Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How Does Snapchat IPO Make Any Sense? Professor Mike Wade

March, 2017

How does the snapchat IPO make any sense? IMD Professor Mike Wade talks about tech’s latest public offering

The shares of Snap will start to trade on the US markets today. The IPO price of $17 per share values the company at about $24B. Based on interest in the shares (they were ten times over-subscribed), the value of the shares, and the company, are likely to rise substantially during the day.

Does this make any sense?

On the ‘yes’ side, the price per regular user is in line with recent deals. Snapchat has about 300 million regular monthly users, about half of whom interact with the app on a daily basis. Thus, at $25B, that’s about $100 per regular user. Microsoft paid a similar price for LinkedIn last year. Facebook paid a little less per active user for WhatsApp in 2014, but it was in the same range. Unilever paid substantially more per user of Dollar Shave Club in 2016. Of course, all users are not alike, and Snapchat is extremely popular with the 13-24 crowd, and thus attractive to many advertisers. Plus, its base in North America and Europe gives it plenty of room for global expansion.

The ‘no’ side also has some strong points. When evaluated on traditional financial metrics, such as revenue (about $500m) and profit (are you joking?), the company shouldn’t be valued anything close to where it is. Plus, growth rates appear to be slowing. Competitors, like Facebook with its copycat Instagram Stories, Google, We Chat, and others, are one imitation away from stealing Snapchat’s notoriously fickle and disloyal youth audience. More disturbingly, Snapchat’s main competitors have other lines of profitable business that they can use to subsidize their attacks on Snapchat. By contrast, Snapchat, at least today, is a one-trick pony.

My biggest concern, however, is with the service itself. People use Snapchat because it is disposable – send it and it disappears. It operates with the attention span of today’s youth, i.e. none at all. Snapchat is popular largely because it is simple and fast – a quick social hit. Users don’t need to scroll though masses of irrelevant updates and holiday pics to get to the really interesting stuff. This makes the service fun to use, but it is a disaster for advertisers. People don’t go to Snapchat to search for information (like Google) to find a job (like LinkedIn), to deeply engage with friends (like Facebook), or to buy stuff (like Amazon and Alibaba). Its medium, much like Twitter, is inherently poorly designed to support advertising, and beyond this, there are no obvious sources of revenue or profit.

Would I invest in Snapchat? That depends. If I was looking for a satisfying quick hit (like I might do when receiving a Snap), then yes. If I were thinking about anything more than a few months, then no. 

Michael Wade is IMD Professor of Innovation and Strategy and Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


Title: Horizon Zero Dawn  PS4 Sharefactory,
 (Casey Julian a.k.a. Random Samples on YouTube) 

Publisher: Guerrilla Games 

Description: "Earth is Ours No More" A thousand years from now machines roam the land and mankind is no longer the dominant species. A young hunter embarks on a journey to discover her destiny. Explore a beautiful lush open world- Overcome overwhelming odds at every step- Discover ancient Mysteries- 
(Hit the arrow down to link to YouTube


Monday, February 20, 2017



 Welcome to the digital world Find a place in it -- a journey into exploring how digital times can improve your life at any time, any age, any lifestyle.

Website created by Carolyn M. Rhodes with Casey Julian Rhodes

CES 2016 Test Drive BMW 

Editor: Carolyn Rhodes

Associate Editor: 

Casey Julian Rhodes

Electronics Consultant 

Consumer Technology Association

Sister blog: 

Carolyn M. Rhodes, B.A. Dramatic Arts and Dance; Certified as arthritis instructor. Professional freelance CES Reporter on tech innovations in health related topics and all latest tech topics for consumers.  Reviewer of tech products.

Creative writer in many other genres. 

 Mentored by Editor of College of Business Alumni Magazine, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa  as feature contributing writer; mentored by Suzanne Beyer, Associate Editor of Northwest Prime Time, Washington; my sisters - one a literary published poet and author and teacher. Another sister  a teacher and textile artist. 

 Son and associate editor, Casey Julian, an electronics consultant and buyer adds his skills and knowledge to most of the articles here.   Both of us have attended CES from 2010 to 2016.

2016 - 2017

Birmingham Arts Journal, Volume 13,Issue 4 (Winter, 2017) "Masterpieces by Numbers"
Facilitator, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)
Faculty: Instructor for Arthritis Exercises and Awareness (OLLI)
Article May, 2017:
Prime Lifestyle, "Line Dancers of OLLI." 
Reviewer of Tech Devices and products
Reporter on the Internet of Things.
Working on an E-book

Publications and Presentations

-2016  (new look) 
Editor: Carolyn Rhodes 
Associate Editor on Electronics: Casey Julian Rhodes
Trends in Technology  

CES reporter on "Living in Digital Times."  (freelance)
Reviewer of tech products
Reviewer of tech books 

April, 2016:  "How to Navigate a Big Event and write great articles."
Tuscaloosa Library Rotary Room.

 2015: - new domain for writegems.blogspot

Presentation at Miller Center, Tuscaloosa  (July 27, 2015). 
" How to be your own best friend using technology."

Presentation at Tuscaloosa Public Main Library, Rotary Room 
January, 2014, 2015, 2016). 

"The latest on CES Trends and New on the Market." 
Birmingham Arts Journal, "The Unexpected." Vol 12, Issue 1 , (May, 2015)

Presentation: Tuscaloosa Library, May, 2015
Emerging Technologies: What a writer should know about "The Internet of Things," 

Prime Life Style Magazine 
Living Healthy in the Digital Age, other features.

Older articles and presentations and instruction:

Published Writer (over 100 in print) Blogger and Speaker 
Certified Arthritis Instructor ( also include discussions with seniors from Presbyterian senior living complex on health innovations) 

How the latest technology has changed our World.   Digital Innovations add up to a happier, healthier and longer life. "   (based on article in PrimeLife of Alabama )

Tuscaloosa News Editorial
November 14, 2014 - Patient Portal - a good sign for healthcare.

Tuscaloosa Public Library:
October 10, 2014 
How to become a Tech Savy Writer - From high school to boomers and beyond 
Digital Health:  From head to toe. Get smart 

 Techie Writer: The Basics and Beyond
May 2014, Rotary Room. 

AARP EXPO Press Writer
TEK pavillion teaches seniors new skills offering short seminars. 

 November, 2013  Tuscaloosa Public Library discussions

Primelife Style of Alabama:  How to Navigate the Internet
Tech news for seniors 

June, 2013:  Northport Senior Complex  Center --  (many talks here)
How  exercise with technology can help you live longer. 
(offering classes in arthritis exercises and movement)

AARP EXPO  -Press - Atlanta , Georgia, 
 November, 2013 
 Contributed article to PrimeLife Style to be re-printed December, 2014 on "TEK" for Seniors"  

See article on this blog.  
Life @ 50 and Beyond, A Life Re-imagined.


 "How the latest technology has changed our World.   Digital Innovations add up to a happier, healthier and longer life. "   (based on article in PrimeLife of Alabama 
April, 2013, Tuscaloosa Public Library.  
2012 Presentation: 
September 2012
Macabee  Center at Veterans .Administration  -  Alabama Heroes post  9/11 (2nd place award) 

 BELOW other publications on essays


In 2015, essay, "The Unexpected," is accepted to Birmingham Arts Journal, Volume 12, Issue 1. Additional blogs and her latest presentations are listed above. Articles are in progress for 2015.

In 2012 her article, "Lightning at the Airport" was included in Birmingham Arts Journal, May 2012 (Vol. 9, Issue 1).  And, a feature article in Antique Week News was published in their March 28, 2012 issues (eastern and mid west editions).  In that same year (September 2012),

Ms. Rhodes has written  features as a contributing writer for University of Alabama Alumni magazine and wrote several feature articles as contributing writer for The Executive Magazine at the College of Business. 

Additionally, she has written  and published many feature articles on diverse subjects for various print magazines and e-zines. 

Carolyn has had speaking engagements on how emerging technology continues to benefit the writer and how medical advances are changing lifestyles and lifespans in all age groups.   Her services extend as a writing coach and an editor 
Carolyn was awarded 2nd Place for her article on fallen hero Mike Spann. The contest,  Tribute to Alabama Heroes Post 9/11,  was celebrated at the McAbee Center, Tuscaloosa, Alabama along with a reading.  Rhodes is also the recipient of three past awards from 2005 - 2006 for magazine article and editorial.  June, 2009,  honorable mention from the well attended Southern Christian Writers Conference contest for a newspaper article she submitted to Northwest Prime Time, Washington. 

Earlier writings  are available under published articles under Google site MyWriteGems. (by request) 

Carolyn was first published in American Libraries Magazine having written her childhood story, "Mr. Mitchell's Liberry Girls."  Earlier years, she performed, wrote, choreographed and directed dances and musical theatre from the Renaissance and Medieval courts . She taught exercise classes after college and taught ballroom dance, 

Presently, she is a certified Arthritis Instructor and CPR certified until 2016.  

Carolyn is a member of Alabama Conclave of Writers, Christian Writers Club of Tuscaloosa, Consumer Electronics Association, Ballroom Dance Association, AARP. Social Media: Linkedin, Twitter, Tumblr,Facebook and YouTube.  

Older publications:

Casey J. Rhodes, Electronics Advisor

She can be reached at

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tom Clancy's The Division SHAREfactory /PS4

GAME:  Tom Clancy's The Division

Mission:  Lincoln Tunnel   


Casey Julian a.k.a Random Samples on YouTube.  (Link below)


Warning: Adult Content Language  (it's New York City tough)

Follow the link below to see solo player.  Of course, the game can be played with multiple players.    (click on link and it will take you to YouTube) 

The Division - Lincoln Tunnel

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What is Innovation anyway? Guest Blogger, Andy Marken

Innovation is About Thinking Different, Not Copying Different
By Andy Marken
        You don't know anything about space.” – Skipper, Gilligan’s Island, CBS, 1964-1967
When I grow up, I want to be one.
One what?
The CIO (Chief Innovation Officer).
Obviously, he or she is smart, a tastemaker, a visionary.  After all, the CIO understands innovation when it comes to or is presented to him/her.
If you’re not quite sure about the job, Wikipedia describes innovation – “a new idea, more effective device or process.Innovation can be viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies or ideas effective that are readily available to markets, governments and society. The term innovation can be defined as something original and more effective and, as a consequence, new, that "breaks into" the market or society.”
Do you really have a clue as to what that says?
Writers and speakers do.
They use it in every other headline, every tenth word in a news release and every other conference presenter proclaims an innovation, engineers/product designers pitch it to their bosses. The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) tells shareholders/analysts the company is delivering true innovation to the marketplace.
When they’re really cool; they write, talk about disruptive innovation.
Now that is freakin’ awesome!
What is it really?
-        Change that cannibalizes existing profit streams
-        Change that usurps prior businesses
-        New products/services that are better than, less expensive than those used today
-        Different ways of doing things faster, more easily, more economically
Translation – it’s different.  Maybe better, maybe worse; but only time is going to tell.
Outta’ Sync – Innovations and market acceptance are totally out of sync and they always have been.  Gartner’s hype cycle follows bleeding-edge users and media drumbeats while consumers adopt technology/products at a much slower pace which Geoffrey Moore described in his chasm.  The “innovators” abandon products long before they gain widespread sales/usage.
The problem is we have two bell curves – Gartner’s Hype curve and Geoffrey Moore’s chasm curve – and they are not in sync.
By the time most of us get what the innovation is, the innovators have forgotten about it and moved on.
We only know by looking in the rear view mirror if the new whatever is a good new or a bad new. If it fails, the innovator can say it was a good innovation but execution doomed it.  If it succeeds, the innovator can put another winner on his/her resume.
However, as David Ogilvy, a pioneering ad man, said; “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TECHIEGEMS (copyright by Carolyn Rhodes)


This website is copyrighted.


2016 CES


Black Widow Spider in my yard

It's a dark summer night and we open the patio door. I switch on the night light.  It's the night before garbage pick up and my son ties the tie on our last trash bag for the weekly pick up.  Off to the left in the corner of the patio step is a web.  He inspects it.  

"It's a black widow. Holy Cow! I'm going to spray it and then carefully place it in a jar, very carefully." 

 He identifies it by the red hourglass shape on its abdomen. It packs a venom as strong as a rattlesnake bite.  And this one is a mature female about 1"long.  Now I'm listening because if he misses, this "spider woman" will become aggressive.

I don't fear spiders and most are good insect eaters. After this catch, I think I'd better take some of these creatures very seriously.  Easy to say they are nocturnal and not interested in biting humans for no reason -- but neither are rattlesnakes!  

Proceed with caution 


The black widow spider is timid and reclusive, preferring to make its home in dark, protected areas, such as in boxes, among firewood and under ledges. It is nocturnal, which means it only becomes active and does its hunting at night. *

The black widow spider's web is usually located within a foot of the ground. It is slightly erratic in appearance and made with stronger silk than most other spider webs. *

The web is used to catch prey and to hang the female's cocoon of eggs.Black widows are usually found in dark corners of the house or around the edges of your yard or garage where their webs will have a lesser chance of being disturbed.*

 They may also be found under vehicles, even those that are being driven periodically. Check for webs near the tires, or under/around the engine.Black Widows are territorial so you will often find their webs spaced about a foot apart.*

If bitten, go to the emergency room immediately.  You life will depend upon it.  Without urgent care, death may follow.   

Don't kill any spider. They are necessary in our ecosystem and most are quite harmless.  

Bell and Howell makes an ultrasonic pest repeller  for indoors . I have placed one in each room. It is for rats, mice, spiders, ants and roaches.  So far, after 2 weeks, I have had complete success and it really works!  

* For more information on the elusive Black Widow, go to and google your question. 

ENGADGET Guest Post News: Endangered Rhinos and wildlife. Let's help.

Thanks to Engadget for this article and raising awareness that there is hope through technology to catch these poachers. Please follow the link below for full story.  And, the organization we can support to protect our endangered species. Photos from

Please read above Engadget article.  Technology is here to save the day -- cameras and the lives our our dwindling Rhino population? Can we save them from poachers!

And, please support   RAPID (anti poaching device)