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great piece, and I love having Mr. Andreessen excited about hardware - but JFYI the phrase "It’s called hardware for a reason. it's hard" has been around for a long time. when i first got into building consumer electronics devices in the early 2000s that phrase was already frequently used...
1 year, 6 months ago on Hardware is the new software? Nope, says Marc Andreessen. “It’s called hardware for a reason — it is hard”
@msilverman of course, to create a book, one needs... a keyboard. total investment to create a book, other than time/food while writing? zero. maybe you pay for an editor.
how about a TV show? not quite the same. the comparison doesn't make much sense if you really think about it from any perspective *other* than the pure consumer view and throw some blinders on...
1 year, 7 months ago on Screwing cable TV one show at a time
As a customer - the other reason WB needs stores is because it's nearly impossible to make a purchase decision with something so personal as glasses online. After visiting a store, and trying on about 90% of the styles, I now have a list I can use for any future purchase, but my experience online was pretty unsatisfying without it...
1 year, 7 months ago on Why ecommerce hotshot Warby Parker needs old school retail stores
sure, there's a lot of experimentation happening with social media for the tv networks, but to use the phrase "Saving Live TV" is a bit much. the reality is Live TV is alive and well, in fact, it's doing great for most demographics. even in DVR households less than 1/2 of all TV watched is NOT live, and that's not, in any way, due to social tv.
headline and doom-and-gloom premise aside, i think it's a good piece on where social media and TV are converging...
2 years ago on From Twitter to GetGlue, Social Media Chatter Is Saving Live TV
@lindocast actually, real world prosecutors are fairly bothered by shows like CSI and Law and Order, as they've impacted how juries expect DNA samples, etc on every case.
while the TV show doesn't impact us in the community on a day-to-day basis, it most certainly doesn't represent what we do to the rest of the world. do I really care? no. but can it bother me? absolutely - and it does.
2 years, 4 months ago on Oooof! Repeat of the “Real Housewives” wildly outperforms in the old time slot of “Startups: Silicon Valley”
I'm pretty sure the people calling failure "success" are the ones writing the blog posts... From the entrepreneurs I know, they "get" it's failure, and are happy to wake up to a new job as opposed to, you know, nothing...
2 years, 8 months ago on The Acqui-hire Scourge: Whatever Happened to Failure in Silicon Valley?
@NoahWolfe actually, the percentage of the population who uses over the air antennas is 11%, so "most" is pretty much on the money here...
2 years, 9 months ago on Don’t Root for Aereo, the World’s Most Ridiculous Start-up
For me, this is an "again" - Farhad - you are one of my favorite 5 writers *on the internet*. Yet for the 2nd time you've written about a topic related to TV and startups you've been just way off. As a guy with about 15 years TV tech experience I can solidly say: Aereo is the *single* potential disruptor to the TV industry in the entire startup ecosystem.
Now for a bunch of completely different reasons than yours, I think they have a massive uphill battle and are actually (1) likely to be acquired but (2) unlikely to pull off the disruption. The arguments made above simply don't hold water, and are generally part of the problem with techies writing about TV - you are so far from the "norm" that you cannot relate to either the typical TV watcher nor the TV industry (and why it's so ridiculously successful).
For all the folks pointing to Apple, Msft, etc as their models - this advice, which I mostly agree with - applies to *startups*. In startupland, your competitor is rarely the reason you'll fail. I don't know if I agree about "helping" per se, but I certainly do advise against "actively competing with" early stage competition...
2 years, 9 months ago on What To Do When Someone Copies Your Startup
@AngieJones equally good shows like.... ?
2 years, 10 months ago on HBO’s Future is in Standalone Streaming, It Just Doesn’t Know It Yet
@JohnsonJosh correct - mad men is way behind Walking Dead in terms of audience size
@freshfunk @evietoo fair point, and well said. one key issue not addressed: production costs around TV do not support the business model of a la carte content. at present, this $ is effectively replacing the income lost due to DVD sales dropping (a direct correlation to the streaming world, btw). if it *ever* dips into mainline income, you should expect to see a la carte content options dry up to much much slower windows (think 120+ days post airtime). this is their bread and butter, and they will not let it bleed out the way you propose.
@freshfunk @evietoo except people are NOT cutting the cable yet in droves. the numbers do NOT support it, other than a single report so far, and even it is debunkable.
So a company that makes FOUR BILLION dollars a year, with NO customer service, and no direct customer acquisition cost is going to give that up because... there are highly contested signs of cable "dying"? or is it because of the sure-thing known as web surveying and hashtags?
I'm not saying it's not going to happen one day, but (1) not for the reasons stated here, and (2) not in the timeframe implied either.
Farhad - I *love* your writing, but this is just not on par. The nuance and depth of how the cable/TV industry works are just not as trivial as implied here, nor for any other person who is taking a similar stance. For HBO to depart from their current business would require a belief that they could IMPROVE upon it by doing so. This is unlikely in the current climate, and I believe it will take a massive disruption across the TV industry for it to occur at all.
@Paul__Walsh well said, however when you write "If the movie industry is unable to adjust its biz model based on new enabling technologies and consumer expectations, that's the fault of the people at the top" you are making the same assumption that "silicon valley" makes- that the content industry (1) isn't adjusting it's business model to changing times and (2) technology should require them to make such changes.
1) they are - in many many ways. here are some examples: http://www.livedigitally.com/2012/03/29/how-the-content-industry-has-massively-adapted-to-the-internet/
2) just because there *exists* technology does not mandate change.
ultimately i think consumers have it pretty great right now, and it continues to get better. but these notions that somehow disrupting the industry at large is good for *anybody* is utterly foolish. whether we like it or not, the current flow of capital is what creates high production content. that isn't going to change. a massive dip in capital spending will unlikely result in an increase in quality programming nor an increase in consumer options...
2 years, 10 months ago on PandoDaily at D10: Why John Battelle Was So Pissed Off at Ari Emanuel Last Night
I still just don't get why Silicon Valley thinks they can walk into a $200 BILLION dollar a year industry and dictate terms, then cry about it when their efforts fail...
I could write almost a novel in response to this, but the logic is so fundamentally flawed it's laughable. Protip: raising kids takes energy (LOTS of it), and the older you are, the less you have - this is undeniable and undebatable.
I'll never, ever regret the "sacrifices" I make for work to spend time with my family. If work is really so important to them, they just shouldn't have kids ever. There's nothing wrong with that.
2 years, 11 months ago on The Greatest Hack of Them All: Family Planning
There are *literally* no signs of this kind of demise ever happening. TV and movies resemble the music and newspaper business as much as they resemble the oceanography business. Not all forms of content are the same thing.
3 years ago on What Happens After We Kill Big Media?
Yes, it's a "meritocracy" but the debate I'd have is regarding the quality of what it produces, which in my opinion is all about mediocrity. The web doesn't reward, for example, those with the most accurate, fact-based, knowledgable opinions. It rewards those with the most dramatic opinions, hence the term linkbaiting. The web also rewards speediness over truthiness, which too is a shame. The web rewards rumorspreaders, not fact-correctors...
3 years ago on The Web Isn’t a Democracy, It’s a Meritocracy