Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." James Joyce

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"I'm forever raising the high bar and breaking my neck to clear it." John Kluge

Today's image: Surrealist Twist by AndyKapped. Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

What's the second most misunderstood word in the business lexicon? Innovation, so says branding and marketing ace Tom Asacker. Tom's right about that and right again in declaring the most misunderstood word to be brand. We can all learn something from Tom. Here's the first part of Tom's definition of innovation...

"Innovation is the successful introduction of a new idea that results in a more desirable customer experience, and..."

Complete that sentence and get Tom's insight on this much talked about (and too often misunderstood) subject, read his latest article The Enemy of Innovation, here's the jump. Highly recommended. Bravos, Tom!

"Nothing stops technology, nothing."

That's one important lesson learned from my dear friend, mentor and former partner the legendary Larry Bentson. The company that started in the motion picture exhibition business (you may know that as the movie theater or cinema trade) got into radio when radio was to kill the movies, then into TV when TV was to kill movies and radio, then Cable when Cable TV was to be the certain death of movies, radio and broadcast TV. The day I joined the firm they still owned every one of those businesses, had for decades and everything was successful or very successful.

Our mission was to stay ahead of the curve. The daily question being...What's next? The objective at hand...keep the plates we have spinning, add new plates.

We built a video retailing chain (remember, they were going to kill theaters, TV and Cable), got serious about building a telephony-communications firm (the phone is the future!), acquired the largest teleport in North America (sat delivery would soon be king), started a software development company (computers will be ubiquitous and they'll need software), launched a leisure services company (marinas could benefit from professional management including market research) and a bunch of other stuff. The point of this story is staying current is really important. Larry used to say when people asked why he got into so many competing and varied businesses "We're basically paranoid about losing everything and like to keep the portfolio diversified. We like to get into new things early."

As the partner responsible for marketing and sales let me say it was big fun. Over a dozen learning curves. Learned a bunch but the key take away comes back to Larry's one liner "Nothing stops technology, nothing." Getting a grasp of this, a deep understanding of what's happening around you is powerful. Early indications can be very important. The guy who is living on the leading edge of TV news, no...make that the future of video journalism is Michael Rosenblum. Please, come with me, see the future here. Thank you Michael, well done.

The real story: The one you won't read anywhere else. The back story on how the Clear Channel deal came around. Heidi N. Moore has done a fine job dishing the detail via, check it out here. Kudos to Heidi!

Bonus: Harve Alan

More future, more often: Eric Savitz provides excellent coverage of the week's single coolest event - The Churchill Club's Top Ten Tech Trends Dinner. Here are some headlines, complete post by Eric at the jump.

  • "Demographics are destiny, creating opportunity"
  • "The mobile phone will be a mainstream personal computer"
  • "Water tech will replace global warming as a priority"
  • "Evolution trumps design"
  • "Within five years everything that matters to you will be available to you on a device that fits on your belt or in your purse"
Read At The Churchill Club: The Top Ten Tech Trends here.

They must be stopped: Gen X vs The Millennials. Robert Lanham fires the first shot via Radar here.

Astro buzz: Flash 10

Blogs you should know about (but probably never heard of): The Industry Standard's Top 25 B-to-Z List

Congrats & cheers: Les and Quincy on CBS acquiring CNET for 1.8 billion cash. Comcast bought Plaxo, deal closed today (thanks to Michael Arrington via FriendFeed).