May 26, 2009

Bill Gates I ain't. I'm the guy who thought NetFlix and Amazon would never make it. Back in the 70s I boldly predicted that the mini-storage boom would never last, because no one in their right mind would pay to store their junk. Or at least not enough people to justify an entire storage facility. I based that prediction on my particular brand of cheapness. I was only off by a factor of a couple of hundred thousand storage locations and several million paying customers. Luckily for the world, the billions of us clueless are offset by a few hundred million visionaries. I once heard business guru Tom Peters remark that the beauty of innovation is not only in the innovation itself, but in the other uses people find for the technology. Peters used the simple example of the zip lock bag. It has morphed from the lowly sandwich bag to dozens of variations, for dozens of purposes. What got me to thinking about this was NetFlix. I've been a subscriber on three or four occasions. I subscribe for a bit, but then I remember that I don't watch much television and I quit again. When I first encountered Netflix, I thought it was an unsustainable business model. How can you make money mailing DVDs? Next time I signed up, I found that they were delivering some content via the internet to my computer, which cuts out a lot of mailing. Now they can use the internet to bring many of their movies and television shows directly to my TV set. What's next? I suspect that we will soon see premium television networks on-demand via the internet. And I don't mean that we can subscribe to HBO or Showtime via the internet. I think we will get television completely on-demand, if we want. I have HBO because they had the Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire and Big Love. Beyond those, I don't watch it, so why should I pay for it? I think we will soon see services where we can just pick and choose what we want, when we want it. Why should I pay $10 a month to HBO to see movies Netflix or someone else can give me cheaper? We pay about $90 a month to DirecTV in order to watch, what they show, when they want us to see it. Or we pay them to let us TIVO it. I think that is going the way of the home phone and sooner rather than later. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

11 comments:

bitchlet said...

so my new blog is

www.thehiddenpotato.blogspot.com

no more quacking for me.

Steve said...

I think you're right -- on demand is definitely the wave of the future. The interesting question will be what that will do to advertising, which pays for the vast bulk of media generation.

Barbara said...

Technology continues to change so rapidly. I seldom watch TV for any reason, so most of these changes do not affect my life, but I live with someone who is addicted, so I suppose I am indirectly supporting the industry after all!

Megan said...

I think you are right this time.

Coffee Messiah said...

Don't feel bad, for me, I thought no one would ever purchase the Pet Rock or Instant Insanity either ; (

Reya Mellicker said...

I saw a drawing somewhere of a young 20-something couple sitting on a couch, watching their computer while eating popcorn. The computer was placed on top of an unplugged TV.

Things are moving faster than ever, aren't they? Some days I find it all totally bewildering.

Nan Patience said...

I'm not someone who looks forward to particular evenings because favorite shows are on. Instead I go to bed early-ish.

mum said...

I'm with Nan Patience. After a full day of dealing with the fictional characters on my mind (and computer) screen, I've had all the drama I want to deal with and hit the sack.

Bella Rum said...

Trends, it's all about trends and being able to predict them and what people will need as a result. Easier said than done.

Like you, I only watch a couple of shows on HBO.

Squirrel said...

Mini storage is so stupid (Unless you're moving and the timing is all off) I drove (following a friend) to a mini storage facility upstate a few years ago --our two cars loaded with her collection of Total Complete Crap. It took all day--I looked over all we were storing and knew in a few years she wouldn't even WANT this stuff. It appeared to me to be a lot of crap from a Spencer Gifts type of store. and true, she couldn't figure out why she ever stored it. She ended up donating it to a charity shop. (another day of work moving the crap to a new locale) But it would have been so much easier and cheaper to just donate it before paying 16 months worth of storage fees!

Squirrel said...

Regarding HBO (I liked all the shows you mentioned and the more recent gabriel bryne dianne wiest program-- but whatever hbo show we missed we rented for free from our library system .) we recently rented a few HBO series and watched them over a month's time. free. anything we want we just order it sent to our local library which is within walking distance. --with 48 libraries participating there's never been a problem getting anything within 24 hours. Private funding has given our local library an amazing collection of foreign films, too. I'm hooked on the library.