On Sunday afternoon, I recorded a “virtual” seminar for Michael Margolis‘s REINVENTION SUMMIT which starts tomorrow. This is the premier online conference for people who are redefining themselves and their careers by using storytelling techniques to reframe their own circumstances and the meaning of their lives.
My seminar is called “THE CHOICE”. It will be the closing session for the online conference, posted this coming Friday. In my usual style, I’ve crafted a Continue Reading
Here’s the video of my recent speech at TEDxMarin. The theme of the event was “Communication Revolution”. The organizers invited me to speak about the future of television, social media and personal storytelling.
TED talks are all about passion and ideas. The ideas that get me most excited these days don’t come from big corporations or even startup ventures. They tend to come from individuals who are working outside of the context of business entirely. I decided to focus my comments on four activists who are using media to tell stories that literally change the world. I find these people very inspiring. They are some of the 85 Creative Activists sponsored by the Creative Visions Foundation, where I have been involved on a volunteer basis.
In November 2010, I was invited to participate as a speaker and moderator at the Creativity World Forum in Oklahoma City. More than 2500 attendees, including hundreds of international delegates, attended the event. We participated in workshops, discussions, exhibitions, demonstrations.
I was the moderator of a discussion on the topic of Technology Aiding Creativity, and my guests were Pranav Mistry, the creator of Sixth Sense and other futuristic UIs, and Andrew Zolli, the impressario behind PopTech. Here’s the video of my opening remarks:
I chose to focus on three main points, to direct the audience’s attention to the way that technology can catalyze creative breakthroughs: giant scale, two-way dialog and the freedom of open platforms. The breathtaking pace of innovation on the web can be attributed to the fact that nobody needs to obtain permission from powerbrokers to gain access to scale, dialog and open platforms. That’s radically different from traditional mass media. And that’s why digital media grows so much faster than old media.
The advent of table computers and electronic book readers poses a serious challenge to the traditional business of book publishing. As I’ve written previously, it’s entirely possible that the economics of print publishing will crumble faster than commonly expected.
Recently I was invited to appear on “This Week In Books” to discuss the implications of electronic book publishing for authors, publishers and readers. There’s no doubt that this transition will present some difficult challenges, but our conversation was focused on the many new opportunities for authors to connect with their audiences via digital media. Printed books are great in many ways, and that’s why they’ve continued to occupy a central role in modern civilization in more or less unaltered form for 500 years. But now the Gutenberg culture is going to be transformed. Watch the video clip:
While visiting Vancouver for the Merging+Media conference, I was invited to appear on “Urban Rush” a lively daytime talk show about media and entertainment. The topic: how traditional media companies must chase their audiences as they migrate to new platforms. The proliferation of new devices and platforms makes this especially difficult for broadcasters who previously viewed the Web as a marketing mechanism to drive audience back to television. That strategy is busted. Here’s the clip:
My topic was “Coercion and Cooperation in the Second Century of Electronic Media.” And my message was that the architecture of a business determines how its creative energy is channeled. Fairfax Media kindly provided me the video, posted here. Continue Reading
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 ThisWeekIn.com.
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?
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.
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
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