Updates from Talk by Shekhar

Yesterday I attended the talk by Shekhar Kapur, it was a good talk, but not a great one. Maybe I had my expectations way too high from the talk and that’s reason I feel that way. What I liked a lot though is that it was meant to be a talk but shekhar tried to structure it more as a discussion.
A lot of the it though was peppered by buzzwords & what we heard again and again like Virtual actor, PSP-video game generation, multitasking audience blah blah !!!

Couple of points that he said that were really good & I liked.
· ” Entertainment is the emotional interface between technology & consumers”

· “Technology & entertainment are very much intertwined and it is always been the case. New technologies obselete old ones for ex introduction of talkative movies, the coming of colour in cinema, recording studios etc . He said each of these progresses has obseleted older mode of produciton/doing things and has replaced with new models etc and thus cinema has progressed further.” (By saying this he implied that now is another inflection point where older models will have to change – Kudos!! that you are the first old Media 1.0 person whom I’ve seen has recognizaed this)

· “There are shift in consumer needs( rather discontinuities) !!” I found this was the most remarkable statement of the evening. Now this is something which is plain obvious but most of the people don’t get it. Kudos++ for getting this one right too. I have’nt heard this anyone for a long long time. !!

· “Indian technology companies don’t build IP, rather they outsource their talent & creation and someone in the west gains the huge advantage. We in Indian sub content should focus on building IP and this would happen only creating an ecosystem that make risk money available for people who have the courage, passion & conviction to create such intellectual property.

· “I’ve joined as TiE member”

Now couple of things that did’nt resonate with me quite well

· Shekhar made a prediction that by 2010 all the telephone calls will cost 0 rupees. Ok ! now that predicition even my friend’s kid sister who uses skype to talk to her grandpa daily can also easily make that prediction, it is so obvious as that. Seriously what is the point here.

· I didn’t understand what was all the mumble-jumble about Consciousness, Quantum Physics and singularity for a simple feature suggestion that a person gave for the next script. [ Was like using

a nuclear bomb to swat a house fly]

· Though it was recognized the technology is redefining entertainment business but a deep analysis of how is the technology redefining economics this time and what should be the new age strategy has not been understood.

Its true that you have to capture the attention ( shortening) span of a today’s multitasking audience by providing more interesting content suited for casual & time/place shifted medium.

Something that I would term as a creation of ‘love-in’ effect[‘lock-in’ effect is old & evil] in stories that are told, captuing the user’s future attention.

But what I think is more profound is that technology changes [as always ] has done once again what it is best at doing putting power in common people’s hands, [ex mainframe -> PC, journalism -> blogs(citizen journalism) ].

Technology has drastically reduced the cost of making a movie, anyone with a cheap camcorder & iMovie (In fact one doesn’t even need a iMovie when the awesome free & open source Jahshaka is there) can create a wonderful film.
So the industrial age assumption of “one content producer exists who controls the distribution channel & thus by economies of scale & scope is going to realize returns” is not going to hold true anymore.

“Content is the king ” has proven to fallacy. [ I do understand that data has increasing rate of returns]

“Distribution is the king” is the new mirage.

So what is going to be the dominant power then

“Participation is the king”

Peer production it is going to be the new way. Need proof !! check out ‘Primer‘ by Shane Carruth (7000$) , Tarnation ( 250$) by Jonathan Caouette.
So the old media has to think along these line of creating a platform for converstion/prosumption/participation and sharing the revenue pie equitably with all involved. I can bet that more than 99.9999% of the old media will get it all wrong.

Overall it was an evening well spent here, I also had a good nice small chat with Shekhar after the talk 🙂

I hope the folks at the blogging dinner in Gurgaon had a good dose for their grey cells by Marc and also had a good fill for their social apetite and of course a sumptous a punjabi meal 🙂

Update: Here is SMR’s thoughts on the talk.


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