The experience made it clear that WhatsApp, even with more than 450 million users, by no means has certain domination of the free texting market — and you would think it might if Facebook paid up to $19 billion to acquire the start-up.

For Free Texting Apps, the Market Is Far From Conquered” via NYTimes.

I also have this “which app are you on?” experience whenever I meet people at conferences or networking events, especially internationally. My “messaging” folder of apps gets a workout daily as I switch between WhatsApp (friends in Mexico and Spain), GroupMe (Seattle friends), Skype (work), Facebook Messenger (NYC and Boston friends), then a much smaller percentage of time on Line and Viber (random international folks).


With an app like Secret, a user could post an original photograph and write a post about it, and people connected to that user can help the secret propagate through the app’s network, as well as through the web.

How Secret May Uncover A New Secret To Mobile Growth” via TechCrunch

I’m interested in what Secret is doing; not so much as an app on its own but instead as a lighthouse for seeing which types of content could find a new home in anonymous posting networks (beyond just NSFW Snapchatting). 


Most of the smartphones sold last year in China, or 57%, were Android devices that cost less than $350. But there is still strong demand for more expensive handsets. High-end smartphones priced above $500 accounted for 27% of smartphones sold last year; of that amount, 80% were iPhones.

China Now Has 700M Active Smartphone Users” via TechCrunch

“China became the world’s largest smartphone market in November 2011, but sales have gradually slowed as mobile penetration rates increase. Shipments decreased for the first time in more than two years at the end of 2013, according to a recent report from IDC. As the price of smartphones drop dramatically, however, more first-time users are buying their first device.”


More money headed towards the enterprise space. Lots of focus lately on integration (SkyGiraffe, Zappier, etc.) as companies see the need to bring order to the chaos which is their (typically) complex IT environments (cloud or on-prem).

MuleSoft raises $50 mln

Taking the plunge…

I really, really didn’t want to. And it’s basically a trial run right now. But I had to switch to using Gmail for my personal email.

For the last five years my personal email site and email (www.michaelaffronti.com) has been running on Office 365. I have always loved it for a few main reasons:

(1) You get to run Outlook and OWA against it.

(2) Working at a company that uses the Office 365 stack for work (Microsoft) made it easy to do side-by-side things like overlay Work and Personal calendars.

(3) Windows Phone + Office 365 is the best way to do email and calendaring.

Since leaving Microsoft and joining Contactive I’ve had to take a very large technology plunge and immerse myself in the world of Macs, Google Apps, and my shiny new Android phone.

Why doesn’t Office 365 fit well with my new technology life?

(1) Office 365 email on Android sucks: no Conversation view in the native client and bad syncing (I’ve had two emails in my inbox that I can’t delete stuck there since December).

(2) No overlays: It’s way easier to overlay another Gmail calendar, in this case my Personal into my Work view, than trying to get my Office 365 calendar viewed in Gmail. 

After only three days I already miss a lot from Office 365: the UX and awesomeness of Outlook Web App, all the cool features that I love (and in some cases helped build) in Outlook 2013 like flagging, custom actions, and the calendar, and the general idea of staying within a single stack (I still love and use OneDrive, XBox Live, etc.).

I’m currently redirecting my email from Office 365 to my personal Gmail account. Like I said, it’s a trial. Seamless email and calendaring is critical for me (as with most folks) and so far the gains are outweighing the pains (and losses) of switching. 

I’ll update my feedback periodically as things progress.