Posts Tagged ‘Apple Exec’

An App By Any Other Name …

March 27th, 2011 03:27 admin View Comments

“One of the deep mysteries to me is our logo, the symbol of lust and knowledge, bitten into, all crossed with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn’t dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope, and anarchy.”

– Apple exec Jean Louis Gassée on the naming of Apple

Why is Color named “Color”?

“A tribute to Apple’s color logo from the Apple II. This computer changed my life when I was seven (also a reference to another company name I’ve used.)

My dad bought one from ComputerCraft run by Billy Ladin in Houston. He was one of the first computer resellers back in 1977. In an odd twist, I meet him in an elevator 15 years later and worked for him. He introduced me to the Web.

Working at Apple was a dream. Color’s name is a tribute to Apple.”

– Bill Nguyen, Color founder on why he chose the name Color

Reading Semil Shah’s post on group messaging this morning, I was struck by the sheer numbers and diversity of the startup names scattered throughout: Yobongo, Disco, SocialCam, SoundCloud, Beluga, GroupMe, Fast Society, Rabbly, Whatsapp, Kik, textPlus, Convore, SMSGupShup, MessageParty, TextSlide, Bump Technologies, Color Labs and so on, all contenders in the saturated mobile social space. Some like MessageParty or textPlus had names that were actually related to their product, but many like Yobongo, Beluga and Disco had only a tenuous connection.

It’s now pretty clear the app ecosystem has gone mainstream: People talk about apps the way they used to talk about music or drugs (“Omg have you guys tried COLOR. Omg you have to try it. Omg we’re on it right now”). And naming your startup has become like naming your band — An intricate dance between a multitude of contributing metaphoric and literal factors. So which approach, picking something random or actually related to what you do, makes more sense?

Chrys Bader@chrysb
Chrys Bader

You can tell it’s a bubble because startups are raising so much money they can actually afford vowels in their domain names.

about 2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhoneRetweetReply

Two notable app launches this week highlighted how exactly an app’s name plays into public perception. The most visible instance of this was the launch of Color, an ubiquitous noun/verb name picked by Bill Nguyen and Peter Pham for their photosharing app with a hefty $41 million in funding.

While initial complaints held that the app was unsearchable in both the Android and iPhone App Store and on Google because of its common name, that problem now seems to have been solved on Google. Perhaps all the inbound links from news and other sites are responsible for the fact that the service is now the eighth result for the word “color”? Color also somehow went from being invisible to being the first app to appear in the Apple App Store under the “color” search term (I’m hearing Android is still having issues).

Color’s name, while initially striking some people as slightly off if only for all its other connotations, is valid in that it accurately describes a core function of the Color Labs product, namely the fact that people are sharing images (a collection of colored pixels) through the app.

The Color guys tell me (and Quora above) that they first came up with the name Color in a tribute to Apple’s original reverse-color logo and then bought the domain name for $350K.  In order to appeal to English speakers in other regions, they also bought the domain name and redirected it to And yes, this did not stave off complaints.

Alison Tan@alisontan
Alison Tan

The ‘Color’ app isn’t spelt the way I like it… #COLOUR

about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhoneRetweetReply

Contrast Color’s name with that of the other hot five-letter app of the moment, Disco. Currently it’s unclear whether Google made the $255K purchase of the domain for a Slide-related purpose, or just to have on hand (Google has not given me a straight answer in any of my emails). If the latter is the case then it wouldn’t be the first time Google stockpiled domains ( anyone?) for future use.

Whether purposefully acquired or not, the name Disco seems to have a less of a direct relation to its core product than Color. While a disco (nightclub) does bring people together in a sense, the noun has absolutely nothing to do with group messaging, and I think users have already picked up on this distinction.

“This one fits to the product #color, This one doesn’t fit at all #disco,” tweeted Berrehili Réda. “I don’t know, when I first heard about google’s product #disco, I thought they had finally released their music streaming service…”

While it’s possible that the name Disco was already on the drawing board at Slide pre-Google acquisition, if Disco’s makers first chose a vague name and then built out a product for release, then they wouldn’t be alone. Private photo-sharing service Path still called itself Path (at back when it was a list-making tool. Guess they thought the Path designation still held after the photo-sharing pivot.

In a seminal post on the subject, VC Rich Barton holds in that making up a new word (like Kleenex or Yobongo) is much more powerful than trying to appropriate a already existing literal word like Color or Disco. But if you’d have to go with an existing word, I’d go with the one that has a strong tie-in to the actual product.

Then again there’s always exceptions. No matter which apocryphal origin story you believe, the word Apple has nothing to do with computers. “If somebody had told me in 1970 that Apple would be the name of the top tech company, I would have laughed to death,” said VC Dani Nofal.

Yes, and if someone had told me in 1990 that someone would name their company Color in homage to that top computer company Apple, I too would have chuckled. Color probably hopes it’ll be laughing all the way to a featured slot in the App Store.

Alexia Tsotsis@alexia
Alexia Tsotsis

Are you there Steve? It’s me, Color.

48 minutes ago via Seesmic DesktopRetweetReply

Source: An App By Any Other Name …

Former Apple and Lucasfilm Exec Joins HP To Help Bolster The webOS App Catalog

February 9th, 2011 02:09 admin View Comments

After HP unveiled the Pre3, Veer, and TouchPad at their big webOS event today, we figured they were pretty much done with news for the day.

Turns out, they had at least one more tid-bit to share. We’re at their post-announcement webOS developer gathering, where they’ve just announced a new hire: Richard Kerris, joining as VP of Worldwide Developer Relations. Prior to jumping on board with HP, Kerris spent 3 years as the CTO of LucasFilm. And prior to that? He was an Apple Exec.

Read the rest at MobileCrunch >>

Source: Former Apple and Lucasfilm Exec Joins HP To Help Bolster The webOS App Catalog

One-Click Subscriptions Come To the iPad

February 2nd, 2011 02:36 admin View Comments

Apple exec Eddie Cue announced today at The Daily launch, as expected, that Apple will be enabling subscription pricing for news apps. There will be one-click subscription billing either weekly (99 cents) or yearly ($39.99). Apple is starting with The Daily, but Cue says “you will hear an announcement very soon for other publications.”

Cue also notes that consumers have downloaded over 200 million news apps so far,and that was without subscription billing and generally poor experiences. The subscription billing solves a business model problem for media companies, but now they have to create compelling products that people will not only want to pay for but keep paying for over time.

Asked whether The Daily would come to other tablets, Rupert Murdoch says, “As other tablets get established, we expect to be on all the major tablets.” But he also notes, “We believe this year, and maybe next year belong to Apple.”

Source: One-Click Subscriptions Come To the iPad

Apple Exec Schiller Steps Out On Twitter A Bit More; Answers Questions, Troubleshoots

November 29th, 2010 11:51 admin View Comments

A week ago, it was revealed that Apple executive Phil Schiller was using Twitter. Actually, he had been on the service for about two years, but he wasn’t active, nor was he verified, so no one was sure it was him. Well, now we know it is him and all of a sudden, for whatever reason, he has decided to become an active user.

And since stories like ours pushed Schiller from 800 or so followers to about 16,800, he has stepped up his game another notch: he’s actually started answering @replies with questions pointed towards him. Perhaps this shouldn’t be too surprising, since this is the same Schiller that took matters into his own hands in August 2009 when there was growing discontent among iPhone app developers. But he is still an executive at Apple, the notoriously secretive company.

So what has Schiller revealed via Twitter? Well, a lot of more personal stuff, such as his love of the NHL, Aston Martins, watches, and Boston. But he also gave a few Apple-related tidbits. Among them:

  • His current go-to iPhone game is Rage HD
  • The @appleincnews account on Twitter that some people thought was an official account is not an official account
  • @iTunes is the account to follow for Apple news
  • His favorite iPhone apps include Maps, iTunes, MLB, Best Camera, Reeder, Flight Update, Rage, SoundHound, Navigon, NHL, and yes, Twitter
  • He loves his iPhone 4, iPad, and Mac equally
  • He hasn’t tried Reeder for Mac yet, but he has heard good things (we have Phil, it’s great!)

But much more interesting was when Schiller decided to try and help a few iPhone users with their issues. When someone suggested that iOS 4.2 was buggy and crashing their apps, Schiller wondered if their device was jailbroken? “That is the #1 cause of iOS crashes,” he tweeted.

When the person said they hadn’t, Schiller suggested they try AppleCare. But then he went another step and actually gave out his email address and told the person to email him if they were still have problems. That’s awesome — but potentially dangerous on Twitter.

And while he gave out his email address on the public service, he was declined to give out his GameCenter ID. “Isn’t it enough that people know my Twitter account? LOL,” he tweeted.

Finally, earlier today when someone asked why the App Store on the iPhone makes you enter your password to download new apps, Schiller responded with, “It is for security. You wouldn’t want any software to get installed without your explicit approval.” Fair enough.

So, yes, Schiller is on quite the Twitter tear as of late. It’s great to see him answering questions directed at him this way. Hopefully he keeps it up. And maybe he’ll tempt his fellow Apple execs to get on board. Scott Forstall still has yet to say a word to his over 35,000 followers. And he still only follows Conan. Meanwhile, given Steve Jobs’ penchant for quick, blunt email responses, it seems like he would love Twitter.

Yeah, I wouldn’t count on that happening.

[thanks Jason]

Source: Apple Exec Schiller Steps Out On Twitter A Bit More; Answers Questions, Troubleshoots

Apple Exec Phil Schiller Now Active On Twitter — And Instagram Too!

November 22nd, 2010 11:38 admin View Comments

Two years ago, Apple executive Phil Schiller apparently signed up for Twitter and started tweeting. But he didn’t tweet often, and few people followed him, probably assuming it was a fake account. But if Twitter’s verification process is to be believed, the account is real. And further, Schiller has gotten a lot more active in recent weeks on the service. And on the hot photo sharing app Instagram too!

What’s a bit odd about all of this is that Twitter had said they were suspending their account verification process while they came up with a better system. But Schiller just became verified, as 9 to 5 Mac noticed tonight. I’ve reached out to Twitter about it, but have yet to hear back. But I also reached out to Instagram when I noticed that a few of Schiller’s tweets this month were sending out Instagram pictures. Sure enough, it’s him, says co-founder Kevin Systrom.

Here’s what else is odd about this: Apple has so far been reluctant to join up with the whole Twitter phenomenon. While plenty of employees use the service, no high-profile figures at the company are — or at least not publicly or actively. Apple exec Eddie Cue also apparently has an account (which Schiller follows), but it’s protected. Meanwhile, we know exec Scott Forstall has one too, but he has never tweeted with it (and he only follows one person, Conan O’Brien).

Philip Schiller@pschiller
Philip Schiller

@treestman Less is more – or as DaVinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”

about 9 hours ago via Twitter for iPadRetweet

Source: Apple Exec Phil Schiller Now Active On Twitter — And Instagram Too!

Apple Exec Stashed $150,000 In Shoe Boxes

August 25th, 2010 08:44 admin View Comments

angry tapir writes “US federal agents found more than US$150,000 in cash when they searched the house of Apple manager Paul Devine earlier this month, according to prosecutors. “He had over $150,000 stored in shoe boxes,” Department of Justice Attorney Michelle Kane said. Devine was charged two weeks ago with taking kickbacks from Apple suppliers.”

Source: Apple Exec Stashed $150,000 In Shoe Boxes