My Presentation Minus The Audio Track

Yesterday I gave an hour long talk to a group of TV executives. It was about startup culture, the Internet, and the Television business. Here's the deck I used. I didn't record the talk so there's no audio track. Sorry about that.

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#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. David Semeria

    Good example of the Great Deck Paradox.Given a great deck should provide context and visual cues rather than the contents of the talk itself, a great deck by itself is pretty unintelligible without the talk.Still, the key point came across: guidelines for success in TV = guidelines for success on the net.

    1. fredwilson

      And that startups are a mess and also the best culture for achieving the “impossible”

      1. Satish Mummareddy

        My first and only gig in my short career of 7 years has been at a startup. One of the big reasons, I think that people working at a startup can do close to the impossible is that you don’t know enough about what you are getting into to be scared of the problem that you are addressing or to put limitations on your goals based on past experience. You shoot with all you got and you go all out and what you realize is that you can achieve a lot more than if you knew the issues because you would have aimed for a lot less in the same period of time.

  2. Chris Dodge

    Thanks for sharing. How was it received?

    1. fredwilson

      I think they liked it

  3. Morgan Warstler

    Can you talk more about the group? Startups are in a lot of ways like production crews, long hours, high energy, get it done mindset, chaotic…

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t really want to get into who I did this for, but it was execs not a production team

  4. Steven Goldman

    Great Deck! I am assuming the talk had to do with the Boxee debacle so I particularly liked the reference. In the end of the day the 3% who would disconnect their cable service are probably the 3% who will get the content however they want and are among the people who have developed ways to bring Hulu back to Boxee (Lifehacker post).

    1. fredwilson

      It was not about Boxee actually but I sure wish it wasI’d love to give this presentation to the top brass at all the large filmed entertainment companies

      1. Morgan Warstler

        Would you be willing to pitch boxee for cable deployment to cable execs?

        1. fredwilson

          I wouldn’t do the pitch, avner would and I am sure he’d love to do that

          1. Morgan Warstler

            has he already met someone at

      2. Jamie Lin

        If they don’t even get something as simple as letting users access Hulu from Boxee = more views = more revenue. I don’t know how they can get all the great ideas in your presentation, Fred!

  5. royeowens

    Great deck Fred. I am one of the 3% that is considering unhooking cable. I believe there has to be a better TV experience, and from a business perspective I think the traditional cable and satellite business model is outdated.

    1. JLM

      I constantly think about disconnecting cable and look forward to the peace and quiet and then the NCAA tournament comes around and what are you gonna do? LOLI have to admit that I am getting used to “watching” games on the web when the broadcasters fail to broadcast the Heels to my liking.Then, there is college football. Well, just the Horns really. And only the “away” games cause I live in Austin.

      1. derrinyet

        @JLM: Not to derail the conversation, but do you Tumbl? (I’m also in Austin and there may be a meetup on the horizon.)

        1. JLM

          512-656-1383 cell but don’t tell anybody else

      2. jakemintz

        I disconnected cable 6 years ago and love it. Hulu and all the digital content online make it easier but I was happy even before. My advice about sports: take the money you save and spend it on Guinness at a bar. Take some of the saved money and sign up for Netflix also.

        1. fredwilson

          Or go to the game in personSports are always better live

        2. CarlosPero

          There’s a bigger challenge with online-only when you have a family. Kids are used to watching TV.

          1. jakemintz

            Hmm well maybe part of the reason it was so easy for me to disconnect is that I was not allowed to watch TV growing up (except for the occasional PBS). I was outdoors, either cross country skiing or snowboarding, 5+ days a week, so I don’t know when I would have had time to watch TV anyways.

      3. fredwilson

        The broadcast networks are broadcasting over the air in HD. If they carrythe sports events you want, a high speed internet connection plus somerabbit ears might be the call.

  6. im2b_dl

    looks like a great presentation

  7. Rick Field

    I am curious to know what part of the presentation addressed the future of content separate from the delivery platforms. Was this part of the discussion?

    1. fredwilson

      The last slide, where I show Hulu playing in the Safari browser on our TV,is where I talked about that.That issue Rick is something I’d like to do an entire presentation onIt’s a great one

  8. Vaibhav Domkundwar

    Nice. It will be interesting to see different people present the same deck and see what comes out of it and how close it is to what you presented! Television faces a hard reality today and its a tough problem – they almost have to think about doing what Intel did to itself with the memory business. Is there a microprocessor-like business for the Television companies to get into? And something that is monetize-able …. better than YouTube?

    1. famolari

      A prof of mine in grad school used to say that the quality of a slide deck could be judged based on whether or not someone else could use it to deliver an effective presentation.Television does face challenges, but the end is not quite nigh — the end is out there on the horizon but it’s not as near as some think. It still attracts top talent (tho there is certainly a siphoning off to online – Joss Whedon and Dr. Horrible will open more eyes on this front). TV can hold on to the fact that it still matches people’s rhythms fairly well. TV is dead simple and offers limited choice. Some may think this is a liability, but in many cases it’s a plus since it bounds the discovery problem and people aren’t paralyzed by choice.

  9. Rich Ullman

    Thanks Fred. (I thought it was pretty easy to follow, even without the audio). There are a lot of “internet people” with the idea that Americans as a whole are watching less TV, but your nugget in there shows it’ not true. Just watching differently. The other night, I walked into the house to find my two kids watching…the 3-year old was captivated by The Incredibles on the big screen. The 9-year old was watching and commenting her classmate’s YouTube channel. Both were very happy.(do you really think Pelosi is an ogre? 😉

    1. fredwilson

      Yes, I think Pelosi is a problem for Obama

      1. Rich Ullman

        ok, then. so it wasn’t just the dress. Regardless of whose in those two seats, their expressions are always rather telling.

  10. wjcohen

    I’m a very mid-level cable production executive and find it frustrating that there is no way to test out some of the future of content ideas reliably – I wish I had a way to creatively program some of the iTV platforms that are being rolled out by distributors and the internet doesn’t scale reliably for some of our ideas (especially regarding high def video.)

  11. Rob Long

    Great presentation! Even without the audio track.Your “Six Words to Live By” I’m most certainly going to pass on to my friends and colleagues out here in LA, who are also in the television business.People are still watching TV — but they’re watching it in a fundamentally different way, and in a way that demolishes the secret business model of the business, which was: People hate to change the channel. Seriously: the television business has been steadily declining since the first moment people didn’t have to get up off the sofa to change the channel. From clicking around 13 channels to flipping through 1300, to time shifting and now cherry-picking only the shows a viewer wants to watch, the business has been forced to do something it wasn’t designed to do: make money putting on shows people want to watch.In the not-too-distant past, networks lost money on the hits — shows like Cheers (which was my first gig) and Friends and Seinfeld ran deficits for their producers for the first few years, but by year 4 or 5, they were all “made whole” by the network. If you wanted to renew Cheers, NBC was told by Paramount, you need to pay us back for everything we’ve spent, plus more, plus more in the future, plus more for the cast, plus more just because we can.So NBC’s game was to make money on the shows around the hits — the so-called “Halo” effect — like Wings, which nobody really liked that much, but which was, you know, on. Why flip around?The current environment is the worst possible outcome for people in Hollywood: you have to put on good shows. All of them have to be good. And you have to make money on them, too, because you’re selling that show specifically, not the time periods around those shows.But that’s not how the system is set up. And the system is changing, and it’s incredibly exciting (for people like me who have been in the business for a while and who like to write and produce shows) but it’s terrifying for anyone who made money the old way, but servicing a system that only works if the customer doesn’t or can’t make a choice.Put it this way: the recent sharp decline in house prices in the Los Angeles area isn’t totally related to the overall economic recession. A lot of it is Hollywood-specific, as we all try to learn how to make money in the worst, most painful, least attractive way possible: earning it.

    1. fredwilson

      Rob ­ thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussionWhat do you think about Boxee?

      1. Rob Long

        I love Boxee. What a great product. And I’m really baffled by the studios’ response to it, by their pulling Hulu content. I don’t get it.The trouble with the broadcast networks is that they’re still pushing the customer around. Basic cable outfits like FX and USA and TNT and Bravo rerun their shows pretty much wall-to-wall. You don’t bother to TiVo one of their shows because it’s a good bet that it’s on, right now. USA’s “Burn Notice” is a huge success for them, and it’s on maybe four or five times a day. But the broadcast guys still demand that you sit and watch when they tell you to sit and watch. And the customer is telling them to jump in the lake. The customer is going to basic cable or the web or, worse, DVRs and zapping through the commercials.Boxee seems to me like a godsend to the broadcast networks — anytime you can get people back on the sofa watching your content — rather than ten inches from a laptop, finger poised over the mousepad — it’s a huge win for them. Anytime you can remind the customer exactly how wonderful your product is, it’s a huge win. I don’t get it. The first thing the big studios and broadcast networks should be concerned about it market share — take back the eyeballs from Guitar Hero and Facebook and LOLcats and basic cable offerings. The second thing is, are they watching the commercials? The potent combination of Boxee and Hulu seems to accomplish that. Figure the details out later.As Dick Costolo hilarious put it in one of his tweets: (I’m paraphrasing) “Hollywood has gone crazy. Now they don’t want you to watch TV on your TV.”

  12. Idit

    Hey Fred – thanks for sharing your fun deck. I heard your voice and even heard the laughter from the audience…. Many great points! I took your imagery and messages and imagined the following remix on the theme: “Startup Culture and the Future of Education.” I start with slide #25 “David After Dentist,” it’s good image for my title slide, but my text is: “David After School.” I jump to the image on slide #10, my text: “David Want To Be – In 6 Words: Global, Social, Open, Mobile, Playful, Intelligent.” Next slide: “David’s School Is: NOT (Global, Social, Open, Mobile, Playful, Intelligent).” Then I go to the image on slide 31 (with Einstein’s energy formula on a blackboard and a child scratching his head), with the text: “Where We Are…” Add a slide: “Where We Are Heading,” and move to the slides 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9… and so on. You got me going. Feel free to use and improve on my remix on Friday! Cheers, Idit.

    1. fredwilson

      Too bad you can’t just do the remix and send it to meWe’ll get there shortly I think

      1. Eugen

        Great Job !

      2. Eugen

        Great Job !

      3. Grigore

        Great Job !