elproducto #21 👉 a weekly peek into the future of Tech and Product

Amazon Channels, Google’s Data GIF Maker, DJI’s new mini-drone, Uber’s pricing algorithm tests, Guide to personas, Designing value-proposition & more

Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto.

📰 Seen on the news

Facebook redesigns Trending Topics, adding stories from a broader variety of publications; presented in a carousel, the feed also includes reports that friends and public figures are reacting to.

Facebook delays rollout of TV-like programming until late July at the earliest; the original content was slotted to begin emerging in April, and then were delayed until June; sources claim the delays are due to complications of how to present the content. Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN and others are to produce original content.

Facebook releases Live Chat with Friends and Live With; the first lets friends have private chats while viewing live videos together; eliminates public comment streams; Live With lets two broadcasters, using two devices, stream together; displays as a picture-in-picture view.

Google begins selling Jamboard in the US; the 4K digital whiteboard costs $5k; requires a $600 annual support plan (discount available to early adopters); rolling stand is $1,350; will be available in the UK and Canada this summer.

Google launches Data GIF Maker, a tool for visualizing competing data; users can create GIFs that compare product sales, search trends, and more. Try it here.

Google launches Attribution (beta): a free, device- and channel-agnostic tool for evaluating marketing campaigns; uses machine learning to determine how multiple ads (email, video, banner, etc) contribute to a given sale; enterprise version will be paid.

Google to use credit card transaction data to link online ad campaigns with offline purchases; data includes account numbers, purchase amounts and times of transactions.

Pinterest updates is Lens visual search feature to support dish recognition; a user can take a photo of a meal (or use an existing photo) to search for recipes, food information and similar dishes; also updated Search with food filters, so users can view results based on dietary requirements, cook time and ingredients.

Cross-border payments service TransferWise launches Borderless, an account for holding up to 15 different currencies; aimed at SMEs and freelancers, it can be connected to a local bank account, allowing users to send and receive global payments without paying fees.

Quora begins testing video answers; respondents in the limited beta can record and post their answer via iOS and Android; responses are viewable to all.

Instagram begins testing an archiving feature, allowing users to hold onto posts they don’t necessarily want to delete; images can be restored to a user’s timeline at a later date.

GitHub launches a marketplace for development tools; enables users to purchase integrations and provides a central location for managing them; the company also announced that its GraphQL API, which provides an alternative to REST APIs for requesting GitHub data, is ready for production use.

Amazon launches Channels in the UK and Germany; the service lets Prime members sign up for a range of live TV networks, including Discovery and Eurosport.

Amazon launches the Echo Look app on iOS and Android; Look is a hands-free selfie camera (currently invite only); the app allows users to save photos of their outfits and create look books; Style Check feature uses machine learning and advice from fashion specialists to help users assemble outfits.

Amazon launches AmazonFresh Pickup for Prime members in Seattle; lets users order groceries online, which can be collected from a brick-and-mortar location in the city’s Ballard neighborhood; Amazon uses numberplate recognition to match customers with their orders. Also opens its first bookstore in NYC; the 4k square foot location follows stores in Seattle and San Diego; books are displayed with their covers facing out and online reviews below.

IFTTT introduces a Maker tier, letting users create more advanced applets; developers can connect two or more services, and publish them to their own Maker profile for others to use.

DJI announces $500 Spark, a mini drone that weighs 0.6 pounds; features a 12MP camera, 1080p video, object tracking, and gesture controls; available to preorder now, ships Jun 15.

Garmin announces the VIRB 360: a waterproof, 360-degree camera that captures 3D audio; features sensors for measuring speed, distance travelled, altitude more; data can be overlaid on spherical photos and video; available in June for $800.

IKEA says its smart light system Trådfri will be compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa and HomeKit by the fall; support for existing devices is also expected via a software update.

Uber is testing a new pricing system that charges riders what it thinks they will pay; the company makes use of machine-learning to work out the pricing structure based on the route and time of day.

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elproducto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product Manager’s perspective.

📚 Good reads

Obsess over customers, not rivals. HBR dives into why Competition is not the same as Competitors, the risks of a “me too” approach, and presents some examples from MyFitnessPal.

Designing your value-proposition. Nathan Kinch looks at few tools and techniques to help defining (or challenging) a product’s value-proposition.

40 ways to invest in more resilient teams. John Cutler featured at Hackernoon with a bunch of simple and actionable things you / your teams can do to maximise the odds of long run success. PS. I love his cartoons on power dynamics.

A guide to create personas. Ben Ralph has put together a handy step-by-step guide (including examples and resources) to create personas.

🎯 Quote of the week

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” — Louis L’Amour

Written by

Full-time learner, product stuff, “triathlete” & global traveller. Creating cool products @ Revolut, formerly @ Booking.com and @ Just Eat.

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