You Can Change It Later

The Blog Of David Marks

Observations about the Spotify product and user acquisition strategy (or, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar)

How My free Spotify trial convinced me to sign up for MOG instead. A few months ago I was excited to try the free Spotify trial. I love music, and my first impressions of the application were positive. Lots of music! Decent user interface! Free! I even bought a new headphone amp to celebrate my increased […]

Lean Startups & Big Companies: Challenges and Recommendations

How do “lean startup” techniques work in large companies? Over the last year or so I’ve worked with a few large organizations to solve product strategy issues. Typically, the organization is working to introduce a new product line or concept to the market, and sometimes they have already entered the market but don’t have a clear […]

Facebook, App Platforms, and Game Theory

In this post, I explore how Facebook manages viral channels and how a little game theory might be applied to better manage their platform for developers and end users.

Why is mysql swapping when I have plenty of RAM?

If you’ve run large mysql systems, you may have noticed a frustrating situation where mysql starts swapping to disk on multi-core systems when you have plenty of RAM free. You’re not the only one. There are dozens of hits on Google for people asking this question. Talented mysql consultant Jeremy Cole appears to have discovered […]

Why Amazon’s Facebook Integration Revolutionizes The Recommendations Space

I’ve publicly stated previously that social recommendations generate far higher engagement rates than many other recommendation techniques. When I was at Loomia back in 07/08 we launched a product which was the first Facebook powered social recommendation service for media sites, called SeenThis. It was a widget that you could put on your web site which […]

The Kindle: A World Travelers Best Friend

I just returned from some extensive travel around Eastern Europe, and one of my challenges is keeping connected when I’m in out of the way places. I have an unlocked iPhone and collect SIM cards in various countries to save on roaming fees, and I’ve found this is a great solution if you’re in more […]

How does Google debug problems in a large, distributed infrastructure?

It’s incredibly difficult to debug errors and performance bottlenecks in a large, distributed computing system. Many different components and computing nodes touch each transaction, and it’s extremely time consuming to determine what, exactly, is going on inside the system. Answering basic questions like “What kind of requests do we handle poorly?” and “Which component of […]

Tuning those privacy controls on Facebook

I’m extremely impressed with what Facebook launched at F8 last week — big ideas launched with stunning speed. At the same time, I have to chuckle at some of the unintended consequences of a brand new, not so well tested, social internet. “This past weekend, one poor woman from Adelaide, Australia named Kate Miller found […]

Just in case you wondered where Apple’s revenue comes from

Today, Silicon Alley Insider released their excellent chart of the day for Apple’s latest revenue figures. Note that Apple receives most of their revenue selling devices like the iPhone, not software. But they spend a heck of a lot of software and content (iTunes) in order to stimulate demand and differentiation for their hardware products. […]

iPad User Tests: Kids, grandparents, moms, and more try it out

I continue to be fascinated with the iPad, which was just released on Saturday. I think this is because it’s a new kind of device —  not quite a laptop, not quite a smartphone. And previous attempts to create a tablet market have failed pretty badly and at great expense. Just 2 days ago, I posted some […]

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