I admit, I’m nostalgic. I’ll watch old re-runs of Happy Days and pine over a bit of the simplicity. Part of that simplicity is simply walking up to a jukebox and putting in a quarter, selecting your song. Now, I’m actually too young to remember doing that in a soda shop. But I’m pretty sure I’ve played with smaller versions on tables in old diners, truck stops, and of course, in the bowling alley where my parents spent their Saturday nights while I was a kid.

There’s something just fun about a jukebox- flipping through the songs, seeing which are new, which are old, and which make you laugh.

I can’t decide if a new app I’ve come across today makes me happy or sad. You certainly no longer have to get out of your seat to do anything in this world (Wall-E anyone?). At the same time, there’s a bit of a power trip attached to this app as well.

TouchTunes allows you to control the juke box in your local hangout – from your phone.

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Basically, the app controls fda warning electronic cigarette a TouchTunes juke box, which is located in over 60,000 locations. The app found plenty of installations, all within .3 miles of my San Francisco apartment. Somehow, I’ve just never noticed the juke boxes.

The first step is to check in at any Touch Tunes location. From there, you add money (no juke box is free) to your Touch Tunes wallet and drop some credits into the juke box, electronically. From there, you can choose the music you want play, searching by song and/or artist. You can even compete with other users to become the “House DJ”, although I’d think the person who puts the most credits in would get that designation.  The cost to play a song depends on the song itself and the location in which you are playing it. The more you buy, the more you earn – TouchTunes awards you credits when you buy credits. I haven’t experienced this yet – I need to get out there and visit a juke box first, I suppose.

The TouchTunes app is free and available for both iOS and Android.

Facebook is where we often post minutia of our lives and therefore annoy everyone. “I had the best latte of my life this morning.” I mean, who really cares?

Now you can take those small triumphs and post them on Happier.  Maybe you saw a bluebird or a butterfly; maybe you saw a commercial that made you smile. Just share it on Happier. Happier is for positivity, and that is reinforced by positive comments. I would think it would be zero tar electronic cigarettes impossible to be sad when visiting happier. It might be possible to be annoyed.

Happier

In that case, try Hater.

Hater is an app we first saw advertised at SxSWi this past year. Annoyed with the Kardashians? Hate that she named her child North West. Complain about it on Hater. Irritated with traffic? Complain on Hater.

Hater App

Where does this leave Facebook? I suppose it’s everything – and everyone – else. I kinda hate that. Maybe I ought to start using Hater.

bitcoinsThe Winklevoss twins have ventured into the bitcoin controversy with their recent request that bitcoins be regulated so any investor could trade them, just like stocks.

What are bitcoins? Bitcoins are digital currency — there is no physical bitcoin to put in your pocket. Bitcoins are de-centralized — meaning the network of bitcoin users control how they are used. There are only 21 million bitcoins available, with about 11 million currently in circulation. A few online stores and websites are accepting them, but mostly the currency is being traded within the community of users.

The Winklevi are trying to up the ante by fast-tracking bitcoins to higher levels of scrutiny and regulation. Since bitcoins are volatile at this point, increased regulatory oversight may stabilize them and make them less of an investment risk. And at this point, you should consider bitcoins very risky.

There is an ongoing fight to capitalize on the “about-to-boom” world of mobile payments. Bitcoins promise to offer Electronic Cigarettes instant, mobile transactions by making payments easier and more secure in both the physical and virtual world. Other companies are trying to position their mobile payment solutions as well. The mobile payments market, or the “digital wallet” as its commonly referred, is a soon-to-explode industry valued at over $90 billion by 2017. It’s inevitable that we will use our mobile devices to make payments and fulfill transactions in the future — diminishing the need and value of printed currency.

The key to the future of bitcoins, however, is to convince a broader audience than geeks and hackers that the digital currency is safe and stable enough to invest in and use.

Historically, humans have used almost anything as currency: flowers, chickens, paper, metal and other material. The big question is: If you trade with digital currency and receive goods or services from using it, does it matter that its anything more than a mathematical sequence or a virtual algorithm?

The US Constitution doesn’t say anything about an implicit “right to privacy” although the Supremes have been quite vocal since the 70′s trying to figure it out for us. As we begin to rely on our mobile devices for more and more of our everyday living, both privacy and security become more and more important. How much of your financial data is easily accessible to anyone that can hack your 4-digit unlock code? With the ubiquity of social networking, what you disclose to others is also becoming hard to control. It’s hard now not to disclose what you’re doing, photos of where you’ve been and chats with your friends. All of that info is now in the cloud, just one Anonymous hack away. Your digital past is also your digital future.

To your rescue is a series of apps and services that promise to keep everything you do under wraps — if you want. Some services like political future! With Snapchat you can take photos or short videos and then decide how long your friends can view them. After 10 seconds or less, they disappear forever (at least we think they do). Snapchat has exploded over the last year with 100 million photos and videos exchanged every day. Facebook even jumped on the bandwagon for a bit with their own app, Poke, which failed to take off.

Other apps like Gryphn, Wickr and Burn Note also promise to give you more control over what you share and for how long. They all promise deeper levels of security and privacy. Temporary social media allows users to be more spontaneous and authentic. Think of it as the hallway conversations you have with your friends, or the “in-passing” remarks you make to your neighbors… dialoge that’s important, but doesn’t need to be part of your digital record for all eternity. Now, you can potentially breathe a little easier knowing there’s a way to control some of what you’re broadcasting. Or, you could just log off, I guess.

Why does a company that started by selling books continue to disrupt so many industries they’re not first considered to be experts in? Amazon has evolved from being an online bookseller to becoming not only “the world’s marketplace” but one of the world’s largest providers of cloud services — creating an entirely new service offering that just a few years ago didn’t even exist. And, in the meantime, becoming a high-tech company that rivals the ones expected to innovate in this area.

That may be the primary reason Amazon has been able to take-off in new markets. First, its CEO, Jeff Bezos is not concerned with short-term profits. His vision is what more CEOs need to reflect on: “We like to invent and do new things, and I know for sure that long term orientation is essential for invention because you’re going to have a lot of failures along the way.” Too many American companies seek just short-term profit, and don’t focus on more than 3 or 4 quarters. If Kindle, Amazon Web Services and Amazon Prime were required to show profits in their first 3 or 4 quarters, they would have never even gone to market.

True disruption comes from those that jump into a market not worried about cost. They usually go in with the lowest cost and quality offering and build from there. Ultimately, becoming a market Online Blackjack leader means that you have to continue to innovate and disrupt, or you become less a disruptor and just a profit-making machine. Consider the fate of Polaroid, Atari, RIM and Digital Equipment Corporation: all were once disruptors in their respective industries. Once they reached the top, they stumbled. They stumbled because they stopped innovating and disrupting. Amazon continues to discover new markets, innovate products and services, and is restless once they begin to make inroads into a new market. Apple and Google are the obvious candidates for finding it difficult to create market breakthroughs while servicing the markets they currently dominate.

Disruption is based on creating new and valuable products and services in an uncertain market. Once a company gets too comfortable in their market, they will eventually find it difficult to innovate and disrupt. The challenge is to foster a culture that values creativity and innovation and offers a process that encourages its people to ask questions, uncover new possibilities, and explore without being driven by profit only. Amazon has shown it’s willing and able to enter any market it thinks it can add value to. And then it works from within and continually innovates and disrupts. Companies like Apple, Google and even Microsoft should never forget what happened to the companies that lost their hunger for innovation. Maybe they should listen to Jeff a little more.