Rooting for the Roots – Taking the Right Route

October 2014

Rooting for the Roots – Taking the Right Route

Many among us consider today’s rapid changes and significant number of high end innovations in entertainment and entertainment technology, among other businesses and industries, to be in a state of upheaval and disruption.

That is not necessarily a bad thing.   In particular, we are seeing growth in the ways that content is produced and distributed, and how, where and when it is viewed across many platforms.

Such technologies as over the top (OTT), virtual reality, display devices, broadband connectivity and all manner of cloud computing and storage systems, mobile data, mobile payments, the commoditization of voice calls, wearables and many more are causing a frenzy at numerous points on the value chains that connect these and other businesses. It is a frenzy in both the horizontal and vertical businesses that form the overall interconnected ecosystem in any one or more industry.

The opportunity for great rewards has stirred the entrepreneurial spirit in many and for good reason.   There are opportunities at the end of the rainbow.   It is a time for change and new ideas, for both the inventors and for the market.

But to get to that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, businesses, no matter what their product or service, will need to pay attention to their roots, the basic principles that guide and help an organization grow on a solid base.

For many, that is easier said than done.

Along the way, in booming industries, there will be the inevitable road kill, the companies whose product or service did not quite stand the test of the market, or for some, were simply not completed on time, on budget, or both.

It is not always about the concept the company is bringing to market, but rather, whether or not the timing is right for that concept. We have seen people through the years chase the holy grail only to find that it is many years too early. Some of those ideas we may just see again in some form or another in 5, 10 or 20 years when the timing is right.

And for others, the concept will be right on, but the team just could not execute, if indeed there even was a team. Those, too, may reappear at some point down the road.

Consolidation is also inevitable as the various industry segments, especially those related to newer technologies begin to mature.

When we started our consulting practice many years ago, at a time when digital technologies of all kinds were just beginning to take hold and penetrate the market, we saw numerous organizations that fit these broad descriptions.

Sadly, many of them are no longer with us.   And if it was not one of the above scenarios that did them in, the bust in the tech boom of the late 90s or the recession more recently got them.

In the early days, we wrote about many such important concepts and generally included potentially helpful solutions with topics such as 10 Steps to a More Profitable Company, The 7 Steps Beyond, When Showing up is Not Enough, Indirect Marketing, Going to Abilene and Understand Before You Sign, among many others.

The concepts in those still apply today, even though they were not written “yesterday.”   The goal then as it is now: to show the right route.

In time, though, it was more fun to publish our consulting newsletters on future thinking concepts and trends in the marketplace on such matters as A Shift is Upon Us, Bracing for the Correction, Curse of the Legacy, Futuring TV: A Look Ahead and what has been an annual Perspective on NAB and CES, as well among others.

For those who follow the newsletters, and in the most recent several years the many posts on current topics on various social sites, those topics are still a lot of fun and they are ones that are very pertinent to our clients and our prospective clients.

They are often forward thinking in nature.

But so are the earlier topics, perhaps more so and perhaps more important today as we continue along the rapid growth trajectory.

It is our hope that the many start ups and early stage companies that are in the frenzy today will survive in the long term, but to do so will require they pay attention to the basics and go back to their roots.

In fact, we are rooting for them.

There are effectively two routes to take, one right the other less so. Which route will you take?

As for The Shindler Perspective

Twice a year for many years now, I have moderated panels at Digital Hollywood, as I will again later this month.   Both are on very timely topics with a great array of executives participating.

If you have not attended Digital Hollywood, visit the site to learn more. The conference includes a vast range of topics and a stellar list of moderators and panelists. It will be held at the Ritz Carlton, Marina del Rey, California.

The first panel The Future of TV: From Primetime to MultiPlatforms: Wall Street Analysts Meet Entertainment Executives will be on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 7:45 AM.

Panelists are:

  • Cindy McKenzie, Managing Director, Entertainment, Media and Communications, US, PriceWaterhouseCoopers
  • Larry Namer, President, Metan Development; Founder of E! Entertainment
  • Michael Pachter, Managing Director, Equity Research, Wedbush Securities
  • Dounia Turrill, Senior Vice President, Client Insights, The Nielsen Company
  • David Watkins, Director – Connected Home Devices, Digital Consumer Practice, Strategy Analytics

This panel will be webcast live.   The link will be available that morning on the Digital Hollywood website.

Also of a very timely nature is the second panel, Hollywood Strategies – The Multi-Platform Brand – Theatrical, Video, TV & Mobile – Multiple Screens are the Future – the 360 Degree Marketplace.   This will be at 10:45 AM on October 21.

Panelists are:

  • Phil Groves, Senior Vice President, IMAX Corp & Executive Vice President, Global Distribution, IMAX Entertainment
  • Bob Lenihan, President of Programming, AMC Theaters
  • Kevin Lin, CTO,
  • Mitch Singer, President, Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem and former Chief Digital Officer, Sony Pictures
  • Andrew Solmssen, Managing Director, Possible, Los Angeles

CES – It is October and that means it is less than three months before the International Consumer Electronics Show.   From all reports to date, we are anticipating an even larger show than in the past, if that is even possible.   We’ll be there and will provide our Perspective on CES 2015 following the show.

Stay tuned to our social media sites as we are in discussion to moderate a most interesting topic at Storage Visions one of the CES partner conferences. Details will be forthcoming soon.

SMPTE – The annual SMPTE Conference is later this month.   Congratulations to all who will be receiving awards, but in particular to Ioan Allen for The Progress Medal; Jim Houston for The Technicolor/Herbert T. Kalmus Medal; Clyde Smith for The David Sarnoff Medal; and, Steve Wright for the Kodak Educational Award.

Trends in the Marketplace and Other

Trends – Under the heading of never looking back, at the end of Quarter 2, for the first time, the number of broadband subscribers in the US exceeded the number of video customers.   This is pertinent to both “current and future events” as well as to our forthcoming Digital Hollywood panels.   Earnings season is upon us and no doubt the trend will continue when updated statistics are released in November.

Comics reflect reality – Dilbert tells it as it is in the workplace better than most.   These two Dilbert comics discuss leadership and 60 hour weeks, a key reason many do not work in the “factory” and leadership and upward informal evaluations.

And in keeping with the overall theme of this newsletter, opportunity, Blondie and Dagwood have their take on the topic.

Roberta Shindler joins me in wishing our friends and colleagues well. We look forward to seeing you at Digital Hollywood and at CES if not prior at another industry event.

Please feel free to send your feedback on what you read here, pro or con or other matters of interest to you.

For The Shindler Perspective, Inc.


Marty Shindler


Chief Executive Officer


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