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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TV ads that find their own market

The OpenIVO system is not software or a network, but a community. It is a single community of viewers, developers, and advertisers working together to transform and improve the television experience.

Who makes the well-worn path through the woods? Everyone who travels contributes just by walking. Similarly, the OpenIVO system could enable TV ads that find their own market.

Traditionally, marketers identify a particular demographic to target, and buy ads with tv programs with good penetrations in that market. The Openivo system would allow ad delivery to a heterogenous group, and test who watches and responds to ads and who skips them. The ads could then propagate to similar viewers to those who watched the ad, social network contacts, etc. Data could be collected and analysed in real time to develop algorithms to send the ads only to the people who are likeliest to respond. Demographic reports can then go to the advertiser identifying the market segments that are the responders.

This would have the effect both of increasing the ROI for the advertiser and showing the viewers the ads they would find most relevant and enjoyable.

A personal medical trial

My work with the OpenIVO system has been on hold for several months because of a family medical emergency.  My teenage son has been receiving inpatient treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital since July.  It has been a long road with a lot of work yet to do.  We are cautiously optimistic.   I would like to sincerely thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Openivo Release Roadmap

Openivo v. 1.0:  MythTV Wizard
A software solution to simplify the process of download, installation, and configuration of MythTV on Ubuntu.  If the viewer uses tested and compatible hardware, they will walk step-by-step through the process for a rapid and trouble-free installation.  The development will be open to the public, the software will be free, open source, and available for donation to the MythTV community. 
Target release date:  August 1, 2011

Openivo v. 2.0:  Managed MythTV
An optional managed network to offer remote system monitoring with email notification for faults, remote upgrades and maintenance.  Subscribers maintain a user profile with Openivo.  Also offered free and open source.
Target release date:  October 1, 2011

Openivo v. 3.0:  The Openivo Entertainment Environment
Offer optional enhanced features with potential revenue production:  App Store:  Personalized medical record with referrals, home security monitoring, sponsored content, etc.
Target release date:  January 1, 2012

Openivo Inception Meeting Summary

Day 2:  We had a productive discussion leading to clarification of the mission:  To put the control of TV programming and TV advertising in the hands of the viewers.   We reviewed the pain points for all the stakeholders.  Relative opportunity valuation led to a focus on sponsors and viewers.  Recognition that the primary concern of sponsors is reach to viewers, therefore the primary focus of the initial efforts will be on establishing a significant viewer base.  Discussion of privacy and security, including threat analysis.  Conclusion that building on an open source OS will provide sufficient security for the early versions.
Mission Statement:  To put the control of television programming and television advertising in the hands of the viewers.
Values:  Openness, Honesty, Freedom, Privacy, Security, Respect
Commitments:  Open Source, Viewer-focus, Ease-of-use, Inclusiveness.
Vision:  An infrastructure for a community of viewers, developers, content providers, and sponsors as equals, working together with mutual respect to fulfill the mission.

Day 3:  Viewed and discussed panel discussion "Addressable advertising:  Who benefits?"
https://www.itvt.com/kalturaentry/tvot2009-addressable-advertising-who-benefits-part-1
Keval Desai - Product Management Director, Google TV Ads
Jerry Dow - Chief Marketing Officer, Suddenlink Communications
Carolyn Everson - EVP of Strategy and Operations, US Ad Sales, MTV Networks
Konrad FeldmanCo-Founder and CEO, Quantcast
Seth Haberman - CEO, Visible World (moderator)
Lisa Kowitt - SVP of Advertising, Wachovia
Daniel Scheinman - SVP and General Manager, Cisco Media Solutions, Cisco Systems
Matt Seiler - Global CEO, IPG Group, Universal McCann
Yael Taqqu - Partner, McKinsey

Discussed plan for initial trial system, including choosing and purchasing hardware, recruiting viewer participants for initial testing in one area in Cleveland, etc.  This would lead to the easiest and lowest cost for viewer participants.

Day 4
1. Recognition and discussion of the problem that there would be minimal revenue available until there was a large installed base.  Solution:  Change the plan for roll-out to be as low-cost as possible.  Plan for zero revenue until a significant user base is achieved.
Discussion of v.1.0 system:  Software only.  Includes a simplified installation of MythTV software with network management (power and functional monitoring, email notification for system problems)

Day 5  Final Day
We reviewed data on the adoption of KnoppMyth/LinHES, a simplified appliance version of MythTV.
I tried to get a very rough idea of how many KnoppMyth/LinHES users there were and how long it took to develop this base. A review of the subscription dates of the members of their forum showed the following data:
2004 1817
2005 2465
2006 15712
2007 7428
2008 82
2009 297
2010 234
2011 59 

We were encouraged by the size of the group of early adopters, but puzzled by the large drop-off after year 2007.  To get some idea, we did a practice installation of LinHES.  Download of software took 2.5 hours.  The installation procedure was awkward and difficult.  Required 4 hours, with incomplete functionality.  Our conclusion was that the Openivo 1.0 version did not need network management to provide significant differentiation.  MythTV with a simplified installation and configuration procedure would be a significant advance.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Openivo inception meeting - Day One

We had a great day on the boat yesterday.
Participants:

Project Owner: Marc Allan Feldman, Virtual Entrepreneur, Advanced Advertising/SocialTV
http://about.me/marcallanfeldman

Facilitator: Brian Levy
http://www.leandog.com/who-we-are/team/herding-dogs/brian-levy/

Agile Apprentice: Ben Woznicki
http://www.leandog.com/who-we-are/team/sporting-dogs/ben-woznicki/

Agile Strategist: Doc Norton
http://www.leandog.com/who-we-are/team/herding-dogs/michael-doc-norton/

Consultant: Brad Templeton
Open source software architect, civil rights advocate and entrepreneur.
You can see an relevant essay by Brad at http://www.templetons.com/brad/tvfuture.html
You can also see an excellent lecture Brad gave on the topic of the Future of Computer Security at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8QuUEwrKm8


Consultant: Jason Stradley
Visionary security executive, US & Canada Security Practice Lead at BT Global Services
Jason has more 25 years of experience and leadership in providing solutions for complex enterprise environments in the following areas; Multi-platform, Multi-protocol network architecture, design and implementation, information protection and network security.
Jason gave a nice presentation on "Endpoint Security Management: Trust but Verify" available at
http://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/24159

Consultant: Sid Good
Strategic planning and new product development, Good Marketing, Inc.
http://www.thekidexperts.com/about.html

The agenda for the week:

Charting:
o Purpose- We establish the purpose, benefits, goals and metrics for the project
o Strategy- We discuss our overall strategy for execution including timelines and team composition
o Tactics- We lay out a plan for the execution including roles, working agreements, regular meetings and intended cadence
Discovering:
o Comprehension- We will quickly and collaboratively improve our understanding of the product content and the solution we intend to deliver
o Creation- Artifacts of discovery include product goals and metrics, lightweight personas, a user story map, a release roadmap and wireframes
Planning:
o Refinement- We delve into those deliverable items that will comprise the next few weeks of work, discussing details of the design and acceptance criteria
o Commitment- We discuss the work before us and commit to deliver during the next work cycle

Today we reviewed an outline of the Agile process. Discussed the current stakeholders and their pain points. This included:

Television viewers
Sponsors
Ad agencies
Cable/Satellite providers
Broadcast Networks
Developers

We weighted the relative opportunities with each group. The consensus was to focus on the needs of viewers and sponsors.

I look forward to press on today with discussion on how to prioritize the features of a minimally marketable system to meet the needs of the stakeholders.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Draft summary for Request for Proposal

OPENIVO - A PC-enhanced environment for a community of television viewers

A managed network for HTPCs providing premium intelligent DVR service, SocialTV, and t-commerce in a system free to the viewer, financed with inserted, skip-able addressable TV commercials.

I have:
A vision
Published patent claims
A broad system design
A commitment to Open Source software
$80,000 in seed capital
$400,000 available for first round funding

I am looking for a partner to help turn the concept into a product, and the product into a community.

Broad system design:

Server (Cloud infrastructure):
1. Network Management (eg. OpenNMS) To include Network Monitoring (fault management), remote configuration , usage monitoring (accounting), performance management and security and privacy management for the client home HTPCs.
2. Interest-based advertising engine - Ad Server (CMS, eg. Drupal). Develop and maintain viewer profiles. Maintain ad database. Serve insertable TV ads based on the viewer profile.
3. Advertising analytics. Gather data on ads watched, ads skipped, ads replayed. Update user profiles. Provide marketing data.
4. TV ad auction module. (eg. phpAuction.org, or contract with Google TV ads). Automated advertising inventory management and timeslot auction.

Client (HTPC)
1. Client DVR/media center. (eg. MythTV/MediaPortal) to include SocialTV (Facebook API), Intelligent recommendation engine with automatic recording, Movie streaming (Amazon Instant), Hulu
2. Addressable ad insertion client module (modified MythCommFlag, video file editor)
3. T-commerce (amazon)

IP: Home computers subsidized with targeted television advertising.
COMPUTER-COST SUBSIDIZING METHOD United States Patent Application 20100058378
See it at: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2010/0058378.html

Because the system will be based on open source with a plug-in architecture, I don't think it is necessary to design big. An alpha system would include minimally marketable features of PVR functionality with an excellent UI, and remote network management for installation, configuration, maintenance, and monitoring.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What is Openivo? (Google Presentation)

I am working on a presentation to better illustrate what the Openivo system is. Check it out:


Let me know what you think.