Archive for October, 2010

If you want to make a zillion dollars…
October 11, 2010

I am shocked at how much people are on their phones. Shocked. I’m a tech nerd and love my wide range of gadgets, but I always thought that the “always plugged in” crowd was more of a niche then the mainstream right now. Not so.

I was at LAX a month ago after a long day of meetings. WHile waiting to board, I looked around and it seemed that people over the age of 60 were reading magazines or talking with someone nearby. People between 40 and 60 were on laptops or checking Blackberries. And most EVERYONE under 40 was on a mobile device, probably checking Twitter or Facebook or playing Angry Birds or Sudoku. I don’t mean that I saw a few people on iPhones. I mean almost EVERYONE waiting at the gate was doing something on a mobile device.

If you want to make a mint of money, you’d be wise to realize that pretty soon the desktop is going to be replaced by the smartphone as the consumer platform of choice. People will do more on their phones then they do on their PCs as the latter is relegated to work functions and typing and the former becomes the key device in our lives for productivity, shopping, organization, and communication. And in realizing this, I would suggest aspiring developers in the consumer space focus on the mobile platform first and foremost and leave the desktop to someone else. As Wired eloquently put it, the internet is just now gaining steam but the world wide web is dead. Soon, your devices will communicate via the internet for all the things you want and need to do, only you won’t have to open a browser and type in “www.” to get started.

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The new world of content.
October 11, 2010

The times they are a changing. Well, they pretty much always are but we’re in a really interesting/cool/unique time with regard to how we create and consume information. Economics can be defined as the science of the creation, distribution, and consumption of goods. In that regard, the new “content economy” is a fascinating space.

On Sunday mornings I usually get up early with my 13 week old daughter and my wife sleeps in. I usually surf around between old episodes of Law and Order or CSI with the occasional Sportscenter rerun thrown in. Yesterday, I changed it up a little and decided to watch some shows on my Roku streaming TV box thingamajig. The Roku is a device that streams Netflix, Amazon, old shows, UFC fights, etc. over the internet thus cutting out the cable provider. I picked mine up for $60 on Woot a month or so ago. Anyway, I grabbed the Roku out of my big TV room and hooked it up to the TV in the living room (time: < 60 seconds). Got a connection to my Wifi network (<30 seconds) and accessed my Netflix account (<10 seconds).

My Sister in Law had recommended the show "Dexter" to me and, knowing that its about a serial killer, I figured my wife wouldn't like it. But I knew it was on Netflix via streaming. So I fired up "Season 1, Episode 1" and watched, followed by episodes 2 and 3. Pretty good.

Anyway, the whole experience made me wonder why I hadn't gotten a device like this before. The experience was painless, I was able to watch something I wanted to see (as opposed to a rerun of something I'd seen before) and there were no commercials. True, netflix costs $9 a month, but that is NOTHING compared to the value gained from the experience.

My experience Sunday was, in my view, exactly where television is heading. The studios and networks would be wise to realize that they are living on borrowed time with the old model. The new models of distribution – mobile phones, streaming devices, tablets – is to be taken seriously.