I have been scratching my head as to why NetFlix did their corporate split between the streaming side and the DVD to the home side of things. It just did not seem to make a lot of sense and brought no advantages to the NetFlix customer. Then I saw this –
Those of us in the U.S. already know how powerful the tiny red kiosks really are. Redbox and Netflix are directly responsible for the demise of offline movie rental giant Blockbuster. Will Redbox’s new streaming plan now steal significant marketshare from Netflix?
At just under four bucks, it’s definitely a threat.
The proposed package would run US$3.95 monthly, and would provide unlimited video streaming, along with customer coupon codes for four free DVD rentals at any Redbox kiosk.
The cheapest plan Netflix currently offers is $8.95 and it doesn’t include streaming, since Netflix split its services into Qwikster (for mail-in DVDs) and the original Netflix brand (for streaming).
No word yet on what hardware the Redbox streaming service will entail, but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it.
Still confused? Look if I was NetFlix management and got wind of a competing streaming service that would be a third the price of my cheapest dual service offering I would do something too. What would I do? Split it up. That way regardless of how the dollar cost impacts occur on the streaming side I can still protect my margins on the physical disk side of things. Very logical. But only if you don’t think that the little RedBox kiosk is not a competitor to your DVD to the mailbox service.
That is where NetFlix is making a mistake. The little RedBox kiosk is a direct competitor. Fact a very fast direct competitor. I can dip into the little red kiosk as often as I want. Not so much on the NetFlix side. Especially if your favorites are still sitting in queue for weeks on end.
At least there is some logic to the decision. We’ll see what the marketplace says.
[Update and bump] Well it appears that the NetFlix folks have decided that the split was not a good idea after all. So it looks like we will have a head to head competition between NetFlix and RedBox.
So, I wonder how NetFlix operates if the Post Office does close it’s doors?
Thanks to KH for the tip.
Let’s face it, all but the largest enterprises would prefer to not to have any IT professionals on staff, or at least as few as possible. It’s nothing personal against geeks, it’s just that IT pros are expensive and when IT departments get too big and centralized they tend to become experts at saying, “No.” They block more progress than they enable. As a result, we’re going to see most of traditional IT administration and support functions outsourced to third-party consultants. This includes a wide range from huge multi-national consultancies to the one person consultancy who serves as the rented IT department for local SMBs. I’m also lumping in companies like IBM, HP, Amazon AWS, and Rackspace, who will rent out both data center capacity and IT professionals to help deploy, manage, and troubleshoot solutions. Many of the IT administrators and support professionals who currently work directly for corporations will transition to working for big vendors or consultancies in the future as companies switch to purchasing IT services on an as-needed basis in order to lower costs, get a higher level of expertise, and get 24/7/365 coverage.
2. Project managers
Most of the IT workers that survive and remain as employees in traditional companies will be project managers. They will not be part of a centralized IT department, but will be spread out in the various business units and departments. They will be business analysts who will help the company leaders and managers make good technology decisions. They will gather business requirements and communicate with stakeholders about the technology solutions they need, and will also be proactive in looking for new technologies that can transform the business. These project managers will also serve as the company’s point of contact with technology vendors and consultants. If you look closely, you can already see a lot of current IT managers morphing in this direction.
By far, the area where the largest number of IT jobs is going to move is into developer, programmer, and coder jobs. While IT used to be about managing and deploying hardware and software, it’s going to increasingly be about web-based applications that will be expected to work smoothly, be self-evident, and require very little training or intervention from tech support. The other piece of the pie will be mobile applications — both native apps and mobile web apps. As I wrote in my article, We’re entering the decade of the developer, the current changes in IT are “shifting more of the power in the tech industry away from those who deploy and support apps to those who build them.” This trend is already underway and it’s only going to accelerate over the next decade.
Please read the whole piece. Much of what is detailed in this piece is already well underway. Equipment has become smarter. Managed switches increasingly mesh themselves by default. Routers and ATM’s the same. Equipment manufacturers now have service arms to assist IT shops in deployment and long term maintenance. eMail services of all types are moving to the cloud in a land rush. The ability to contract out or build your own clouds means that there will be fewer needs for managing individual servers. They will be treated like disposable peas in the pod.
So is the future bleak? No. But it does ratchet up the competency level of IT staff. Twiddling a wrench will still be requried, but the chance one will use the tool bag on a regular basis for core staff will dwindle. More likely that staff member will spend their time using MS Project and Excel in program roll outs.
“These people f—ed me over,” Yahoo’s just-deposed-CEO Carol Bartz told Fortune’s Patricia Sellers.
According to Bartz, Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock fired her by reading a statement prepared by a lawyer over the telephone. “Roy, I think that’s a script,” Bartz said. “Why don’t you have the balls to tell me yourself?”
Bartz places the blame for Yahoo’s troubles squarely on Bostock and the board, arguing that their insecurity created expectations that couldn’t be fulfilled: “They want revenue growth, even though they were told that we would not have revenue growth until 2012.”
“The board was so spooked by being cast as the worst board in the country,” Bartz added. “Now they’re trying to show that they’re not the doofuses that they are.”
What launches this inherent brand of open disclosure from the boardroom set? Well in Bartz’s case it was because they fired her over the phone! Cry me a river.
I have news for Bartz, Corps have been doing phone in reductions in force for over a decade or more. The fact that this technique has finally reached the `C` set should not come as a surprise. Fact my question to Bartz would be — how many have YOU done this to who are your immediate staff?
Welcome to the cube farm baby!
Prior to passage of the bill obligating collection and remittance in such circumstances, prominent online retailers including Amazon.com and Overstock.com had threatened to terminate relationships with affiliates, if the legislation became law. Now that it has, and affiliate relationships are being severed, something critics of the legislation say was entirely foreseeable is occurring: Online businesses and entrepreneurs are leaving the state, thus risking an actual reduction, as opposed to marginal increase, in California’s tax revenue.
Last month, news broke of one California-based online entrepreneur who had decided to ditch California and move to Nevada in the aftermath of Gov. Jerry Brown signing the law. ”I always figured that in California, home to Silicon Valley and a million tech startups, they’d never pass a law like this,” said Nick Loper, who formerly operated ShoesRUs and has now opened a new venture, ShoeSniper.
Per the piece in which Loper is quoted, more than 70 affiliates had at that stage already left California, according to online businesses.
Then, last Thursday, another online entrepreneur, Erica Douglass, posted a mock “It’s Over” letter to California on her blog. Douglass, who sold an internet company she had built for $1.1 million in 2007 when she was just 26, cited multiple reasons for moving to Austin. Among them were unnecessary paperwork requirements mandated by the state, and high taxes as well as business fees. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back, was according to Portfolio, Brown signing the Amazon Tax into law.
This is one of those, `I see the wall, I see the wall, Oooh where did that wall come from?` events. When will politicians learn that everything they do has an equally troubling reaction?
While we can try to reason with humans and publicize our underground cable, there is nothing we can do about our next biggest pain in the rear, and that’s squirrels! Of all the animals in the whole world, almost all of our animal damage comes from this furry little nut eater. Squirrel chews account for a whopping 17% of our damages so far this year! But let me add that it is down from 28% just last year and it continues to decrease since we added cable guards to our plant. Honestly, I don’t understand what the big attraction is or why they feel compelled to gnaw through cables. Our guys in the field have given this some thought and jokingly suspect the cable manufacturers of using peanut oil in the sheathing. If you have any new ideas on how we can combat these wayward rodents, I’d love to hear from you. We are always looking for ways to improve.
That was #2 on the list of causes of a cable outage. Number 1 being our old friend Mr. Backhoe. Funny how those backhoes rumble through the countryside chewing thru cables.
The info comes from Level3 a primary level carrier in the central states region.