Where did the @ Symbol come from?

We use it everyday but have you thought of where it came from? Turns out that it has several possible origins from a medieval Monk shorthand in Latin transcriptions to French penmanship to Florentine merchants setting pricing per unit measurement. 

However it was  Ray Tomlinson in 1971 that made it into the frequently used symbol we think of today denoting which server your email address resides (not to mention the Twitter handles of today).

Know any Great Product Managers?

I’m now leading a new team at the Comcast Silicon Valley Innovation Center to develop apps across Xfinity’s mobile and TV platforms. This is a chance to reach over 30 million households with the next generation ways of interacting and consuming media content. 

If you or someone you know has a passion for building great consumer product experiences for mobile or the TV itself, let me know as I’m looking to hire. I

Open roles on my team:

  • Product Manager, Apps for the TV – Innovate the “10 foot experience” on interactive TV apps for the new cloud-based Xfinity X1 platform. 
  • Product Manager, TV Apps for Mobile – Build apps for iOS and Android around how people discover, engage, and share what’s on TV.
  • Product Manager, Entertainment Apps for Mobile – Build apps for iOS and Android around targeted audiences (e.g. Music Videos, Kids).
  • Plus lots of developer roles for iOS, front-end web, and server technologies. 

Should be a lot of fun!

Update 8/17/12: Most of these positions are now filled but I am still looking for the “Apps for the TV” role if you know anyone that might be fit.

Ave # of Facebook Friends

Pew reports the average number of Facebook friends to be 229 (May 2012) which lines up with analysis on the Facebook S1 which pegs it at 234. This huge rise from the numbers Facebook’s shared previously: 130 (2010) and 100 (2008).

However the greater story is in how the numbers vary by generation. With Millennials averaging 318 and in my experience showing significant outliers among college students above 1,000.


Mary Meeker – 2012 Internet Trends

Kara Swisher of the WSJ posted the video footage (17 min) today of Mary Meeker’s (KPCB) D10 presentation on Internet Trends (5/30/12).

My top three takeaways:

1. 10% of time on Mobile but only 1% of advertising dollars (lots of upside)

  • BUT eCPMs are 5X lower on mobile vs. desktop.
  • HOWEVER Japan has shown mobile RPU can be monetized
  • Some app makers are making up the revenue up on volume

2. Two firehoses for growth: Facebook Open Graph and Apple App Store

  • Viddy got 17MM users in 7 days (similar w/Socialcam)
  • The combination of the two platforms magnify each other

3. Personally excited about the “white space” in the Car and TV

  • 52 minutes/day by 144MM Americans in cars (I do 2X that)
  • 3 hours/day in front of TVs with 50MM now Internet connected

She then went on to share her views on the US Economy which is mostly bearish with a few bright spots (like on-shoring the smartphone OS market).

Kids Online Privacy

I attended an app privacy summit yesterday at Stanford and one of the most insightful things I heard was from Lorraine Akemann with “Moms with Apps”. They are driving forward an initiative called playnicewithdata.org to create a kind of nutrition label for parents making decisions about which apps to let their children use. 

There is a key role for all of us to play… Parents, Developers, Policy Makers, and Innovators. I’d also add that App Platform Operators (Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon) also have a key enabling role to play.