One of the best things I made happen with TabletTV was the market validation via Digital Trends who reviewed TabletTV. Here is the link. It doesn’t mention my name specifically but it was a HUGE promotion for TabletTV that sold through most of the stock.
Here are a few articles about my involvement with Tablet TV:
Perspective and Context
Over the last few years, I’ve been amazed at how fast things in our lives are changing – both personally and professionally. I think back to when I first went to Prague in 1992 on a grant from New York University to research the privatization of television in Czechoslovakia. Soon after the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, the former Communist Bloc countries began transitioning to market economies. My research grant focused on the television sector as an area of exciting opportunity.
In 1992, connections with Central and Eastern Europe were still uncommon and travel to the region required special arrangements. A family friend of ours in Tulsa introduced me a Rotary member in Vienna (via post) who in turn knew someone in Prague willing to rent me a room for the summer. The entire process took over a month via fax – no pictures, no phone calls. I had very little idea what to expect aside from what I had learned in history class about the Soviet Union and its sphere of influence in the region. I paid for my room using American Express travelers checks that I cashed in Prague. I write more about this extraordinary summer below in the ‘My Career’ section.
Fast forward to April 2017. Last week, I moderated an Uber conference call for TabletTV with 5 individuals located in San Diego, Barcelona, Tulsa, NYC, and Edinburgh. We shared web links and documentation live throughout the discussion. Following the call, I booked and paid online for a flight to Chicago, a room via Airbnb (with access to pictures and profile reviews of the host), and sent out meeting requests via email. The entire process took about 15 minutes on my laptop computer!
We have the power to digitize almost everything imaginable. Moore’s law postulates that microchip performance doubles approximately every 18 months thanks to ever smaller and faster transistors. This has been a driving force of technological and social change, productivity, and economic growth. According to Ray Kurzweil, author/inventor/futurist/entrepreneur and Director of Engineering at Google, the 21st Century will experience the equivalent of 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate of progress.
As such, organizations must redefine themselves at a faster and faster pace. Thomas L. Friedman coins the phrase “Dynamic Stability;” the successful businesses of today and tomorrow will be those that learn how to (figuratively speaking) “paddle as fast or faster than the current.”
On the one hand, there is the increasing pace of technological change, globalization, and environmental stresses. On the other hand, how do we and our governing systems to adapt to these changes? There is a growing gap between the pace of these changes and our ability (and those of our institutions) to manage these changes.
That said, I am optimistic. Why?
Every possible field of industry, government, and science is in some stage of disruption and consequently full of opportunity. The good news is that we have access to the information, tools, and technology to gain the perspective needed to make informed decisions and thereby capitalize on these opportunities.
Where will we find the answers? We will find them by learning from the past, understanding the present by studying issues in depth (i.e., cliff notes aren’t enough!), and focusing on the future. The future belongs to the individuals and organizations who take full advantage of the tools flowing in and out of the digital cloud and gain the perspective needed to become world-class in their field.
Here’s an interesting example of perspective:
- The Earth was formed 4.54 billion years ago
- Simple life began 3.8 billion years ago
- Complex life began 600 million years ago
- It’s only during the last 11,500 years that the earth’s climate conditions were stable enough to allow our ancestors to come out of their caves long enough to begin evolving and developing technology, all be it starting with fire and the wheel!
And so, we learn that the earth was a rough place to live for 99.9% of its existence (4.5 billion years minus 11,500 years). There are 7.5 billion people on this earth and it’s well established that human beings are impacting on the environment. More than ever before in the history of man, we have the tools and knowledge to make a massive and positive impact these next 100 years – environmentally, economically, socially, and politically. The question is not how but whether we will take advantage of tools and knowledge available to us to make the right decisions and act on them.
I’ll finish with the following quote from Seth Godin that I find inspiring:
“The thing is, we still live in a world that’s filled with opportunity. In fact, we have more than an opportunity – we have an obligation. An obligation to spend our time doing great things. To find ideas that matter and to share them. To push ourselves and the people around us to demonstrate gratitude, insight and inspiration. To take risks and to make the world better by being amazing.”
Opportunities in Business Going Forward: Big Data, Customer Engagement, Mobile Video
No matter what business you are in, no matter where you are located – thriving in the 21st century requires organizations to both: a) navigate the path to successful digital transformation; and b) learn to successfully compete in a global economy.
In the McKinsey Global Institute’s 2015 Report. The US economy has only reached 18% of its digital potential. That means there’s still a long way to go and that means a lot of opportunity out there for us to work on.
Big data is a driving force behind the digital transformation. To understand the impact of big data, one needs to have perspective.
Internal facing – the IT delivery model has evolved from complex infrastructure integration into seamless, browser-based delivery; breaking down the inter-departmental silos is unlocking a wealth of data for operational understanding and application.
Outward facing – The customer journey in every industry is increasingly taking place online in an increasingly digital landscape. A company’s success heavily depends on the customer engagement strategy it develops and thus the digital journey it provides its customers.
Volumes of Data
There is a ton of data out available to us at every moment. How much? It’s estimated that every person creates a gigabyte of digital exhaust every day – web/search, mobile, location, social, transaction, audio, vision, etc. Put another way, 90% of world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone, at 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day!
There’s a reason why Data Analyst is one of the fastest growing positions in the world today – companies are struggling to make proper sense of the huge volumes of data. The challenge is to find meaningful patterns in the vast volumes of the world’s unstructured digital exhaust.
One of the traps can be to over-analyze and over-measure; in other words, generate data for their own sake. Rather, the solution will be to ask the right questions and analyze the right data sets as the way to develop meaningful insights for the business; i.e., quality versus quantity.
Customer Retention and Growth
One of the most exciting areas and biggest opportunities for media companies is in the customer growth and retention area. The big winners here are the companies that humanize the “digital experience.“
 The dissolution of Czechoslovakia took effect on 1 January 1993.
 Thomas L Friedman, Thank You for Being Late, copyright 2016, page 199.
 Wikipedia, The Holocene is the geological epoch that began after the Pleistocene (known as the Great Ice Age”) at approximately 11,700 years before present.
 Small Is the New Big: And 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas, Seth Godin, copyright 2006
 McKinsey Global Institute’s 2015 Report (Digital America: A Tale of the Haves and Have-Mores
 Mediapost, 90% Of Today’s Data Created In Two Years by Jack Loechner, Thursday, December 22, 2016