Mark Sigal

Mark Sigal

  • @netgarden
Mark Sigal is a seven-time entrepreneur who has spent the better part of the past 17 years seeding new ventures in the networked device, device management, and consumer internet spaces. His focus these days is on digital media services; namely the re-envisioning of traditional video, audio, and advertising channels in a mobile broadband-enabled world, with three primary projects: vSocial, a video clip sharing community; Me.com, a master planned online "community of communities"; and Insider Engine, a stock investing service. He also maintains a blog called The Network Garden.

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You say you want a revolution? It's called post-PC computing

October 24 2011

Spurred on by a Googler's rant against his own company and Apple's release of a new phone, a new OS and a new cloud infrastructure, Mark Sigal wonders what the "post-pc" revolution really looks like. read more

Ruminations on the legacy of Steve Jobs

August 25 2011

Apple, under Steve Jobs, has always had an unrelenting zeal to bring the consumer — and humanity — back to the center of the ring. Here, Mark Sigal argues that it's this pursuit of humanity that may actually be Jobs' greatest innovation. read more

The Five Keys to a Successful eBook Production: The Story of Spot the Dot

June 02 2011

What are the key steps in building a successful interactive eBook? This piece looks at the best practices from the perspective of a recently launched children's eBook called 'Spot the Dot.' read more

In Google's "glass house," a battle with Bing looms

February 03 2011

Is Google's recent war of words with Microsoft a case of calling a thief out by name, or a matter of pot calling kettle black? read more

When and What is "Good Enough"

August 25 2010

There is an axiom that it is more important to focus on doing the "right things" than on having to do everything "perfectly right." But, this begs a question. At what point is "good enough" achieved? Read on... read more

Riddle me this: Why isn't the Rumors of a $99 Apple TV a "Tell?"

August 23 2010

I think that I am safe at this point in generalizing that Apple, as a Company, is dedicated to delivering real, sustainable value to its base of users. All of the economics and first-hand customer experience bear this point out. That is why I can't reconcile an iOS-based Apple TV… read more

Four Thoughts on the WHAT, WHY and SO WHAT of Google App Inventor for Android

July 12 2010

There is something enticing about a software toolkit for non-developers; the concept that if you can articulate a workflow or algorithmic outcome, you can "meta-program" it without writing a line of code. That's why I think that there is some warranted excitement around Google's App Inventor for Android. It represents… read more

Apple and the "last mile" to true Mobility (iOS, meet OpenDoc)

July 04 2010

Thanks to Apple's execution in rolling out over 100M iOS-powered devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad), we are on the cusp of completing the "last mile" to rich, persistent information mobility; a domain where compute, communications, gaming, media playback and media creation tools are literally at your fingertips. Into the mix,… read more

Adobe Crumbling: Is Winning Mobile Flash Fight Critical to Company's Success?

May 13 2010

In ramping up its on-going PR blitz to try and sway public opinion in favor of forcing Apple to support its Flash Runtime model, Adobe is facing three fundamental challenges. Read more. read more

Five reasons iPhone vs Android isn't Mac vs Windows

April 26 2010

It's human nature to look to the past to predict the future. That's why it's unsurprising to see knee-jerk conclusion that Apple iPhone vs Google Android will mirror the PC wars. Here's five reasons why this time, it's different. read more

Grumpy old men, the "Inmates" and margins

April 13 2010

As the iPad descends upon us, it is fair to ask, "Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?" Depending upon whom you ask, the conclusions vary widely. The yin and yang of openness vs. integrated raises a fundamental question that underscores the battle being… read more

The iPad as Companion Device - Day 3

April 07 2010

Owning an iPad is like having a really good chair. If personal comfort's your thing, the price is worth it. read more

Check Mate: Apple's iPad and Google's Next Move

January 28 2010

There is an axiom that the biggest game-changers often result from ideas that, at first blush, seem easy to dismiss. So it goes with yesterday's launch of the iPad, Apple's entry into what they call the 'third category' of device -- the middle ground that exists between smartphone and laptop.… read more

Ruminations on Apple Q1, 2010 Earnings Call and Investor "Dead Zones"

January 26 2010

Listening to Apple's earnings call today, then the chatter across a number of technology, investing and Apple-focused sites, and finally, watching the stock go up, down and sideways, I am reminded that when you are working from the wrong narrative, faulty storylines are destined to emerge. Read more. read more

The Google Android Rollout: Windows or Waterloo?

January 05 2010

Watching Google's rollout of Android to date, including this week's announcements around the Google-branded, HTC built, Nexus One phone, I am left with two conflicting thoughts. Is it the beginning of their assent into Windows-like dominance or the fortnight of their 'Waterloo' moment? read more

Open "ish": The meaning of open, according to Google

December 22 2009

In 'The Meaning of Open,' Google's SVP, Product Management, Jonathan Rosenberg, simultaneously acknowledges the fuzziness of what exactly "being open" means and owns up to the fact that Google isn't all the way there. At the same time, my simplified net out on this one is that Google's real credo… read more

Google Android: on Inevitability, the Dawn of Mobile, and the Missing Leg

December 03 2009

If for no other reason than the 'Anyone but Apple' crowd needs an alternative, there is an 'inevitability' meme associated with Google's Android initiative. But, is their success in the market really inevitable? Over a year after Android's launch, the jury is still out. Read more. read more

Steve Jobs is the closest thing to Walt Disney since Walt Disney

November 24 2009

Steve Jobs is the closest thing to Walt Disney since Walt Disney, now forever bound by Pixar. If you believe in karma, how can you not think that it's pretty cool that Jobs ended up as the largest individual shareholder in Disney, an active board member who now is helping… read more

It's in the Bag! The Apple Tablet Computing Device

November 13 2009

In the past 25 years, the 'personal' computing revolution has evolved from tethered (desktop) to luggable (portable) to joined-at-the-hip (mobile). The author argues that the next wave of computing will extend this level of personal attachment to the bag-carrying consumer (think: purses, backpacks and briefcases) when Apple releases it’s much… read more

Posterous: The Copy-and-Post Revolution in (Micro) Blogging

November 04 2009

A friend of mine, who has achieved repeated success in high-tech startup land, said that if you want to be successful, focus on segments where <10% of the crowd currently adopts the solution, and by virtue of dramatically simplifying the approach, you can toggle adoption rates to closer to 90%.… read more

iPhone Killers, Blackberries and Chicken Parts

October 29 2009

While a steady stream of so-called iPhone Killers are filtering into the market, Apple's momentum continues unabated. Inspired by his own experiences upgrading to the Blackberry Tour, the author ponders why so many solution providers confuse delivering a bunch of 'chicken parts' with producing an actual, living, breathing chicken. read more

The Right Stuff: Apple's Q4 Earnings Call

October 20 2009

The Fourth Quarter was Apple's most profitable quarter ever. Yesterday's earnings call was about two things. One, the iPhone Platform continues to deliver the goods. Two, the continued impressive growth of the Mac, especially MacBooks. As such, it was about the power of the platform as much as it was… read more

Land and Expand: Why Apple Allowing In-App Purchases in Free Apps is a Big Deal

October 16 2009

Yesterday, Apple announced that they are now allowing In-App Purchasing within free apps. I think that this is a big deal, an entree into what I refer to as 'land and expand,' and yet another reason that Apple remains the gold standard of mobile computing. read more

Should Apple Give a Rat's Ass that Developers Aren't Getting Rich off of the iPhone Platform?

October 07 2009

Apple's iPhone Platform is a runaway success relative to just about any metric that you can throw at it, save for one. Where are the breakout successful developers for whom the platform is a 'True Wealth' inducing moment? Read on... read more

Rebooting the Book (One Apple iPad Tablet at a Time)

September 23 2009

The book business is under assault. Book sales have been stagnating for some time, Amazon is the industry's boogeyman, and more terrifying, book publishers have no idea how to market books in a world (largely) devoid of bookstores. Moreover, in the age of the always on, it's fair to ask,… read more

iPhone, the 'Personal' Computer - Future of the Mobile Web

September 15 2009

The iPhone is the first truly 'personal' computer; more personal to its owners than the PC ever was. Talk to iPhone owners (not to mention, the 20M iPod Touch owners), and this truth bubbles to the top again and again. Read on... read more

Analysis of Apple's "It's Only Rock and Roll" iPod event

September 10 2009

Apple's "It's Only Rock and Roll" iPod event yesterday had the feel of a paint-by-the numbers session. All tactics and little magic. Here's why... read more

Touch Traveler: London, Paris and only an iPod Touch

August 24 2009

Recently, I spent two weeks vacationing in London and Paris with only an iPod Touch for communications and connectivity. Mind you, I am not suggesting that this was a wise thing to do, but it's what I did, and this post captures the good, bad and ugly of the experience.… read more

APPLE is EVIL, You’re All Fanboys and other half-truths

August 19 2009

There is a meme afoot. Apple is evil. Its arrogant ways and dependence on the cult of personality are to be its demise. Developers are said to be unhappy. And, Apple Secrecy Doesn’t Scale. Google-ification is the way, the RIGHT way. The Apple Way can’t possibly persist ad infinitum. You… read more

Environment Variables: On Surplus, Scarcity, Fear & Greed

August 18 2009

I am big believer that markets gravitate between FEAR and GREED, and that industries are driven by core assumptions about the SCARCITY or SURPLUS of enabling resources. Think about the stock market in terms of the former (it's heavily outlook driven), and the evolution of computing, as afforded by the… read more

The Mobile Broadband Era: It's About Messages, Mobility and The Cloud

July 21 2009

“Listen to the technology; find out what it is telling you.” – Carver Mead The DOS-era was marked by a certain style of computing.  It was primitive, largely devoid of graphics, and for developers, an exercise in scarcity management. In fact, the scarcity mindset was so endemic to the time… read more

Quantum Leaps and Wave Logic

July 15 2009

I have been ruminating a bit about the onset of the Mobile Broadband Age and the rise of Cloud Computing models, and will blog about the topic shortly. This quote by Carver Mead struck me as pretty relevant to thinking about the fulcrum that is forming before us. read more

Apple has secretly released a Tablet Computer: It's called iPod touch

July 14 2009

Because the iPod touch is often overshadowed by its noisier sibling, the iPhone, we sometimes forget that Apple's first REAL foray into tablet computing, has already sold 15M+ units. read more

Apple, the Boomer Tablet and the Matrix

June 25 2009

I have written here, here and here about Apple’s inevitable assault on the Tablet market. What I hadn’t factored until recently is how symbiotic such a device would be for Baby Boomers. Why Baby Boomers? Well, for the same two reasons that this demographic is unlikely to embrace the palm-sized… read more

Nine Essential Truths for Entrepreneurial Success

June 24 2009

Leveraging the pattern recognition of others is one of the best ways to build upon best practices, while sidestepping avoidable mistakes. What follows is a primer of nine key lessons learned from doing eight startups (four as co-founder, four liquidity events). Read on... read more

Pattern Recognition: Makers, Marketplaces and the Commons

June 16 2009

Finally, having a chance to decompress following his Maker Faire visit, Mark Sigal ruminates on what Maker Faire's 78K attendees means, concluding that it's all about creative destruction, mass customization and the rise of DIY (do it yourself) class. read more

Analysis: Apple WWDC Keynote - Punishing the Wizard, Part Two

June 09 2009

Fair or unfair, Apple has done such a good job of delivering technical wizardry over the years that when they merely execute, we hammer them because...well, we expect magic. With that in mind, this analysis of Apple's WWDC Keynote yesterday tries to make sense of the key storylines likely to… read more

3D Glasses: Virtual Reality, Meet the iPhone

June 05 2009

A light flickers from two distinct points in time. As a child in the early-1970s, one of my toys was a View-Master, a binoculars-like device for viewing 3D images (called stereograms), essentially a mini-program excerpted from popular destinations, TV shows, cartoons, events and the like. Flash forward to the present,… read more

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