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Comment: Re:Car salesmen (Score 1) 168

by owlnation (#44695195) Attached to: Death of the Car Salesman? BMW Makes AI App To Sell Electric Cars

It seems you unfortunately suffer from the delusion that UK police actually patrol the nation's highways, instead of filling out endless reams of paperwork, or holding random people for nine hours by abusing anti-terror legislation.

Obviously they don't patrol the highways much, that's what all the cameras are for. And yes, they do target any and every motorist they can -- for anything. It's easy money. Like shooting fish.

Comment: Stupid question. (Score 1) 123

by owlnation (#43590659) Attached to: How To Promote Stage Comedy In a Geeky Way?

How To Promote Stage Comedy In a Geeky Way?

Is a stupid question. The questions should be:

"What target demographic does this comedian most appeal to?"
"Where does this target hang out, in real life and online?"
"How do I communicate with them there?"
"Does he need to change his material to reach a broader demographic?"

Asking about a geeky way to do something is falling into the same trap that burst the dot.com bubble, or shatters the dreams of many indie film-makers and musicians. If you build it, they most very likely will not come. You need to now who "they" are, what they like, and where they are, and go to them.

Comment: Re:Misses the point (Score 2) 120

by owlnation (#43536781) Attached to: How To Build a $30M Startup Without Spending Any of Your Money

That's the problem, large companies can't innovate

This is true. But there is a VERY simple solution to this problem: fire your HR staff. All of them.

Nobody in the 21st century needs HR staff. All of the "work" they do can be covered by managers actually doing their jobs, in the same way managers in small firms do, and by utilizing one of many tech solutions for any admin (or just scrap a lot of the admin, it's mostly work for work's sake. HR staff had to be appearing to do something, after all).

Within a year of doing this, your firm will begin to innovate again. Within 5 years, once you have weeded out the bad employees, the HR mistakes, and the weak managers, your corporation/large firm/government body will be an innovation powerhouse.

And by doing this you'll be saving money and increasing employee happiness and productivity too. There is NO downside to firing ALL of your HR staff. Remember, nobody on this planet, currently nor throughout our entire history, has ever dreamt of working in HR.

Everyone who does work in HR has failed. So, put them out of their -- and your -- misery. Reap the rewards.

Comment: It has been dead for more than a decade. (Score 5, Insightful) 170

by owlnation (#43221729) Attached to: The Nielsen Family Is Dead
I think this article, and probably many of the comments, shows how little people understand of how the ratings and broadcast networks' business model works.

The "family" has been dead for years, ratings-wise. The only numbers that count -- at all -- are adults 18-49, and within that group women 18-34 are particularly valued. That's why singing and dancing competitions rule the airwaves. If you are under 18 or older than 49 your TV viewing habits do not matter to advertisers, they do not matter to networks. An 100 million kids could watch a prime time TV show, and it will still get canceled if not enough adults are watching.

Why? Because TV networks do not have viewers as customers, it's the advertisers that pay their bills. And the advertisers have decided that those are the only age ranges worth selling to, on prime-time TV.

Online, DVD sales, international sales do NOT bring any revenue whatsoever to TV networks, and no matter how popular a show is off of a US TV set, it is worthless if it does not have an high rating in the key demo. Unless -- and only, unless -- the Network is also the production company for that show. (but most are not) Production companies do make money from DVDs online purchases, rights and online ads -- so a company (such as amazon or Hulu) can bypass the Networks and produce successfully online, as is now happening.

I do disagree with the advertisers age ranges, and feel they could monetize the younger and older audiences as well. But I do also understand why they feel they can reach these audiences easily without any need to pay for expensive TV ads.

We are probably reaching a transition point in TV viewing anyway. A business model like the MLB.TV model is one that probably works best. A worldwide 24/7 online TV channel paid for by subscription and/or advertising. It provides full demographic info in real time, allows one-click purchasing to firms, and it allows for long-tail and niche programming too. That is a much better model for advertisers and viewers -- but not too good for the network middlemen, unless they jump on that bandwagon right now.

As an aside, similar is true for movies -- which have a totally different demographic (12-24 usually). Long, long gone are movies like "The Sand Pebbles". Why? Because adults do not go to the cinema in sufficient numbers to matter, unless they are taking their kids to see a kids movie. There is very little overlap between TV and movies in terms of significant audience. Movies are only for children, and TV is only for adults these days (and female adults mostly too, since men are easy targets through sports).

Comment: Commute to work? (Score 1) 687

by owlnation (#41609683) Attached to: A Day in Your Life, Fifteen Years From Now
Why? Nobody who works in advertising really needs to be in an office today, never mind in 15 years time. It's perfectly possible for any such office worker to work from home, and be more productive, right now, today, with the technology currently available..

You'd really think that 15 years in the future even the dumbest members of society (e.g. ad execs) would have figured out that the really do not need to waste money on expensive office buildings, waste economic resources and pollute the environment with unnecessary commutes, causing frustration and fatigue in the process.

The only thing stopping that happening right now, is bad management and the vacuous waste of carbon atoms that are HR staff. With better technology available in 15 years time the need to physically be in the same place as someone you are working with will be even more preposterous than it is now.

Comment: Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (Score 1) 386

by owlnation (#40275525) Attached to: RMS Robbed of Passport and Other Belongings In Argentina

When you're in a third-world country (like Argentina has been since their economic troubles started), or even in third-world-like areas of better countries (like Atlanta, Detroit, St. Louis or Philadelphia), it's very important to maintain constant contact with your valuables.

Spoken like someone who's never been to Buenos Aires.

Argentina isn't exactly third world. Nothing like it. Second world at worst, and similar to many of the less-wealthy European countries at best. It has a relatively low crime rate compared to many US cities.

You run the risk of getting a bag with a laptop stolen anywhere in the world. London, Paris, New York, Detroit, Berlin, Tokyo... etc. And in universities in any of those cities.

Comment: Re:Sci Fi Luminaries? (Score 2) 158

so was Space Command.

Doesn't really matter -- you can't copyright a title. Although, you could register it as a trademark, perhaps.

There's plenty of movies with the same title. As long as the content, concept and characters are unique, there's no legal issue.

However, you DO run the risk of confusing your audience and making it harder to search for your movie on the internet, etc., if you use a previously-used title. It may also upset distributors for just that reason.

Having said that, the target demo for this kind of movie does not seem to be one that would respond well to a movie named "Space Command". Do you really think that would impress and interest a 14 year old? Because your distributor will be expecting you to target that demographic, and dropping you like an hot stone if you don't.

Comment: Re:Sci Fi Luminaries? (Score 5, Insightful) 158

Frankly I'm confused that they couldn't scrounge up $100k amongst all those names...

Yes... that's exactly what does not make sense here.

These guys aren't civilians. These guys aren't naive students, fresh out of college; arrogant, idealistic, and with unrealistic dreams, with no sense of demographics, and no experience of making motion pictures -- i.e. your typical kickstarter client.

Getting funding for a motion picture is very difficult if you have no industry connections. However, it is surprisingly easy if you do. In this case, all you would need is a script written by someone with experience (check), some directorial or VFX experience would be good (check), and at least one B-List named actor who has signed a letter of intent. That might not get you all the money you need, but it would definitely get you enough to get started, you could easily get a million or so that way.

Considering they've worked on shows with plenty of actors who are not exactly busy right now, you'd think there's at least one person they can call to get them interested. Admittedly as a writer and vfx designer they'd have little contact with on-screen talent. However, they MUST know people who know people.

If you have experience and some sort of name in the industry you can sell to people who have real money, just as easily as you can sell to some guy on the net with $10.

Ergo... something does not add up here.

Plus the fact, I'm pretty sure most professional distributors would look down on any kickstarter funded project. I would seriously doubt the ability of any kickstarter project to ever get into cinemas. I assume none have as yet, I doubt many ever will.

Admittedly, I am of the opinion that kickstarter is just another parasite that looks to suck the dreams out of the desperate, idealistic and naive. There's no shortage of similar parasites in the industry. And there's no shortcuts to success in the industry. You have a sellable product, or you don't -- it's a business, and that is what most new filmmakers forget. (along with demographics -- it's only teenagers that go to the cinema in enough numbers to make real money from a movie. If your movie doesn't appeal to teens, kiss your profits and distribution deal goodbye).

Comment: Re:When they (Score 4, Insightful) 423

by owlnation (#40045077) Attached to: Facebook IPO Stumbles Out of the Gate

Because there's no indication that Facebook is falling apart and no major competitor out there to kick their ass? Even Google isn't making a dent in Facebook's ability to further integrate into the rest of the web.

Hmm, no. I very much doubt any of that is true. Facebook is definitely past its peak. It's not actively bleeding users yet, but now that they have a bunch of shareholder to answer to, they will get greedier and even more maliciously corporate.

It's not like Facebook has a loyal fanbase. This is not Apple, nor Google, nor even Microsoft. It's a company that most people use for the sake of convenience, but most people have little respect for -- every change they make results in mass protest, and has done since its inception. Its parasitical nature and disrespect for privacy is well-known throughout the World. Just as with MySpace, people would drop it like an hot stone if another social network had their friends on it.

Now, for now, their friends are not on Google+ -- but that can turn on a dime. All it needs it Google to care about taking that top spot from Facebook. A good six month marketing strategy, some high profile users, and Facebook is a dead as MySpace.

That is all it takes. It can happen. And is very likely to happen at some point in the next 5 years max.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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