Will We Make a Dent?

From a few weeks ago, my interview with Pat Mitchell on the convergence of traditional and new media is below (with a spirited but well meaning exchange with the general counsel of Viacom toward the end):

And for one of the most compelling perspectives I’ve heard on how technology is changing the developing world, try listening to Allen Hammond’s response to David Kirkpatrick‘s question (about 4:50 in), “Will [technology] make a significant dent on global poverty by the year 2027?”


Filed under General

22 responses to “Will We Make a Dent?

  1. Very interesting Jonathan. Additionally, if anyone is interested in seeing where luminaries in the games, media and educational markets believes web based technolgies will lead us, and how they will impact everything from taxation to disabilities to education, I urge you to check out:
    I was invited to participate in this exercise but due to other commitments, I had to bow out of this one. I have read the materials submitted by my colleagues in it’s entirety and it is an amazing set of predictions and ideas. To be sure, I will participate in the next meeting 🙂

  2. Ed Gordon

    Jonathan, I’m simply in awe viewing the simplicity of the consistent and logical presentation of your perspective, as I presume your immediate audience does too.
    I admit I had the same hostility towards anyone threatening my livelihood, my piece of the pie. When I think about it… how would I have gained the knowledge or new way of looking at a perplexing problem without first, you making this presentation transparent and available across the internet, no strings attached… and/or allowing myself the time to at least listen to a new perspective, whether I totally agree with all of your views.
    Very enlightening… and well worth the miniscule ~30 minutes. Bravo!

  3. [Trackback] Jonathan Schwartz discusses the issues of social networking and Big Media. He encourages the media to let go, and figure out how to monetize the free media, rather than sue the customer. See video below the fold….

  4. Paul Diamond

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. The panel discussion on technology and the future was one of the most important, interesting and enlightening hours I have spent in recent time.

  5. Gumby

    Our deaf community across America fought hard to have closed captioning shown on televisions. Then Internet video came naked of closed captioning and you techies wonder why you are not making money… We do not watch and buy from you…. Dont tell us that you can not put closed captioning in streams. Microsoft Windows already has closed captioning feature embedded and ready to go. So quit acting like high browed idiot-asses!!!

  6. [Trackback] A couple of weeks ago I posted what has surprisingly become one of my most infamous blog postings.  Go Ahead! Put Yourself on YouTube struck up a major discussion in the Sun technical publications community on the nature of documentation in th…

  7. Tobias

    Jonathan, after all you are writing a blog, not a webpage. Please be aware that in a blog reader like SAGE this post makes no sense until one clicks on the post to get to the webpage. The reason is, that the embedded videos are not displayed in the blog. Please use good old links (GOLs, like POJOs :-)) insteads of embedding content that it not portable across different devices.
    I think it was you who always tries to remind us that a PC based browser won’t be the most common way to access the internet in the near future.

  8. Hello Jonathan,
    When I 1st saw you, I took you for the bad guy from the movie Kindergarden Cop, But obviously you’re one of the many tremendous people that’s going to help take us from the elementary level of where we are now to where the network will be in the future! Many thanks in advance! Mike

  9. stateofVA

    Funny you should be admonishing another company’s general counsel, Jonathan. Perhaps you should have more conversations with your own. As someone on the wrong end of the negotiating stick with Sun’s attorney’s I can tell you that VA got screwed when Sun decided to no bid a contract due to an innocuous term that all of your competitor’s accepted. Here’s some free advice to you. Learn how to accept the risks that your competitors do and you might actually make a lot more money. My guess is that if your lawyers reviewed the risks of leaving their respective homes in the morning they would never leave. However, they seem perfectly fine with going to work and taking Sun’s money. They just don’t want Sun to take customers money!

  10. One comment about YouTube clips on television, they are being used in Geico commercials as well as on G4TV, so that cross pollination is already occurring.

  11. smathew

    Thank you for posting the videos. It was eye-opening to hear some of the thoughts around the role technology plays in solving the most important issues of our present condition. Many of us in the technology space find ourselves using our analytical and creative energies to solve problems that are often far removed from more worthy causes that we sometimes long to be a part of. I think the views expressed provide some sort of hope that, when an esoteric piece of software is designed or a more efficient network is built, the benfits of technological progress may trickle down and make a difference. Indirectly maybe, but it feels good to know that some of it eventually does.

    I look forward to your thoughts on this blog and even though I may not agree with all you have to say I think your thoughts and vision are genuine and not just a way to generate buzz and more eyeballs for Sun. Not that there is anything wrong with marketing but if the intentions are perceived to be disingenuous or calculated that can be more disaffecting not less.

    On a final note I thought that there was good, frank exchange between you and your potential customers (I think ‘spirited’ is how you may have put it). Prannoy Roy for instance is one of the pioneers of modern news reporting in India and has helped introduce transparency into the election process and set new standards in open political debate and dialog there. His question may not have been directed at the right audience but I hope that the exchange was taken in the right spirit and may be the beginning of a fruitful relationship for Sun.

  12. Chris,
    Who do I have to call to get my metaverse cross pollinated with yours?

  13. Interesting to see the reactions of companies still struggling with their market’s version of open source (free media being the case here). When this subject comes up in the music industry, it’s always about file sharing and piracy. I wonder when will bands and record companies find their ‘OpenMusic’ model. It’s been done a couple of times, but without knowledge of what was really happening. For instance, when bands made their mixes and recording sessions available for users/fans to remix. They used it from a marketing point of view, instead of calling it something like OpenMusic and making the point of empowering their fan base. Finding a way to monetize on that is the challenge.

  14. I fully agree with your insightful perspective, actually there is a similar thread at Frontier Blog
    ( http://www.hwswworld.com/wp )

  15. Why Ashlee, I’m flattered! Switching gears, I followed the link to your duckrabbit site and am ordering your book. Sounds really interesting and I am looking forward to reading it. I’m also happy to offer comments and feedback, as requested on your site 🙂

  16. Jonathan,
    Fantastic, partially the end part about YouTube;
    I would just like to add to that, I watch people logon to YouTube at my collage all the time and something that standouts out in my memory is that I remember some one watch a video about 3D animation and at the end of the video there was a URL in the last frame, user copied it down and then typed it into the address bar.. turns out its AutoDesk the maker of 3D Max, Thus leading to a potentially new customer!
    This lead me to think about how much 3D Max costs and would any Artist type student be willing to actually buy it at that price !?
    Answer: No way ! They would download. Thus a barrier to entry for students wanting to do 3D graphics.
    This brings me to another memory when someone I knew in London showed me some C++ as a kid with a Borland complier, so I looked online and found out that you had to pay for it and as I was just a kid looking to get into it I just went back to Google and found myself with the gcc free complier instead. So did Borland lose a potentially new customer. Yes they did.
    When Sun released Sun Studio for free, did I try it. Yes I did and what does that mean for Sun.
    I am now a Sun customer and I am in the process of learning Solaris and other Sun technologies.
    In conclusion; A excellent view on how things are going Jonathan and I hope the very best for Sun.

  17. arvind

    Hi Jon,
    I think your OpenSPARC venture is great. So far, I do not think that any South Asian (from where i am) company has actually used these specs and stuff to produce a full PC/workstation. Clearly, you are once again doing the right thing, but without good marketing. SUN is reinventing itself, seeing clearly that as you say, there is great value in volume. So, when are you announcing the next SUN-[SouthAsiaFabCorp] venture which helps make PCs without the “well-designed” crap that other market loaders(sic) produce?
    The problem so far was that the popular OS ran only on the popular hardware. Popular has now become very unpopular and will continue to do so. With GNU/Linux and (Open)Solaris, PPC and Sparc *exist* as options.
    The important thing is (examples only, for the sake of illustration ):
    $1,000,000 x 100 = $100,000,000 // present, big corp, N.America
    $1,000,000 x 100 = $100,000,000 // future, big corp – S.Asia – not stuck in PER*, first time buyer, booming economy
    $10,000 x 10,000 = $100,000,000 // future, small corp, S.Asia – not stuck in PER*, first time buyer, booming economy
    $1,000 x 100,000 = $100,000,000 // workstations for software dev. – PER*-tortured/harassed, happy to switch
    $200 (upto $500) x [see encyclopedia] = $[very big number] // PCs, laptops, smartphones, cameras, gadget-mashups
    *PER: I deal directly and daily with the channel here. They hate direct retailers because they see no future for their business if they cannot earn from fixing broken hardware. Any correlation between quality of “popular products” and this?(sic) Which points to a massive, endemic, “perennial extortion racket”(PER).
    The numbers are possibly more if South Asians are allowed to earn some more income and allowed some more spending power. You know all those far better than I can elucidate here. South Asia has the numbers. Real big numbers.
    A certain famous(sic) dropout realised that much before everyone else.
    But these PER pawns aren’t monopolists. They have been puppets of the monopolist masters. They can’t bite. No teeth. Show them decent cash and they’ll switch. Everyone will switch. So, if you work with the channel, your UltraSPARC + h/w kit is new. Which means learning, training, support. All that means daily business and income to the channel. And to FLOSS startups. But everyone should work for it, unlike license sales and commissions which are no-brainers. So, you need to give them training, this, that…….. Keep it cheap and they’ll all switch.
    IMO, the only big danger, which needs to be stated for completeness, is that doing too much of this will make *you* like them. Subject to SUN having that integrity over the next decade, you stand to win or lose in the game of numbers.
    To circumvent that danger – a monopolistic SUN Microsystems(!) – a simple solution to that is allow opensource support to grow – GNU/Solaris would be the best. SUN hardware can play a huge part. Most likely, you won’t get a local fab company here to trouble your chip market share. But, of course, I can’t say a thing about global players. Just make the chips available cheaply. The rest should take care of itself. Or you could.
    And Java is not about only desktop/application programming – Jini. Post-opensource, licensing is not a source of revenue. Post-internet, basic services get you little.
    The idea is to avoid anyone, including you, from getting into the easy-money PER habit – that’s why it is called *earning* an income. Make good money, by all means, travel in limousines, no problem, but let us at least travel in buses and trains.
    So, we all have a *huge* task ahead. But, it is better than the PER. To be able to trust the success of all these rosy thoughts, we (and i) need to have OpenSolaris GPLed, v3. OR at least ‘v2 or *at your option* any later version’.
    v3 obviously, isn’t it? Take your time, but do it. It will really be good for everyone.

    And let us here, make hey!!! while the SUN shines.

  18. Carolyn A. Colborn

    Okay, Jonathan, I see your point. It is your honest opinion, no question about it. I wish I had a nickel for how many times you said, “you’re fighting gravity”. : – )
    That reminds me of a story my Tai Chi teacher told us about how to use force in your favor. It is one of the most important concepts of the discipline. When someone pushes you, in essence, you pull. To many people, that is counterintuitive. It took me a while to grasp the idea, and even longer to apply it. It is still a difficult concept to apply in real life, even after hearing parables like the person falling in a stream who has a better chance of saving themselves from drowning by “going with the flow” and swimming with the current towards shore rather than trying to swim upstream.
    Thank you for posting these videos. It gives your “Better honest than polite”
    blog a much richer context. They are enriching and insightful.

  19. hajma

    Hmm, the videos do not play, seem to load content, but no network traffic. So I tried hitting the Help button on them and was redirected to a not working http://webcast-mpk1.sfbay.sun.com

  20. Chris, you’ve done the right thing. I have to warn you though. The book is very First Life oriented.

  21. A good example of the kind of content you are talking about is the Finnish movie Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (http://www.starwreck.com/). It’s a fan movie and granted, it’s not the best movie in the world, but just because of being distributed freely on the Internet it became, only in a few months, the single most viewed Finnish full length feature film of all times. In two months it passed the all time classic “The Unknown Soldier” 2.5 million viewers. Star Wreck was produced in an apartment in Helsinki by a team of literally a handful of enthusiasts. That’s new media.

  22. @ Ashlee, Prefer the First Life anyway. Next time I’m out in SF, we should meet up for a real life drink and talk about your book.

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