Tag: digital

16
Jan

The Future of Television

Image Credit: Creative Commons, Jiri Zraly

Image Credit: Creative Commons, Jiri Zraly

Television was once lauded as a groundbreaking medium, but as we’ve entered an age of seemingly exponential growth in media technology, that status has become questionable. Surrounded by competition being broadcast on every screen imaginable – from sources that were previously unimaginable – to some, the perception today is that television has become slow to adapt to technology, and media companies are more interested in competition and gobbling up competitors, or monetizing views rather than charting the future of entertainment.

There are glimmers of truth in these observations, but gleams do not illuminate the totality of change going on in broadcast and cable television. Let’s step back for calculated pause. Perhaps the issue isn’t television’s tepid use of technology, but more our FOMO and impatient mindset as it concerns digital media. Our impatience is blocking our full appreciation of market conditions.

We are bombarded with hourly news about the latest digital and television content deals. We attend industry conferences where everyone is busy speculating about digital and television competition and convergence. And the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue is, “when will television catch up with new models of distribution?”

But by focusing on this question, we’re not appreciating the fact that television’s history is still active and ongoing. Also, in our excitement to move forward, we may be overestimating the success of new distribution platforms. Netflix has not shared ratings for its hot shows House of Cards or Orange Is The New Black, but the buzz nevertheless, quickens the tempo of conversations. Our impatience tells us that the content is out there, but . . . what? The buzz amplifies our impatience, which feeds our prevailing mindset.

There are two ways of understanding the future of television, first from the technology side: how to best deliver content whether through VOD, SVOD or over-the-top services. Secondly, through the targeted content side: understanding what type of programming people want to consume. Most consumers are not deeply concerned with the hardware companies that control the physical gadgetry; most would also rather consume interesting and meaningful programming.

From this perspective, it’s the content that seems everywhere, and media companies are the competitive foot-draggers. At a recent New York Television week, a panelist said that there’s endless programmable content out there, but this may be a bit of an overstatement. What is out there are silos of niche audiences. The prevailing logic is that the mother brand, the larger company where television’s legacy still makes it king, is what ties them together.

And while we’re placing so much emphasis on the evolution of digital media, i.e. the second-screen, studies show that, so far, at least, viewers are using new technology either as supplemental or in partnership with traditional viewing, not as a replacement. If we look back in American economic history, during every epoch of industrial transformation, the successful companies made strategic moves while the losers acted too quickly. Caution is not always a losing strategy.

From a brand perspective, television shouldn’t lose sight of audiences, who they are and what they want. Media empires, broadcast and cable companies must forge relationships with audiences, create conversations for smart and busy viewers using new demographic, trends and ethnographic research.

Needless to say, broadcast and cable television is cautiously charting its future, and that future it is happening right now. At this moment, companies are thinking, planning and iterating how to deliver content to anyone, anywhere and across any screen. Amazing opportunities exist. You’ve got to know where to look.

08
Aug

Anti-Social: When It’s Time to Step Away From Social Media

Image courtesy of http://rubiconn.com/

Image courtesy of http://rubiconn.com/

Recently, we touched upon the importance of giving yourself a break from social media as frequent usage is linked to lower productivity levels and even depression. But why is it so hard for us to disconnect?

While we know part of the reason is that gaining positive feedback on social media, such as likes and retweets, activates the area of the brain associated with pleasure, part of our problem may be rooted in the Industrial Revolution.

As the 19th Century economy took shape, machines introduced us to a world where quick, fast and scale were the marked steps to success. Soon, we started thinking of humans as machines, too. And as scientists studied the mind and body, they applied principles from mechanics and business together. Human habits, traits and personalities were “mechanical” including our brain’s workings.

Over the years, that has translated into a society where we no longer give ourselves permission to disconnect, treating an internet sabbatical as a luxury reserved for (some) vacations, while humbly bragging about our need to be tethered to our phones. We have trained ourselves to be always on and always available, often confusing our time spent online for productivity. In fact, as reported by Business Insider, Americans now spend more time on social media sites than any other online activity, including checking email, with 60% of that traffic coming from smartphones and tablets.

And considering the growing number of social media detox programs, from China’s more than 200 hardcore military-style boot camps to a Scottish Island social media-free experiment, taking extreme measures to break this addiction is becoming more and more popular.

And maybe we need it. According to the Badoo-produced study “Social Lives vs. Social Selves,” 39% of Americans spend more time socializing online than in person. While social media can be an incredibly useful tool for keeping up with clients and colleagues, it shouldn’t replace good, old-fashioned face-to-face interactions.

So, what can you do if your job doesn’t allow you to disconnect completely? Well, you can take babysteps.

Establish Social Media Free Time. Maybe it’s during your lunch break, or perhaps you go offline for an hour after dinner, but the more you schedule time to be off (or on) social media, the easier the habit will become to break.

Make Facebook-Free Zones. Maybe you don’t allow yourself to go online when you’re lying in bed or during your morning commute. Whatever part of your life provides you with the most zen space, make that area social-free.

Get Help. No, we’re not saying you’ve got to go to an island for a week, but if you really can’t help yourself, try installing an app or web blocker to help rid you of distractions.

And if all else fails, maybe it’s time to check out one of those boot camps after all.

 

12
Aug

SXSW V2V: Day 1

SXSW V2V Logo

We love SXSW not only because of the parties and people (although we should note both are excellent), but also because, on a more earnest note, we at Oishii love participating at SXSW V2V and the community of like-mind entrepreneurs and creativists who experiment with the order of things.

Building on the SXSW experience, SXSW V2V is a four-day event in Las Vegas with an emphasis on the creative spark that drives entrepreneurial innovation.

In the days ahead, the 1,500 attendees will participate in informative panels, mentoring and coaching programs, intense workshops, pitch competitions and exhibits of startup innovations.
Here are a few highlights from today’s sessions:

America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Case for Fixing our Broken Immigration System
Alex Torrenegra, CEO of VoiceBunny
Andrew Crump, CEP of Bluefields
Mark Falzone, Deputy Director National Immigration Forum
Rep. Joe Heck, US House of Representatives – US Congressman
Scott Allison, CEO of Teamly Inc.

This panel discussed what lies ahead for immigration reform, and what the tech industry can do to fix the broken system.

Key takeaways:
• Like a bad football team, we’re training the players with the best strategies and sending them out to work in other countries because of immigration.
• It’s necessary to bring (the right) talent to startups.
• There’s need to be a balance between bringing international talent and national security.

Founder’s Guide to Securing First Round of Funding
Alex Mittal, Co-Founder & CEO of FundersClub

In this session, Alex Mittal outlined the fundraising process for first-time founders, focusing on whether fundraising makes sense, best practices for securing their company’s first round of capital, the role investors will play in their company’s future, and things to consider before agreeing to investment terms.

Key takeaways:
• Try not raising money. 2/3 of IPOs are not from VC money.
• $25-50k can start companies. Go with your family and friends.
• Then raise about 18 months’ worth of money.
• Spending doesn’t equal results.
• The key to success: don’t die!

Not Just a Pretty Profile: Building Online Persona
Brett Martin
Christine Herron, Director of Intel Capital
Peter Kazanjy, Founder of TalentBin

This panel discussed the importance of cultivating the online persona, provide concrete examples of what has and hasn’t worked, and help you understand the challenges that come along with that creation.

Key takeaways:
• How a person can act like a brand and vice versa.
• Everyone has an online persona. Be proactive about managing it.
• Venture groups and employers will look at your online persona.
• Authenticity has to be proportional to what you share. Personality is what attracts people.
• Create goals and objectives around your online persona and build a content strategy for it.
• Purpose needs to be defined:
o Build professional credibility
o Professional engagement (personal)
o Create connections
• Address mistakes head on
• Your online identity carries over into the real world (examples: Uber, Lyft, etc.) Rating each other furthers that identity.
• First step to engage (if not already) is to signup, consume and learn.
• Good analytics tools: Reporative, Twitter (analytics) & Sprout Social

Keynote: The City as a Startup
Tony Hsieh, Zappos

Culture is to company as community is to city; it’s about values, innovation, serendipity, and attraction of smart startups and the creative class. Tony applies his Zappos corporate culture to build the most community-focused big city in the world, in Downtown Las Vegas.

Key takeaways:
• Tony invested in Zappos… and then joined the company because investing was boring.
• He invested into customer service instead of marketing.
• Culture is the most important thing in order to deliver happiness.
• The values can be anything; it just requires company alignment.
• There needs to be a higher purpose beyond profits.
• Brand and culture are different sides of the same coin.
• A great brand is a story that never stops unfolding.
• Zappos moving past its four walls and into community as well.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Learn How Top Brands are Succeeding by Being Transparent
Jeff Rosenblum, CEO of Questus

Jeff discussed how advertising is the connection point between consumers and corporations and that the industry can be the linchpin in a revolution that enables corporations to earn billions while moving the planet forward.

Key takeaways:
• Advertising is going through a revolution. Social media and technology are forcing a paradigm change.
• Advertising can save the world.
• Trust is at an all-time low. The authenticity of a brand is so important to building that trust.
• Because of technology, transparency is forced. If you don’t participate in the conversation, people will have it around you.
• As branders, we have to help companies be great. We can inspire a new generation of branding where authenticity drives consumers, not false messaging.
• Digital natives are now taking over the workplace. What happens as transparency natives come into the workplace?
• Advertising has to make a fundamental shift from “interrupting us” to adding value to our activities.


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