-
Strategies for a discontinuous future.





Consulting & advisory, research notes, in the press, about bubblegen,
next wednesdays.





Monday, October 27, 2003
 


I've got to travel for the next few days, so updates will be light. Sorry folks - but be sure to check out this week's killer Carnival of the Capitalists for your dose of econ and business thinking.

-- umair // 4:13 AM //


Sunday, October 26, 2003
 


ESPN's changing it's strategy (sub) to produce more value-added kind of stuff, like proper serials. Is this a good move?

A brilliant one. First, it's suppliers exert massive pressure over it - think NFL. Second, it's being victimized by hypercompetition from niche players - think Golf Channel. So, this way, it can, if succesful, pull off an HBO - building profits, but more importantly, revolutionizing it's strategic group.

-- umair // 7:11 AM //


 


Killer WSJ article about copyright. Argues that there are three ways to establish viable property rights for digital goods.

First, via a blanket tax, or complusory licence, that's attached to all devices, and redistributed to industries affected by it. That means you pay a tax when you buy a new laptop, burner, or pack of DVD-R's, and the MPAA and RIAA take a cut. This, most industries believe, is their worst bet, because they basically get very little upside (of course, they also get little downside).

Second. technological solutions - basically, the DRM deathstar everybody loves to hate, but which is industry's best bet, because they define the terms to consumers. Of course, they don't seem to realize that they stricter they make the terms, the less users want anything to do with such rights systems.

Third, most interestingly, new kinds of rights - like the creative commons license, where rights holders define the terms (usually letting consumers make derivative works for noncommercial use). Veery interesting to see this in the Journal.

-- umair // 7:04 AM //


 


The GAO releases findings that conclude direct competition drives down the price of cable by 15% - but only 2% of the market isn't monopolized. This is not exactly a big surprise.

-- umair // 6:56 AM //


 


Cool article about the resilience of the Valley - little vignettes about startups that have survived and/or made it.

-- umair // 6:51 AM //


 


The NYT on neuromarketing. Should you be scared? Not really - unless they get a bill passed so they find out exactly what does turn you on.

If you wanna get your Adbusters on, I'd be a LOT more worried about Zaltman's new 'memory morphing' technique. A lot. Did I mention that he basically revolutionized the field of marketing with his last breakthru?

-- umair // 6:50 AM //


 


Decent review of the various music download services. iTunes wins because of usability.

-- umair // 6:48 AM //


 


Uh oh. The ugly question of property rights comes up again, this time regarding Amazon's new Search in the Book feature. Apparently, the Authors' Guild is objecting to the feature, on the grounds that while it might be good for marketing purposes, it lets potential readers print out huge tracts of any book indexed by the search, letting them extract most of the value.

The grounds for the objection are that publishers don't have the right to grant Amazon this kind of access without authors' consent.

But everyone else is raving about it...already.

-- umair // 4:46 AM //


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