The bright spot of my day was reading Mat Newman's blog entry where he shared his discovery that some (many?) iPhone applications are merely small form factor web sites that can easily be turned into Notes sidebar applications. Genius!
And, as if I was screaming at a Packer receiver on TV to catch the football, I find myself screaming at my computer hoping for Lotus to jump on this as another available stepping stone for them to consumerize Notes. A world of iPhone applications, targeted at consumers, can be ported to the Notes client with relatively small effort. But why would someone want these apps in their Notes client on a home PC? The answer is in a comment that Mat put on that same blog entry regarding how he wired the Qantas plug-in to live text.
"I've even gone one step further with the Qantas mobile Timetable and wired http://www.qantas.com.au/flightinfo/do/dyn/SchedReturnMobile to a live-text recogniser for dates. That way, you get an email from a customer notifying you of a date to be somewhere and you just click the live text to see the flight schedule"And with that, Mat graduates to S-U-P-E-R Genius (said in a Wiley E. Coyote voice, of course).
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. THIS makes Lotus Notes smarter email. This IS a competitive differentiator.
I also noticed when I installed the Symphony 3 beta 3 this week, not only does it include a LotusLive Connector that I had been begging for, but they also put a plug for LotusLive on the home page of Symphony when you open it.
In my own self-aggrandizing way, I'm saying to myself, "yeah, I gave them those suggestions when I blogged about it in January." (I also believe Charles Woodson intercepted several passes last year because I shouted at the TV that the ball was coming.)
So in keeping with my delusions, I'm going back to what I hope are the next steps Lotus takes.
- Fix the Notes IMAP experience. Get it easy to setup for any end-user, and have it use the standard 8.x mail template.
- Bundle the Notes client with Symphony for free, as long as it is used for Personal use only and is not connected to a Domino server.
- Open a Lotus app store (and with Mat's great insight) preload it with every iPhone app you can find that uses this small form-factor, and enhance them with live text recognizers.
- Open the app store to BPs, validate their apps, and handle the transactions for them.
- Market the bloody heck out of the consumer product.
- Lastly, stop the talk that 'migrating email does not make business sense' and start pushing the message that smart companies need to migrate -- to LOTUS NOTES!