Strategy with the help of Harvard
Yesterday, was one of the more exciting days I’ve had as a Media Prima employee. My new CEO, Ahmad Izham Omar conducted a Harvard-based knowledge sharing session with another collegue (also named Izham) to selected employees. These were mainly the GMs of the various network brand management units, business development peeps and, of course, New Media peeps like myself.
Izham studied 10 case studies during his 4-day stay at Harvard, mostly focused on strategies being employed by media companies. He presented one yesterday and we had to read a 30-page assignment the night before. (Yes, it was conducted on really short notice!).
The case study was on Microsoft. Being one of the biggest companies on Wall St, the case was ‘How did Microsoft experience tremendous growth in the 90s?’ It was shown that while PC sales grew 4 times, revenue grew 20 times.
The answer was revealed through a quote Bill gave Harvard professors (included in the 4-day program at Harvard) and I quote it here:
We look for opportunities to grow our network externalities… to turn those into annuity streams.
In short, by tapping into a growing network, (ie. PCs) he could increase sales of his own product, namely Windows, and later, Internet Explorer.
A decade later, Google would do almost the same thing. Having created a more useful and fast-growing search engine, it rode on the millions of search results generated by serving ads that were relevant to the searches. The rest is history as Google created its billions of dollars relatively quickly.
How can filmmakers benefit from the same strategy? Does it benefit us more in marketing or filmmaking? Well, I see the answer in two ways: in marketing, the viral aspects of the web have allowed us to spread word-of-mouth much easily. Remember, word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising. Particularly for films. And as a platform for creating, imagine filmmakers striking a deal with Apple to sell their movies on the iPhone for USD3 a pop at HD resolution and then we go home and sync it to our LCD TVs with built-in Apple TV or Playstation? If your film’s built a reputation the ability to access it makes it easier for you to sell your film one download at a time. That’s the power of the iPhone in future years.
In the future, this will surely spell the doom for physical store rentals. In Asia, piracy is still an issue but hey, that’s another for another posting, one day…
So filmmakers, go ahead and embrace New Media. Embrace iTunes and iPhone for its ability to empower your filmmaking ideas and how you can reach people faster. And make more money. And I’ll tell you when I’ve made mind.