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July, 2009:

A Grove Outlook

Been meaning to write this post since I read the article What Detroit Can Learn From Silicon Valley by Andy Grove (Intel) the Journal last week.

I do not get too political on this blog and don’t wish too in this post. But as we live in the world of bailouts and government intervention, Grove’s comments are too timely. I’m not talking about his perspective about vertical integration but his points are quite valid there too. I think his point about government involvement (or not to) is spot on.

“Imagine if in the middle of the computer transformation the Reagan administration worried about the upheaval and tried to rescue this vital industry by making huge investments in leading mainframe companies. The purpose of such investments would have been to protect the viability of these companies. The effect, however, would have been to put the brakes on transformation and all but ensure that the U.S. would lose its leadership role.”

This is a very compelling statement. Think about it. More often than not, people that know me know that I will fall into the camp of letting innovation, letting customers choose and the markets decide. In the long term, letting companies that have fundamental problems and issues figure it out themselves forces creation, value for customers and quite effectively removes bloat from the market. Sometimes sea changes happen, companies go away, new ones enter that have learned from the past and are built for the future. Holding up things for a few more rounds that are clear are not working typically costs us in the short term (money), costs of in the long term (money) and the scariest consequence could prevent new emerging greatness from places we aren’t aware of yet or least expect. Definitely Darwinian but in most cases, the best path.

Something to think about.

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I Want My MTV

MTV Logo.
Image via Wikipedia

Remember that tag line? Thinking back to the 80’s, there are not many ads that stick in my mind as much as the ones from MTV. Maybe “Where’s the Beef?” Push forward a couple of decades to today and the slogan has even more meaning.

Many of you have been asking so I wanted to post a quick update on my doings and whereabouts. And from the intro, you probably guessed it. About four weeks ago I joined MTV Networks and will be working in their Global Digital Media group on an initiative called “Scenic”. I’m sure I’ll be posting more on that in the future.

At a high level, “Scenic” is an initiative aiming to bridge a lot of the innovative platform capabilities that MTV Networks continues to pump out whether it be search, content, social, video and the like with an optimal and flexible way to deploy site features across the network. As you can see from my lack of posts, my first four weeks have not disappointed. It’s been busy but I’m thoroughly enjoying it as I’m working with a great team of people, we are innovating with some of the latest web technologies, working on a complex problem and building a set of digital products that aim to build great online experiences for users.

It is safe to say that MTV has evolved quite a bit in last 20 plus years. What was once MTV has now evolved into a portfolio of some of the best media brands out there. Of course there’s MTV, VH1 and CMT on the music side but in entertainment there’s Spike, Comedy Central and Atom. Leaving out a ton but you get the idea. My daughter is particularly excited that I’ll be working with Dora and Diego over at Nickelodeon. And internationally, there is an enormous amount we are doing as we extend the brands beyond the domestic market. (Apologies for the free plug, MTV Music Spain launched earlier this week!)

To close, check out MTV: The First 24 Hours. Wow.

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