Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Really Really Big Living Room

There’s an interesting piece in Ad Age this week on Social TV. In my mind it adds more credence to the “everything old is new again” theory since as with many “new” tech-based things what we’re seeing is very old behaviors expressed via brand spanking new digital tools.  For those of you playing at home, our friends at Wikipedia define social TV as

“a general term for technology that supports communication and social interaction in either the context of watching television, or related to TV content. It also includes the study of television-related social behavior, devices and networks. Social television systems can for example integrate voice communication, text chat, presence and context awareness, TV recommendations, ratings, or video-conferencing with the TV content either directly on the screen or by using ancillary devices.”

Which of course, is kind of an old thing, right? Continue reading

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Setting Sails

Over the weekend I was watching an interview with someone facing adverse circumstances. The particulars are relatively unimportant since there seems to be so much adversity spread around for a lot of folks and businesses these days. What was important, at least to me, was a line that the interview subject used and that’s what I’d like to remind us all about today.

In doing a little research, it seems as if it’s credited to, among others, Jimmy Dean (not the actor, the country singer and sausage-maker) and Dolly Parton. That’s immaterial too: it’s the thought that counts.

The guy in the interview was being asked if he didn’t feel discouraged by the adversity that had so negatively affected him. He looked right at the interviewer and said:

We can’t control the wind but we can decide how to set our sails.

I like that.  A lot.  It’s the exact opposite of throwing up one’s hands and asking “what are you going to do?” (or as it comes out here in the New York area “waddayagonnado?”).   It’s taking responsibility and recognizing that stuff happens.  It doesn’t place blame.  It doesn’t ignore facts.  It’s neither angry nor submissive.  To me, it’s determined.

This is my chant for the week.  What’s yours?

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Reaping What We Sow

Finally Friday, and that means something food-related.  This week, you might have passed over the article on NYC’s Monkey Bar in the NY Times.  You can read it if you click through here.  In any event, it provided a pretty good business lesson for today’s screed.

This joint has been around for 75 years.  Luminaries such as Tennessee Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Helen Hayes and others helped to build its reputation.  It was taken over in 2009 by an ownership group that was focused on glitz and exclusivity and were quite successful taking that route.  For a time.  Now, not so much. Continue reading

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Filed under food, Reality checks

A Random TV Thought

This tidbit crossed the wires here at the world headquarters yesterday and I want to bring it to your attention:

A new study from Altman Vilandrie says just 1/3 of 18-34 viewers in the U.S. now watch TV during normal broadcast slots, preferring instead on-demand programming via Netflix and Hulu. The study also makes a connection between increased control over when video is watched to how it is watched with nearly 1/2 of respondents saying they prefer smartphones to TVs.

“Oh sure – another TV death story,” you think.  Probably not – a lot of the content on Nextflix and Hulu comes from the TV nets who are actually more than just distributors these days.  But it brought to mind Internet Explorer, the web browser with a 90+% market share at one point which is now down substantially thanks to the growth of Firefox and Chrome. Continue reading

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The Toughest Management Lesson

Suppose you’re a young person who has just been promoted into their first management job. You’re supervising a bunch of folks, some of whom may have been peers. You know that there’s an awful lot to learn. Where to begin?
I’ve trained a lot of those kinds of folks over the last 30 years. I may have even been one myself at some point. So today’s post is about the thing that trips up a lot of managers, even those with a number of years of experience under their belts. Continue reading

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There’s Neither An “F” Nor “U” in Baseball

The Major League Baseball logo.

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One thing caught my eye last week and you might have missed it since there was so much else going on.  The Yankees and Orioles played a baseball game last Tuesday.  That’s not really news.  However, they started play at 11:08pm ET after a four-hour rain delay, and the game did not end until 2:15am. Yep, you read that right.  Guess the kids were late to school after the game?

Apparently, the Commissioner’s Office called the Yankees and told them to get the game played.  The Yankees, in an effort to make sure the folks who had tickets to the game (it was played so no rain-checks, right?) announced that ticket-holders to the game would be given some form of a free ticket offer to “any Yankees game – next season”.  Having worked in a sports league, I know that the postponement and rescheduling of games is a nightmare, especially given travel, labor rules, and fan reaction.  But since it rained throughout the game, maybe the risk of injury should have prevailed in their thinking?  And not just to the players. Continue reading

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks, sports business

9/11

Flag of the United States

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Today, this isn’t about business. If you want to skip it and come back in a couple of days, I understand. See you Tuesday.

I’m publishing this on 9/11, 10 years after a horrible day changed the world forever. I’ve spent a good part of the day thinking about the subsequent decade and how it was so very different from the 4 others in which I’ve lived that preceded it and I want to use today to share some of those thoughts. I also know we don’t do politics here – I think today we will, although hopefully in a non-partisan way.  So here are a few things I remember most about 9/11/01. Continue reading

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