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Monday, December 20, 2010

Turning an idea into a business.

It is easy to clearly see the Moon; It is relatively difficult to get there.

Vision can only take you so far.

This post is in response to Robert Clark in our LinkedIn group OPENIVO New Television, who wrote:

How, when, where and with whom (your partners) do you intend to demonstrate this and show proof-of-concept?
And if you have a business case, model and plan then you need to vet it with somebody/entities. . The competition's overwhelming. . . When and how does it become a business?

My motivation for forming the group was to try to answer a more basic question. Could this become a business? Media center PCs have been around for years, managed networks have been around for decades. Many large corporations have been trying to implement addressable advertising. Is it possible that a managed network of media center PCs could provide the infrastructure for a TV entertainment environment that would be technologically feasible, market feasible, and highly desirable to viewers? When I spoke one-on-one with industry experts, the answer was usually no, but the reasons were always issues outside their area of expertise. The software experts think the legal issues insurmountable, the lawyers question whether advertisers would participate, marketers question whether the software was feasible, etc. Looking at how this group has grown and the level of talent and accomplishment of those interested enough to join and listen, tells me the business at least has potential.

The concept has viability. The next step is not a business plan. The next steps are to elucidate the concept and form a core team. My next plans are:

1. A powerpoint presentation outlining the details of a draft system
2. A web site to focus on the concept and assist with team building
3. Completion of the design of a proof-of-concept system.

I expect to ask for volunteers from the group to be beta-testers for the system. I will definitely have the system ready for testing by February 1. I don’t know yet if it will be February 1, 2011 or February 1, 2012.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

its with great interest that i am reading your blog.

The thoughts and ideas on tv that you have are ones that i share.

The startup biz i am with is probably a couple years ahead on the actual coding than where you are at.

Alas, funding has run out, but the product is very very good. you can check the video at

if you every want to chat about our experiences, then feel free to get in contact via the website.

Merry Christmas
Anton Winter

wcntv said...

Mark, Thank you for connecting with me on Linkedin. I would love to collaborate and help organize around this important topic. WCN has been researching solutions to complement OPENIVO. We have attracted some incredible partners who together will lead this revolution. It is great to see the step you have started. Let me know how I can serve the group and feel free to join our groups on Linkedin as we work to exchange ideas with each area of the Entertainment Supply Chain.