Category Archives: Technology & Us

Video Marketing & Production Trends, 2016 Edition

Borrowed from

What does 2016 have in store for us?

I love crystal ball questions! They sky, or better even, the universe is the limit.

To look into the future you need to also poke around in the past and discern patterns. Here a few video production and marketing trends, that I have seen develop and have kept an eye on in the four years I have written about the future of tech and how it impacts media in general and audiovisual work in particular.

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Video Today

DIY-screwsYouTube has become the second largest search engine after Google. Video ups your conversion rate on product sales somewhere above 60%. Stunning.

One would think that would be every video production companies and video producers dream come true. Well, not necessarily, a few other trends are playing out too. The internet has not only democratized the flow of information and crated “the conversation”, it also has altered content delivery and content consumption. Video production is now accessible to everybody, thanks to smart phones, a plethora of editing and mash-up apps and hosting services. Continue reading

Why Good Enough is Good Enough

The Swiss thrive on perfection. There is a reason you’re known for our quality lenses, precision tools, watches, fine chocolates, and amazing cheeses, alas with holes. “Good enough” you wouldn’t hear in Switzerland and even if it were true for certain things, it wouldn’t be verbalized.

As a Swiss transplant to New York and now a proud American citizen it took a moment to wrap my brain around “good enough”. Occasionally I do cross-cultural coaching and we spend quite a bit of time discussing “The 80/20”; meaning, Americans don’t believe in perfect. The remaining 20% to get something from good enough to perfect is not worth the effort, time and money. (You know I’m generalizing here, but you get the picture).

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Future Disruptive Tech 2015 and 2016

Cesar Quintero_Stock_Future_DisruptTech_BlogBrian Solis, always a great resource for this blog, put together a list early 2015 looking at tech trends and disruptive trends for 2015 and 2016. As we are close to half-way through, I thought I’d go through the list again and pull out what was of interest today and for this blog. Below a curated list of 12 of the 25 original points. For the full list click here. Continue reading

Video Sharing

Nina70ies-BrownoutiftGrowing up we played a game called „as of now”. The premise was that we were on a show and people were watching our every move and we had to fulfill a mundane task, like doing homework, or helping with household chores, or playing doctor, as gracefully (or cool) as possible and keep a running commentary, which had to be as smart-ass funny as we could come up with.  We controlled who the audience was. Mostly our classmates, a boy we liked or a very cool grown up – definitely NOT our parents.

This was in the late 70ies and we where budding teens. Not a reality show in sight, no judging and certainly no million dollar prize to fight for. Also no cell phone to record our theatrics, no apps to share what we taped and no internet to connect us to our friends. Continue reading

The Sharing Economy

As much talk as there is about the sharing economy, and there certainly are major disruptors out there, some of it isn’t really all that new in concept. Sharing occurs if something is superfluous. Or, if there is a desire to share with someone something you have and they don’t.


Drill-Collaborative-ConsumptionThe sharing economy is really about renting, borrowing, and providing a service. An article from earlier this year in the Harvard Business Review calls it an access economy, as the real disruptor lies in the capability to handle the access to all the sharing via technology, an app and/or a website.

There are different sharing economy models. In some a company owns the assets and shares them across its members, see Zipcar. Other models, a company manages the platform and the rules of sharing, but the assets are owned by the individuals who are members, see Airbnb, Closet Collective and Uber.

Then there are services and skills shared. They go through a sharing or offering platform, such as Task Rabbit or The Creative Group. Here the disruption is the access via technology from a person in need of a service to a service provider.

Although offered as a sharing community on most platforms, a sharing economy is not based on ‘community’ as much as it’s based on benefits, such as cost-effective access to desired assets, flexibility, and the convenience of not having to deal with the obligations that come with ownership. In a peer-to-peer model, the owner or service provider will most likely be engaged due to financial need, and not for an altruistic, ‘sharing the leftovers with the community’, motivation.

The biggest change in my opinion is, other than access via technology, the reciprocal feedback process that is based on TRUST, especially in the peer-to-peer sharing economy models. I’m not sure it always works as intended.

Take Airbnb; the challenge as I see it is, that once you’ve had a personal interaction with your host and you know they get to review you as well, the reviews stop being authentic. On a recent rental, I felt strongly that I wanted to leave negative feedback, but I held back. Why? I didn’t want to be the first person to leave a negative review for a so-called super host. The host was lovely and went out of his way to show us the ins and outs of his home and the town. However, the home was not in the neighborhood advertised and our room was filthy. I would never use Airbnb again, unless a person, who knows how particular I am with cleanliness, would recommend a place.

That brings up the question, on how brand trust is built on-line. If I go to a brick and mortar McDonalds or to Morton’s Steakhouse, I know what I’m getting, years of advertising and marketing positioning tell me what to expect. Both have a very specific customer profile. With a peer-to-peer on-line platform service I don’t know what I’m getting, beyond customer ratings, and I don’t know what those customer’s preferences are, either. Do they normally eat at McDonalds and would be wow-ed, no matter what, by a Morton’s, or are they discerning foodies and wouldn’t give Morton’s the time of day? It will be up to the companies that run peer-to-peer services to do quality control, careful service provider screening and to nurture trust. How will they do it when they interact with their providers AND customers virtually only? We will see.

Addendum:  Time Magazine of week of October 12 has an article on the Sharing Economy.


AI – When the Machines Take Over in 2029

I never understood the concept of Artificial Intelligence overtaking humans until the other day, when I connected two thought processes.

I’ve always maintained that my world is only as smart as I am – meaning anything beyond my smartness kind of disappears into an abyss off incomprehension. I have friends who are much smarter than me, but just HOW MUCH smarter I can’t really tell – because if I could I’d be as smart as them. Make sense? Continue reading

Survival around Digital Natives: One [Buzz] Word at a Time

Last spring, after a few weeks of immersing myself into the throws of transmedia experiences, at the Tribeca Film Festival’s  “Future of” series and the Tribeca Film Institute’s Innovation week I had a whole host of buzzwords swirling around my head (with lots of other stuff of no less significance but no relevance here)…   for a visual clue think of word clouds from blog tags that have found their way into a 3D setting and are floating around (which in effect is how the documentary Clouds looked through the vision googles at Tribeca’s Storyscapes – very cool stuff.)  So, I figured I’d start a (random) list of buzzwords of all things internet, social media, trans media, and etc.

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Curation, the Human Algorithm & the Future of Social Media

There are two expressions I keep coming across in reading about the future of everything that’s web-based and, social media in particular: “content curation” and the “human algorithm”.

The definition of curation is that it’s the care-taking or presentation of things entered into a collection, either physical or digital. With the onslaught of information from all sides, some sort of curation needs to be implemented to collect, filter, verify and disseminate news, entertainment, human interaction in the broadest sense.

An Algorithm, according to Wikipedia is an effective method expressed in mathematics and computer science as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. (Gosh I don’t miss math classes). Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing and automated reasoning. So in a way, an algorithm is the mathematical brother of more artsy curation. Continue reading

The Disruption Machine and all the Cool Stuff

Disruption has become very much en vogue, so much so, I wrote about Disruption February 2013. The word has since moved on; “disruptive innovation” takes its place. A recent article in The New Yorker (June 23, 2014) by Jill Lepone called “The Disruption Machine” talks about the history of disruption and gives it a framework. I highly recommend it.

My understanding is that innovation IS disruption; without disruption no innovation. Speed of development is such today, that there is no time for ‘gentle’ innovation. To quote from Josh Linkner’s book The Road to Reinvention: […] Fickle consumer trends, friction-free markets, and political unrest,” along with “dizzying speed, exponential complexity, and mind-numbing technology advances, mean that the time has come to panic as you’ve never panicked before.”  Continue reading