Perpetually in search of what’s next. Marketing + Code at Hoist Apps and Writing @ The Next Web

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I’m starting a tech newsletter, designed to save you time


I used to blog about tech here a lot, but I’ve been thinking for a long time that I would like to do something more personal instead.

I spend almost all of my spare time reading articles online and looking into how they came about, but haven’t been passing any of that knowledge on outside of my Twitter feed.

I’ve decided to start a simple newsletter called Charged which will be a weekly ‘too long, didn’t read’ roundup and analysis of interesting happenings/trends in the tech industry. I know you’re busy, so I want to help.

The type of stories will vary wildly, but it’ll always be entertaining, easy to understand, concise and worth your time. I promise. If you’ve liked what I share on Twitter, then you’ll love this newsletter. I’m not interested in click-bait.

This is something new for me (and I’m terrified!),...

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Nike kills off wearables instead of going to war with Apple


The news leaked today that Nike had laid off the entire FuelBand team, as the company looks to exit the wearables market. This is a strange move, especially considering the company has just released the FuelBand SE.

But it’s not that strange at all. It’s been rumored for longer than I can remember that Apple is getting into the ‘wearables’ market with a watch-like device, dubbed the ‘iWatch.’

This device is expected to be unveiled this September, alongside this year’s iPhone as Apple seeks to expand into ‘new product categories.’ Today’s Nike move, to kill off the wearables part of the company and focus on software, is surely part of that strategy.


Nike and Apple have long been close allies, with Nike building a partnership to bring exclusive integration between the iPod/iPhone for years with its Nike+ sensor for shoes.


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The curious case of the fake Steve Ballmer

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 4.21.10 pm.png

On Twitter today, a fake Steve Ballmer quickly gained a lot of followers as people discovered the account. The account tweeted a few times, with a bunch of convincing pictures that hadn’t been posted anywhere else online, so many were lead to believe it was real.

The account quickly gained steam, with Anil Dash, Steve Sinofsky and others (including myself) tweeting the account, falling for the trick. Something seemed fishy about the account but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

I was almost convinced that the account was real (even Gizmodo wrote something about “Ballmer’s” first tweets from his iPhone!) then it tweeted this:

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How to become a Paypal millionaire

There’s a PayPal scam going around on Twitter at the moment that claims to be offering money to those that retweet a tweet:


It’s a complete and utter joke, yet there are hundreds of replies with people saying “thanks for the money” and “wow, I can pay off my mortgage now!” Lots of people I follow are believing it too.

There’s no way this is legitimate - PayPal would shut this off almost immediately. I’ve been suspended for moving $100 around, so I doubt this person could shift $100K out of their “dad’s” account for fun. My current suspicion is that this is an elaborate scam that involves a number of this person’s friends - or a bunch of bots.

Despite what you...

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New adventures

I’ve got some sad, but happy news to share: I’m saying goodbye to Xero for a new adventure.

A few months back, I was approached by some friends about an exciting new service they were building and they mentioned that if I wanted to be a part of it, I could be. I politely declined as I was happy where I am, but it stuck in my mind for some time afterward.

I spent weeks regretting it. I thought about what I could be missing out on by not seriously considering joining the team almost daily. After reading about Jeff Bezos' Regret Minimization Framework one morning, I came to the conclusion that I would always kick myself about missing out on an opportunity to take a risk with the team later in life, so I sent an email to Owen Evans and told him I wanted to join.


Which leads us to now. In April, I’m joining a NZ based start-up called Hoist as Manager of Marketing...

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Motorola’s brief stint as a Google company was an attempt to change the course of Android


Earlier today, the news broke that Motorola Mobility would be acquired from Google by Lenovo for a cool $2.91 Billion. Google purchased Motorola for $12.5 billion in August 2011.

The move seemed out of character and very perplexing at first, especially considering just how recently Motorola was acquired by Google. I’m still digesting what the deal actually means.

While the original purchase of Motorola and today’s sale seems like a calculated manoeuvre by Google to simply acquire Motorola’s 17,000-odd patents, it’s really much more than that.

In 2011, Motorola was experiencing its fifth consecutive quarter of losses which obviously left the future of the company in doubt. Google swooped in and saved the day.

For a brief moment, it looked like Google really wanted to become a devices and services business, just like Apple. It spent a lot of time convincing...

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Tweetbot changed iPhone user behaviour with one simple gesture

Tweetbot is essentially the gold standard in Twitter clients for mobile phones. You won’t find anything better on iOS, Android or Windows Phone, I can promise you that. The latest update released by the company was a reimagining of an already fantastic app and was received with a lot of acclaim.

I’m not sure if the guys at Tapbots realise what they did when they released Tweetbot 3, but they basically redefined how users expect to interact with pictures on their phones. It’s perhaps the most simple gesture that you could think of, but for some reason it hadn’t been used by anyone else up until Tweetbot 3 was released.


The gesture I’m talking about is the one displayed above. When an image is opened from the stream in ‘lightbox’ view, the user is able to throw it away by simply tossing it anywhere on the screen. It’s so simple that...

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Microsoft should be scared

PC sales for 2013 are out and it’s an interesting picture for Microsoft who has recently started going on the offensive against Chromebooks.

Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all notebook sales, up from negligible share in the prior year

Now, this number is only commercial sales and doesn’t include direct to consumers. To get an idea of just how that’s going, the easiest place to look is Amazon where 4 of the 5 top selling laptops are Chromebooks.

Recent advertising attempts to tell consumers that Chromebooks are terrible have gone down the route of ridiculous facts like the lack of Microsoft Office (ha!) and the fact that they can’t do anything offline (which also isn’t true).

2014 will be an interesting year, if Chromebooks continue to eat up market share. Most consumers seem to just want a machine to access the internet that just works, after...

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Samsung tries to silence user whose S4 caught fire

What Samsung has done, foolishly, is sent the user a document saying that they will exchange his defective device only after he pulls his initial video from YouTube

Another classic mistake from a company that doesn’t understand the internet. Once it’s there, it doesn’t go away. They could’ve turned this around by just replacing the device and the user likely would have updated his video anyway.

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It’s official: New Zealand to get iPhone 5s/5c on October 25

Apple sent out press this morning that the iPhone 5s/5c will be available in New Zealand in the next wave of iPhone releases come October 25.

The official press release this morning says that the handsets will be priced as below and it seems that instead of offering a pre-order program as they have before the handsets will instead be made available for sale on October 25:

iPhone 5s comes in gold, silver or space grey for a recommended retail price of NZD$1,049 inc. GST for the 16GB model, NZD$1,199 inc. GST for the 32GB model and NZD$1,349 inc. GST for the 64GB model. iPhone 5c comes in blue, green, pink, yellow and white for a recommended retail price of NZD$899 inc. GST for the 16GB model and NZD$1,049 inc. GST for the 32GB model.

It’s a bit disappointing the 5c isn’t priced a little lower at $799 as I had earlier heard since that would have been quite a good price...

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