Sunday traffic curiosity

Mark Tinka mark.tinka at seacom.mu
Wed Apr 1 11:46:41 UTC 2020


On 31/Mar/20 23:22, Owen DeLong wrote:

> From my perspective, anyone born in this century pretty much qualifies as
> a kid at this point. Maybe even the last 3-4 years of the previous one.

To a great extent, yes. But I'd say the last 15 years have been very
telling.


> Turning consumers into products. Personally, not a fan and I think GDPR is
> a sure sign that there is a backlash coming. The main reason it is tolerated
> so far is most people aren’t aware of what it really means or even that it
> is actually happening.

Right - I'm speaking to the global view, and not a personal one.

I do everything to stay away from being surveilled beyond what I am
comfortable with, but taking a global view, we are the minority.

For as long as I can foresee, I don't see us becoming the majority.


> 4-5 year olds don’t define the economy today and likely won’t have significant
> input into it for at least 10-11 years.
>
> My observation is that they are _NOT_ the ones influencing this.

Ummh - the kids aren't "directly" participating in the economy, but they
are certainly influencing.

When your kid cries his lungs out because the walk from home to
grandpa's meant he wasn't on Twitch, it makes you, the parent, re-think
how you keep them connected between dead zones. What devices you buy
them to keep them happy. What car you drive to keep them connected.
Which services you purchase that support that mobility. Which
restaurants or playgrounds you take them to where they can get free
wi-fi, and on and on and on.

The kids don't have to be direct economic contributors to have an
influence on those that do. That has always been the case since we had
to raise them, but now more so because of the new economy this Internet
thing is birthing.

For the last 8 or so years, I've resisted my wife's persistent pressures
to get the kids a phone. They are now going to be 13, and I promised
them phones when they either turn 20, or go to work and earn their own
cash to buy their own phones if they want them sooner than that. I feel
I had a handle on that for as long as I can remember, but in this
hyper-connected world where school assignments are sent via e-mail, I
may have to give in sooner than I planned :-\. Ah well, I had a good run
:-).


>  That rather,
> it is the very large corporations and their ability to leverage big data and the
> surveillance economy for fun and profit that are driving this.

I won't argue with you there.


> I will admit that 4-5 year olds are probably the most likely demographic to
> have no inkling as to what giving up their personal data means. I suppose
> rather like tobacco companies that getting them hooked in young does serve
> as a competitive advantage.

Haha, you place plenty of faith in the adult public.

Almost everyone that I know who has no idea about how the Internet works
(or cares to), will click "Yes", "OK", "Submit", "Proceed" without
hesitation, just so that they can start using that app immediately.

Where you and I may care why Apple will automatically sync. call logs
between devices signed into the same iCloud account - and maybe even
detest it - the majority of the adult population will see that as a
convenience, as they can then remember who they called when, just by
looking at any device.


> I wouldn’t know. I’m not a subscriber and not particularly interested in any of their
> products.

Fair enough.

Again, my view is not a personal one, but rather, what the wider world
is doing.


>  As I said, I wish I could get the local $CABLECO to turn off my “access
> to local sports” and stop charging me a monthly fee for something I don’t want.

Sounds like you should, as some like to say these days, "Cut the cord" :-).


> All genders seem to be relatively equally represented. Age range is probably
> about 7-25. Here, it seems there are as many female sports fans as  male
> among the younger crowds.

That's interesting. It's not the sense I get in Africa (or in Asia-Pac,
when I lived there). Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying women aren't
into sports, I'm saying my observation on this side is not as much as men.

I wonder if the female sports lovers in the U.S. mostly gravitate toward
a single sport, or if that is evenly spread across the sport spectrum.


> Sure, they’re all desperate to try and find a way to preserve their revenue
> stream.

Being an F1 fan, Mercedes and Red Bull are now manufacturing breathing
aids to help with Coronavirus patients. Talk about that ugly "business
strategy" word I hate to use - pivoting :-).

No industry is safe.


> Perhaps Twitch won the lottery as professional sports may be forced to move
> to remote competition via gaming consoles. :(
>
> I tend to doubt it as I think fans will find other things to do rather than make
> the migration.

Yes and no.

I think traditional fans that like to enter stadia or go to the track
will find other things to do because they are purists.

But there are plenty of kids that are into gaming, play eSports and are
used to congregating on Twitch. They'd rather spend ticket money for a
real live event on a new computer rig to improve their online
sporting/gaming presence. The kids (and anyone else with an affinity for
that avenue) will likely be the ones to take sports digital.

Hard to predict, but will be interesting to watch, as it definitely has
an impact on network operations, going forward.


> I wasn’t the one arguing that they would. Seems your trying to argue both
> sides of the coin here.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

My view of the new economy is not an all-or-nothing scenario. Many
shifts will happen, but we'd be wise to understand why some either
won't, or will have a significant lag in doing so.

My prediction is that those who offer the most basic services, i.e.,
where your hands, feet, and muscles are required, will always sustain,
simply because we can't eat bits, or wear them, or sleep in them, or
bathe them.


> Well, I don’t see the 49ers ever offered value, or product, but that’s just my
> opinion, obviously.

Right, but again, the view is a global one, not a personal one.

Sports is big business because ordinary people are willing to pay good
money to enjoy it. It gives them value, whether that makes sense to some
of us or not. Rinse and repeat for every other business out there, and
its patrons.


>  Certainly at the moment they don’t seem to be offering
> anything, even anything like what they previously offered. Remains to be
> seen whether the NFL and its ilk will survive this process or not. I have to
> admit, I won’t mourn their loss if they don’t make it.

Yes, it will definitely be interesting to see.


> Uh, no… You’ve got that ratio way out of proportion and it’s not an accurate
> statement at all, except the last part.

My example about Google Maps and the atlas was meant to be overarching,
and not specific.

My point is that many things we used to either do or pay for in the
traditional economy have now been simplified and made available online.
Either via a web site, or most likely, an app.

When we buy stuff online, the shop down the road suffers. The gas
stations suffer because we don't drive our cars to that shop. The little
coffee shop inside the gas stations suffers because we are not at the
gas station to buy gas. The company that makes the straws that you use
to stir the sugar in the coffee you would have bought will suffer
because, well, you didn't buy the coffee.

The newspaper kiosk that is right next to the gas station won't sell any
papers because you are not going to the gas station anymore, but more
likely, because who reads newspapers in 2020? When the shopping centres
start to close because we prefer to buy online, what about the security
guards that worked there?

The bakery that worked out of the shopping centre would close down
because we buy online, and the airline that used to buy bread from them
for inflight meals now has to increase prices because they had to switch
supplier.

When you choose to work out with an online session (as many are doing
now due to the Coronavirus), there is a gym membership that could get
cancelled. So your gym trainer suffers. The company that made the gym
equipment suffers. The company that maintains the gym pool suffers. The
power company that sold electricity to the gym suffers.

My point, for everything that we used to do in the traditional economy
that transitions into the new economy, someone out there is suffering.
Whether that's good or bad, or whether someone is to blame or not is
irrelevant to Average Jane, because she just sees value in the
convenience of buying online, regardless of the trickle-down effect.


> I don’t blame google or amazon. Just like I have no sympathy for the taxi
> cartels that were crying “they’re stealing our business” about Lyft and the
> other ride-share companies. In fact, when the taxi cartels were getting away
> with pressuring cities like Los Angeles to do crazy shit to stop Lyft and the
> others from doing airport pickups, I rather went to extremes to apply opposing
> pressure…

And the traditional probably will die, unless they find a way to adapt
and play the game like Uber and the rest. That's the deal, short of
gubbermint decree.

In South Africa, the postal company (a gubbermint function) was asking
for a new law to prevent private delivery companies from handling
packages under 1kg. I have no sympathy for that... if you have the time
and energy to spend in keeping yourself afloat through artificial means
like litigation, then you have the time and energy to adapt your
business model to the new economy and survive by offering value. Failing
that, you're welcome to die.


> I’m not in that position, fortunately. Old economy, new economy, either
> way, they still need pipes to move bits. I’ve always been mostly on the
> execution side of moving bits.

I'm not sure any of us can say we are "safe" from the effects of the new
economy.

Yes, pipes are needed to move the new-economy bits; people still need
water, food, clothes, electricity, wood, fuel and all the other real
things necessary for basic human function, despite some idea that all of
those things can be "automated". We can't eat automation. And we can't
eat bits.

If some large corporation is coming into your backyard offering their
services for free so you can be their product, and forcing traditional
companies that offered services for a fee into selling those services at
or below cost, there will be an impact.

It's difficult to "evolve" away from offering basic pipe, because
physical infrastructure is the basic need for the new economy to
develop. However, it doesn't mean that we won't need to make changes to
how we've operated in the past, as cost and price pressures from "the
big boys" shave those zero's from our P&L's, and all the pleasures and
joys that come along with it:

   
https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/11/vodafone-plans-1130-jobs-cuts-in-italy


> Meh… I think the most clever companies are the ones who have found
> ways to keep their products hooked to them while delivering their value
> to their true customers. Unfortunately, I think they are also among the
> most despicable form of parasite we’ve ever seen.

I don't disagree. We don't have to like them, but we can concede when
they are "clever".



> Market cap is merely one measure. It represents the current market opinion of the
> legitimate sale price of the company and little else.

I'm not a stocks guy - I find financial engineering annoying. But for
those to whom it matters...


>
> Nonetheless, even if Netflix turns out to be a better single-studio outlet than Disney,
> everything I said still holds true.

Probably, yeah. Curious to see where it goes.


> Really? Are you sure you’re accounting for all that is Disney? 

I know how large they are.

Having all these companies is great. Means nothing if you can't harness
them all to show your customers value. They have a great opportunity
here, I just haven't yet seen them execute it, globally.

Also, I'm a patient, observant man :-).


> So can Disney, Comcast/NBC/Universal, and Time Warner.

Will the Hollywood legends be happy to release all their content in all
their territories of business, worldwide, at the same time? They've been
very keen on region rights, et al.

That's where I am saying Netflix - with their original content - have an
advantage.


> Disney has a lot more of this than I think you realize.

I'm talking about their own network, not through the use of a 3rd party
CDN. But if you have more information about this than I currently know,
would be grateful to hear about it.


>
> Not sure about the international extent of Comcast and/or Time Warner.

No clue, I haven't seen them feature in many places outside of the U.S.



> This statement tells me that you CLEARLY have underestimated the vast extent
> of the Disney reach and don’t realize how many things you wouldn’t expect when
> you hear the name Disney are owned by Disney.

On the contrary, as stated earlier.

Disney do have an opportunity to pull it all together. Will they,
remains to be seen.

Where I really think Disney and the Hollywood types have a huge
advantage over Netflix is in cinema releases. They have, traditionally,
made movies for cinema, and collect plenty of cash at the door during an
opening weekend.

The new economy (especially one in this Coronavirus era) considers that
I can enjoy value and convenience without leaving the house. If they can
adapt their business model to deliver box office cinema movies to the
home, over the Internet, worldwide, at the same time, it would be a
windfall of massive proportions, given even the kids don't mind leaving
their devices and paying for another episode of "The Avengers".

Of course, they'd have to "get over themselves", and that's where I feel
they may miss the boat, if they don't. Short of that, it will be a
slug-fest with Netflix.

I know some movies that have either just left the theatres or still
there have been brought early to VoD:

   
https://www.techhive.com/article/3532460/movies-available-for-streaming-early-to-ease-coronavirus-anxiety.html

But like I keep saying, every business will suffer:

   
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/03/coronavirus-movie-release-calendar

The Coronavirus has merely accelerated and amplified what has been in
the pipeline for yonks.


> Again, I don’t see every business squirming. I see lots of businesses squirming.

You seem to think some businesses won't feel the pinch. I wouldn't blame
you. But every business will be affected, one way or the other.

Even Uber, which is probably the epitome of the new economy in its most
simplistic form, can't carry on its business because the Coronavirus has
us all locked up.

No business is safe. No business is immune. Find a way to adapt, or die.

How did Uber adapt their business? Uber Eats - and that actually makes
them money, compared to their classic ride share service.

Even in the new economy, you can't sleep soundly.


> I see some businesses that were poised to take advantage of this (and yes,
> Netflix was one of them), and I  see some businesses that have been easily
> adapted. I also see some businesses that have chosen to be flat out despicable
> in the process, among them Whole Foods and Amazon, both of whom could
> have chosen to be public heroes with very little effort and instead chose to
> be 19th century plantation owners.

Agreed.


> Admittedly, 2015 was one of the years I was lucky enough to avoid the Super Bowl.

I stopped going to PTC a few years back. It's the only time I remembered
when the Super Bowl was coming up, as the teams all spent a week or so
in Hawaii around the same time :-).

NFL isn't big in Africa, hehe.


>
> Hats off to volvo for a clever bit of trickery, but I didn’t even know it happened and don’t
> feel like I missed anything in the process.

Again - global view, not a personal one.

But yes, Volvo adapted cleverly, and used the Internet to - there's that
dirty word again - "pivot" a traditional marketing strategy into one the
kids of this time can understand and engage with.

All the best apps on your phone probably don't have a large billboard,
TV or newspaper ad that made you hear about them. Most likely, you heard
about them from a friend, a group of friends or, at worst, some random
Youtube thing when you were too late to click "Skip Ad". That's the
marketing of the future - if you make something that people want to use
(not pay for), they will market it for you.



> Meh.
>
> I’ve got an internet connection and lots of ideas. What I don’t have is the capital
> to hire the necessary additional expertise and convert them to products. Further,
> since I want to play in the anti-surveillance economy with products that are
> directly opposed to those in the surveillance economy, it’s unlikely I can get
> funding or that the products I would like to make would actually win in the market
> place.

No one said it would be easy :-).

But don't worry, there is a kid somewhere half way across the world that
isn't worried about any of those things, hehe.

Mark.




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