Monday, September 24, 2007

Quick Book Update

Couple quick things while I have a minute...

  • Just turned in Chapter 10 (of 16) of the Rails book. Still mostly on schedule for a turn in on October 26, not quite sure what that implies for a print date

  • As I write this, the wxPython book is at 11 thousand and change on Amazon, the highest I've seen in months, which is probably a fluke. Weirdly Amazon says it's the #15 book on "Website Architecture & Usability", which would be great if it was, you know, actually about website architecture usability...

  • New article up on the Pathfinder blog. This one is about Rails RJS templates and how to test them. It's partially a book preview, but really only an overlap of subject mat

There's more, but I'll get it when I have a chance.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Apple Fanboy Stuff

Naturally, I did have a thought or two about the new Apple products and the other announcements this week:

  • While I certainly understand why somebody who had purchased an iPhone early would be annoyed by the price cut, I did find it kind of funny that many of the same analysts who said the iPhone would never sell at its original price were then jumping on Apple for dropping the price.

  • Every now and then, you'll see an economist writing about how online stores should do more variable pricing -- charging a premium price to customers who are more willing to pay it. This week should be an object lesson in why companies don't do that. Since the people who are willing to pay more are usually your best customers, you run the risk of really ticking them off by making them feel like chumps. Which is generally not considered a good business strategy, I hear.

  • My read on the price cut is that it comes from three factors:

    1. To keep the price in line with the new iPods, particularly the iPod touch.

    2. Taking advantage of lowered manufacturing costs since they are now making more of the touchscreens.

    3. Really try to drive sales this quarter to take advantage of what Apple perceives as a key moment -- not so much that sales have been disappointing, but that the really are trying to seize the moment.

  • It could work, although the analogy to Motorola's strategy with the RAZR (gain market share at the expense of profits) is a little disquieting. On the other hand, Apple has a lot of benefits that Moto's cell division didn't, but it's probably not a good idea for me to list them...

  • As for the products themselves, they seem pretty cool. Like just about everybody, I wish they had merged the two iPod models and combined a hard drive with the touch screen. I need to see what the iPod Touch reviews look like in a couple of weeks. It is annoying that Apple seems to have made video out a proprietary cable.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Boring Software Manifesto

Another blog post up on the Pathfinder site. This one is about Agile in general, and features what I think is the World Blog Premiere of the soon to be famous Boring Software Manifesto.