Grand gestures, Samsung in the ring, Amazon says now.

Oh, we get it. It mutes.

Around here we talk a lot about Jobs-to-be-Done; the theory that you must solve a customer’s real and ongoing problems. Now with that in mind, watch this Microsoft ad. Trust us, it’s SFW and won’t offend any sensibilities (other than your cinematic ones).

That, my friends, is Microsoft’s latest promo for the Lumia’s new, “enhanced gestures”. True, the Lumia is a Finnish phone and Scandinavians are known for their terse style and almost spartan design aesthetic. But this has the feel and and excitement of a bad HR training video.

Microsoft showcases “enhanced gestures” with a single straight on shot of an uninspired and bored actor (who might want this over more than we) sit through an awkward and aggressive-sounding caller’s literally blabber on and on.

But beyond the minute long trek through the weird and uncomfortable, I kept thinking: why do I care? So… you flip the phone and it mutes. Okay. So what? Is this solving a real problem? Maybe but certainly not enough to warrant the pomp and circumstance of this video. The the folks at Microsoft that hard up for ideas? In the end, its much ado about absolutely nothing. And both iOS and Android could easily add this into an update and still we wouldn’t care.

Samsung keeps at it

Apparently Samsung is looking to launch a competitor to Apple Pay and Google Wallet…. Well, good luck and Godspeed, Samsung. That certainly sounds trendy. But trends, maybe, isn’t what Samsung needs to focus on. We’ve noticed over the past few years that they’ve forgotten who they are: a parts manufacturer, with the capacity to build lots of parts at a low cost. But then they got into the smartphone game, following on the heels of Android, shamelessly copying Apple, advertising their way to fame, and doing quite well.

Why they would decide to take on Apple Pay and Google Wallet, is something we just don’t understand. If I have an iOS device I’m going to use Apple Pay. If I have a Samsung phone it’s running Android which already has Google Wallet. It’s like Rocky and Ivan Drago just fighting away, and through the ropes steps Samsung, coming off a 60% drop in profits hangover looking to fight em both at the once.

It’s not even clear if Samsung has reached a deal with the start-up with whom they’d be partnering. Which puts them in with the likes of CurrentC. In a race between the world’s top two tech thoroughbreds the starting gun went off a while ago, and you want to jump in now?

Like I said, good luck with that, Samsung., is that you? 

Oh, 2000, what a year. I could sit in my apartment, login to, and have everything from Silent Hill for PS1 to a pasta salad (we ate carbs in 2000) to household products delivered to my home. In one hour for no fee. It was like a dream. That was before investors realized businesses had to actually make money to stay open. Kozmo, alas, went belly-up in 2001 (in my naive mind I had hoped my one-evening order of two Sega Dreamcasts could save it), and since then there’s been a void in the instant gratification portion of online shopping.

But it looks like Amazon is about to fill that void. The already fast and super-successful Prime membership is testing a pilot program called Prime Now. An extension of Amazon’s regular Prime membership, Prime Now (currently only operating in Manhattan), offers 25,000 products delivered in one hour for a $7.99 fee. Or for those with the patience of a saint, you can get it in two hours. For no additional free.

I guess I could talk about how people need to be more active, engage more locally, purchase from smaller stores, but I won’t lie that I almost fell off my chair at the thought of being able to get that electric blanket RIGHT NOW. For those of you not in Manhattan (don’t worry, Amazon Now is expanding to more cities, soon) there’s already same-day delivery offered in most major cities. I still miss you, Kozmo, but it’s time to move on and find comfort with a new friend: Prime Now.

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