• Obama & The Entrepreneur's Creed
    President Obama's State of the Union address last week gave a big shout-out to entrepreneurs and innovation. As someone who served in Washington and has been an entrepreneur ever since -- minus a brief stint with a large media company -- I found that his message really resonated and was an important acknowledgment of the contribution we entrepreneurs have made and will continue to make in revitalizing our economy. There is something I've come to think of as the Entrepreneur's Creed, which has helped me to navigate some fairly choppy waters. Here it is, for your edification and amusement:
  • The State of the Union Address -- This Constitutionally Mandated Speech Brought To You By...
    Here's an American reality for you: We expect commercialization. Sponsorships make the wheels go 'round (just ask NASCAR). We're OK with this, as long as you leave certain sacred cows out of it. Elected officials would have to head that list. But I submit to you this: perhaps it's time to end this separation of consumer and state. I'm not suggesting out-and-out sponsorship of politicians. No, let's just leave that behind the invisible curtain of lobbyists. It doesn't have to be all that overt, nor should it line the pockets of the politicians themselves. What it would do is allow …
  • The Emperor Has No Clothes, But We Have Our 'Skins'
    It was my intention today to provide a rationale for the "convergence" (there's that word again) of the key elements of direct-to-consumer marketing with today's fully functional, data-driven digital platforms. But I'm not going to do that. Instead, consistent with my belief that we toil happily in the MediaTech business, where devices are key, but content is king, I happened to run into some content that gives even a fully clothed emperor a bad name.
  • Got Ideas? Feel Like Innovating? TV Needs You
    Consider this: For all the talk about how many advertising dollars are migrating online these days, there's still no bigger ad bucket than TV. Advertising on television accounts for about $70 billion in spending per year. Yet advertising on TV is still the least innovative ad medium around.
  • Comcast and NBC: The Evolution Will Be Televised
    Please forgive me if I'm not shaken to my core over Comcast's acquisition of NBCU. There's been so much written in the past few days about why this is bad for us as consumers. Comcast, the distribution source, will now control massive amounts of content. It will certainly be poised to create a chokehold over what consumers watch and how they watch it. Prices will go up. Net neutrality will suffer. The new company will be able to suppress content from competitors and favor its own.All of that is possible -- maybe probable, even with some "voluntary" restrictions imposed by …
  • Word-A-Week: More On Types of Set-Top Boxes
    Last week we began with defining Set-Top Box, which is not as simple a task as it sounds. Generically, these boxes span the range from Analog (those that can only deliver data in one direction which is to the box) and Digital (those that have the ability to deliver data in two directions, which is to and from the box). Because they have the ability to deliver data back from the box, it is only the Digital Set-Top Boxes that can provide Set-Top-Box data. Digital Set-Top Boxes vary in level of sophistication, which can impact the amount and quality of …
  • Thanks, Steve
    small group of disruptive technologists and I spent the day yesterday in Ft. Myers, Fla. where we had the chance to dine at the Edison House. Pictures of Thomas Edison and friends donned the walls, and as we all reclined there, using our iPhones and iPads to communicate and demonstrate our visions, there was something very eerie about the whole experience. Edison's awarded patents (1,093) have touched all of our lives, and I'm certain that almost nothing we did yesterday could have happened as it did, had Mr. Edison not graced us with his presence (and vision).
  • Warning Labels
    We're living through a unique period in the media industry. In fact, I don't think we should refer to the "media" industry, at least for a time, until we rethink the assumptions now transforming it. It has become the mediatech industry. No element of media is unaffected by enabling technology, certainly not TV, and because tech is sexy and smart and not the core competence of most practitioners, it seems to be emerging sometimes on its own. It might need a new warning label: "Functionality does not enable provider to make money."
  • Nielsen IPO: A Must-See For Those In TV
    Nielsen is gearing up to IPO, and I am on the edge of my seat. The media-measurement category is red hot. Arbitron (radio ratings) is trading at a three-year high; so is comScore (Internet ratings). The upstart Rentrak (video store and VOD ratings) is at a five-year high, and the creation of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) invites forward-looking innovation. Nielsen is a critically important company in the media world: the bellwether for the industry and as close as you get to a one-stop shop for TV's $70 billion in media planning, buying and validation. And if …
  • The Real Future Of Television Is The Present
    Last week, I wrote a "review" of all the magical things that "happened" in 2011 in the media world. It was an exercise in satirical absurdism. Chances are, "Celebrity Pottery Wheel" will not be the tipping point for 3D TV. The actual changes for 2011 are likely to be much more ludicrous.
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