Monthly Archive: October 2014

Deciding What Not to Do at Apple

Image: techcrunch.com
Image: techcrunch.com

Simplicity is at the essence of Apple. So it was all the more surprising when Apple announced on October 16th that it would be offering five distinct iPad product lines this Holiday season.

With the introduction of the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 to an existing lineup of iPads, Apple drifted further away from its ethos of simplicity and reached a new milestone: 66 unique permutations (SKUs) of the iPad product.

Although this rise in product complexity has had no discernable impact to Appleā€™s bottom line—Apple released its best ever Q4 financial results last week—a deeper dive into the financial fine print reveals a 12.6% decline in year-over-year iPad sales and shrinking margins , both disturbing trends.

So, is it time for Apple to rethink its iPad strategy and re-embrace simplicity?

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Outsource Your Chores: A Look at the Service-On-Demand Economy

Mini Laundry

Is there a pile of laundry or dirty dishes waiting for you at home? Now you can skip the hassle of chores and outsource that work instead. By leveraging the social connectivity of the internet, new service-on-demand companies like TaskRabbit, Handybook and Alfred Club make it easy to outsource your chores.

While the outsourcing of chores certainly benefits the individual ridding themselves of the work, will this mass redistribution of labor mean that chores can be completed with greater collective efficiency? To evaluate this question, we want to consider how companies are positioning themselves to reap the benefits of operational advancements like global task optimization and continuous learning in the new service-on-demand framework.

With a mindset toward operating efficiency, a breakdown of the business models behind TaskRabbit, Handybook, and Alfred Club provides a powerful narrative of why first-mover TaskRabbit should be worried about the growing Handybook, and why both of them should take a second look at recent upstart Alfred Club.

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