Strangers are good to have not know you. @johnolilly & @om had an interesting back and forth just now about 2nd chances, Web/App companies & how many succeeded

As I sit here filming background extraction/maps for augmented reality integration in projects we have been filming for nearly 8 years. Content and architecture that we don’t show because it is not “right” yet (or actually the viewing technology is not quite there yet).. I can’t help but add 2¢.  I am old school.  I do not buy into the idea of “get it out there” before you get it extremely close to getting it right.

John and Om are both right aren’t they?  There have been many 2ndary iterations of companies in the past few years that did well.  Only now, in the age of Facebook, Twitter and “tribing” we have created this culture of instantaneous testing in front of a huge audience that you were supposed to have built a “relationship” with.  We have marketers and venture capitalists who have spread out their investments saying you have to get out there… and we reward people who have those large networks by trusting they will come up with the best product.

…and you have to do it with as big of a “tribe” as you can.  We are now in a day where a tribe can get a new technology and blow it up, or trash it, so quickly it may be nearly impossible to fix or scale in a slightly rough manner.  Facebook, Twitter, Firefox/Mozilla… had second and third chances because they rolled it out slowly.  As “new’ as our newfound virtual society is… compared to how fast it is moving now,  2 years ago… it was a walk.

So the point of me writing this little 2¢ is to compare to film and tv (which I know pretty well) as Om did.

If you have an experimental film or pilot, not a safe film, but what you think could be a paradigm shifting moment in the industry or a classic on your hands …something that people have never seen before,..

…you roll it out slowly.  That does not mean just show it with test audiences at a few festivals and then launch it on 5,000+ screens, with Harvey Weinstein’s tribe backing you up (btw Harvey would not do that unless he KNEW that it was accessible to general audiences)  … it means small roll out. Let the reasons it is game-changing be absorbed, before people adopt because they are part of a tribe.  They may not see the “game-changing” over what they see as problems.  On a massive scale that is difficult to counteract and change a tide of negativity toward the title for a company or production that has not built the capital trust needed to counteract such a large scale tide. Go read the history of the roll out of “Bonnie & Clyde”.

I know “beta” is the web’s chance/form to test new ideas/innovations… (It’s test audience form) but there has been historically a test between that and “success”.  A test we don’t necessarily have the time or architecture to come naturally anymore. Not purposeful …but a discovery period that was forced by the pace of discovery in culture.  I would argue that most technology that has succeeded in a second, third, fourth iteration… as large as they may have been at the time had a social culture that made the roll out slowly. They had smaller tests in the slower roll out, that tested the companies ability to fix the bigger tests… they had time for that.  “Strangers” were adopting at a word of mouth pace …that continued to be about the product… not because of the pre-existing relationship with “the tribe or the brand of the tribe.”

When people pressure you to “build your tribe” before you know if your product is any good  & you spend 40% of your time building your tribe (which is a guesstimate of what I watch people do now at a minimum).  Please stop listening.  The only way to know if your product is good,  is for numerous strangers to tell you so because they used it and liked it.  Done well, if they don’t that “quick scale” we now have… is not the same as a grown scale.  Reputations are already built at inception, never mind the moment of inception now is sociological and not individual.

If you build a hyped tribe for your product before it is done… and then launch…even to a small group of 10k.  It is like long form film/tv… if you are going down this road, please go watch The Phantom Menace, Batman Forever, anything with Jude Law from 2004 and think how each was hurt by having a tribe and hype,  before they got it right.

We need strangers and we need to do pre-Broadway runs.

We do not have that culture anymore so we need to figure out where the line is for those things, and just being polite to people and socializing with them is not going to make you successful… We need tribes to be built on the strengths of the actual subject and utility… …not personality.

I think both John and Om are two of the smartest people I listen to. When they debate… it means we are progressing.

When I spout 2¢ …take it for what it’s worth…2¢ …that I probably owe you. I may be wrong but these are where my paranoia(s) and my experience come to meet.

Yes Color is all about crowd sourced “re-augmented reality” but this is not best an app-based goal. The more I think about it, it is best a browser/cloud based goal. I wonder if/what conversations/investment is going on behind the scenes with Rockmelt & Andreesen cuz that would crush.

Yes Color is all about crowd sourced “re-augmented reality” but this is not best an app-based goal. The more I think about it, it is best a browser/cloud based goal. I wonder if/what conversations/investment is going on behind the scenes with Rockmelt & Andreesen cuz that would crush.

Why. The Storycube Guild.

Media producers, creators, writers… must create stronger “current” and “flow” in the age of the storycube and the “permeable”, “reactive” or “missing” 4th walls between platforms. It is not a question of making your story “transmedia” but bringing the platforms into singularity of “flow and current”.

The Storycube Guild is less about pitching your story across platforms & more about converging those platforms into simply-interfaced singularity with the right pressure of current and flow… …& how the new cubic structure of story should integrate retail, finance and revenue, while protecting the art, the story and the audience.

This is where all of the creators realize they are all interchangeable players on the same team.  Each leading when the universe they create calls for it.


Yes, If you take my, or anyone else’s, 90 minutes & ask them to pay… you owe something more than just self-focused, egocentrism.

Truth and truth in story is found in the dialectic. Listen to people with out self-important sensitivity before you film. Do not get angry at ANY people when they have opinions. Even when they act like an ass and won’t let go of their opinion in your face. Listen, think about it, make a judgment and then ignore. If they won’t shut up about it, THEN tell them to shut up about it, … but not until you have genuinely thought about their offering (as messy of a delivery as it may be in). Truth… is… found… thru … the dialectic. Repeat that over and over. Practice that in the face of the fact that most people around you once they give an opinion…don’t practice it. You will be a better storyteller for it, once you can remove the emotion from the action.

Yes the gallery in the clip is a fake test of clickable sales .. Only a test for the hypervideo and people( just like all of it) have to organically discover that stuff.

The CEO/COO’s Team

Yesterday I met with two incredible COO’s (One of whom is one of the top COO’s in the world) and it made me think of how I got here…

So it has usually gone like this (about 50% of the time) -CEO/COO meets us & all totally on same page. If CEO/COO steps out completely… .. then “the ladder” (staff that they hired or promoted under them) out of nowhere, listens enthusiastically, but quietly works at bringing their own “friends” in (& when I say friends I mean a company they want to work with personally). Planning to do something slightly different from what the plan was (in network development it’s called “pissing on the rock”)… or (more often) can’t be bothered because it was a futuristic curve their boss threw at them or are not comfortable with, that they just need to get rid of.

1 of 2 things happens.. CEO/COO stays active in the initiative because they realize it’s important to being  at the front of the paradigm shift & the exec underneath them learns where their “power line” is. Or the initiative gets bogged down, we move on to another company, and the underling exec eventually takes a promotion out to another company because it was never a unified loyal team. I have seen this consistently.

Luckily I have learned to make sure the CEO/COO in
the big companies and I have a good relationship (& more often than not, they all got there because they know what I am typing is true far too often). I had two of those positive meetings with said COOs yesterday.  We are getting better at understanding when to walk away first when we don’t see that type of CEO/COO in the company…because it is a sign of “levelness” and focus in a company.  We can do this because we are such low risk/high reward still at this point and we are not dependent on anyone.  We can still work from a point low-risk/non-dependency where we can still focus on the audience experience above all the politics that can come in to people proving their job worth.  The audience experience…the better it is..the better for everyone.

The other 50% of the time… it’s awesome. You can see those companies, those we work with to be awesome partners in trying to build this new world.

Sorry/funny when you see VC’s who think technology exec experience in traditional media know anything about how traditional media markets worked. Especially ones who were involved in just designing technology for delivery.

Look at Blockbuster… it’s mistakes were made at the turn of century.  It’s mistakes were made not because it was too late to the online market … it’s mistakes started with scaling with a lot of investment (and revenue) $$$ into and at technology, marketing, operations and expansion applications that didn’t have anything to do with why and how people watch movies.

…then not understanding when they started restricting their content based on family friendly measures rather than context and content quality.  Business and technology people started making decisions on most of their forward approach.  They were headed for a cliff at a size and rate they could not change fast enough in the late 90’s or the executive creative knowhow to be even aware of it.  Events and audience awareness (creatives making those decisions) could have fixed that.

Much of the Venture Capital investment in online video in the past 7 years has been based on that same logic.  The NNN deal with Youtube… is going to be the same plummeting mistakes.