Lenovo bought Motorola now what?

Well, it’s complete, Lenovo has completed it’s assimilation of IBM’s x86 market and now has moved onto the mobile market in the US through buying Motorola Mobility. This move makes a lot of sense for both Lenovo and Google (as well as IBM). From the Innovator’s Dilemma perspective, we have a company that is focused on building produts at a good price with all sorts of efficiencies buying a much lower on the priority source of revenue from Google and IBM.

What else does this mean? Well, it’s likely that Lenovo will begin to experiment with unique products to take advantage of their full technology stack. They are one of the few companies that have successful lines of business in Laptop, Servers, and now Smartphones. They obviously will be quickly filling any gap they have in the tablet space – which they already have offerings. Now, they can take mature technologies from Motorola Mobility and implement them in their broader product portfolio. In the sale, Google kept most of the patents, but they are sharing the patents with Lenovo. This is a big deal for Lenovo as they can freely use those technologies with no cost which means they can experiment with those technologies in unique products.

For Google, it’s a good move because they don’t need to manage a legacy manufacturing and design firm that they never really integrated. This is especially true since they were partnering with other companies to develop their Nexus line up. It simply made no sense to hold on to a company like Motorola when you weren’t planning on truly using it. Plus, Google makes most of it’s money from ads still and from their ecosystem. They do better if there’s strong competition in their operating system ecosystem. In fact having Lenovo as a partner now will likely help them more than owning Motorola ever did.

Lenovo will be able to put more money into their smart phones and will likely offer unique products that mix their laptop capabilities and servers with the smart phones. What could we see? Well perhaps a fully docking phone/tablet that truly replaces a laptop and maybe even a desktop. With the small server capabilities they may even figure out how to mix those capabilities by selling a smart phone that can connect to a “personal server” that allows you to access more power and storage while on the go.

I’m excited to see stronger cometition for Samsung and Apple in Lenovo and look forward to interesting products from the company to compete and push the market in a new direction.

Technology obsessive culture leads to product worshiping

Apparently, today is the 30th year since the Macintosh computer was introduced. All over the internet was a big masturbatory fest over this great achievement. Honestly, I don’t really give two shits. Quite frankly, I don’t think that it really changed everything and anything – similarly I don’t think that the iPhone did. In both of these cases the technology had been in the market, it just required the right type of interface or marketing. It’s well known that there were a lot of similarities between the work that was being done at Xerox PARC and at Apple. In fact, Steve Jobs went to visit and learned a lot about what the computer gods of Xerox were doing. Did he steal ideas from there? No, but I’m sure that his ideas were enhanced and improved because of his visit. Similarly to the way that his ideas were enhanced and improved by all the competition to the iPod including the Palm Pilots, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and so on.

Apple was the first to market for really easy to use printing interfaces as well as type faces. However, at the same time that Apple came out with their product, Adobe was developing their similar product which was a spin off from Xerox. Similar, Microsoft Office was developed by an ex-Xerox employee.

Did the Macintosh change things? It’s likely from a design perspective more than anything as both Windows and Apple’s operating system were similar to the Xerox operating system. What happened, why did Apple succeed and change things and not Xerox? Because Xerox didn’t know what to do with what they had. Apple, coming from a different perspective, different cost structure and different corporate culture, was able to move into the market with only competition from IBM. IBM was a business first company and didn’t really understand the market they were helping to develop. This is why IBM wasn’t able to dominate the market the way they did in the minicomputer and mainframe days – in fact, IBM has completely exited the x86 market. Because of IBM’s business decisions we now have Microsoft and Intel (and others of course).

We idolize the great personalities and the beginning of a new technology. But the movement and technology wasn’t created by Apple even though they get the credit. Apple did do great work, they helped to shape an early portion of the computer age, but the introduction of a specific product only notes a specific point in the total arc of that technology. Computers went racing on by, new ways to interface with computers have emerged and were even invented before the Macintosh was released.

The Macintosh was certainly was a high mark at the time and was a great introduction to many people to the greater opportunity of computing. It allowed more people to access computers. I know that I used a version of Macintosh while I was growing up in elementary school, however at home we never owned a Mac, we only ever owned PCs while I was growing up. The Mac was already on the way out by the early 90s, which at the time was fairly fast, considering the quick ramp of computer since then.

Should we honor the Mac? No more than we should honor the first Palm, Blackberry or Android phone. I fully expect the iPhone will be honored as much or more in 3 years when the iPhone hits ten.