The battle between Apple and Google intensified this week with both companies unveiling long awaited business models for publishers eager to develop recurring revenue sources through sale of tablet based subscriptions. Read this article for our views regarding how the “tablet wars” will be affected by the latest battle.
According to the Financial Times, Google is planning to construct a price index that could eventually serve as an alternative to official government statistics. While the Google Price Index (GPI) is still a work in progress and only tracks web-traded goods, the potential for expansion into other sectors of the economy could provide a more complete picture of inflation in the future. If fully developed, the GPI may keep government statistics honest in periods of higher inflation.
One year is a relatively short period of time but represents an eternity when evaluating the products offered in the nascent market for electronic reading devices. One year ago, there was much excitement regarding the potential for the Kindle DX to revolutionize the market for textbooks. The Kindle DX is a larger version of Amazon.com’s popular Kindle device which is more suitable for larger formats such as textbooks. Several business schools aggressively rolled out materials specifically designed for the Kindle DX. The results of the experiment are now in and according to the Financial Times, the device has received very mixed reviews. Read this article for more details.
The Financial Times published a special report today (also available as a pdf file) that attempts to quantify brand value for the top 100 global brands. The top global brand remains Google followed by IBM, Apple, and Microsoft. Coca Cola, McDonalds, and Marlboro are familiar consumer products brands that appear in the top 10 list. The survey was developed by BrandZ and is based on quantitative consumer research and financial analysis. Read this article for more details.
Richard L. Brandt’s latest book, Inside Larry & Sergey’s Brain, presents a portrait of Larry Page and Sergey Brin that helps the reader understand what may have motivated the company to initially enter China by accepting some level of censorship. Although the book was published prior to Google’s recent announcement, we can draw some important insights regarding the way Google’s founders think about the issue of doing business in China. Perhaps more importantly, the book also allows the reader to glimpse into the psyche of the founders and draw some conclusions regarding entrepreneurship in general. For anyone investing in early stage companies, the insights are invaluable. Read this article for a review of the book.