Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Apple Math

The addition of Hulu Plus to AppleTV is an interesting addition to what Tim Cook simply referred to a "hobby" during the last investor call. Especially considering when Apple has sold 4million units so far this year alone.

So what's next?

Imagine this: "Siri - Please play that episode of South Park where Eric Cartman wants to go to Stan's birthday party at Casa Bonita."

Apple is creating ecosystems and going where customers have been long underserved and there is significant demand for a better way. But while everyone is focused on mobile, I think there's quite a bit slight of hand ("...nothing to see here folks…just a $400million hobby…move right along...") going on with regard to Cable TV. I'll put it this way (click here for a larger version):

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IMO Apple is quickly and quietly going after Cable TV providers with better delivery methods, a la carte selection and on demand viewing. Don't be surprised as premium content creators begin signing agreements with Apple:  HBO, ESPN, Disney, BBC as well as other international creators (maybe even TVNZ - Shortland Street for everyone! :) 

AppleTV then quickly becomes a vastly improved distribution medium and of course they'll extract a modest toll in the process. And with a world wide revenue opportunity it'll mean $billions more for Apple - funded in part by the giant sucking sound as viewers cut the cable for broadcast TV and keep it for internet access only. Heck - for only two months cable TV cost ($50/month) you can buy an AppleTV. And the difference can fund subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu Plus and more.

Or imagine this: after NBC's mis-handling of the Olympic games, can an Olympics app for the AppleTV be very far behind?

Friday, July 6, 2012

RTC USA Feedback

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There's a lot of blogging going on post #RTCNA (formerly #RTCUSA) in Stone Mountain. I'm going to try to list all the blog posts but if I miss any please email / twitter a link.

And if you didn't get to go, be sure to print a few reviews and staple them together with your resignation letter before placing it on your bosses desk.

Ok - maybe not with a resignation letter. Maybe just as a list of the competition who was there.

You see, It's a bit chicken / egg: you're being told you couldn't make it  because you don't have the budget…or is it that you don't have the budget because you couldn't make it?

James Vandezande / HOK

Brian Mackey / Mackay Consulting

Aaron Maller /  Beck Group

Paul Aubin / Consulting Services

Lonnie Cumpton / BIM9

Robert Manna / Stantec

Aaron Vorwerk / D|C|CADD

Jeffrey Pinheiro / Fletcher Thompson (here here and here)

Erik Lewis / Devenney Group Ltd.

Check back for updates!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

RTC North America 2012

Note: This is a re-post (with permission!) from JamesV's blog over here:




Here I sit on the train, commuting back to work on a warm Monday morning, attempting to summarize what concluded a mere 27 hours ago. I'm attempting to find the right way to express my feelings about the RTC North America 2012 conference in Stone Mountain, GA and I seem to keep returning to Bradley Cooper's character in The Hangover II when he makes that fateful phone call..."it happened again."
Now, I'm not saying we lost all track of reality in a drunken stupor - rather that I feel a nostalgia of great events in the past. Meeting new friends, learning truly valuable skills, and having a whole bag of fun in the process.

Let's start from the beginning...even before departing New York for Atlanta. At AU in November 2011, my good old friend Wes Benn says that I absolutely must submit a class proposal for RTC in June. I was supposed to give a presentation at the first RTC North America event earlier in 2011, but an important family event forced me to defer my presentation to an excellent colleague who did a bang-up job of Effective Coordination, avoiding an imminent #screwtastrophe.

So, I submitted a topic called "Building Smarter Models" that was accepted and I was on my way to Georgia. Fast forward to June 27 and I arrive with two others at Hartsfield Airport late that evening. We share a car out to the Evergreen Marriott Resort at Stone Mountain - a 40 minute drive. Along the way, Scott Davis receives a call from Jim Balding with the news that there are no rooms left for the three of us. Surely this is one of Jim's practical jokes, but it turned out to be true. After shuttling back and forth between two hotels in the area until 1 am, we had a plan - Bruce got a room, Scott shacked up with Jim for the night, and I stayed with Wes.

The next morning I may have been caught saying that I was due for a crappy conference because I've been to so many good ones in recent years. I was about to let fate take its course. Then it was underway...

We were first treated to a fascinating "fireside (albeit a virtual fire) chat" with the one and only Dick Morley - the father of such modern day innovations as the programmable logic controller, anti-lock brakes, and the picture keys on McDonalds restaurant registers. Dick was followed by Steve Stafford and a few folks from Autodesk talking about what's new in Revit 2013 and what's to come. Of course, Autodesk can't reveal details about what's coming without everyone being under NDA, so I felt that was an unnecessary addition to Steve's summary.

After lunch, we were off to the first round of classes. This is where the magic begins. Without a fully detailed summary of every session I attended, let me just say that you probably won't find a better assembly of speakers and topics covering Revit and related technologies than at an RTC event. I'd have to say that my favorite presenter was Marcello Sgambelluri. His passion, eloquence, enthusiasm, and overall knowledge of each topic was remarkable and inspiring.

Removed  << EDIT: Sorry, had to remove the video snippet of Marcello's presentation by request >>

RTC is a multi-track event in which there are several simultaneous classes in regular time slots over three days. It is difficult to decide which class to attend in any given schedule slot and they don't yet record the proceedings. I hope they do in the future because I didn't hear anything but positive reviews from my colleagues attending other sessions.

One thing that seems to be receding from the itinerary of other industry conferences are the social events. This is where RTC certainly doesn't skimp. As event founder, Wes and his committee understand the immeasurable value of networking at these types of venues. It might make their event a little more costly, but I wouldn't even hesitate to keep coming if they keep up their high standard of excellence. On Friday night, we were treated to a paddle boat ride across the lake to the Stone Mountain Golf Clubhouse for a fine BBQ dinner and on Saturday, the gala dinner concluded the conference with the announcement of the contest winners and a bluegrass band.

Future conferences are scheduled for RTC North America - Vancouver in July 2013, RTC Europe - Delft, Netherlands in September 2013, and RTC Australasia - New Zealand in May 2013. I encourage you to visit www.revitconference.com to learn more about these upcoming events.

Bluegrass + (Madonna + DEVO + INXS) / Stone Mountain = Packway Handle Band

Hey everyone - if you've still got the tunes from Saturday night's Gala Dinner stuck in your head there is a cure! The Packway Handle Band is available on iTunes.

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Please support these full-time musicians - we all know what it's like to be a passionate, driven artist. I'm digging the (Sinner) You'd Better Get Ready CD which features the wonderful rendition of Madonna's "Like A Prayer". Listen closely to the last 10 seconds or so for the cut in by the neighbor with insomnia. :)

Insert earbuds, press play and close eyes…I'm back at RTC!