Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why I'd Never Be a Good CEO

You apparently need to spout bullshit that sounds like something you actually believe. That or you have to smacked around with the cluestick for a few weeks.

That's Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures up there. He got some Internet fame a week or so ago when he said the Internet hadn't produced anything valuable. Now, he's defending that position while expanding on his idiocy. What's the ol' saying? Better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

the major content businesses of the world and the most talented creators of that content -- music, newspapers, movies and books -- have all been seriously harmed by the Internet.

Seriously? The most talented creators of music, movies, and book are all under your giant umbrella and have been harmed by the big, bad Intertubes? I'm pretty sure there are TONS of talented musicians, filmmakers, and writers, who wouldn't have even been sniffed by your hounds, wo are doing quite well for themselves. In fact, I'd offer that most of the big name musicians, filmmakers, and writers that the big companies support and distribute are absolute crap. There are a few that are big enough that they call the shots now. There are also those that broke away from your methods and labels to self-promote and do quite well.

I'll give you newspapers. Nobody is as a good at investigative reporting and in-depth local pieces as newspapers, and that could be the big loss when they go down. The problem is, they still have a whole bunch of other sections in them that are better served online.

Some of that damage has been caused by changing business models (the FTC just announced an inquiry into the impact of new media on the newspaper industry). But the primary culprit is piracy

Nope, it's dinosaurs who can't move forward with the times. It's almost all business models. Wolverine still made a mint even though it's apparently shit on film and was available online for a month before release. In fact, most blockbusters make tons of cash and are also the most popular torrents out there. Same with TV shows, albums, and games.

I ran an Internet company and my studio actively uses the web to market and sell our movies and television shows. We create original content for new media.

This has nothing to do with your argument. Marketing and creating "content" for "new media" is a different beast than the Internet as a creative outlet and the effects of piracy on an outdated business model.

I've already seen it happen in South Korea, which has one of the most highly developed broadband networks in the world. But piracy has also become so highly developed there that we and virtually every other studio has recently had to curtail or close down our home entertainment businesses. It's hard to sell a legal DVD when it can be stolen without any repercussions.

Aaaaand there's the meat. So you can't sell a DVD. DVDs are already a dying media. Hell, physical media is a dying media. I bet there ARE ways you can monetize your product in South Korea, even with rampant piracy. You just lack the creativity or balls to find it.

He goes on to compare the Internet to the highways of America. I couldn't be more tired of this useless analogy. He also trumpets the interstate highway system as a utopian world of peace and safety. We all know this is bullshit too.

How many people will be as motivated to write a book or a song, or make a movie if they know it is going to be immediately stolen from them and offered to the world with no compensation whatsoever?

Lots. Tons. Hundreds. Thousands. Take a look around. The Internet is a world of if-you-build-it-they-will-come. How many webcomics are out there? How many creative commons photographers and writers? How many musicians put their stuff up for free and make money off their shows or special editions? How many filmmakers are experimenting with special effects and comedy and throwing their stuff up on Youtube?

what has happened online is that if it is 'beyond store hours' and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want.

You're an idiot, sir. The Internet doesn't shut down at 7pm. I'm glad for it, as I've been buying gifts for family and friends at all hours for years now. Yes, BUYING. This includes CDs, movies, and books. There are no "store hours". If you shut the door, then we'll just go next door to the shop that's open. Hell, that's how retail has worked for centuries.

In my own household I know it is my responsibility, along with my wife, to monitor how my family uses the Internet for school work and enjoyment.

And there's your fucking solution! Educate the parents. THEY dictate what their kids can and can't do. Asking for government intervention and "rules of the road" will just create better pirates.


But it's not going to happen the way it should if we do not act now to safeguard the fruit of our world's most imaginative and talented minds.

Oh, the most imaginative and talented minds didn't ask for your safeguards. The talentless hacks under your corporate umbrella didn't even ask for them. No... you, and your moronic dinosaur ilk are asking for safeguards to YOUR profit centres. Instead of changing with the times, you're sinking in the tar. You lack the guts to try something new and so cling to your old ways. Nowhere is it written that just because you used to make money doing something, that you get to keep doing it when the game changes. All your hotels on Boardwalk don't mean a thing if you're playing Cranium.

I just couldn't say this crap with a straight face, or with any self-respect. Can you hire someone who actually understands how the online world works? Try promoting someone in their late 20's or early 30's to a position of power and influence and see what they can do.

Because you're doing nothing but bitching at a brick wall.

1 comment:

STeelerJosh said...

Fantastic post! An excellent deconstruction of a flawed and aged arguement. The part that concerns me is when all the other dinosaurs in the tar pit hear this and it makes sense to them. While old and stuck, they still have money and influence with lawmakers who are also out of touch.

I really enjoyed reading this.