The Critical Path

The Critical Path

The Critical Path is a talk show contemplating the causality of success and failure in the evolving story of mobile computing and related industries. Using Apple as a lens to look at existing and emerging tech markets, we try to understand what it means to be great.

Hosted by Anders Brownworth and Horace Dediu.



#84: Blessed Are the Apps

May 13, 2013 at 4:15PM • 1 hour 14 minutes

A new theory of device-enabled presentations; the iTunes ARPU (average revenue per user) and its putative erosion; a definition of smart devices, the cycles of computing as a continuum.


#83: The Analyst Taxonomy

May 6, 2013 at 12:30PM • 1 hour 22 minutes

Horace proposes a classification of analysts and their motives and how to think about the value of commentary. We delve into how Apple executives obtain and preserve authority and talk about the disruptive impact of Nintendo. Also a hint about a new Perspective presentation before WWDC.


#82: Adding Rows

April 29, 2013 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 37 minutes

The Apple Q1 financial performance review with a short look at the impact of warranties on gross margins. The growth question: why financial analysis cannot offer insights into new product creation, and why makers of things think different. Finally, a new installment into Asymcar: why the process of car making is over-integrated, over-serving, and over-concentrated.


#81: Continuous Flow

April 23, 2013 at 12:15PM • 1 hour 13 minutes

We cover misleading headlines with respect to the iPhone at Verizon while questioning the ebb and flow of media tone on Apple news. We also dive deeper into Asymcar and how to think about car manufacturing. Finally, how to approach industry analysis regardless of your industry.


#80: Functional Structure

April 16, 2013 at 12:15PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

A report on Ùll with recollections from Don Metlon and Michael B. Johnson (Dr. Wave): what is a functional organization and why is that a thing of beauty? What do Pixar and Apple have in common? What is Horace's favorite Pixar movie? Also a new mini-installment on "Asymcar", what's wrong with cars?


#79: Make It Rain

April 7, 2013 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 20 minutes

This week we cover a bit of Facebook Home, a bit of YouTuber economics, the best analogy ever heard for Google's business model, and we kick off Auto industry analysis with the "Five Whys"-the paradoxical questions that nobody seems to be asking about cars.


#78: Facebook Inside

April 1, 2013 at 8:00PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

Youtubers, BlackBerries and what Facebook is planning with their "Home on Android". Horace and Moisés discuss how co-branding, strategy, and secret deals intertwine, with illustrations from Intel, Sony-Ericsson, and Acura


#77: Making Sausages

March 24, 2013 at 9:00PM • 1 hour 23 minutes

The more we deconstruct and take apart iTunes, the more we come to respect how it cannot exist independent of the system it's a part of. Its scope and scale and its history and future all indicate that there is more to it than just a store and that it might be a platform in its own right. We get into some more details about all these details and talk about where it came from and where we think it will end up.


#76: Google vs. Android

March 18, 2013 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 13 minutes

Beginning with the data on activations, we traverse the strategic implications of a shift in Android governance and management. Along the way we also cover Samsung's marketing strategy, budget, and the Galaxy S4 launch.


#75: Bigger Than US Steel

March 4, 2013 at 6:45PM • 1 hour 10 minutes

New data allows us to estimate the components of iTunes with more precision. The entire business is now transacting over $17 billion a year. We take a look at how this insight can be gained and what it means for the future of commercial media.