Cold war kids




Cold war kids

Originally uploaded by Steve R’s screen.


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Sansa Connect is da bomb

Those of you who know me have been pretty obsessed with bringing a new class of portable music device to market for the last year and a half. Maybe overly obsessed. But we finally got there with the Sansa Connect. Digging back to a powerpoint that I presented to a major CE company (who shall remain nameless because they passed on the opportunity to build it) at their HQ in Asia in MARCH 06 I found the following slides:

Optimized Device Strategy
Create clear standards for service device interaction and performance
Launch a line of mobile devices to bring consumers best-in-class services
Initially focus on complete audio solution
Compete effectively with Apple by innovating
Bring discovery and personalization together on the devices
Offer a great, intuitive user experience
Define “connected” mobile experience - WiFi
Partner to get widest exposure at the best economics
Develop a unified marketing strategy
Service provider, device manufacturer, and retailer
Create value for all parties to justify promoting the devices on a large scale

Product Concept
Tight integration with Yahoo Music
Partner with best-in-class vertical integrator
Jointly designed, built, and tested from the ground up – focus on ease of use
Integrated Marketing
Bundled service sold with device
Device promoted on Yahoo!, YME, etc.
WiFi enabled
Music discovery on device
No PC required for synch or content acquisition
Community (messenger)
Personalization (captures ratings, behavior)
Scalable design for additional Yahoo! services
Full line of accessories and flanker products
Competitive pricing and margins

Market Inflection Point - WiFi
Connected devices break iTunes/iPod
Navigating a $0.99 per track catalog on a portable device is not interesting
Unlimited catalog, personalization and auto synch are paramount in an always connected environment
Community – playlist sharing, influencers
Layer other Yahoo! services going forward
Transition to mobile handsets over time

I love it when a plan comes together!! Note to CE companies - people don’t want choice. They want cool products that work well and are simple. If you dont want to work with Yahoo! pick someone else and build some good products! My friends at Zune had the right idea, but fortunately for me they are at Microsoft so they are doomed to fail in the content game.

We had a major snafu in the release (it snuck onto shelves a week early, causing a massive scramble), but the press and industry reception to the product has been nothing short of incredible. Sort of worked to our advantage cause Engadget and mobilitysite put favorable sneak peak reviews out, which gave us some buzz leading into a great overview article by Nick Wingfield in the WSJ on Monday. The article was favorable and balanced and featured Ian’s sweet quote:

“We want to be the music dial tone for connected devices,” says Ian Rogers, general manager of Yahoo Music.

That, ladies and germs, is a man who is on top of his game from a strategy standpoint. Eleven words, says it all. Boom. We’ll forgive him for getting the blogoshpere twisted around the old P2P/mp3 rathole issue on Ymusicblog. Oops.

From there it just exploded (told you it was da bomb). On Monday alone:

“Welcome to a social you might want to attend. While Microsoft was one of the first to build Wi-Fi into a digital audio player, the Zune’s limited sharing options didn’t exactly set the word on fire. The Connect gives you many more options, built around a partnership with Yahoo…As the first truly useful wireless MP3 player, the Connect is sure to be a popular gadget.” – Eric Dahl, PC World

“Yahoo! joins a new mp3 player to compete with Apple’s iPod. This comes with a twist. If you were waiting for the iPod to go wireless, you can download the music in the air. These guys got it before Apple does. It’s called Sansa connect. It looks a little thicker than most iPods. It uses wi-fi so you can get the songs if you’re at Starbucks or at home. You can download them directly.” – American Morning, CNN

“The idea is to give users a way to download new music on the go, something the iPod doesn’t currently allow users to do. Even Apple’s new iPhone, due out in June, won’t initially let people buy music wirelessly. – Nick Wingfield, Wall Street Journal

“I am thoroughly impressed with the features available on this little device. Once you hooked this player up to your wifi network, it is almost impossible to put it down. This is what the Zune should have been. Instead of sending songs to one another and then separately listen to the music, you can just unplug the earphones and actually listen to the music while interacting with your friends. With this device, I can honestly say ‘Welcome to the Social.’” – Gadgetaholic

“So far, we’re pretty impressed with the Connect’s inclusion of desirable features and its snappy processor performance in preliminary testing.” – Jasmine France, CNET

“Though touted as competition for the iPod, it’s really more of a Zune-killer. Microsoft’s withered-on-the-vine player’s biggest hook was its WiFi song-sharing features, now slam-dunked by something that puts WiFI to more extensive use.” – Wired News

“Yahoo announced the SanDisk Sansa Connect–a new Wi-Fi-enabled portable MP3 player loaded with a bevy of Yahoo services such as Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Music and Flickr–and the early reviews are good. “ – Larry Dignan, ZDNet

“I have been very impressed with the Sansa Connect and so have the 20 or so folks I have shown it to over the weekend.” – Mobility Site

and the mother of all quotes:

“Fictional Spinal Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel, in pure mockumentary glory, once pronounced that his amps were superior because they went all the way to 11. Conventional amps max out at a setting of 10. Well, the digital music revolution just went to 11 this morning. Let’s see who turns up to turn it up louder.” - Rick Munarriz, Motley Fool

All in all a pretty fun week. Now we just need to sell the damn things!

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Stooges mayhem




Stooges mayhem

Originally uploaded by Steve R’s screen.

Iggy causes chaos at Live Sets taping

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Guerrila Marketing

One of the best guerrilla marketing campaigns I have seen from my friends at Fon. Encouraging people who live within range of a Starbucks to set up shop and undercut T-mobile.

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Originally uploaded by Steve R’s screen.

Testing moblog

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Originally uploaded by Steve R’s screen.

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Happy

Originally uploaded by Steve R’s screen.

Testing the flickr connection

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