The words innovation, efficiency and multitasking may not have been invented in Silicon Valley and the other technology enclaves, but they were refined, honed, perfected in these areas. When the economy stagnated, financial analysts and economists were quick to say the PC/CE/communications industry centers of hyperactivity had lost their edge. In the U.S., they were simply no longer capable of changing the way we live/work. They couldn't be counted on to and move the economy forward. In fact, other countries were becoming the technology hotspots, generating the ideas and the products.
Kids don't watch much TV with us anymore. They use their Roku units. They log onto their favorite shows. They YouTube oldies but goodies. They watch shows from Spain, France and Mexico (one is studying French, the other Spanish). They're watching how-to YouTube segments. They watch the stuff on their smartphones and their notebooks...not the TV. That's got Tellywood worried because they don't control that much anymore. True ...the only person you hate worse than the phone person is the cable guy! How will our content life change?
Some think it is cool to set a movie, a song, a book, a game, an article free on the web. Some feel they should be paid for their creative efforts.
What the industry needs is to dip into the talent pool to find some new crusaders, some new standard bearers.
According to a Pew Research study 43 percent of the women in the U.S. call the shots.
Product/Service Recommendations, Supportâ€¦ More Than You Want to Know
It sounds almost too good to be true -- a cheap computer you can use/carry everywhere, never have to upgrade the operating system or your apps, with a battery that lasts for ... well a long, long time. Sounds great except we end up leaving all of our work in the beautiful white clouds. The clouds move. We forget which cloud has our stuff and how we get in. Worse, there's a **** storm in the cloud just as we want to get in. Yeah...who knew what grandpa taught our little Miss Sunshine while we were out of the room?? Guess we may end up with yet another device to take along... convenience sure is getting heavy!!! "No one gets left behind! No one gets left behind! Outstanding soldier!" Frank (Steve Carell) - Little Miss Sunshine (20th Century Fox - 2006)
Today's Web 2.0 social media environment offers a tremendous opportunities for companies to closely engage with customers, prospects and market segments in a positive, mutually beneficial manner. The problem arises when marketing and communications people view these new 1:1 outlets as a great marketing/sales and PR pitching opportunities. They forget that the individuals if not treated properly and with professional respect can turn and instead of being the ones who are being hunted can become the hunters. People -- regular folks -- can be mean and brutal if they are abused. Marketeers need to know the pros/cons, challenges/opportunities. Consumers need to know that they have a powerful platform to strike back and cause real damage. It requires a mutual understanding on both sides and a meaningful two way relationship otherwise...duck. "Nothing in those files makes their sacrifice worthwhile. You have to let go. We're professionals, when an operation goes bad, we tie it off. " - Ward Abbott (Brian Cox) - The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
NAB -- National Association of Broadcasters -- how the industry has changed over the years (even with attendance that was down dramatically). We've gone from huge cameras that took two men and a boy to move around the floor. A room full of sliding levers and people everywhere. Slowly, almost without seeing it the shift began and schools, health care facilities, houses of worship and even businesses could afford the lighter, more automated capabilities. Then we moved to really light stuff -- an HD camcorder, notebook and some kid doing his/her show on the fly. This year the show had obviously made the shift. Mobile and personal video took center stage...all in highdef. Gawd that's gotta really tick off the big iron folks because they've gotta sell a lot of $10,000 "facilities" to make up for lost ground. Get a life folks because our kids are directing, producing, posting their own shows...and they're good !!!! "Why do you have to paint everything so black? Suppose you got hit by a truck. Suppose the stock market crashes. Suppose Mary Pickford divorces Douglas Fairbanks. Suppose the Dodgers leave Brooklyn!" -- Joe (Tony Curtis), Some Like It Hot (United Artists -1959) Television production used to be pretty straight forward. You had HUGE, HEAVY cameras three people pushed around. In the control room you had sliders And BAM!! magically the signal went over the air. At home you turned on the set. Had dinner (families ate together then) and a half-hour later the tube was lit and you watched the Sid Caesar or Lone Ranger show. It was so cool.
Ah the power of 140 characters. It is proving dynamite for well just everyone. Even us. We've got Twitter sending us notes saying people are following our Tweets and we have yet to send one out. But we aren't really that interested in someone following our every mumble on the Internet. Some people think it's a great solution. We think its stalking. Lots of people sign up but their fall off rate is worse than the churn on some of the mobile service people. Oh it will last. Everything lasts on the Internet. 7Command Performances - Everyone it would seem loves to perform and be in the spotlight. That is certainly true with the noise that surrounds the "gotta be on" approach people have taken regarding Twitter. Problem is even though thousands join each month, only about 40 percent of them stick around after a few days. The thrill of talking to yourself in a crowd seems to get old real fast according to most studies. "Son derriere noir... c'est formidable!" - Hilary van Doren, Fame 1980, MGM Photo Source - MGM In today's budget stricken climate, it's important to recognize the prominent role that the Internet can play in a cost-effective marketing strategy. Not only is Web marketing very affordable, but it also offers you an effective vehicle for public exposure.
It started out -- as most things do in the PC/CE/communications industry -- as a "little" idea...an application store on a corner of the virtual cloud world. Apple's iPhone app store got a lot of attention, a lot of traction, heck a lot of sales. More than one company said, "hey we want/need one of those thingies! Make it so." Suddenly you can't make your way around the web without bumping into another one. No one at Apple will say but people speculate the company has racked up $45 million with their virtual store front. The shelves are stocked -- more than 30,000 "products." People bustle in and out the door -- the billionth download occurred a couple of months ago. Now new smartphones are coming out, every app store offers something, the new Palm is going to try to beat the beast and news will soon emerge from WWDC (Apple's worldwide developer's conference). Is this a beautiful, fun, exciting, occasionally profitable industry or not? It is!!! 1Open for Business - Apple wasn't the first to build a smartphone or the first to offer apps. They were just the first to make them real, real fun/interesting. Offer the right merchandise, the right mood and most people will take the bait. Source - Screen Gems Guess when you have $56 billion and change in the vault in today's economic environment you must be doing something right. "I knew it would come to this." - Beth Charles, Obsession (2009) Just wish our kids would quit contributing to the stash Apple is using to buy GPU (graphics processor unit) technology and game designer talent. A few years ago Apple decided all smartphones sucked (they're not too hot on netbooks either). So they announced the step up from the iPod (they didn't like those other MP3 players!)â€¦the iPhone.
"Victory? Victory you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen." - Yoda, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) You can forgive the news reporter who mistook President Obama's Shaka wave for a sign to call him during the inauguration. The connected candidate -- who took communications to a whole new level -- would have expected a text message or emailâ€¦not a call. Doubt if his new phone number is in the phone book anyway!
"Believe me, I was prepared for everything - except you." - Mac (Sean Connery), Entrapment (1999), 20th Century-Fox It came as a rude shock to our sonâ€¦he was no longer one of the most sought after people on the planet - the hardcore gamer. It dawned on him after watching his sister and Mom play their Wii musical instruments, exercise with the system and do a little Dancing With the Stars. While he and his comrades were busy shootin 'em up, bustin 'em up; the gaming industry had discovered there was a brave new market existed beyond teensâ€¦beyond boys! Figure 1 - Surprise - Hard core gamers have lost their "most sought after" position for video game system and software producers. Without a lot of fanfare the developers/manufacturers have found that there is a huge general and casual gamer market out thereâ€¦young/old, male/female.
We don't agree that this year's CES attendance was an indicator of an industry decline. The lower numbers were good for a lot of reasons. Unfortunately when the economic tide turns the hordes will probably be back. 3D movies/TV, mininotebooks and the constant din that we need our entertainment everywhere were the major news points for the show. Beyond that there were incremental enhancements/improvements. Paradigm shifts were not to be seen. But as CEA's Shapiro said it may be tough for a few quarters but the industry is going to innovate itself out of the global economic downturn. Flying to the seat of national government for handouts is not in the companies' DNA. Surviving and thriving in the PC/CE/content industry isn't always easy, sometimes not much fun but it is always interesting. This is one of those really, really interesting periods.
Despite what a lot of "financial experts" say (weren't they the ones who got us into this position?) things aren't real bad -- yeah they're not real great either. But people in the business/consumer computer/entertainment/communications industry have never been short on optomism or ideas. Looking up from what is near the bottom of the valley it is fairly obvious that it will be a long, hard trek back up to the top of the hill. Some firms won't survive by this time next year. Those that focus on developing a strong consumer centric strategy and lead/listen to the marketplace will be light years ahead of the competition when we enter 2010. What's it going to take? What will the the leaders do? We've got a pretty good idea...hope you agree. We know most have what it takes to survive and prosper!
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