The easy way to transition from Microsoft Outlook to Google apps for business Gmail (Part 1)

It’s been about 2 years since I completely switched to using Google Apps for our business and Gmail specifically; I haven’t opened Microsoft Outlook since.
Read more

Good, Soon, or Cheap. Which is it?

Reading “What’s more important, re-use, or time to market?” by Quinton Wall brought back a classic lesson in developing business software and a timeless principle.  It doesn’t matter what kind cloud-based application service you’re using, be it or Quickbooks Online or Google Apps.  And it also doesn’t matter whether you’re located in Hawaii or Chicago or anyplace in between.

When a business manager asks for a custom web-based cloud application to be developed, they have to make a choice: do they want the app to be Good, Soon, or Cheap?  Here’s the catch: they can only pick two out of the three. So if you want the app to be Good and Soon, it won’t be cheap. And if you want it Good and Cheap, don’t expect it soon. You get the idea.  This simple question forces the manager to make a clear resource-based decision.

90% of the time, the right combination (in software development) is Cheap and Soon, meaning it won’t be Good.  But that’s OK because it just needs to be Good Enough.

Why Cheap, Soon, and not Good? Because I can guarantee that regardless of how well-researched the custom cloud-based software is, the first version will be wrong and require revisions.  So even if you picked Good and Soon, knowing that it would not be cheap, the fact is that you would still have to revise the software anyway.

Why will the software have to be revised anyway? Because until users actually interact with software, they really don’t know what they want.  Only after they play with it will they have a better idea of what they want it to do.

So the key, then, is to develop it Soon.  (Guy Kawasaki says “Don’t worry, be Crappy”). And it might as well be Cheap, because you’re going to have to revise it anyway. Probably several times.

And it’s this basic, timeless principle that kicks back to Quiton’s article which basically says to develop the software now (Soon) and don’t worry about building in additional functionality (Good).

Make it Soon. And Make it Cheap.  Then be prepared to revise it often.

Android security hole getting patched

Nice job of Google patching up a security hole. Previously, you were exposed to a security hole if you were connecting over an open, unsecured wifi network.,2817,2385565,00.asp

Here’s why you can’t get Google Voice on your Sprint phone

Short story: Google Voice DOES work on Sprint phones including Hawaii, but will NOT work if your Sprint phone is under a corporate account (like mine). Here’s the details:

I was really excited to enable Google Voice on my Sprint EVO 4G phone “Hawaii Sprint Customers: Do we get Google Voice?“. So you could imagine how bummed I was when Google Voice says, “Unfortunately, Google Voice cannot be enabled on this Sprint phone. Please contact Sprint for more details as to why this cannot be enabled.”

Worse yet, other Hawaii Sprint customers were telling me that it worked just fine for them. Damn! Why me, Lord?

Well today I finally called Sprint. They were a little puzzled too but after digging around, we found out why: My Sprint is under my corporate account and apparently business accounts are not allowed to enable Google voice. While I’m disappointed, I can see why. On a policy level, if this was my company’s phone, I can certainly see that my boss might not approve of me implementing various re-routing and voicemail rules that Google Voice allows.

So, if you’ve got a personal/home Sprint account, you should be good. If you’ve got corporate, you’re out of luck.

Final note: a shout-out goes to the Sprint folks. I’ve only been with them for a year but their customer support has always been excellent, the service has been fabulous (I can’t recall a single dropped call that my phone caused) and the phone (other than the absolutely crappy battery life) has been an incredible workhorse. Thanks Sprint!

Netflix movies now on Android: I’ll never watch TV again.

I already watch more video on my Sprint EVO 4G than my big screen TV. Now that Netflix has arrived for Android it’s going to get even worse (better?). I just got through installing it. The video quality is great and it works like a charm. Holy Schmokes. I love it! The only reason why I will watch TV now will be as a family event. Otherwise, my EVO on the kickstand is my new video-watching device. That big screen is sure coming in handy.


Google’s netbook launches, IT Depts are either cheering or running scared

You just got to love Google’s continued encroachment on sacred cows. First it was email, then office apps, and now it’s your IT department. Business customers with 10 or more users can get these “Chromebook” netbook PCs which essentially only run the Chrome browser, for $28/mo. Here’s the real killer: this includes technical (i.e. helpdesk) support. If I worked in an IT department, I’d figure out a way to become the Google Chromebook uberwizard because when these machines come into the company, I’d want to be getting a raise and not a pink slip


Google kicks Blockbuster in the teeth (and fires shot across Netflix bow) with online movie rental

When I bought my bluray player a few years ago I had the feeling this was the last time I was going to by a standalone media player and I’m right. YouTube has joined the fray and is now offering online movie rentals. The only reason why anyone with a broadband connection would go to Blockbuster instead of clicking and paying on YouTube would be because they can’t connect their PC to their TV. Of course all the new TV’s have NetFlix and YouTube built in. So its bye-bye blu ray and hello on-demand online video.


How to get high ranking on Google? Build a quality site. From the horse’s mouth:

People always ask me, “How do I show up high in Google Search Engine Results? And my answer is simple and consistent: Build a Good Web site. I suggest everyone read this article and go through their quality control checklist against their own sites. The moral of the story continues to be: don’t build a site to get high rankings; build a good site and the rankings will follow. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t tune your content to get high rankings on topics you care about. It does mean, however, that you shouldn’t try to play games or “scam around” to get your rankings unnaturally high.

We encourage you to keep questions like the ones above in mind as you focus on developing high-quality content rather than trying to optimize for any particular Google algorithm.

Hawaii Sprint Customers: Do we get Google Voice?

I just got my email from Google today announcing that Sprint and Google voice has been integrated. This *could* meant that Hawaii phone numbers, previously denied 808 area codes (from what I understand, due to Hawaii regulations) might actually see their Sprint numbers (yes, 808 ones) work with Google voice. I have too much on my plate to play with this during the day but tonight is another story. Stay tuned. I will attempt to activate Google Voice on my Sprint EVO 4G phone and will report on the results. Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed!

Your Sprint number becomes your Google Voice number so that when people call your Sprint mobile number, it rings all the phones you want.

Update: 11:13pm 5/3/2011

The answer: NO! I’m really disappointed. Though the Google error message didn’t explain why my Sprint number wouldn’t work, I can only guess it’s related to the Hawaii-specific regulatory restrictions.

oh well. bummer.

Update: 5/11/2011

Apparently it’s just me. Others in Hawaii are reporting success. I’m going to call Sprint and find out why. My guess: I ported my number over from Tmobile and hence it can’t go Google. Just a guess. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Best Android Apps – April 2011

Nearly all of the apps I use on my Sprint EVO 4G phone are covered in this article and there’s a bunch of apps that I’ve never tried. Got Android? Lookin’ for apps? This is a great and current list of ones to at least try. Make sure you read the comments in the Marketplace to see if there are any problems with your specific model. Actual mileage may vary. Have fun!