A Month with the Nexus 6

I recently upgraded my mobile phone to the Motorola Nexus 6 from the Samsung Note 2. After using the phone for month these are the pro’s and cons for me:

What I like about the Motorola Nexus 6

  • The speed – The phone is very quick especially compared to my Note 2 which was grinding to an arthritic slow crawl as many 2 year old phones do as they struggle with upgrades and heavy apps
  • The size – It is a big phone but I like big phones (phablets). It’s noticeably bigger than the Note 2 which is big. I have big pockets
  • The battery – it can last all day (without heavy use) but most impressive is the speed of charging. Well under 1 hour for a complete charge from cold
  • Android Lollipop – nice design, very clear and clean
  • The screen – amazing quality display
  • Alerts – Lollipop continues to improve the alerts and updates

What I don’t like about the Nexus 6 (no deal breakers here but good job as I am stuck with it for the next 2 years)

  • No headphones! – This is a premium handset in a massive box but no headphones. Small but important I think.
  • Start up is very slow. I have a Chromebook that starts in 7 seconds and a phone that takes 7 minutes (in all honesty it probably is closer to 70 seconds but certainly longer than any other phone I have owned)
  • I understand the benefits of a sealed unit but I still miss having a spare battery and adding SD cards for storage. For the battery I have purchased this, although I rarely have to use it.
  • Only found 1 app so far that was not compatible and that was the Virgin Anywhere App
  • The phone (calling) app – often the weakest part of any phone the phone calling app on the Nexus 6 is not great. For a big screen some of the links, like the ‘CALL BACK’ on recent calls are tiny

My Current home screen:

Nexus-6

Every Little Helps…When it Comes to Focus

As Google Partner I am a massive fan of the Chrome browser and as a Chromebook user I use Chrome all the time.

I must have about 20 Chrome Extensions installed but only use a small list everyday. One of my favourites which I use and see everyday is Momentum extension . I use it every day as it opens in every new tab with a fantastic picture and the all important question ‘What is your main focus for today?’. There are other features but the question is the one I want and try and answer every day and every time I open a new tab it reminds me of my answer.

Momentum Chrome extensiion

Could Disney buy Lego?

Disney has been both creative and successful since 1923 but in the last few years there most successful creative thinking appears to have been about acquisitions. As a creative strategy not a bad plan with Pixar winning the animation wars they acquired them in 2006 for $7.4 billion. This really was the best form of defence (even if this may have been a reverse take over by Steve Jobs).

Since then we have seen even more incredible acquisitions of Marvel (2009 for $4.24 billion) and Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise (2012 for $4.04 billion)

All of these acquisitions make complete sense as Disney needs a constant stream of characters for its theme parks and merchandise. Unbelievably the Marvel Universe has 8,000 characters and counting but still way less than the Star Wars Universe which has 17,000 characters as detailed in the Holocron, Now that’s a lot of lunch boxes and, of course, films, tv, cartoons etc etc.

But who has more figures than all of them put together, even if they are quite small figures even mini-figures. At the last count there will be more Lego mini-figures in the world than real people by 2017 and of course many of these are Star Wars and Marvel Lego mini Figures.

Not only is Lego Disney’s merchandise partner from heaven, high margin with unlimited new sets, for all characters and films (past, present and future) Lego has also become very successful with theme parks and now even cartoons and films. The Lego Movie was such a success that the only thing putting the Lego Movie 2 back to 2018 is the Lego Batman spinoff movie which should be out in 2017.

Lego is now the largest toy company in the world having overtaken Mattel in 2014 with a valuation well in excess $14.6 billion but that is still only a fraction of Disney’s $143 billion valuation. There would certainly be many more mini figures in the world.

Less But Better

I am currently reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less :

One of the key ideas in the book, that I love and find challenging, is ‘Less but better’. At first this might sound strange but I am now looking for good examples of this. A great example for me is The I newspaper. Some may say that it is just a summary of The Independent but in many ways it is much more than this but as (self titled) ‘Britain’s First and Only Concise Quality Newspaper’ it is ‘Less but Better’ (in my opinion).

My one criticism of the I today is that I wish they would get their pricing sorted:

Vikings Series 3 starts tonight in the USA and Amazon Prime UK 24 hours later

The adventures of Ragnor Lothbrok and his merry band continue tonight on the history channel, in the USA at least, and will come to the History Channel UK sometime in March 2015

If you are lucky enough to have an Amazon Prime, streaming video, subscription you should be able to watch the first episode just 24 hours later. You should also be able to watch the first two series on Amazon Prime if you need to catch up.

a quick reminder from VODzilla on twitter :

and the trailer for season 3

Email is Broken

OK I am not the first person to say this and many have tried and failed to fix it.

Before looking at why email could be broken it is worth looking at why it is so popular and useful (and yes it is useful):

  • It’s quick and easy
  • You can send to many people at once reducing any duplication of effort
  • It’s cheap
  • It’s private
  • There is an expectation of an instant response

Now let’s have a look at some of the reasons why email is not so great:

  • It’s (too) quick and easy, too easy to send an email when may another method of communication may be better (e.g. a telephone call).
  • You can send to many people at once reducing any duplication of effort, this can often mean that multiple people can be included who often do not need to be. Of course if you are on the first email of the chain you are probably on the last reading each one just to check that you were mentioned or required
  • It’s cheap – that’s why we have so much spam! 2 millions emails sent who cares it’s cheap.
  • It’s private – two main disadvantages a) some people may say things that they would not say in public but funny when gets sent or forwarded to people you may not expect. b) more importantly much of what goes on in emails, in organisations and projects, would benefit many others hence why so many emails are forwarded
  • Expectation of an instant response – many of us are stuck constantly checking email because we thing that an instant response is expected.

So what’s the answer? Clearly email is not going away any time soon and neither should it but I think we would benefit from changing our attitude to email and reducing the amount of email we send and finding better communication platforms. Email coming in from externals is often to be welcomed especially if it is from customers and prospects but what about internal email. The larger the organisation the more of the email that can be generated internally with multiple cc’s (and probably more bcc’s than is good for us). Even in SME’s internal email can blight your inbox with either irrelevant information that very few people need or very important information that everyone needs to see but can’t because it is in your email.

In the last 10 years we have seen Social Media become a formidable public communication platform. I would imagine that a lot less email has been sent because of Facebook (there has to be some upside) and thank goodness it has reduced the dancing cat videos in my inbox.

So could Social Media platforms reduce email in organisations. Clearly much of what is said (typed) is not for public consumption, mainly for boredom reasons as much as competition, but there are many private social media platforms for corporates. It is great to hear that Automatic has no internal email at all, as all in-house communication (which is across many countries) is done on P2 a WordPress blog which is customised for that very purpose. There are also many other platforms out there with Slack (great name) possibly leading the field with a corporate twitter-like microblogging platform.

So next time you are about to hit the ‘send’ button, with multiple cc addresses, stop and think is there a better way for me to communicate. I for one think that ‘yes’ maybe the answer.

Improving my Colemak

I am looking for tools to improve my Colemak typing.

There are many good typing tutors out there, my favourite online is Typing Club. Unfortunately Typing Club does not help you with the Colemak keyboard layout. Of course you could use Typing Club but practicing with the DF adn JK keys makes no sense when not on a QWERTY keyboard.

Looking for typing tutor for Colemak was not straight forward but I did find TIPP10. TIPP10 appears very functional with lots of options, including a Colemak keybpard and event allows you to create your own lessons. The Colemak Website lists Colemak lessons that can be copied and pasted into TIPP10.

TIPP10 with Colemak layout
TIPP10 even shows a very handy Colemak layout