Apple Buys Wifi Slam for US $20 million: Some Preliminary Thoughts

Today the news about Apple is its latest acquisition of a company by the name of Wifi Slam.

As it turns out, this company produces an app that provides GPS location functions but in a small or internal space such as a store or mall using wi-fi signals. I will continue to monitor and follow this piece of news which I consider it to be quite significant.

Here’s why
1. Apple is not an acquisition driven company. It has grown primarily through the strength of its innovative products and excellent customer satisfaction. So when Apple does buy a company, it does so for very strategic reasons based on a present need to improve or add to a future product release heretofore unannounced. In this case, Apple has bought a technology that appears to the casual observer to be driven from its need to address the myriad of issues that its own Maps app has engendered. Much of the coverage today is focusing on that part of the decision.
2. Apple is about integral growth. This means that Apple seeks always to provide the customer with a solution that is application driven but on a hardware platform that it controls exclusively. This is part of the Jobs legacy. He was a passionate innovator who held that a great company builds hardware compatible with software and not the other way around.Today all Apple hardware products (desktops and notebooks) and mobility hardware (music players, smartphones and tablets) are designed and architected around a software platform that is driven by the need to serve the customer with an easy to use interface and a friendly environment.
3.Apple is about ecosystem completion Apple for a long time has built products that complement each other and enhance the customer’s need for tools that work well together. We can see now that each product group has an anchor or core product around which new products both hardware and software will need to be deployed. The Macs form the centerpiece of its computer line for home and corporate use. The success of the iPhone gives it a core device around which it has built the largest ecosystem of apps. The iPad has done the same for a category that Apple is defining and leading. This will have a significant impact on its roadmaps which now appears to be emerging in two spaces: Mobility and the living room.
4.Apple does extensive testing of its products. As a rule, Apple does not put out beta releases or products that have not completed a rigorous test cycle. Since it controls every aspect of the product development process, it can engage in testing protocols that would be difficult if it had various vendors or outside entities building its products and responsible for a key stage in its product designs.

As I’ve read several pieces of news about this acquisition. The picture that is forming is one of a company positioning its considerable market and technology prowess in building a next generation platform that will provide location, social media awareness and communications for consumers in a mall or shopping environment. This would allow Apple to build location aware components into its iOS software that drives its iPhones and iPads to provide app developers the ability to create solutions for its customers. In this case, it would empower consumers to buy products and services in a physical environment such as a large department store or a major warehouse retailer such as Costco or a Walmart.

We can see the enormous potential as more and more companies release apps to support consumers in finding the products they need on a shopping list when they enter a store. Some companies are offering discounts and coupons through the iOS apps which is becoming de riguer for the retail industry. Add location of the specific items plus the ability of the advertiser or store itself to offer sales or realtime information and Viola you have the emergence of the 21 Century shopping experience!

Stay tuned (It can only get better)

A New Beginning

May 1 will become for me a true turning point. I feel that the pieces of what I’ve worked so long to build are now starting to fall into place. I have taken the “road less travelled” by choosing to build my company based on a higher purpose, for social and human gain rather than financial ones only. I understand now how the difficulties of the past years have brought me to this most unique moment in time.

It is my intention to live my life as if each day is my last; to dedicate myself to my love of people; to build a transformational strategy; to create the compelling changes that I must make if I am to make a meaningful contribution on this earth plane.

I have now all of what I need.

Confessions of a Mad Recovering Facebook Addict

Facebook can be a distraction that can lead to inaction and procrastination. i know this because I am addicted. Unfortunately Facebook Anonymous groups are not available here in Silicon Valley.

It took me some time to exorcized myself. Like any recovering addict, I take it one day at a time.

I use a simple technique I learned from my good friend, Eric Tay. At his suggestion, I downloaded a free app Nagtimer from the App Store and I give myself three 20 minute breaks from my work: one for Facetime, one for Pinterest (my latest addiction) and one to read my favorite spy author, Daniel Silva.

Well my nagtimer just sounded… Got to go. See you on my next break. I’ll be posting some things on pinterest.com too. Hopefully, I’ll keep my word to myself . One day at a time…

Ramon Morales
Silicon Valley, Tecnolándia, USA

Facebook’s All Male Board

Facebook’s All Male Board of Directors

Facebook needs to address the issue of the lack of women directors on its board. Facebook may have to take a hard look at policies that generally would be considered discriminatory anywhere else.

As a high tech company and social network “diva extraordinaire”, the company that has come to define the meaning of Friend in the Digital Age, will have amassed huge power over nearly One Billion people in the world. In statements filed with the SEC, Facebook wants to generate a 30% annual increase in revenues from its members, most of whom are unaware of the deep and damaging impact the indiscriminate use of their personal data and behaviors is having on their lives.

It follows logically therefore that Facebook would pass up having women on their board. Maybe they are afraid of what women, exposed to the thinking of this men’s club, would do to them and their reputations. Stay tuned…

Servant Leadership Quotes Part 2

The quotes represent some of the best thinking I’ve come across on what it means to build leadership based on the principles of service, integrity and trust.

“The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of life is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.” William Arthur Ward

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” Jim Rohn

“As leaders shift their focus to customers and quality, they realize that the old authoritarian leadership style does not work anymore. To achieve quality, service, and rapid response, leaders must utilize all available talent. They must find ways to inspire, involve, and empower employees. They must create a work environment that encourages commitment, innovation, and cooperation. Instead of evaluating, leaders now coach. Instead of doing, they delegate. Instead of telling, they facilitate. No one is expected to boss anyone. Everyone is expected to participate.” Dr. Suzanne Willis Zoglio

“No leader can possibly have all the answers . . . . The actual solutions about how best to meet the challenges of the moment have to be made by the people closest to the action. The leader has to find the way to empower those frontline people, to challenge them, to provide them with the resources they need, and then to hold them accountable. As they struggle with . . . this challenge, the leader becomes their coach, teacher, and facilitator. Change how you define leadership, and you change how you run a company.” Steve Miller

Some Thoughts on Servant Leadership and Principle Centric Organization Building

Power Vs Principle: Some thoughts on Organization Building for those who have the courage to build a company in the Digital Age

Check out this article on the fault lines of leadership in entrepreneurial companies. I would start with the word “boss” itself. Personally, I detest it as a label since it connotes boss versus employees or subordinates. Those that believe that the role of the boss is to be nice and appreciative of subordinates are missing the real issue: authority based on power versus authority based on principle.

Principle-based leadership seeks to turn the organizational structure upside down. In other words, the role of leadership is to provide support, resources, knowhow etc… to those closest to the customer and those that are being served by the company’s goods, products and services. In this approach, the people who get all of the credit , who stand to get the most acclaim are those who go out of their way to help people understand how the company can truly help them and do so with commitment, passion and excellence.

Power-based leadership seeks to objectify people to follow the leader blindly, to approach customers as objects that we “sell” things to, rather than serve with solutions. In this organization, people are fearful to speak their own minds, the leadership encourages YES men and women, and people form relationships based on their proximity to the top. Harmful coalitions and factions are built as people gravitate to the various power centers that invariably arise as the top leaders fight for primacy among themselves.

Being nice to subordinates is as appropriate a barometer as asking the slave owners to be nice to their slaves. We want to break and destroy the system of slavery itself. We want to break the boss-subordinate relationship and replace it with the servant leader relationship where people follow the truth and only follow those leaders embody and embrace the truth. These leaders strive to be integral and honest, capable of saying when they don’t know something and are focused on learning what works from anyone particularly those that may not have the education, pedigree and so-called preparation but are closest to the customer and therefore bear the truth about what people really need and why people are “buying” in the first place.

It’s no wonder that such organizations, be they public or private, for profit or non-profit, fail, becoming dysfunctional, dying quickly.

As for me, I’d rather become a hermit than to build a company based on the Power Principle. I believe in the LOVE Principle. I choose to work with people who have the capacity to develop relationships based on the unconditionality and power of LOVE.

My Favorite Quotes on Leadership (Part 1)

I assembled these quotes over the last year or as the current social media parlance would dictate the use of the word curate. I read these quotes to guide my work on a daily basis knowing that I am on a path for which there is no final destination point.

Good leaders must first become good servants. ~Robert Greenleaf

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to be. ~Rosalynn Carter:

A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.~ Jim Rohn

If you don’t understand that you work for your mislabeled ‘subordinates,’ then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny. ~Dee Hock

A leader is one who, out of madness or goodness, volunteers to take upon himself the woe of the people. There are few men so foolish, hence the erratic quality of leadership in the world. ~John Updike

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. John C. MaxwellA good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.~unknown

Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.~Unknown

Big thinkers are specialists in creating positive, forward-looking, optimistic pictures in their own minds and in the minds of others. ~David J. Schwartz