Showing posts from November, 2007

Bad Advertising Promotion Line: Toyota

While watching TV ads today the following line comes on{
"Toyota available for the price of a Corolla!"

This tag line was repeated at least thrice.
Why wouldn't someone catch that this was just a terrible ad!
You're making the Corolla brand look bad. To me, I'd never thought of it as a "cheap" option. Suddenly you just put the idea in my head.You're not actually telling me how much money I'll save if I buy a Camry now. You're assuming that I know how much both cars cost...I don't...which means I'm less likely to act like you want me to.My guess: someone looked at how much they could discount the Camry, noticed that it was close to the price of a Corolla and decided it was a promotional strategy...resulting in the mess above. Good intentions all around, just a possibly bad outcome for the Corolla brand.

The moral of the story? Always consider side-effects and always get an outsider's perspective.

Mildly amusing (to me) words that came out of my mouth last week

Reprised something I've been using on-and-off for more than a few years now:
"The meek may inherit the earth...but everyone else is going to screw it up so badly by the time they get it, I'm not sure it'll be worth it."

"I officially give up on my one-big-happy-yet-dysfunctional-family theory of organizations today."

"Wow. For someone who's supposed to be smart, that was pretty stupid."

"I can no longer add any value to this conversation. I'm going to go and eat a cookie."

As heard on TV.....

while watching an advertisement for a drug during a BBC America re-run

"...if you or a loved one have suffered side-effects or died due to using this contact a physician.." :)

Ah, figuring out how to charge for TV shows online

A couple of days ago, I shared (via Reader) this article by Duncan Riley over at TechCrunch. His basic premise was that Big TV (networks in the US) just weren't getting it. His basic arguments were that the increasing use of Bittorrent (and other alternatives) meant that the networks couldn't really justify products which
didn't offer broad choice (i.e. all the programs that they could make available)restricted based on geography (i.e. certain shows are only available in the US)had an expiry date (i.e. only TV shows broadcast in the last x weeks are available)had bad content (because more options now exist on long-tail stuff)I ended up thinking about the third of these practices the other day, and decided it wasn't really as bad Duncan made it out to be and may not be just about future DVD sales as he suggests. In fact, if you wanted to be charitable, its a creative attempt to figure out a business model in a changing environment.

Price-discriminating with respect to tim…

Words that I've decided need to be used better: startup

I've decided some words are used far too frequently/loosely and have resolved to use them better in daily life. :)

Startup: thrown around far too often because saying one works at a start-up sounds sexier than saying one works at a small company. So new rule: if you work at place that has been around for more than two years and/or has released the second version of their product, the place is no longer "starting up". You work at a small company, not a start-up and you should be fine with saying it.

Is innovation just making things a little bit better?

A few days ago, I had to explain the difference between 2 technologies to someone. His response at the end was "Isn't that just a little bit better than the first technology though? Why would anyone find that all that useful? No one would be willing to spend more money on that?" I couldn't help feeling that while he had a point, but he was also missing it all together.

Isn't innovation often just figuring out how to make things just a little bit better/little bit easier. That "little bit" is sometimes enough (think DVRs replacing the old VCRs leading to the increase in people time-shifting though it was always possible before; think Apple making listening to music easier by intergrating the entire stack though finding music online and putting it on MP3 players was always possible before.) Of course, many times it just isn't enough and thats why so many products don't really catch fire.

But the lesson is kinda obvious, if you're short of ideas …

Ah, globalization...

..when a mainstream Hindi film hits the main Apple trailers page.
I guess having mainstream Hollywood studio as a producer has some advantages.

I must say, watching a hindi movie trailer in high resolution is a welcome change from having to catch em on YouTube:); especially this one since... say what you will about (in my opinion, the really good, but still really over-rated)Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the man knows how to create gorgeous looking frames.

In what will come as a shock to people who know me well, I haven't got around to watching this movie yet (yes, though its been out for 5 days!:)) I have a sneaking feeling I'll be slightly disappointed by it though.

When you expect to be disappointed though, can you really still be disappointed? Yes, this is how I waste my braincells.

TV thoughts this week...

Quick TV thoughts this week: Yeah, I know the quality of my blogging has deteriorated even further.:)

SouthPark: ImaginationLand
I'm definitely a SouthPark fan, though I've come to accept that a huge variance in quality is part of the game with this TV show. Some of the their episodes can be really bad, but then there are times when they can put out just sheer genius. The ImaginationLand trilogy was pure genius; some depth even if you weren't looking for it; incredibly, incredibly funny and as always, reasonable social statements were made. If you'd watched the show for a while, there were tons of "in" jokes as well, e.g. ManBearPig

In other news, I'm surprised that this is a show I can't seem to look away from: Brothers and Sisters, and how good does a show have to be (this one: Pushing Daisies) so that you actually think to yourself "Oh, I better not watch this on DVR now. My mood isn't that great, don't want to risk not enjoying it."

2 great series of posts: Economics of Free/User-generated structure

I ended up re-visiting two really great series of posts this week that I'd meant to for a while, that I wanted to share

The first is a great series on TechDirt by Mike Masnick about the economics of free. (the link is the concluding article with all the other articles linked at the end.) I couldn't help thinking about how to better apply the economics of scarcity/abundance to the industries I care about. More on that later.
The second is a pretty interesting series on the LSVP blog by Jeremy Liew: 1, 2, 3, 4.