Wake up businesses and organizations! Consumers are in control.

komen hack
If you haven’t yet learned from the messes The Susan G. Komen Foundation, Netflix, Bank of America, Verizon and now Burning Man have created for themselves, it’s time to wake up. I’m surprised to see businesses and organizations that have spent so much time building their brands and reputations make such drastic decisions that they know consumers won’t like.

Today a company’s bad decision can ignite an immediate firestorm that can spread across the interwebs as quickly as a tornado can ruin a city. Boards and CEOs in charge of such decisions should consider every possibility for backlash. Hindsight is always 20/20, but with enough of these examples in the past 12 months, I would expect that every organization would thoughtfully gauge the opinions of its target consumer before deciding on a new course that could permanently damage the brand.

burning man shot
Today’s announcement by the Susan G. Komen foundation to reverse its decision was not a surprise. Netflix, Bank of America and Verizon reversed bad decisions on the same timeline. Will it be enough to earn back the trust of the consumer? We’ll see. I know the company has lost mine.

It remains to be seen if Burning Man will be able to come back from its ticket lottery fiasco. My recommendation? Apologize now. Admit you made the wrong decision. Invite the community to share its ideas on how to fix what’s been done. Share what was learned and take action quickly.

I feel lucky to be living in an era where my voice online can have even more power than my vote. I’ll continue using my power as a consumer. I hope you do too.

revolution image

5 reasons to say “Viva la Television Revolution”


by Cam Clark

Viva la Television Revolution! TV has come a long way since 1926. If you think of the DVR as the Wright brothers’ airplane, then we are on the cusp of the jet engine of TV – a fundamental shift in how we consume, interact with and distribute video media. If you look at recent industry developments, a crystal-clear picture begins to emerge.

John Logie Baird

Jan 23, 1926 John Logie Baird gave the first demo of a television apparatus.

Lets start with a Neilson Poll that states “Online Video Usage was up 45% in 2011″ It increased to “68.2% of US internet users, or 158.1 million people watching video content online each month,” as stated by eMarketer. The site also said that “by 2015, that figure will increase to 76% of internet users, or 195.5 million people and In the same period, online video advertising spending will surge from $1.97 billion to $5.71 billion.” Those are some impressive numbers.

tv graph
More people than ever are turning to online video for their video entertainment. Add in a report from The Diffusion Group that states “Likelihood to downgrade PayTV Services is increasing for those that watch online video” (Netflix in particular in this study.) and you start to see a trend of people moving to online video in masses.

If that weren’t enough, services such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon Video On Demand, Blockbuster Video Online and Vudu, just to mention a few, are rapidly growing in number and popularity. Netflix streaming alone is now the single largest source of peak downstream Internet traffic in the U.S., according to a new report by Sandvine. The streaming video service accounts for 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic, up from 21 percent last fall.

Finally, many hardware companies are throwing their hat in the ring to make the next box to deliver these services. A few of these devices are: AppleTV, Google TV, Roku, Boxee Box, PS3 and XBox. Sony’s CEO says the company is investing heavily in “a different kind of TV set.” In Steve Jobs’ biography, he was quoted as saying, “I’d like to create an integrated television set, It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud … It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”  Apple has single-handedly changed the music, computer and mobile phone industries, and now has the television industry in its sights. Apple’s had a rumored game-changing TV for some time now. Two big hints of big moves by big companies coming soon.

Let’s recap:

  1. More people then ever are watching video online.
  2. Internet video usage went up 45% this year.
  3. Once people start watching video online, they tend to “cut the cord” of old methods of consumption.
  4. Internet video has become the No. 1 source of downstream traffic on the internet.
  5. Major companies are investing in industry-changing moves.

By now, the picture I was talking about earlier should be transmitting to your brain in high definition. Are you as excited as I am about the revolution that is about to unfold? If the answer is no, why not? If the answer is a resounding yes, then I bid you happy watching!