Monday, January 09, 2012

Context awareness

The age of mobile computing & ubiquitous sensors creates big opportunities to bring context awareness into products & technology. I think of context as the combination of personal preferences / habits on one hand, and things like location, time, weather, today's calendar (meetings, travel etc), for example:

  • I'd like to switch on our heating system 30 minutes before getting up
  • I usually drink coffee around 7am and 10am
  • I try to workout about 3 times per week
  • When I'm away from home I call my wife first thing in the morning. When in a different timezone I try to call her at a time convenient to her :)
  • When I approach a meeting venue in San Francisco I'm probably going to want to find parking
  • I call my family in the Netherlands on their birthdays
  • I try to clear my calendar on the day after a big snow storm in Tahoe;)

(some of these are more serious than others... you be the judge).

Most of these could be achieved by smart management of home screen shortcuts.

The key to translating these sets of ideas into useful products that are fun to use in daily life is to strike the right balance between being proactive and being "modest". In other words, don't overdo it... maybe I don't want to be reminded about my caffeine addiction today ;)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Europe's real problem

Europe clearly has some really urgent issues right now.

However, in my opinion an even bigger problem is that Europe is rapidly losing its competitive edge in the world.

The following slide from Mary Meeker's Internet Trends 2011 presentation illustrates Europe's eroding position in global innovation. Europe's smart phone operating system market share, arguably one of the most significant technologies today, dropped from almost 70% in 2005, to below 20% today.

If Europe is able to clean up its current mess an even bigger and more important task awaits: to regain its competitiveness.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Help us change the travel industry - We're hiring!

We're in extraordinarily exciting times in the technology industry. The simultaneous rise of mobile and social creates fantastic opportunities for innovative new products.

The travel industry is especially ready for the next wave of innovation at this moment in time, since social and mobile are such a perfect match for travel, and the field is still wide open.

Our team here in Palo Alto is very fortunate to have the opportunity to play a key role in creating the next generation mobile travel products. We were acquired by TripAdvisor earlier this year, and since then we've worked on some great new projects. Just last week we launched City Guides for Android. The press has been very positive, and users are raving (as evidenced by fantastic reviews in the Android market!)

We have big plans for the future, and we are growing our team with great engineers and product managers.

For the right candidates I believe we offer the best opportunities available anywhere in the world. Some of the key reasons you'll love working in our team:
  • We have a highly talented team, and we're all extremely passionate about our work and the impact it has. Team members come from all over the world, including from China, Korea, India, France, The Netherlands, and even three San Francisco Bay Area natives.
  • We are focused on a market that is both huge, and fun. Who doesn't love travel? We all do, and we are lucky enough to work on things we love. Since we are part of TripAdvisor we have the means to do what it takes to create successful mobile travel products, but we are still a small, highly flexible team.
  • Our office is located right at the center of the world's technology hotspot: University Ave in Palo Alto. This means easy accessibility by Cal Train from San Francisco, and great coffee and lunch spots all around us.
If this sounds interesting, feel free to reach out to me using Twitter or LinkedIn.