Smartphones and Cake

BB vs. iPhone

It was one of those days, where I spoke to a potential partner about competitive advantage.  It was hard to get a read on the person, like so many others.  Jobs said people don’t know what they want, you have to show them.  But some people do not know what they want even after you show them.   Jobs, people know they want a thing; a tangible thing, when they see it, but they struggle with abstract things.

Deep  Research

Okay, that headline was false.  I did not really deeply research this phenomenon that I come to call the Rowe Effect.  But, I’ve kept an eye on it for a few decades.  Uber is an abstract concept that was sufficiently executed and then grew into the thing that we know it as today.  Few people know that Uber was not a “taxi service” as such, but an app for people to carpool.  Through need and supply, pivots and incrementalism, the Uber Original became  Uber Today.  Companies like Lyft, on the other hand, saw during  the early stages of Uber that there is an need for a crowd sourced taxi service, if one can label it as such.  Lyft never had to go through the metamorphosis. 


I have to remind myself that this is a media/video blog and not rant about my frustrations swimming up-stream.  Video on the Internet (VOI) are solidly part of our daily info or entertainment diet.  But unlike the old day, when you got your info and entertainment over a square box, there are in modernity none of the  gate keepers in the form of broadcast bosses.  Or is there? 

Catch 22

How no one can see this is beyond me.  The modern gatekeeper is not the whimfull TV boss; it is a highly logical algorithm that gets its marching orders from a democratic consensus.  This is a mouthful, but let me say it in another way:  what you see in your feed is what everyone wants to see in their feed.  To get out of that track is very hard.  Also for said track to change is a slow and difficult process.  If no one is discovering you it will be hard to be discovered.  If you already highly ranked, you will rank more highly.   This is obvious but what is less apparent is that a lot of great content will never hit your eyeballs because there is a curation problem which the old days of TV did not have.  Sure the old days had other issues, but this issue is an elephant in the room, at least for me. 

Let Me Spell It Out

Content producers, technicians, service providers et-all should self-unionize and self-curate.    They should form teams, groups, circles; networks where their efforts can be co-ordained.  Things like knowledge, skills, and even cost of marketing can be co-opted. Burden and profits are shared.   It comes down to game-theory of which I wrote earlier. 


But in most cases, what I observe is that most prefer the cupcake over the 4 tier wedding cake.  Most understand cupcake and are intimidated by the complexity of 4 tier wedding cake.  Or, and this is the most likely, they will rather have all of a cupcake than; God Forbid, share any part of a wedding cake. 

The System Works! (another update)

Evolution on our trending system,  showing that it can keep up with changes that Google and YouTube throws at it.  Video marketing works, people!

Running on 20% power at a budget of $3 per day.

Update:  12 hours later

LUPR -Digital Signage & Audio Player - YouTube
LUPR -Digital Signage & Audio Player – YouTube


Update:  After the weekend

update v-LUPR -Digital Signage & Audio Player - YouTube
LUPR -Digital Signage & Audio Player – YouTube

Don’t be a Dick Rowe

Not a fan of Rock ‘n Roll

AKA the guy who did not sign The Beatles.

Dick Rowe went to his grave known as ‘The Man Who Turned Down The Beatles‘ after they’d auditioned to him at Decca.    This became an idiom of the era.  Here is another article about the poor sod.  In those days there was in the record industry an title of A & R.  Artist and Repertoire.  The assumption was that good singers could not wright songs and good song writers could not sing.  It is the case sometimes, but to me it sounds like just another excuse for industry to tighten the reigns of control.
On that day the Fab Four maybe had a bad day.  Or maybe  it was Dick who had a bad day.

There must be a system

History is littered with stories like this.  Walt Disney was rejected more than 100 times.  The two Steve’s at Apple Corp.  One Steve could design, code and do electronics while the other Steve was an A-hole who was in the right spot at the right time 5 times in a row.  Guess which one became an Icon and billionaire?    (The other Steve is doing alright.)
Wozniak and Jobs

On the flip-side there are people in janitorial positions at companies  like Micro Soft that had stock options when the  company  blew up in a spectacular manner.    The truth is there is no way of knowing.  Nassim Nicholas Taleb  writes about this very thing in allot of his books.  Black Swan is mainly about capitalizing (or avoiding) things that can in no way be predicted.

Silicon Valley to the Rescue

In the 90s all sorts of strange things started happening in tech and finances, almost none of which I agree with.  One positive thing, however,  was the way venture capital started to work.  Before it was like that A & R guy, Dick, in the 1950s, where they would “audition” companies who already had a winning strategy and then to “mentor” said company to the “next level”.  That is certainly not a bad approach.  But things started moving just too fast in the early days of the internet.    The new approach was to rather invest small amounts of seeding capital in 10 000 tech startups, rather than colossal amounts of funding in a few companies.  The hope is; and the odds are, that one in 10 000 will blow up to be the next Google, Uber or Netflix.   VCs are basically betting that  9 999 of the tech startups will fail.   None of the startups are betting that they will fail and there in lies the paradox of Dick Rowe. 

Moral of the story?

Don’t be a Dick (sorry, I could not resist) Rowe.   Put aside time each week to score some free  coffee, but don’t be a snob.  Listen to ideas and try to connect people.  One day someone might do the same for you.  Have an open mind and go forth to be an entrepreneur.  Just don’t tell your mom too soon 😉



Ethnography is the systematic study of people and cultures. It is designed to explore cultural phenomena where the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study.   An ethnography is a means to represent graphically, through video documentation or in writing the culture of a group.

Who has read the book by Paco Underhill, 
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping

There is a revised edition  out for the internet-era.  I cannot wait to get my nose in one.   Having said that, the new edition is already more than a decade old.    It will be a curious read.  

After disruption there is a reversion to the norm. 

For TV and video producers this is the worse of times and the best of times.    Tech is cheap, the tools of the trade is great and the resources on how to use them is ample.    But what is missing?    Experience, maybe?   A deeper understanding of the old systems gave form to the new?

Let me break it down for you

Before we shoot a single frame, we take keywords from the provided script and see how they will behave as search phrases.  Below is a screen grab from a company that we used to do work for.    This company;  like many others at the time, moved all their media in-house.  There is nothing wrong with such a move per say, as long as it works.  In this case, it seems to me,  that it does not.

The Production value is great, but the view count tells a different story.


Ten out of Ten (A System for winning)

How do you guarantee a 100% hit rate?

Watch this video:

Can it be?  Is there a system for winning?  Well, yes.  But this is not the whole story.  I’ve been fascinated, since being a music student in collage, with system thinking.  Back then it was my contention; and it still is, that the code to The Beatles songwriting can be cracked.  It can be analyzed and replicated.  

So here is how the system works: 

Maybe Daren took the metaphor too far and then I ran with it.    At DCL it is my pet subject “to recognize the patterns”  …  “to game the system” …”to find a shortcut to making videos trend“….

One can definitely do most of the heavy lifting with one’s mind.

(By the way, here are one of the songs made with the mentioned “system”.    Not based on the Beatles algorithm, but on the rock anthems from the 70s through the 90s.    Let me know what you think.)