The Google+ musings of

Robert Scoble

Rackspace's startup liaison officer helps small teams have a huge impact with cloud computing technology.
September 20, 2014 6 comments 7 shares 49 plus ones
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It's inside many "Internet of Things" devices. What is it? Electric Imp, meet one of the smartest people who has been in my studio this year: Hugo Fiennes. Learn more here: https://electricimp.com/

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September 19, 2014 15 comments 18 shares 221 plus ones
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What is it like visiting Samsung's Headquarters in Korea on "Apple day?"

Quite intense.

Shel Israel and I were asked to speak to two audiences at Samsung today of its top engineers and executives about our book and findings "Age of Context." Our slides from our presentation are here: http://www.slideshare.net/Scobleizer/age-of-context-september-2014

So, what did I learn?

1. Everyone we met asked us very intelligent and deep questions, some of which I struggled to answer. That tells me they are an inquisitive, smart, culture, which matches the products they've shipped to date.

2. They are proud of their culture of "get it done." They are very hard working and are proud of that culture. Our guide said he had to go back to work on Friday afternoon. This culture felt a lot harder working than some of the other big companies I've been involved in, which explains how every year at CES they come out with stunning new screens and devices.

3. They know they have many problems, particularly in PR relations with the rest of the world that they are working on. Language and culture is a barrier that I only observed from the outside before today. Many of their workers and execs don't speak English as their first language, which makes it tough for both of us to understand and share with each other. I think that explains a lot about how Samsung is perceived in America and other Western countries.

They are working on innovation and getting ahead of the rest of the market. They know that the only way to gain more customers is to bring out new products that thrill users. We urged the execs to be far more visible on Facebook and Twitter, but I sense that many struggle with English and see writing in public as a risk.

4. They are working on many sensor programs to do things that will study our health in deep detail (and do other things, as well, we had lengthy discussions about health and fashion). I don't know what they want discussed in public about future product plans, so I'll leave that out, but I'm quite amazed at some of the things they are working on. I bet that Apple and Google are working on many of the same things. The future is going to have an endless supply of innovations in wearable devices here.

5. They are just as freaked about by our talk as all other audiences are. In other words, they are just as scared of privacy intrusions as the rest of the world is (even while admitting that products of the future will need to collect and use a TON of data to serve us). I feel the challenge of product developers at all these companies who are struggling to figure out how to provide new utility without consequences from the collection of a LOT of very personal data.

By the way, I never was derided for pulling out my iPhone and shooting photos. Several execs showed me their iPhones (all were carrying various Samsung models too). This tells me they are very focused on Apple as a formidable competitor. I would expect that if I got the same tour at Apple that execs there would carry around Samsung phones to know what the competitor's strengths and weaknesses are. (My friend Andy Grignon, who worked for Steve Jobs, told me that is indeed the case, at Apple they all carried various competitor's phones to understand what made them good and bad).

In its museum you see a TON of innovations from elsewhere in the world (I loved seeing the old American TVs and radios, washing machines, and other devices that I grew up with). I really like this culture of understanding that much of the world's technological innovation and great product design came from other places. I can just see being a young engineer and walking around the museum and understanding the world's tech history and just how hard it is to build products that break through and thrill users.

It is also interesting how visiting a company's headquarters changes your perspective. I can see that consumers will continue to win as this great company continues to battle not just other giants in Asia, like LG and Sony, but Apple and other companies.

As I unpack my new iPhone 6 Plus on Saturday after I get home, I'll be thinking about the pressure that Samsung puts on Apple to continuously improve too. As I walk around Korea and I see so many large Samsung phones being used in the street I know that Apple is playing catchup in many ways to Samsung.

This competition makes us all winners, no matter which side of the fence we are on.

Thank you to the hundreds of Samsung employees who we met today. You have inspired me in a big way.

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September 16, 2014 154 comments 21 shares 292 plus ones
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First, some of you might know who I'm talking about. Please don't post his name or other identifying information here unless he uncloaks here. I don't want this to be about him. Even though he's been writing about me on his blog (which I learned because lots of people read both of us).

Damn, that hurt. This is a guy I know well, I won't go into it more than that. But I looked at why it hurt for the past few days and thought I would share what I learned about myself.

My son, +Patrick Scoble, told me "you both are difficult," while trying to get us both to calm down. So, this is a learning opportunity. 

This guy has his reasons for blocking me, in looking at my behavior, I don't agree with him, but that doesn't really matter in the end analysis. Now that the friendship is over it's a learning opportunity. 

1. A block is a nuclear weapon to use on a real-life friend. Doing that made it impossible to use things like Facebook messages or Google Hangouts to back channel and work through a relationship in strain. I can just hear you saying "well call him." Sorry, once a nuke is thrown I'm not calling, the relationship has been damaged beyond repair at that point. A block is akin to saying "I never want to hear from you again." Sorry, I'm not calling someone who signals that.

2. It hurt because it was akin to saying "I see absolutely no value in you." I believe I have value, therefor it causes our brain to go into a bad loop: "He says I have no value. I believe I have value. But he says I have no value." Which then causes you to question yourself. Which comes out as stress. Higher heart rate. Restless sleep. All the stuff that you remember from high school when someone bullied you or decided not to invite you to the cool kids' parties or something like that. I tried to break the loop in a few ways. None of which are really satisfying. So I decided to blog and be vulnerable. Hey, it's cheaper than therapy!

3. After the initial shock of "he did WHAT?" wore off it just brought on a form of grief. It reminded me of how my divorce felt. It's a toxic mixture of grief, guilt, self questioning. As with all feelings, time makes it somewhat better, but it is toxic.

4. When I was going through the divorce my friend +Buzz Bruggeman told me "take the high road." My son told me to do the same thing this time. Taking the high road is incredibly difficult when you are feeling grief, guilt, pain, etc. This is why I made it not about him, but about me. But I found a way out of this: do something nice for someone else. I've already started down that path. Transmute all the toxic stuff into focusing on helping someone else. Anytime I feel the toxic feelings I go and try to do something nice for someone else. Even liking or +1'ing someone else's post feels better than letting the toxic loop in your head go unchecked.

5. Take some joy in the fact that by blocking him he's hurt himself beyond just the loss of friendship. I do put a lot of value into my social networking, sharing lots of things from other people who are smart (especially true on my Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble) and by building lists (he removed himself from those lists, by blocking, which lost him a lot of followers). He also is an entrepreneur, and might want some PR someday (I played a key role in the launch of many companies, including YO http://venturebeat.com/2014/07/18/how-yo-became-one-of-the-most-viral-apps-of-all-time-step-by-step/ which now has had more than 100 million YO's sent).

At one point the argument became about my self-centeredness. Well, yes, I am a selfish butthead sometimes. Always am working on it, with the help of many of my friends and others. But part of doing social media requires being a bit selfish. Hey, isn't it selfish to tell billionaires how to run their companies? Why yes! But my boss +Rob La Gesse reminds me that he wants me to do only one thing: be helpful to other people. So when I'm off that track it requires me to look at myself and fix my thinking. I'm far from perfect. So a whack upside the head is sometimes needed. But a block isn't a whack, it's a nuclear weapon.

6. I did learn about how deeply Facebook block works, though. I can't see anything this guy does anymore. Even our Messages back and forth now only says "Facebook User" instead of his name. I learned he had blocked me because I wanted to message him and Facebook wouldn't let me see his page anymore. I wonder how it differs from how LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+ works (Twitter, I know, will still let you see that person's public posts). I generally only block spammers, so haven't played with that functionality enough to understand it.

Anyway, I'm on my way to Korea. Travel makes stress worse, because you are tired and you don't have friends to talk with face-to-face and my wife isn't there to give me a hug after a bad day. On the other hand, being alone gives me the whitespace to look at myself.

Onward, welcome to the new, improved, Scoble. :-)

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September 15, 2014 16 comments 10 shares 67 plus ones
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Ever found yourself staring at a grocery store shelf with hundreds of wine bottles but you don't know which one to buy? Pull out the Delectable app, shoot a photo, and it'll tell you all sorts of things. Plus it does more, hear here from Alex Fishman, CEO, who tells you what he has planned. Get it at https://delectable.com/

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September 15, 2014 4 comments 9 shares 66 plus ones
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Emergence Capital invested in Salesforce along with many other cloud computing companies. Here Kevin Spain, general partner, gives me insights as to what he's seeing happen in cloud computing. 

Emergence is at http://www.emcap.com/

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September 11, 2014 11 comments 7 shares 60 plus ones
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The hot new drink at Silicon Valley tech companies. Meet the founder behind Hint Water, Kara Goldin. Learn more at http://www.drinkhint.com

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September 10, 2014 2 comments 3 shares 43 plus ones
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It's calendar night, here is a look at the new Magneto Calendar for iPhone or iPads. It mixes in contextual travel tips, sort of like how Google Now works. Get it at https://magneto.me

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September 10, 2014 3 comments 10 shares 59 plus ones
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Get a look at Tempo, which is a contextual calendar for iPhones and iPads. Why does it matter? It looks deep into your email and online for information about your meetings. Get it at https://www.tempo.ai/ and this video shows you what it does well.

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August 27, 2014 12 comments 14 shares 85 plus ones
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This is a video of a new hardware prototyping tool from Broadcom. Unfortunately takes a while to process videos here. So come back later to see it or see it at https://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

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August 20, 2014 16 comments 32 shares 123 plus ones
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If you hate it (yeah, Android is coming "within weeks") then you must at least watch this video because CEO Ankur Jain  and I take on all the privacy and other issues surrounding this app.

For iPhone users only at the moment: http://www.humin.com

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