Allan Isfan is a co-founder of FaveQuest, a young start-up. This blog covers start-up topics.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Google

Hello, my name is Old Media and I'm an Adaholic

I attended the AlwaysOn OnMedia conference in NYC last week and took part in the CEO Showcase, a six minutes of fame for FaveQuest. I haven't seen the video yet (how long does it take to put a freaking video online!!). I could have sucked it in to Adobe Premiere Pro, put some cool effects, added some music and have it up on line in less than an hour! As soon as I get my hands on it I'll share it with you if it doesn't suck too much.

I went there primarily to connect with more people in the media and advertising industries as well as investors in the space. I also paid very close attention to what media companies were saying regarding the things they worry about, where they think they are weak and what they may be doing about it. I feel it was worth my time though the price tag was a bit steep.

I came away realizing even more than I did before that the whole old media market is a mess and that they have no clue what to do about it but at least they seem to be admitting it more now. Will they make the transition? Many won't but some, like Newscorp, will flourish. We need to tie ourselves to the winners.

They are asking themselves all the tough questions and at least some seem to have willingness to try new things which bodes very well for us. Should they just concentrate on creating or acquiring great content? Should they become a platform and bring whatever content people want to see, even if that includes content they didn't create themselves? It also became very clear that many executives in the media space wish they were software companies so that they could create the environments and platforms that are kicking their ass for the attention of the people they are trying to connect with. At least that's what they seem to be saying. Good for companies like us and others ... they need us.

Even though this is an industry in serious turmoil in my opinion, ironically the conference was held at the very posh Mandarin New York. Conference people had a great deal to stay at the hotel ... $650/night. What a bargain! Needless to say, I didn't get a room there. I stayed where ever William Shatner told me to ... (via Priceline). The Wellington on 7th avenue. Ten minute walk, king sized bed, hot water, free wireless internet, no roaches, Starbucks across the street. $140/night.

I think there's another problem lurking. An overwhelming number of the start-ups that are getting attention are those that are finding innovative ways to put more ads in front of people. Is that what we really need? More banners and interruptions? Hello, my name is Old Media and I'm an Adaholic.

I'm very happy that our company is talking to media companies and organizations that I think will make that transition. I truly think we can help them ... no kidding. There are other companies that I came across that I thin also get it. In my next post, I'll give you some examples of some companies that I think are doing great work by focusing on the users (i.e. you and I). I'll also tell you why I think FaveQuest is doing the right things.

If interested for more on the topic of old media, check out the following post by Marc Andreesen. He is putting The New York Times on deathwatch.
http://blog.pmarca.com/2008/02/inaugurating-th.html

Cheers,

Allan

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