Sunday, 24 March 2013

What I've been reading this week


My unexpected ‘life redesign project’ is still in progress, but - with a little trepidation - I’m going to start blogging again.

So here we go. 

I’m of the belief that participants in the TMT industry need to read widely in order to understand the present and future dynamics of the market. To that end, this (short) post is a collection of the articles that have caught my eye in the last week.

This week: rumours of cut cords greatly exaggerated, Wii U fail, Ofcom cost taxpayer billions and only 30% of executive decisions are good ones (says McKinsey…)

Media

Cord cutting didn’t really happen in the US last year. No shit. This shows how a badly worded survey can totally mislead unwary observers. Common sense needs to be applied in the future… http://allthingsd.com/20130320/how-6-million-cord-cutters-disappeared/

Good analysis here of multitasking behaviour amongst the TV audience. It’s always gone on, which is why second screen et al are no threat to TV – we’ve always been distracted viewers! http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/television/4-in-5-americans-multitask-while-watching-tv-28025/

Amazon versus Netflix should be fun – the former has just announced that it’ll respond to Netflix’s original commissions with some of its own. Although the spend and variety is meaningless next to a proper broadcaster, a competition between the two could see spend rise precipitously. I personally don’t think that either have the resources to generally compete with TV, but it is possible. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/amazon/9937094/Amazon-takes-on-Netflix-in-battle-for-internet-TV-dominance.html

Online video ad rates continue to fall… not surprising given the amount of inventory now available in the market. There still isn’t *that* much creative aimed at web video either, so I question the impact of much of it. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324034804578346540295942824.html

The Wii U has not been much of a success. Probably because it’s still not as good as an Xbox 360 or PS3 and therefore isn’t all that desirable to the target audience. Sales numbers back this view. http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/poor-wii-u-sales-have-retailers-considering-scaling-back-support-23-03-2013/

Technology

Wifi is increasingly essential for universal urban connectivity and is benefiting from transfer of technologies from the cellular market. This remarkable installation at the San Francisco 49ers new stadium shows how far it’s come in a short period of time. http://arstechnica.com/feature-series/future-of-networking/

A good point made by Rethink about the danger of differentiation – HTC’s vital flagship ‘One’ handset is seriously delayed because of issues supplying its unique camera and case. http://www.rethink-wireless.com/2013/03/19/htc-one-suffering-component-shortages.htm

A simple bitcoin infographic. Worth reading as I suspect bitcoin is going to be a bit of media sensation in 2013. Useful for money laundering too… http://www.online-accounting-degrees.net/bitcoin/

I’ve been quite impressed with Windows 8 when I’ve used it. Microsoft seem to be getting developers on board too and have passed the 50,000 mark on their marketplace. http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2013/03/23/unofficial-tally-indicates-the-windows-store-has-passed-the-50000-app-milestone/

Telecoms

Ofcom once more demonstrate their inability to effectively regulate the UK’s increasingly complex market. Their overcomplicated auction mechanism cost the UK taxpayer as much as £3Bn. Brilliant work guys. Enjoy your bonuses. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/mar/15/4g-auction-chancellor-loses-out

Business models

Fascinating: a McKinsey study shows that only 28% of executives believe that their company makes good decisions. Not a surprise to me. Many executives have their first taste of genuine strategic decision making in their first CxO job. There’s no preparation for it so it isn’t surprising that they often fail. http://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2013/03/what-matters-more-in-decisions-analysis-or-process/

Kickstarter is often talked about as a way of funding media projects. The gaming industry seems to be doing well in this regard: $110Mn pledged to date. http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/50538/kickstarter-over-100-million-pledged-games

Shameless self-promotion

My new novel, 'Shadow Aspect' was published on Kindle this week. And because I wanted to try out the Amazon 'free promotion' setting, you can download the prequel 'Acts of War' for free this week only. A double whammy!