subscribe to Secret Recipe from WeChat
On iPhone for example. WeChat > Contacts > Add > Official Accounts > Search "Secret Recipe" > (Select "Secret Recipe M'sia") > Follow.

2. Activate coupon
WeChat > Contacts > Subscription Accounts > Secret Recipe M'sia > Look for "Secret Recipe Sweet 16th Anniversary Buy 1 Free 1.

Once activated, the coupon will valid for 1 hours. Just show the code to the shop.

WeChat is very aggressive with their marketing. WeChat includes many other features other than just messenger. This coupon feature is just a start, e-commerce and mobile payment will be added in WeChat. WeChat will become a common platform for all mobile services, even I feel is too ambitious for a mobile app to do that.

This coupon offer will be a good promotion for both Secret Recipe and WeChat.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Deep green Digi office

I heard Digi has an open office strategy, the employees have no permanent working desk, they sit anywhere they like as long as the desk is available. Their working desk has no partition, every employee was issued a notebook, so they can work mobile at anywhere in the office.

I have a seminar at Digi office, Shah Alam Hi-Tech Park. Digi is another well managed company, the staffs are well informed about the event. Not much questions about these outsiders who are going to attend the event. There are staff around to assist you from the entrance to the parking, from the parking to the event hall. The Digi staff bring us around for an office tour. Finally I have a chance to see it with my own eyes.

cafe at digi office
Digi has a beautiful office, this is the cafe.
Originally uploaded by fuyichin

Digi has a large and beautiful office, good enough to make you feel comfortable working there. Other than the open office strategy, they practice green working environment. Digi promote paperless office, do not print on hard copy if not necessary. Digi practice rubbish recycle in the office. Digi promote car pool, car pool will have priority for a covered parking lot.

As Digi staff told me, Digi not just promoting a green environment, but try hard to improve and promote environment as much as they can. Well done Digi!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The newer iOS Bloomberg v3 apps looks bad

Which Bloomberg apps (on iPhone/iPod) you prefer?

Bloomberg iOS app v3

Bloomberg iOS app v2

I prefer the older iOS Bloomberg v2 than v3. Sometimes newer doesn't mean better. The color and font size used on the version 2 is much easier to read.

The v3 app try to fit in more information, but please do not forget, the screen size is still (or almost) the same, even retina display is not going to help.

If the original Bloomberg app rating is 5 starts, the newer app is 1 star less.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Product service decide buying decision (newspaper)

A good example to show service decide buying decision.

My friend told me why he changed his subscription from Oriental Daily News newspaper to Sin Chew. It is just a simple reason, Sin Chew deliver the newspaper much earlier to his doorstep.

Oriental Daily's history is not as long as Sin Chew. Oriental Daily publish everyday including holidays. Sin Chew and a few of the others newspaper publisher didn't published for few selected holidays throughout a year. Publish 365 days is a good service too.

Oriental Daily is a smaller (Berliner) size, about a quarter of the size of traditional newspaper. These days, more people prefer Berliner format, because is easier to hold on hands. This is quite similar with one of the reasons why people prefer theStar and The New Straits Times.

Newspaper is a product. Having a good product is not good enough, because most newspaper publisher provide similar news content everyday. The packaging and service make difference.

What's next?

If faster delivery service is a very important factor, traditional printed paper are not going to compete with online news. The Washington Post (Note: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to acquire The Washington Post)is a good example, and just a start.