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“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” ~~Steve Jobs

February 6, 2013 Leave a comment
Categories: Personal, Quotes Tags: ,

“Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” ~ Steve Jobs

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

[categories personal]

Google is about to invade your living room

There are lots of opinions floating around about Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Most of that has focused on the business of the value of their patents and their mobile phones. But is that why Google bought them alone? Maybe they just want to get into our living rooms. Motorola Mobile is also one of the largest suppliers of set-top boxes for the cable industry.

So why isn’t the internet on all our TVs already? Steve Jobs is on point here when he talks about why Apple TV didn’t catch fire:

The problem with innovation in the television industry is the go-to-market strategy. The television industry has a subsidized model that gives everyone a set-top box for free, or for $10 per month. That pretty much squashes any opportunity for innovation, because nobody’s willing to buy a set top box. Ask TiVo, ask Roku, ask us [Apple]. Ask Google in a few months.

The only way that’s ever going to change is if you can really go back to square one, tear up the set top box, redesign it from scratch with a consistent UI across all these different functions, and get it to consumers in a way that they’re willing to pay for it. And right now there’s no way to do that.

Here are some things that could happen:

  • Comcast becomes Google’s largest customer. They work together on a TV gateway device/software that includes broadcast, interactive TV, on-demand content, and of-course, streamed Internet content. Google’s search competency and other assets (ad sales, YouTube, …) are at the center of this deal.
  • The program guide on your set top box becomes a guide to any video, anywhere. And it generates revenue for the operators as well as Google — every click generates a payment from the content owner.
  • Television networks’ deals with the cable and telcos become deals for broadcast, VOD, streaming from cable servers, streaming from Hulu, streaming from their own servers — basically, universal content distribution deals. Television networks transition to their future role as bankers, promoters, and aggregators of video content, not so much broadcasters.
  • Google becomes the brand name for your program guide to entertainment, regardless of whether that guide is on your TV or on your PC.
  • Google Plus gets built into your TV experience. You can +1 a TV program. Isn’t that what Spark is supposed to be?

Basically, Google could make more money from Motorola as an entree into the television world — ongoing revenues and advertising — than it can from continuing to push Moto set top boxes. And this new source of ad revenues and retention of viewers could make this attractive to many of the cable operators.

Think about it.

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