Alex's Tech Thoughts

The Free Economy

Google, Gmail, Google Calendar, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and many more of your favorite companies and tools are free. They are supported, primarily, by advertising. They don’t sell you a product, you are the product.

This has led me to think that if people are okay with being the product for some of the biggest internet companies, why haven’t we seen this offline and in other parts of our lives. Food, home-owners/renters, entertainment, travel, clothing, and more. Why can’t some of it be offset by advertisers?

Why don’t real estate companies and agents work with advertisers to offer an offset on apartment cost by putting a few banners outside your apartment? I would gladly accept a few hundred dollars off my rent due each month to hang a banner for Pepsi outside my NY apartment.

Maybe companies have tried this. Maybe not. I don’t think it is a terrible idea. I’ve heard worse. I think the only question we really have at the end of the day is that if this were to become rampant, is this the type of world you really want to live in?

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Google Glass Is Glorious


I finally had a chance to check out Google Glass at SXSW. I met a guy from Google Drive and we talked about it. Then I met a few engineers and partnership managers from the Google Glass team. I am thoroughly convinced that wearable computing, specifically Google Glass will be the biggest thing in the next few years.

One of the things that excites me most is the developer community and its relationship to Google Glass. They (the dev community) will have a field day with building applications on top of the platform. Imagine the possibilities- they are endless (video games, payments, face detection, sharing, note taking, etc).

I have to say, if there is one industry that is ripe for billion dollar businesses to be built on top of, it is Google Glass. It sort of reminds me of when the iTunes App Store was built.

Prediction: Christmas/Chanukka/Kwanzaa gift of 2014 is Google Glass.

P.S. Hey Google Glass- when you are ready to send us one, Dwolla will build a killer payment application on top of Glass. “Okay Glass, buy the Maserati!”

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An Open Letter To Google About Gmail


Here is my latest Forbes piece:

Let me know your thoughts!

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Twitter Search Magic

I’ve been using Twitter Search more and more to find links, clips, info. I’m not sure if this is a new trend others are seeing as well.

I was looking for the clip of Obama talking to his staff to show my wife and I couldn’t find it on Google (I searched “Obama” “staff” “video” “2012”)- at least not the one I was looking for- it kept showing CBS or NBC talking about the video I was looking for. Then I went to Twitter and clicked Search using “Obama” and “staff” as keywords. It was the top result.

This is probably scary for Google. I also see a similar trend for product searches. I don’t search Google for products, I search Amazon.

Google currently has a monopoly on general information searches, but if you think the search game is completely over, you are dead wrong.

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