Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Moneyball Variations

The kids were so far away from being who they could become, you could imagine them being anything.

There was a tendency to generalize wildly from personal experience.

"People always thought their own experience was typical when it wasn't."

There was a bias towards what someone just did - which might not be what they could do.

There was a delusion of seeing what you just saw, or thought you had seen.

The mind played tricks to create an illusion of reality.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Download Is A Download

What is a download?

What does it look like?

That's what I asked myself while helping to grow a music download store that sold millions of songs.

What is the physical manifestation of a download when it goes from A to B? What can it be?

One day Steve Jobs said no matter what *it* would be 99 cents.

Suddenly iTunes became a dollar store where people would scoff at $3 or more.

I wondered if this is why music videos could barely sell though offering far more.

I wondered if this is why albums started to die.

One single could readily out-sell one album.

Or was it, the download time?

Digital music also did something else: personal playlists drove sales. Not of one album but of various artists, complementing each other.

Suddenly, you had to fit in - into someone else's music.

* * *

What is a download?

A download is still a download whether it is a song or an app.

There are millions of downloads. It is like walking into a grocery store and seeing a million cereal boxes. It would be hard to make one box worth more than another.

* * *

What is a download?

People do spend less time making them (or packaging them) than their analog rivals. I wondered if this was why vinyl sales grew as downloads flat-lined. People wanted more than just a download.

One thing I never got is why music labels wanted downloads protected. Once your download gadget dies or you buy a new one your download is gone.

So in essence you are paying for a perishable download, lasting maybe 2-3 years. More expensive than the analog record that would've been kept.

There is a tricky way to back up 3000 songs ($3000+ worth of songs) but I have only met one person who actually did it.

In my life I have bought Fleetwood Mac's Dreams so many times.
8-track. Vinyl (45, LP). Cassette. CD. Live. Remixes. Greatest Hits. Video. DVD. Downloads for Windows, iPhone and more. Do I really ever have a licence to own it?

Written in my head while driving in a car.