At the recent MIPTV market in Cannes, I interviewed Philip DeBevoise, the co-founder of the super-hot online video startup Machinima. This Los Angeles-based company has experienced some incredible results in the past year. They reach a global audience of 166 million viewers and they serve more than 1.4 billion video views each month. That’s way bigger than any traditional TV channel.
I’ve known Phillip’s brother (and co-founder) Allen for more than a decade. We worked together in the mid-1990s on pioneering online narratives and some early interactive TV concepts. I’ve watched his progress at Machinima with great interest because it offers some useful insight into the dynamics of the new video business that will eventually encompass today’s television industry.
I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping my portfolio of startup ventures make progress. During the past six months, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with longtime friend Brian Bowman, who just launched social dating site TheComplete.me with a big round of funding from Intel Capital, PlentyofFish and the CrunchFund as well as a group of individual investors. Here’s the news via TechCrunch.
What makes TheComplete.me different and, in my view, significant, is that 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.
There’s a predictable cycle in business, at least in the sectors of technology, media and telecommunications.
In the first part of the cycle, companies achieve success by introducing a new service that delights customers: call it the “Value Creation” phase. This is the phase when lots of customers sign up. Remember when you bought your first Windows computer, your first iPod, or your first smartphone? Chances are good that you made the switch at the exact same moment when millions of other people were migrating to these new gizmos, too. Everyone was attracted by a novel combination of utility, cool factor and the right price.
But over time, as the new product/service evolves into our daily habit, some companies are tempted to Continue Reading
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:
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.
His formal title is “research assistant and PhD candidate” in the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT Media Lab. That title is a spectacular understatement. It’s like calling Thomas Edison a telegraph operator, or Albert Einstein a patent clerk.
Governor Anoatubby’s role in making the Forum possible was hailed by several civic leaders in OKC. So I was keenly interested in learning more about him and his achievements. It’s a remarkable tale. Continue Reading
While visiting Israel last week for the Journey Conference, I learned about some inspiring developments in the Middle East. Israel is rocking!
It was an illuminating experience for me. In the USA, the mainstream media diet includes a steady supply of sensational stories about the Middle East, featuring suicide bombings, terrorism, rocket attacks and reprisals.
So one might arrive in Tel Aviv expecting fear and chaos. But the reality is Continue Reading
While the US government struggles to control spending on 20th-century obligations like an overseas empire and bloated entitlement programs, it may be instructive to consider where other nations invest their money.
The pragmatic Chinese leadership puts government money to work via investment in 21st-century infrastructure that will accelerate business in the years to come. Take a look at how Chinese state-of-the-art airports contrast with woeful US airports.
And don’t forget that, once you exit from the fancy new Chinese airport in Shanghai, you step aboard a futuristic maglev train that whisks visitors into the city at 300mph. Compare that to the abysmal ground transport services at Washington Dulles Airport provided by monopoly service provider Washington Flyer.