Monthly Archives: June 2015

Grit

I really need to thank my friends Laurie and Kim for the idea. This blog post was based on several conversations I had with them recently/over the years. Ditto for the TEDX talk on this http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit?language=en
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First, I’m looking forward to sharing my new head shots and photos (thank you Laurie – you really should check out her work at http://www.lgh.photography/) with you very soon (finally!!! Funky profile pictures for my LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook page!). 

Second, we started discussing why people ended up giving up finding their dream job. Was it due to laziness? The process (omg, if I ever, ever find out that you’re spending a lot of your time job hunting online instead of flipping it around and making contacts….)? Then, we boiled it down to one thing. No, it wasn’t determination. Nor persistance. One word – GRIT.

A lot of people have this but aren’t tapping it to get what they want (dream job, relationship etc). Not only do they find the process hard (it’s suppose to be hard. If it was easy, you’d end up being bored) but they give up way too easily. Like the acquaintance who wanted to get into the environmental field. But ended up settling for something less. Or, someone you know who starts an exercise program and gives up when he/she is lagging behind. And stops going to exercise class because it’s too hard (at this point, their motivation is lagging. And their comparing themselves to everyone else. They should be focusing on their progress).
Listen, I get it. Change is hard. You don’t want to get hurt. You want to play it safe. You think it’s impossible to get your dream job (as I’m doing the same thing, I totally understand what you’re going through). I only have 1 question to ask you – if you don’t want to get hurt (eg: reaching out to managers via email to see if they’re hiring or developing the contacts you need to get into the industry), how are you going to grow? Develop your grit? 

Developing your grit gives you the ability to duck. And to weave around obstacles. It gives you the determination (in conjunction with your North Star (thanks for this Kim!!)) the guidance you need to succeed. Believe me, you’re going to be ducking and weaving a lot to get the changes you want. It’s not suppose to be easy. Nor should it be easy. 

Grit also gives you the ability to keep going. To look at your target and say “this is what I want. What am I going to do to get it?” It forces you to make the hard decisions. And it keeps you honest.

Grit – you keys to success. Without it, you won’t be successful. With it, the possibilities are endless

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It’s Not About You. It’s About Them

This blog post was born from a Twitter conversation I had with @Vincidia social media team; and Kris Nagel’s video on converting viewers to payers – http://snip.ly/n66c#http://www.vindicia.com/videos/kris-nagel-otttv-summit-converting-viewers-payers/. Thank you for the inspiration! Opinions are my own. 

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Some content creators think the content should stand on its own. 
Without any analysis to determine what works. Or doesn’t.

Unfortunately, they continue to live in a dream world or are denying reality. What they’ll soon realize is this. That they don’t have a choice in the matter.

Audiences around the world are fickle. They’re flipping through tv channels (or OTT shows) rapidly. Trying to find something that catches their eye. Something to binge watch for a few hours. It’s hard for anything in the cable/broadcasting/OTT world that catches their attention. Even by creating compelling content, there’s no guarantee that the viewer will tune in.

As a result, in the OTT world, it comes down to ease of use. The recommendations the algorithm spits out after you’ve watched a program. How easy it is to sign up for the service. 

But, what if I wrote that there’s a company who can solve these problems. Without having to sign up new viewers. Who already has a massive built in international audience? Someone who can give out the statistics when a viewer has engaged the content. Who can give the content providers the exact data they need? And, in short, is essentially an OTT?

The company? Facebook.

It’s becoming a video powerhouse. Showing other companies content like Amazon Prime (http://www.engadget.com/2015/06/13/amazon-catastrophe-facebook/) for short periods of time. 

Monetization problem? What monetization problem? Each time a person hits the subscribe button, it gives the company, content creator and advertiser crucial metrics to see who’s watching. And maybe allow the content creator enough time to adjust the plot in future episodes to target their demographic to maximize the affect on the audience.
Of course Facebook continues to add people at a rapid pace. So it does have an advantage when it comes to getting the biggest audience. And companies such as the Discovery Channel have figured out how to use it for short bursts of time (http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/discovery-facebook-president-obama-1201518830/) to promote their product or partner with it for social causes. Without compromising their own cable or OTT channels. 
But what happens when FB finally decides to produce its own programming? Shutting out others as they tweak their algorithm to favor their own content? Will organizations like the EU accuse it of anti-competitive practices? 

How will the dynamics of the industry change? The strongest (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) will survive. The others? Maybe. If they focus on their niche. And manage to grow their audience over time. 

FB? I predict it’ll do very well if it decides to produce its own programming/content. With its massive reach, the ability to determine who is viewing the content (and when), the company is virtually unstoppable. It can offer exactly what the advertiser needs, especially in the growing baby boomer and above demographics. The ones who have the money. And are continuing to log into the service and stay for hours at a time.

A possible solution to a content provider. Without having to go the OTT route.

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Information Is…..Sexy

In today’s world, tons of information is being generated every second. 

A lot of people hate finding it.

They think it’s boring sifting through the data.  To find the good stuff. 

Me? I love it.

Boolean searches? Swoon. 

Using online databases? Google? Duckduckgo? Bring it.

Reading the papers/magazines/email newsletters every day? And storing the information (either in a folder in my inbox or somewhere in my brain)? You might as well leave me alone. I won’t be paying attention to you for awhile. 

Using social media? Absolutely. It’s amazing what kind of results you get when you use hashtags on Twitter, do a search on Facebook (thank you open individual profiles! For goodness sake, secure your profiles people) or Instagram (Pinterest? What’s that? Are they still around?). Wait until I find a way to datamine Periscope, Snapchat and Meerkat feeds. Then I’ll be in heaven!

See?

Not only is information a set of facts and figures, but if you package this properly, someone (clients, friends etc) will be amazed.

Need proof? 

Here’s two personal examples:

I remember my former running group. Former because as a group leader, it became increasingly boring for me to follow the “plan” (by the way, I love breaking them. Knowing that there’s a more efficient way of doing things. Thank you CNBC, GE and Neutron (Jack) Welsh). We were sitting at the coffee house after the run on a winter’s day. One of them was going to be laid off. And he was trying to find a way to change careers. As I was listening, I was sifting through my mental folders. I know I had the solution (I read a lot). The information somewhere in my brain. All I had to do was access it. As I was doing this, someone else was observing me and say “wait a sec. I can see Nick’s thinking about it. He’ll have the answer for you in 3,2,1.” Yep. I had an answer for him. It blew his mind. 

Finally, I’m a director for a non-profit. We wanted to donate money. At first, the other directors wanted to target organizations but they found out that there was no transparency. Why not schools I asked? Underperforming elementary schools that could use the money to buy tech items? To improve their students marks. And the schools test scores. Prove it the directors said. It was easy to find the information. Unfortunately,  it was scattered all over the place. School data from one organization. Neighborhood data from another. Combining it into a report to get the complete picture? Priceless. Needless to say, the others were convinced. The money is flowing. The schools are pleasantly surprised that an organization is giving them money. Out of the blue. I’m positive some of them are wondering how we found out about their situation. 

These examples show the affect information has on a person or an organization. It prompts them to act.  

Remember, information isn’t boring. It’s sexy.

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Sports Broadcasting – Broadcasting via the Net, not TV

Sports is essential in the broadcasting world.

Where else would you pay a lot of money for an event that is broadcasted live, captures a certain demographic and, when recorded, diminishes it’s impact? 

On the other hand, leagues like the NFL realize that the audience is increasingly viewing their product online or via mobile devices.

Which makes this decision brave (and curious):

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/06/06/yahoo-deal-with-nfl-sign-things-come/y5SFp0TTL36DWdspVvM5nK/story.html

Signing with Yahoo (who paid a pittance of $20 million to the NFL IMHO) while gaining a potential audience of 1 billion (Yahoo) is a great sign that the NFL gets it. And that they want to exploit this audience. On the other hand, it’ll be interesting to see two things:

a) whether or not the vertically integrated telcos/cable (content and pipes) will start bidding even more to keep these rights or

b) if Yahoo et al combine with ‘a’ as a supplement  (eg: broadcasting games on a certain day/period).

Personally, I’d like to see another route -> an Internet company grabbing the entire rights. Then having the telcos/cable companies bid for certain parts. 

Not only will you get the best of both worlds (mobile audience) and linear TV/cable, but everyone would be happy (niche advertising, audience demographics).

The future – sooner, rather than later.

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