On the second day of Passover, I thought I would dust this off from the archives (April 14, 2009) and share it again. As with the seder, itself, the post is timeless.
The other night I attended a marathon seder… hmmmm, that’s actually a redundant phrase as anyone who has perused a 95 page Hagaddah that tells the history of a 6,000 year old people may have observed. In any case, this seder, which was sponsored by a group called Romemu and attended by 150 people, ran from 6:30-10:30pm – followed by an additional hour of chatting with the people at my table whom I had not met before that day but with whom I had bonded through bitter herbs, plagues, songs, poems, questions, meditation and gefilte fish.
Well, a little over three hours into the seder – after I had accidentally drenched our tablecloth with matzoh ball soup and inadvertently set on fire two plastic bowls by placing them too close to the tea lights on the table – I started to get a little distracted. Reflecting on the many seders I have attended, I began to jot down thoughts for a blog post about the cultural, developmental and educational aspects of the holiday’s practices.
A seder – which means order – not only tells the story of Moses and the escape of the Jews from Egypt, but teaches all kinds of values and skills that are inherent elements of the Jewish culture. One of these is discipline and patience, as it can take many hours of deprivation and light symbolic snacking before you get to the meal. Until then, you must subsist on horseradish, wine, a little bit of matzoh and other allegorical items.
The seder also shines a light on the youngest members of the family, requiring them to read aloud and, in the case of the youngest child, to ask the famous four questions. With respect to this, I observed that I felt a commonality with the other “youngest children” at my table. All of us adults, all of us having experienced that unique responsibility. (They hated it; I loved it.) This, in fact, led me to observe that the seder reinforces the birth order.
In addition to learning to speak in public, young people at the seder learn to ask questions. To challenge, question, discuss and analyze. (Does the combination of public speaking and questioning shed a light on the prevalence of Jewish comedians?)
Through the search for the Afikomen, the children learn about work and reward and, in some cases, they learn about the art of negotiation as they determine the payment they are willing to accept in return for the matzoh they now hold hostage.
As I jotted down thoughts in and among the poems and prayers of my seder booklet, one of my table-mates took out a small notebook and began to write. Intrigued, I asked to see what he had written. It was not a blog but a poem. This is what he wrote:
Between God and soul lies a plan that is vast
Deserts seem small
Oceans like ponds
This space vast, it must be passed
With prayer given to the all that is
Actions speak loud, to do good is bliss
Smiles and laughs and breathing in deep
Ears that are open
Eyes that can see
Running and jumping, faith calls for blind leaps
The gap isn’t true
There’s no space between
We are all connected
By smiles and by seams.
(Written by Douglas Karson, April 9, 2009)
On at least three occasions, I have written posts that incorporated a summary of notable stats about mobile apps and the mobile space in general to set the scene for a topical discussion. But the facts change so fast that I was continuously updating the posts, and the posts had a tendency to grow and grow at the rate of foursquare subscribers. (See here for 2010 post) So, I’m starting afresh and focusing specifically on notable mobile facts starting with these:
A mobile marketing strategy is a must-have for retailers - and, I would venture, anyone that sells products to consumers. In fact, with today’s predictive marketing capabilities, retailers and marketers can target purchase intenders at the time and place of potential purchase.
- As of July 2011, 77% of teens have a cell phone (Teens, Smartphones & Texting).
- Older teens ages 14 to 17 are substantially more likely to have a cell phone than younger teens ages 12 and 13 – 87% of older teens have a cell phone, compared with 57% of younger teens.
- 23% of teens have a smartphone; 54% have a regular cell phone (or are not sure what kind of phone they have), and another 23% of teens do not have a cell phone at all.
- Overall, half (49%) of all American teens have gone online on their mobile phones in the last 30 days.
- The bulk of teens are 12 or 13 when they get their first cell phone (see: Is the age at which kids get cell phones getting younger?)(September 2009).
- See more in the Teens, Smartphones & Texting report.
Teens and Communication choices (July 2011, except where noted) – Pew Research:
Texting dominates teens’ general communication choices. Overall, 75% of all teens text, and 63% say that they use text to communicate with others every day.
- 39% of teens make and receive voice calls on their mobile phones every day.
- 35% of all teens socialize with others in person outside of school on a daily basis.
- 29% of all teens exchange messages daily through social network sites.
- 22% of teens use instant messaging daily to talk to others.
- 19% of teens talk on landlines with people in their lives daily.
- 6% of teens exchange email daily.
Teens and Texting (July 2011, except where noted) – Pew Research:
The volume of texting among teens has risen from a median 50 texts a day in 2009 to 60 texts for the typical teen text user.
Older girls remain the most enthusiastic texters, with a median of 100 texts a day in 2011, compared with 50 for boys the same age.
Click here for more on what teens do with their phones.
26% of American teens of driving age say they have texted while driving, and 48% of all teens ages 12 to 17 say they’ve been a passenger while a driver has texted behind the wheel (September 2009 survey; see Teens and Distracted Driving)
This is the year of the Tablet:
About 68.7 million tablets shipped worldwide in 2011, according to IDC, which forecasts 106.1 million units to ship this year (April 17, 2012)
Smart Phones have reached the tipping point:
86% of mobile internet users are using their devices while watching TV. Are people fast forwarding through your commercials or engaging with their smart phones while they’re on? If so, has your commercial motivated them to do something related to your brand or prompted them to do something else to pass the time?
In December 2011, Google celebrated their ten billionth Android app download, and now new research from mobile app analytics firm Distimo reports that there are 400,000 apps available in the Android Market. (Scroll all the way down for a post about Android apps reaching 90,000 in July 2010!)
Free apps make up a considerable portion of that 400,000, and Distimo’s research indicates that the ratio of free to paid apps has jumped from 60% to 68% over the last eight months. Distimo pegs the prevalence of free apps on the current popularity of the freemium app economy, which also isn’t much of a surprise considering the potential payouts inherent to the model.
Mobile Is a Hotbed of VC
Mobile marketing was the most active segment within digital advertising for mergers, acquisitions and investments in 2011, according to a new report from marketing and media investment bank Petsky Prunier.
The iPad Revolution:
Only 13% of Web Traffic Is Mobile:
While mobile devices are expected to surpass laptops and desktops for accessing the Internet, they account for only 13% of web traffic today (still not shabby). This is due in part to the lack of mobile optimized websites, a situation that is changing. Within the 13%, more than 80% of comes from iPhone and iPads:
40% of Mobile Phones Are Smart Phones (Source: Nielsen)
Becoming the Primary Means for Accessing the Internet
Mobile devices and connected TVs are expected to overtake personal laptops within the next year as a means for accessing the Internet. I hope your website is optimized for mobile and mobile search…
“I Love My MacBerry” - Literally
- A study using MRI scans showed evidence of not only addiction to iPhones but also Love. (I admit it. I’m hopelessly hooked. I’m even willing to put up with the fact that my AT&T iPhone often hangs up on me. Is that a sign of codependency?)
iPads, iPhones, iPods and More – How Many Were Sold in Apple’s 4Q 2011
- The Company sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter.
- Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during the quarter, a 166 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. (That’s 20.37 million iPads in Apple’s fiscal 2011 2H – ALONE, which does not include what will likely be a huge holiday purchase season for the device, and annualizes to 44.5 million per year)
- The Company sold 4.89 million Macs during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.
- Apple sold 6.62 million iPods, a 27 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.
iPads, iPhones, iPods and More – How Many Were Sold in Apple’s 3Q 2011
- 9.25 million iPads were sold during Apple’s 3rd quarter, 2011, up 183 % vs. year-ago (That would annualize to 37 million per year.)
- 20.34 million iPhones were sold, up 142 percent vs. year ago (That’s a pretty nice stat – and impressive given growth of the Android. A testament to the dramatic growth of smartphone in general)
- (That means that nearly 30 million iPads and iPhones were sold this quarter.)
- 3.95 million Macs, up 14 percent vs. year-ago (iPads cannibalizing Macs. I would say, “yup.” Especially laptops – by all manufacturers – and, perhaps MacBook Airs. I think the Christmas season is going to blow the current iPad number out of the water)
- 7.54 million iPods, a 20 percent unit decline from year-ago. (I saw a young man on the subway today using the iPhone as an iPod with headphones – ironic as he had to hold the relatively large device.)
- Nearly 30 million iPhones and iPads were sold. Compare that to less than 4 million Macs (laptops and desktops, up only 14 percent vs. year-ago) – and less than 8 million iPods, DOWN from year ago. iPads and iPhones seem to be cannibalizing laptop, desktop and iPod sales.
- More than twice as many iPads sold as Macs. iPads are definitely cannibalizing laptop sales
- iPad sales equivalent to 1/2 iPhone sales
- In sum, iPads are HOT. They’re starting to reach a tipping point from: it’s cool to have one to it’s not cool not to have one (I hope that made sense, i.e., it’s becoming embarrassing to not have one – I predict I’ll give into peer pressure within the year at most)
- Quite a large increase in iPhone sales given growth of Android penetration; hence, it seems that the overall pie is heating up
Source: Apple 3Q earnings report
Being Mobile at Home
Don’t mistake mobile device usage with being mobile… A good chunk of time spent with smart phones, PDAs, iPads, eReaders and other such devices is spent at home. Think about it. Picture your well-wired friend – or maybe it’s you – with a laptop before you, a smartphone in your hand, an iPad on the sofa beside you, and an Internet connected TV shimmering its HD (or 3D) images from across the room. In fact, the latest data from ComScore shows that tablets have the highest share of traffic for digital news consumption during evenings, beating out computers (as well as smart phones) in at-home news consumption. (Source: Moxie Pulse) Moreover, GlobalWebIndex data suggests that, globally, half of those who access the mobile web do so from home or work, rather than while traveling or “roaming,” or while in a public place.
91 MM Americans Use Mobile Search
Overall, more than 91 million US consumers use the Internet through a mobile device at least monthly, and this increase in on-the-go web usage goes hand in hand with more search activity, particularly for local content. 20% of mobile search users do so almost every day.
Meanwhile, the debate between App and Wap (ok, browser) continues, with mobile search engine usage currently exceeding search via apps by 70% as of August 2011 – According to Yahoo! and Ipsos, via eMarketer.
Facts from Jimmy Wales at OMMA Global (September 26, 2011)
- One out of every two Americans owns a smartphone [whoah, that's DOUBLE the 25% shown for Q2 2010 if you scroll down]
- 15.1 million tablets shipped worldwide (I have seen other numbers for this metric that I will add to this post… Ok, eMarketer is estimating 24MM for 2011 and 46MM in 2012)
Android is #1 U.S. Mobile Operating System – Q2 2011
- As of June 2011, the Android operating system accounted for 39% of the total U.S. mobile market, making it the #1 mobile operating system in the country.
- Apple maintains its share of 28% share, while Blackberry OS from RIM (Research in Motion) has fallen from market leadership (nearly 40% in 2009 – scroll down) to third position with only 20% market share.
- These three operating systems (representing 87% of the market) are followed by Windows Mobile/WP7 (9%), Palm/HP Web OS (2%), and Nokia’s Symbian OS (2%)
- Apple is the leading handset maker in the United States whilst Android is the top mobile operating system. (Nielsen)
- Apple overtook Nokia to become the world’s leading smartphone vendor in July (Nielsen research and IDC figures)
- According to a report by the NPD Group, the Android operating system accounted for 52% of the smartphones sold in the second quarter of 2011, up from 36 percent sold in Q1 2011 according to previous data by Gartner.
Before you jump to conclusions -- and all over my head -- read first, and then let me have it if you're so inclined.
There's renewed talk these days in financial services circles about "marketing to women."
Renewed, because I remember that 11 or 12 years ago, in the height of the dot-com boom, start-ups emerged dedicated to providing financial services to women (I still remember Jennifer Openshaw coming into our offices telling us about the Women's Financial Network).
Quickened my gait. Felt the raindrops!
Jumped a bus. Arranged the devices as best I could. I’ve seen this before…
Pulled the cord. Leapt to the pavement.
Dashed three blocks in my Pliner wedge sandals. Running between the raindrops, as my mother likes to say.
Made it home!
Watched the people scurry to safety from my window. Watched the light show from my desk.
I recently flew to Atlanta on Delta Airlines to attend orientation for my new role as Managing Consultant with Capgemini Consulting. I must admit that I was not looking forward to flying Delta. Given the choice, I typically fly JetBlue or, when the occasion presents itself, Virgin America – the Apple of air travel.
The last time I flew Delta was coming back from Florida. The trip was uneventful but somehow stressful. I had flown JetBlue there and even though they lost my luggage for a day, they handled it so nicely, I went away with a really good feeling – a good customer experience.
The time before last I flew Delta to Las Vegas, and I recall spotting a mouse in the waiting area. So, my expectations were not high.
When I arrived at the Delta terminal, however, I was blown away by the technology. In the waiting area of the gate was a high white table with what looked like iPads, available for passengers to use, as well as plugs for charging their own devices. It looked like something you might find at a trade show or conference. Very slick and modern.
When we boarded the plane, we were informed that there would be in flight wifi available. But not just available. Free. What? You’re giving me something free on a domestic flight? I promptly booted up my new iPad to check it out. Aha. The free wifi was sponsored. Brilliant. A much better business model than asking passengers to pay $15 or $20 for access. And a much better consumer experience. After all, I’m telling all of you about it.
And as for the advertiser, well the advertiser got a captive audience that visited a sponsored web page to activate the coverage. Moreover, the page had an opt out lead generation component so that users would be added to the company’s mailing list unless they unchecked the box.
In addition to this on screen and direct marketing component, the advertiser had a short promotional video incorporated into the in flight television entertainment.
All in all, I thought it was an excellent program. A win win for all involved, And a reason to give Delta a second look.
The 24 hour fruit stand outside my apartment has different proprietors over the course of the day and night. I really like the one during the day. He knows my routine as I whiz by in the morning, grabbing a banana and handing him 25 cents. Sometimes I buy on credit if I don’t have change.
“Just two bananas?” he said.
“Yes,” I said. “As you can see, two bananas.”
He made a move for a bag of baby carrots in an attempt to upsell.
I put the bananas down, grabbed the one dollar bill out of his hand and left. I don’t need that constant pressure from my fruit guy!
Life in the city.