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 Horace Dediu, Anders Brownworth, and Judd Rubin.

#56: Strategic Disadvantages: A discussion with James Allworth

September 28, 2012 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 8 minutes

James Allworth, Harvard Business School Forum for Growth and Innovation fellow and co-author of How Will You Measure Your Life joins Horace for an in-depth discussion of the vulnerability of Apple to low-end disruption. Specifically, assuming the iPhone reaches a point of over-service, did Apple arm its suppliers with the means to create its replacement? We dip into case studies of Dell, HP, HTC and Microsoft and touch on how iPod escaped this fate.

Special guest Horace Dediu.

#55: Gravity Well

September 21, 2012 at 7:45PM • 1 hour 13 minutes

Horace and Moisés discuss the early consumer response to iOS 6 (Maps in particular), and how people appear to greatly prefer native apps to their web app counterparts. They also dig into just how large an opportunity cost Apple is capable of absorbing in the interest of protecting their platform. In doing so, they examine the native app vs. HTML5 debate.

#54: Moving the Ball Forward

September 14, 2012 at 3:15PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

Horace and Moisés discuss this week's Apple announcements, and implications as to where Apple goes from here, along with the rest of the industry.

#53: To Be First and Loudest

September 8, 2012 at 1:45PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

Horace is still out crossing the globe on secret missions, so Moisés Chiullan, host of Screen Time, fills in for Dan. This week, Horace covers his Swipe Conference presentation on the history of personal computing and the shift to new platforms that foreshadows the dawn of a new era, the state of the US mobile market and where Lumia fits into the fold, and how Samsung moves forward in the wake of the litigation.

#52: The Art of Making Money

September 1, 2012 at 11:15PM • 1 hour 9 minutes

With Horace criss-crossing the globe on various secret missions, Moisés Chiullan, host of Screen Time, fills in for Dan this week. In this episode, Horace follows up on last week's predictions now that the Apple v. Samsung verdict has been finalized ... or has it? Horace and Moisés also dig into the algebra needed to decode how many tablet units which manufacturers have sold, and what that means for Amazon's Kindle Fire in particular.

Special guest Moisés Chiullan.

#51: Product Portfolio Theory

August 23, 2012 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 6 minutes

We cover three topics: 1. Safety and air travel: the bases of performance that don't get credit 2. The unintended consequences of litigation: US v. Microsoft and lessons learned for Apple v. Samsung 3. Product Portfolio theory: is focus impossible for everyone but Apple?

#50: From Impossible to Inevitable

August 15, 2012 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 8 minutes

The crumbs of data falling off the Samsung v. Apple trial table get some scrutiny. Horace expands on some of the hints from the partial release of information and then continues with a discussion of how market data is collected and whether it should be trusted. That leads to a question of whether private (or paid) analysis is "better" than public (and unpaid). The benefits of having access to the vastness of collaborators online and the public sources of info might be tipping the balance. Finally, we talk about how big ideas go from sounding impossible to being inevitable and who gets rewarded for making them so.

#49: Fly me to the Moon

August 8, 2012 at 11:30AM • 58 minutes

Horace takes another look at the aviation industry and asks whatever happened to air taxis. Then we go back to the manufacturing miracle of WWII in order to ask what might be the limits to growth. That helps us describe the "top down" opportunity for iOS and mobile computing in general looking at the overall mobile phone market. Finally Dan asks what are the qualifications needed for an analyst to perform wide-ranging reviews of industries.

#48: Asymmetric Competition

August 1, 2012 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 4 minutes

We turn our attention to the notion of competition. It's a concept that has many contradictory connotations. What we anticipate as sporting or fair is never the way business or war is conducted. How should you think about this and why does it matter in every decision you make professionally and personally?

#47: Impatient for Growth

July 25, 2012 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 6 minutes

This episode is recorded on the day after Apple's second quarter earnings release. We go through all the income statement updates and discuss what went wrong (almost everything) and what went right (precious little). We use statements by management about India to answer the question of where the emerging market potential is for iPhone. Putting aside some of the missed opportunities or bad timings, the quarter is reviewed as less than the stellar performance we've become accustomed to but not bad all things considered.