“Information Transformation”: video of Robert Tercek’s speech at Storage Visions at CES 2011

At CES 2011, I gave the opening address to a gathering of executives from the storage industry.  My talk, titled “Information Transformation”, provided examples and vivid metaphors to illustrate the size and scope of the massive change that is occurring right now.  The volume of information generated by our society is so vast that it leaves most people numb: my goal was to reawaken the audience to the possibilities that lie ahead in this new era.  Follow the link to to see the video. Continue Reading

How to Prepare for Your Next Career: Video of my guest appearance on “This Week In Careers”

This week I was a guest on “This Week In Careers.”   Host Lisa Mandell interviewed me about career opportunities of the future.  I spoke about several industries that will grow this decade and the steps to take now to prepare for the jobs of the future.

In a wide-ranging interview, we covered several topics, including several  lessons that I’ve learned in my 22 year career as a TV director, game designer, creative executive and entrepreneur:
  • Two essential steps that every young person should take in college to prepare for the future;
  • How to make yourself irreplaceable at work by becoming an in-house expert;
  • Three books that will dramatically change your perspective about your next career;
  • How to evaluate the tradeoff between career advancement versus earning a graduate degree;
  • The importance of international experience:  the benefit of gaining new cultural perspectives;
  • Four industries that are poised for explosive growth this decade.
This Week In is a bold new startup founded by serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis and a smart young CEO  Mark Jeffrey.    Online video is growing fast, and this company is doing exciting things.   They’ve mastered the art of rapid video production and low cost distribution, which are two evolutionary skillsets necessary to thrive in the online ecosystem.   It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on

Posted via email from Think Twice

The Architecture of Cooperation versus The Architecture of Coercion


Today I will make an address at the Digital Directions conference, presented by Fairfax Digital in Sydney, Australia. My comments will focus on the collision between two distinctly different environments for innovation in the digital domain: closed and open systems. Or, as I prefer to think of them, the architecture of coercion and the architecture of cooperation.

I am inspired by a quotation from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: “Architecture is the will of the age conceived in spatial terms.”   Mies was referring to the radically re-conceived conventions of physical buildings in the post war era:   but his comment provides a useful metaphor for the dynamic tension between open and closed platforms in the digital media environment.

Internet companies and web visionaries sometimes take for granted the open architecture of the Web: open standards, open source software, open platforms and open APIs. This openness makes possible the blistering rate of innovation and the intense competition that characterizes the Web.

But the history of the first century of electronic mass media is a story of closed systems, proprietary platforms, private infrastructure. As cable TV pioneer John Malone observed, a closed garden is the best way to maximize revenue that has ever been devised.

And therefore, it’s a safe bet that the old giants from traditional media to do everything they possibly can to rebuild their closed systems on the Internet. The collision between new media and old media on the Web can be interpreted as a clash between two architectures. I created this chart to illustrate how the two competing architectures shape the process of innovation.

Which architecture best expresses the will of our age?

Posted via email from Think Twice

Tale of A Death Foretold: What TV can learn from the demise of the music industry

Ten years ago, music consumers went on strike.   They decided en masse that they no longer wished to consume music bundled in the form of albums.   The result:  sales of recorded music today are 64% lower than their peak in 2000.

The leaders of the television industry should take a long careful look at this analysis of the music industry’s demise on Business Insider.

It’s hard to get rich selling one item at a time.  The entertainment industry always makes its fattest margins when entertainment titles are packaged into a bundle:  songs are bundled into albums, TV shows are bundled into channels, and cable channels are bundled into bouquets when they are sold into cable systems.   Even movies are packaged into bundles that are force fed to distributors. Continue Reading

Real Time Bidding and Behavioral Targeting Will Change Mass Advertising

Merchant Joe Wanamaker’s famously groused  “I know that half my advertising dollars are wasted but I just don’t know which half!”
The age-old promise of the web is to eliminate inefficiency in ad spending by targeting users with precision, but for much of the commercial web’s 15-year existence, that hasn’t been easy.   Most display advertising on the web was bought and sold on an impression basis just like traditional mass media.
That’s changing now, and it has big implications for all media.   Wanamaker’s complaint is about to be answered. Continue Reading

Meetings with Remarkable People: Kathy Eldon of the Creative Visions Foundation

I spent today with Kathy Eldon, the founder and President of the Creative Visions Foundation, at her spectacular beachside home in Malibu.

Since 1998, Kathy and her small team have accomplished something pretty impressive:  they’ve fostered more than 75 activists who are committed to making change in a variety of places around the world.   They’re getting results.  And they are growing fast. Continue Reading

The Elephant in the Room at Humanity +

Humanity+ is living up to the mission of raising awareness about the next frontier for information technology:  human biology.  But is the organization ready to take the next step in its own evolution?
This weekend’s Humanity + conference at CalTech was satisfying, especially if you’ve been craving a hefty serving of scientific research combined with imaginative vision, polite debate and open speculation about the future of humanity.
At H+, speakers from a variety of fields share their perspectives with a highly empowered audience that doesn’t hesitate to challenge a point or gently correct an inaccuracy.   During the coffee breaks, the lively dialog continues in the corridor.   So the conference achieves a major goal, which is to stimulate the exchange of ideas and information in a respectful and convivial way.
I gave the opening talk on the subject of Information Transformation, which was Continue Reading

Looking for suggestions on how best to put a presentation on the web

I would welcome advice from you, dear reader, about how best to record a presentation and put it on my blog.

During the past six months, I have given a series of speeches that track the way that modern society was shaped by technology.   These talks were pretty ambitious:   my recent talk at Merging+Media covered 500 years of technology in a whirlwind survey.
Lately, I’ve received several requests from people who would like to Continue Reading

Favorite Things: Holiday Gift Guide for GadgetGrrls and Women on the Go

After receiving several encouraging messages from female readers who liked my 2010 Guys’ Gift Guide, I thought I’d follow up with my holiday gift suggestions for women.   Herewith, a preview of the goodies I am considering placing under the tree for the lady in my life.  Some of these are pure concept, not available in stores yet, so I am still on a quest to Continue Reading

Favorite Things: Ten Must-Buy 2010 Holiday Gifts for Geeky Guys, Roadwarriors and Modern Men

Each year at this time, people ask me if I have any suggestions for cool holiday gifts.  Without further ado, allow me to present my very own version of “My Favorite Things” for the world-traveling technology lover.

$700 or less online
Smallest most powerful camera that uses interchangeable lenses.   Half the price and half the size of an SLR with comparable picture quality.  Giant 14 megapixel CMOS sensor is the secret to Continue Reading