Archive for April, 2011

Last week the McKinsey Quarterly released an interesting report discussing the future of Web-centricity. The authors believe there will be a migration to HTML 5 that will create a more seamless integration of devices, thereby increasing the prevalence of smartphones. This topic sounds dry and uninteresting, but if this change happens it could have a critical effect on the types of devices we use and the way we consume media.

I use a BlackBerry Tour, an iPad and a MacBook laptop. Each serves a different role and each has a different capacity for web access through a browser. The least portable, the Macbook, is the most powerful and can access almost any website through Safari. The iPad is also fast and can access most websites, but none that run on Adobe Flash. And my BlackBerry, although portable and convenient, has difficulty supporting almost any website that offers video and multimedia content.

These limitations with smartphone and tablet browsers led most web based services to offer applications for mobile devices and tablets. Apps provide you with a faster and more enhanced product on your smartphone or tablet than you would typically receive through the device’s browser. Because the browsers on my BlackBerry and iPad are so limited, my use of these devices is almost exclusively through my apps.

The McKinsey authors, Kormaz, Lee and Park, predict that most web services will begin building their applications on HTML 5; a browser platform that can deliver the same speed and usability that an app can. HTML 5, they argue, increases the processing power of tablets and smartphones, and narrows the gap between these devices and laptops/PCs. They estimate HTML 5 will be used for more than 50% of mobile apps within the next three to five years. According to Kormaz, Lee and Park, this shift will result in the browser becoming the “universal computing platform” and more seamless integration between your smartphone, tablet and PC.

So what does this mean for you? That depends on who you are. Consumers will benefit from seamless integration across their multiple devices and will find the smartphone playing a larger role in their life. Software developers will no longer have to build specialized apps and will no longer pay distribution fees to Apple and Google for the use of that app. If you provide a web service that involves video and multimedia, this will make your product easier to access and better integrated across your users’ devices.

The article goes into further detail regarding the effects of this change. I would highly suggest you give it a read.

If you are curious to see the other side of the debate, read The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet by Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff in Wired Magazine. I won’t go into what they say in this post, but Anderson is one of my favorite writers and it is definitely worth checking out.

Read Full Post     |     Comments Off

Thanks to the dedication of our growing base of customers, we are expanding YouRenew’s footprint and looking for new hires to help us grow our capacity to support the sustainable practices of our customers.

Candidates will have the opportunity to work in an innovative and rapidly changing field, gain experience in electronics handling, and work in an entrepreneurial environment.

The role consists of receiving, testing, and repurposing used electronic devices. Tasks include function testing, data erasing, and cosmetic condition assessing devices, as well as other operations related responsibilities. The position will be based in New Haven, Connecticut.


Please submit a resume and cover letter via email to

Read Full Post     |     Comments Off believes the highest form of recycling is reuse. It would seem a Japanese artist, Yuma Fujimaki, is of the same philosophy. Mr. Fujimaki has found an original solution to the growing problem of what to do with end of life electronics by starting a business in which he uses old electronics to craft jewelry. The eclectic pieces use every part of old electronic motherboards and peripherals to create some striking pieces of art. He has made rings, necklaces, brooches, and pendants – all out of what would otherwise become e-waste.

Its refreshing to see individuals around the globe attempting to find ways to reduce the millions of tons of used electronics that end up in landfills every year. Please keep in mind before you smash your old iPod to make some new cuff links: Mr. Fujimaki’s venture is relevant only for electronics that no longer work. For those devices that still have life, we unabashedly recommend that You Renew them!

Read Full Post     |     Comments Off

It was recently announced that Walter Isaacson, who has written biographies on Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, will be releasing a biography on Steve Jobs in early 2012. The biography will be based upon three years of interviews with family, colleagues, competitors and, most notably, Jobs himself.

The title: “iSteve: The Book of Jobs”

I could not think of a more appropriate title. Like a Randian protagonist, Jobs’ phenomenal success in business has inspired a cult-like following. He has revolutionized the markets for personal computers, mobile devices, music consumption, animated movies and brought to life a new category of consumer electronics with the iPad (a category that Apple now dominates beyond question). Apple, which he co-founded when he was 21 years old, is now the third largest company in the world.

And his personal hills and valleys should also add a fascinating element to the biography. For instance, his inability to graduate from college, his controversial termination from Apple and his more recent health issues. For a fascinating glimpse into his life I would recommend watching his legendary 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech (I personally like the famous calligraphy story).

There are a lot of Jobs fans at YouRenew so I can assure you that many of us will be reading this biography next year – on iPads.


Read Full Post     |     Comments Off

Yesterday, HTC surpassed Nokia in market valuation. This result is indicative of the exploding smartphone market in which HTC has become a leader.

Part of HTC’s success has stemmed from its ability to produce cool phones that move at lightning speeds and have user friendly touch screens. But what may be even more critical to its growth is its successful adoption of the Google Android operating system.

Fred Wilson, a NYC-based venture capitalist, writes a daily blog that has become popular within the YouRenew office.  This year he has dedicated several posts to explaining why he thinks Android will become the dominant mobile operating system. To his credit, he had predicted Android’s rise back in October, and has so far been right.  (If you have not read his blog, it is insightful and a pleasure to read. I would suggest checking it out.)

But HTC’s success has also been a result of worldwide growth in the smartphone market. While Nokia was making cheap durable phones that were, until recently, popular in the developing world, HTC was producing high-end smartphones like the HTC Incredible. Global shipments of smartphones have grown at more than double the pace of the greater mobile device market according to Gartner (72% and 32% growth, respectively), creating opportunities for HTC as a leader in the smartphone space.

In a previous post, I wrote about the developing world’s current transition to smartphones from cheap phones with no internet access. This has largely been because these countries have an insignificant PC legacy and people in these markets have begun using mobiles as the primary means of accessing the internet. At YouRenew we have seen the growing international demand for used smartphones and do not expect this growth to recede anytime soon.

Nokia has been struggling to compete in the smartphone market, which should make their future uncertain as the rest of the world follows the developed countries in adopting the use of high end devices. The company has noted this weakness and has recently partnered with Microsoft in an attempt to improve their smartphone products.

Read Full Post     |     Comments Off