Research & Analysis of Today’s Internet

Impact of Pokemon Go on Business

Pokemon Go is now “the most successful mobile launch in history.” Its popularity caught most of us by surprise. A cultural phenomenon of this nature and magnitude will leave a lasting impact even if the game itself does not last. In this article, I would like to explore what this impact might be. What is the message of this medium called “augmented reality”?

When you distill what makes video games interesting, you realize there are only about a dozen different types of video games. The games under each type are just minor variations of the same game. But, every now and then, a truly new game…

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Are Younger Generations Better at Avoiding Miscommunication Online?

The younger generations are generally savvier with the written forms of communication like texting, email, and social media, because they grew up with them. The older generations had to learn them as their second language. I'm wondering: Are the younger generations better at avoiding miscommunication when they use these digital mediums?

I have a feeling that they are better because they start making mistakes much earlier (I see them with my 11-year old daughter), so they should have a better sense of what to do and what not to do. Naturally, they will still make many mistakes but I have a…

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The Ultimate Role of Creative Agencies

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about a tiny sushi bar in Tokyo with three Michelin stars. The owner/chef Jiro Sukiyabashi relentlessly pursues perfection in sushi at age 85. The documentary is a fascinating look at the personality and the process that go into serving the best sushi in the world. Since I watched the film, I have frequently thought about his model for achieving perfection and have come to realize that it is quite relevant for agency business, particularly for creative agencies.

Jiro’s restaurant has only ten seats, and Jiro himself interfaces with all the customers. The…

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Google vs. Facebook in Building a Regular Audience

If you want to develop an audience who consumes your content on a regular basis, your website, YouTube channel, or Facebook Page can’t just be about providing pieces of knowledge. This becomes clear when you study Bob Ross’ painting videos. The vast majority of his audience never painted; they just liked watching him paint. Likewise, a cooking show too has to have value by itself even if the audience never cooks. Regardless of the type of content, there has to be some redeeming quality to the act of reading or watching it.

“Cooking with Dog” has over a million subscribers. I’m pretty sure…

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The Problem of Over-engineering

This post about “The Sad State of Web Development” is pretty funny. I agree. I think the ultimate dream of all computer science majors is to create their own frameworks because it would earn the highest respect among their peers. Why? Because the problems they were taught to solve in school are the problems of computer science. They didn’t study the problems in, say, medicine, economics, or education. By solving the problems in education, for instance, they wouldn’t get peer respect because their peers are not educators. Everyone wants to be respected by their own peers. This type of…

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How the Quantifiable Mediums of the Internet Changed Our Aesthetics

The way people think about aesthetics in business have fundamentally and irreversibly shifted in the last decade or so. The shift started with the advent of online advertising. For the first time in history, advertisers can quantify the return on their investment, and get detailed data back to examine what worked and what didn’t. It was a paradigm shift in the so-called “creative” business.

Here, I want to be extra clear about what I mean by “aesthetics”, “design”, or “creatives” as these words can mean a lot of different things. A design for a product can have a functional design and…

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Bridging the Digital Divide—Education Isn’t the Solution

When people talk about “digital divide”, they are usually referring to the lack of access to technology, especially to the Internet, for the underprivileged. Although this problem still exists in the US, it is continually improving, and has become a lesser concern. The new digital divide in the US has to do with how we use information technologies. Even between two people who have access to the same technologies, a significant difference can be found in what they are able to do with them. To bridge this gap, we need to figure out what creates this gap.

The roles technologies play in our…

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What We Can Learn About Startup from Lighting a Campfire

Many startups have this strategy: “Let’s get as many users as possible, and worry about monetizing later.” And, some startups have the opposite problem where their monetization strategy is sound but cannot build enough user traction. I use an analogy of building a campfire to describe these problems. Square, for instance, was able to build user traction very quickly because their card reader was revolutionary. They struck the fire-starter rod once, and the tinder (shaved pieces of wood or pieces of paper) caught on fire immediately. It started spreading quickly to the kindling (small pieces…

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Arbitrage Economy—Why We All Have to Be a Business Major

In the old days, if you tried to sell baskets that you weaved, the main criteria by which your potential customers made their purchasing decisions was how useful they were and how nice they looked. Today, the main criteria is how cheaply they can buy the same thing elsewhere. I would call this “arbitrage economy” because it’s about gaining from market discrepancies/inaccuracies (finding something cheaper in one market and selling it for more in another market). Arbitrage was a game that only the social elites who had access to necessary information played in the old days; now everyone plays…

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Different Types of Image Files Explained

This is the most common technical question we get: “What format should I save my image in?” There are many different types of image files and most people do not understand the differences. In this article, I’m going to tell you what you need to know in order to choose the right format for your purpose.

There are two ways to interpret visual information digitally. One way is to record the step-by-step instructions, like a cooking recipe. For instance, your computer writes down: “Use a blue pen with a thickness of 3 pixels. Start drawing a straight line at the location X=120 and Y=324, and end…

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