Bob Iger (Disney) Comments on Disney’s New Streaming Services and the unbundling of Cable TV content (short video)

Posted on Posted in Innovation, Net Neutrality, Random Acts of Progress, Video, Visionary

In this short video, Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, discusses Disney’s New Streaming Services and the future of Digital Media and the unbundling of Cable TV content.

Bob Iger has something to say about how Disney is looking ahead at this inevitable future. Disney owns some (most?) of the most valuable entertainment content assets out there and from that perspective, Bob Iger’s comments are invaluable. Disney, which also includes ABC, ESPN, Pixar, and the new Star Wars and Marvel franchises, according to Bib Iger, is well-positioned for the general move towards cable unbundling. However, the major Pay-TV providers business current models around bundling, including Disney, are certainly being disrupted by OTT (digital over the top). As we all know, OTT has been touted as the Holy Grail for the future of TV and video.

Which would prefer? Pay for only the content you consume or overpay for content bundles that include programming that you don’t care about? Sounds like a no-brainer so why not cancel your cable subscription in favor of Netflix, Amazon (Prime) or Hulu? Perhaps ~$10 a month vs. ~$70 a month? According to Tech Crunch “In a simplistic generalization, unbundling would remove the subsidization of pay TV, banishing the requirement for every pay TV subscriber to bear the cost of content that only a portion of the subscriber base actually wants and consumes, e.g., sports content, typically the most expensive channels.”

Watch this short video to hear what Bob Iger has to say about unbundling contnet, the current and future state of the entertainment industry, and what Disney’s position is on all of the above.

“Bob Iger (Disney) Comments on the unbundling of Cable TV content)” is also available on 4thWEB’s Facebook Channel

Best-Performing CEOs in the World November 2014

Posted on Posted in Innovation, Random Acts of Progress, Visionary

4thWEB curated content from Harvard Business Review
By Adi Ignatius (see full article)

Leaders for the Long Term

A few years ago I sat down with Starbucks founder Howard Schultz in his Seattle office to discuss the challenges of being a CEO. At one stage I asked whether he felt there was a disconnect between the person he would like to be and the persona he needs to project while running a public company. Serving as a CEO, he said, “has been difficult—and lonely.” Yet he’d found that it was indeed possible to be values-driven while also winning Wall Street’s respect. “But the only ingredient that works in this environment is performance—so we have to perform.”

ceos Schultz has delivered on both fronts. He has become increasingly progressive, speaking out on topics ranging from presidential politics to gay marriage. And though that might make some shareholders cringe (and others applaud), he has resoundingly—and consistently—come through for investors. As a result, Schultz has earned a spot (#54) on our list of the 100 best-performing CEOs in the world. It’s a varied ranking, whose honorees represent 22 nationalities and countless personal values and styles. Another Seattle-based CEO, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, comes out as #1.

Top 100 The Rankings Best-Performing CEOs in the World November 2014

1 Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon
2 John Martin, Gilead Sciences
3 John Chambers, Cisco Systems
4 David Pyott, Allergan
5 David Simon, Simon Property Group
6 Lars Rebien Sørensen, Novo Nordisk
7 Hugh Grant, Monsanto
8 J. Michael Pearson, Valeant Pharmaceuticals
9 Mark Donegan, Precision Castparts
10 William Doyle, PotashCorp
11 Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing
12 David Novak, Yum Brands
13 Michael Wolf, Swedbank
14 Pablo Isla Álvarez de Tejera, Inditex
15 Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com
16 Oscar Gonzalez Rocha, Southern Copper
17 Stephen Wynn, Wynn Resorts
18 James Taiclet Jr., American Tower
19 Elmar Degenhart, Continental
20 George Paz, Express Scripts
21 Tsai Ming-Kai, MediaTek (tie)
21 Paolo Rocca, Tenaris (tie)
23 Reed Hastings, Netflix
24 Ronald Havner Jr., Public Storage
25 Michael Balmuth, Ross Stores
26 Daniel Hajj Aboumrad, América Móvil
27 Debra Cafaro, Ventas
28 James Gallogly, LyondellBasell
29 Christopher Connor, Sherwin-Williams
30 Djalma Bastos de Morais, Cemig
31 Paul Bisaro, Actavis
32 Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Telenor (tie)
32 Renato Alves Vale, CCR (tie)
34 Alexander Cutler, Eaton (tie)
34 Stephen Luczo, Seagate Technology (tie)
36 Gordon Nixon, Royal Bank of Canada
37 Kent Thiry, DaVita
38 H. Lawrence Culp Jr., Danaher
39 Charles Davidson, Noble Energy
40 George Scangos, Biogen Idec
41 Ulf Schneider, Fresenius
42 Dan Dinges, Cabot Oil & Gas
43 Simon Wolfson, Next
44 Michael Ward, CSX
45 Fujio Mitarai, Canon
46 Carlos Alves de Brito, Anheuser-Busch InBev
47 Ed Clark, Toronto-Dominion Bank (tie)
47 Joseph Papa, Perrigo (tie)
49 Philip Pascall, First Quantum
50 John Wren, Omnicom
51 Carol Meyrowitz, TJX
52 Nick Hayek Jr., Swatch
53 John Hammergren, McKesson
54 Howard Schultz, Starbucks (tie)
54 Blake Nordstrom, Nordstrom (tie)
56 Frank Hermance, Ametek
57 Bruce Flatt, Brookfield Asset Management
58 Jeffrey Sprecher, Intercontinental Exchange
59 Wolfgang Reitzle, Linde
60 Robert Iger, Walt Disney
61 Benoît Potier, Air Liquide
62 William Rhodes III, AutoZone
63 Monty Moran, Chipotle Mexican Grill
64 Ajaypal Banga, MasterCard
65 Richard Cousins, Compass Group
66 Terry Lundgren, Macy’s (tie)
66 Benjamin Steinbruch, Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (tie)
68 Randall Hogan, Pentair
69 Gregory Case, Aon
70 André Desmarais, Power Corporation of Canada (tie)
70 Paul Desmarais Jr., Power Corporation of Canada (tie)
72 Ola Rollén, Hexagon
73 Herbert Hainer, Adidas
74 Lars Rasmussen, Coloplast
75 George Weston, Associated British Foods
76 Mark Parker, Nike
77 David Zaslav, Discovery Communications
78 Ed Heffernan, Alliance Data Systems
79 Peter Rogers, Babcock
80 Gregory Henslee, O’Reilly Automotive
81 Fabrizio Freda, Estée Lauder
82 Scott Saxberg, Crescent Point Energy
83 Tsai Eng-Meng, Want Want China Holdings
84 Eric Wiseman, VF
85 He Guangbei, BOC Hong Kong
86 Gregory Johnson, Franklin Resources (tie)
86 Michael Mussallem, Edwards Lifesciences (tie)
88 Jean-Paul Clozel, Actelion
89 Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen
90 Kari Henrik Stadigh, Sampo
91 Lars Renström, Alfa Laval
92 Michael Kowalski, Tiffany & Company
93 John Finnegan, Chubb
94 Jacques Aschenbroich, Valeo
95 Jean-Paul Luksic, Antofagasta
96 Edward Matthew Tracy, Sands China
97 Gregory Goodman, Goodman
98 Franck Riboud, Danone
99 Brian Jellison, Roper Industries
100 Willard Oberton, Fastenal

How do you measure a CEO’s worth? We decided to approach the task scientifically, basing the ranking on hard data, not on reputation or anecdote. Specifically, we looked at the increase in total shareholder return and market capitalization.

How We Calculated the Rankings
We also focused on long-term—or at least longish-term—results. Our rankings consider the performance of active CEOs over their entire stints, and we’ve included only those who have been in their jobs for at least two years. (The median term for all the CEOs we studied is seven years.)

The top CEOs have undeniably been effective. The top 50, on average, have delivered total shareholder returns of 1,350% (adjusted for exchange-rate movements) during their time on the job. That translates into an annual return of 26.2%. Adjusting for industry effects, average total shareholder returns for the top 50 are 1,161%, and for country effects, 1,087%.

We acknowledge, of course, that being a good CEO is about far more than just investment performance. Leading a company and creating value depend on many skills that are hard to measure—strategic vision, authenticity, long-term planning. And investors certainly aren’t the only stakeholders that need tending to; the best-run companies connect effectively with customers, employees, and the communities where they operate.

But we want this ranking to be as objective as possible, so we’ve put a premium on what we can measure precisely. Someday, we hope that there will be equally concrete ways to account for “intangibles”—environmental impact, employee satisfaction, customer engagement—so that we can confidently add that data to the formula. Until then we can only supplement this list with parallel data that tries to track some of these “softer” attributes.

Along those lines, we asked the Reputation Institute, a reputation management consultancy, to rank our top 100 CEOs in terms of these other skills—work environment, citizenship, governance, leadership, and so on. The results suggest, I’m afraid, that doing well doesn’t correlate much at this stage with doing good. That said, a few superstars scored high across the board, including Bezos, who, despite Amazon’s well-publicized entanglements with publishers and authors, was #4 on the Reputation Institute list. (Schultz finished in the middle of the pack.)

What else do we know about the CEOs on this list? Most are men—only two women, Debra Cafaro of Ventas and Carol Meyrowitz of TJX, made the top 100—and the median age is 59. (This is similar to what we see in the entire group studied, in which 3% of CEOs were female and the median age was 58.)

Thirteen CEOs are of nationalities that differ from their companies’. (Though it’s still not a global market for CEOs, that figure is more than double what it was in the 2013 version of this ranking.)

And while the top 100 have each experienced their own unique journeys to success, there do seem to be two preferred pathways. Over a quarter of the CEOs have MBAs, and nearly as many had studied engineering.

We also looked at CEO pay, to see how that related to performance. To do so, we worked with Equilar, a company that collects information on compensation, to tally the most recent pay packages for the top 100. These elite CEOs are very well paid, as are most CEOs. But on average the executives on our list receive more of every form of compensation than their peers do.

Disney’s Bob Iger, #60 on our list, is the highest paid among our 100, with a total package of $34.3 million. That doesn’t make him the world’s best-paid CEO. In fact, according to Equilar, 13 CEOs earned more, led by Charif Souki of U.S. gas developer Cheniere Energy, whose 2013 compensation totaled $141.9 million.

So what’s the ultimate takeaway from this ranking? In many ways, Bezos’s place atop the list says it all. Here’s a CEO who has frequently underperformed in the short term while continuing to make big bets on the future. Amazon often reports quarterly losses, even as sales continue to rise. And though the company is subject, like many firms, to dramatic share-price swings, Amazon and Bezos have a long-term track record of delivering shareholder value that is second to none.

Why Engineers Make Great Leaders

Twenty-four of HBR’s 100 best-performing CEOs have undergraduate or graduate degrees in engineering, compared with 29 who have MBAs. (Eight CEOs have both degrees.) At technology or science-based companies, it’s not a big surprise to find an engineer at the helm. But engineers thrive at the top of other kinds of firms, too: Examples include Carlos Alves de Brito of brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, Jeffrey Sprecher of the financial services firm Intercontinental Exchange, and Kari Stadigh of the insurance company Sampo.

What makes an engineering degree useful to people leading a business? “Studying engineering gives someone a practical, pragmatic orientation,” says Nitin Nohria, the dean of Harvard Business School, who holds an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. “Engineering is about what works, and it breeds in you an ethos of building things that work—whether it’s a machine or a structure or an organization. Engineering also teaches you to try to do things efficiently and eloquently, with reliable outcomes, and with a margin of safety. It makes you think about costs versus performance. These are principles that can be deeply important when you think about organizations.”

Executive recruiter James Citrin, after examining the list’s numbers, notes an interesting trend: CEOs who were hired into firms as outsiders were more likely to have an engineering degree than insiders who were promoted into the job. “That connects with my experience,” says Citrin, who leads Spencer Stuart’s North American CEO practice. “When boards are making decisions, and they know it’s riskier going outside, it often gives them comfort if a candidate has studied engineering.” Why? Citrin says engineers excel at “architectural thinking” and logical problem solving. The only downside of an engineering background, Citrin says: It might be a small strike against a candidate who wants to lead a company in a creative field such as fashion or advertising.

How They Stack Up on Pay

One of the downsides of a global CEO ranking is that it’s difficult to offer a comprehensive comparison of these leaders’ pay, because countries require different levels of transparency with executive compensation. With help from the compensation analysis firm Equilar, we compiled pay data on 68 of our top 100 CEOs. (The remaining 32 are based in countries that lack public data on executive pay.)

This is a small segment of this article. To see the full article click here.

TED Talks: Why We’re All TED-Heads – Infographic

Posted on Posted in Innovation, Random Acts of Progress, Visionary

Here’s an Infographic about TED Talks at TED.com – an online idea-sharing and education platform and one of the most successful and well-known. TED Talk videos have been viewed over 800 million times since 2006. With names like Bill Clinton, Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs and Jane Goodall, the roster of TED speakers reads like a who’s-who of today’s living scientists, educators and humanitarians. Now, six years after uploading its first video, TED.com is innovating online education yet again.

TED Talks Infographic

A new site,TED-ed.com now provides a platform for teachers and students to share video lessons. Teachers can modify, or “flip”, the videos to make them more relevant to their own lessons and use the site’s test and project writing tools to measure comprehension. The site continues to build its video lesson library by bringing user-nominated educators and animators together to create multimedia videos on everything from the mathematical genius of Archimedes to the significance of the Higgs-Boson particle discovery.

Infographic Source: OnlineClasses.org

Never Underestimate the Zuck (Facebook Instagram deal)

Posted on Posted in Innovation, Random Acts of Progress, Visionary

Why Facebook Bought Instagram and Why That Matters?

Facebook recently bought Instagram for one billion dollars. Instagram is the fast, beautiful, fun way to share photos with friends and family. Instagram enables you to snap a picture, choose a filter to transform and theoretically improve its look and feel, then post to Instagram’s website. And you can share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr too – it’s photo sharing, reinvented, and super easy to do. But, still, it’s reinvented; not exactly new or groundbreaking. So, why exactly did Facebook buy Instagram and why does that matter?

Facebook doesn’t need Instagram’s 30 million users.

It already has 850 million of its own. And Facebook’s ultra-simple built-in photo app is the most popular app on Facebook. So, why? Is Facebook predicting that its user acquisition rate will slow down? Don’t think so. They’ll likely hit a billion users sometime in the next year just on autopilot. Facebooks upcoming IPO guarantees that they’ll be spending most of their time and treasure on increasing revenues, not users. Of course, most of that is ad revenue. Instagram comes with users but no revenue and no obvious way to monetize their user base.

The Facebook Instagram deal looks like it’s a pure mobile play.

But, Facebook already has lots of mobile users. Well over 400 million users per month use Facebook on their mobile devices; and Facebook offers mobile apps on just about every platform. Problem is, Facebook is getting pennies on the dollar for mobile ad revenue compared to desktop ad revenue. In light of the upcoming IPO, Wall Street analysts are surely looking at this acquisition from the PoV of “how much revenue does the acquisition bring to the table v. the expense of keeping Instagram running and of course the one billion dollar price tag?”.

OK, this might be a bit of a stretch but maybe not. Facebook doesn’t own a piece of the image acquisition part of the mobile market. Instagram does. So, maybe Facebook is thinking that instead of Instagram users posting the images to Instagrams website, that users will start posting them to Facebooks timeline. That would result in more opportunities to serve ads to the desktop and of course that would increase revenues. I for one would like to see Facebooks spreadsheets on that one though since Facebook still has to recoup their one billion dollar investment and that will not be easy.

Maybe Facebook doesn’t have much of a choice?

Facebook wants a big piece of the mobile market and their current mobile offering may take too much time to develop into a revenue-generating service. Mobile image acquisition isn’t part of Facebook’s current mobile service but maybe that’s exactly what they need right now. The Instagram purchase, complete with business infrastructure and 30 million users, would instantly accelerate Facebook’s market share of the mobile market, and interface with Facebook in a way that increases Facebooks ad revenues on the desktop. Now this could be a Facebook mobile service that makes Wall Street happy. Right?

So, maybe the new Facebook Instagram service will enable users to quickly and easily take beautiful pictures, seamlessly share them to their Facebook timeline and friends, and Facebook gets to serve more ads to the desktop where they make their money. Maybe this is starting to sound like a match made in heaven. Never underestimate the Zuck.

Facebook buys  Instagram
Graphic created by: Online MBA Programs

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We’d like to hear your thoughts on our Facebook Instagram post. You can share them in the comments section below.

Google vs. Facebook: What Your Business Needs to Know

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Google vs. Facebook: What Your Business Needs To Know

Two emperor-warriors, each restlessly probing for the other’s Achilles’ heel. Brilliant field commanders and generals, making sacrifices and sometimes falling in battle. A recently deceased king, with a potential power vacuum left in his wake. Is it Greek history? No – it’s Silicon Valley, with their own epic story of the Clash of the Titans. It’s Google versus Facebook, Page versus the Zuck, search versus social media. It will be a great story one day for history books and memoir writers; in the meantime, as marketers we need to know how to work with both of these superpowers without offending either.

Google vs. Facebook: Two Competing Paradigms for Gathering Information

Google and Facebook represent far more than two powerful companies fighting for market share. Rather, their two business models represent two dramatically different paradigms of what the Internet should be or should evolve into. To understand these two paradigms, it’s helpful to briefly review the life stories of the two emperor-warriors of the online world: Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg.

Larry Page is a computer scientist and math guy with two computer scientist parents. He visualized the Internet as being one huge graph, and with his fellow Stanford Ph.D. student, Sergey Brin, Google became the ultimate calculus equation. Google’s strength still lies within the mathematical precision of its algorithms.

Then there’s Mark Zuckerberg, eleven years Page’s junior. Whereas Page was the son of two computer scientists with one older brother, Zuckerberg was the son of a psychiatrist and a dentist and grew up surrounded by three sisters. Though the book Accidental Billionaires would later portray Zuckerberg as a cold-hearted, socially isolated computer geek, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Computer geek, yes, but socially isolated? Zuckerberg was a frat guy planning to double-major in computer science and psychology before he dropped out to pilot Facebook. He is, and always has been, a very smart, very geeky, but also very social guy.

Zuckerberg and Page’s orientation towards gathering and parsing information are reflected by their two different inventions. Page created a mathematical formula to sort that which was worth knowing from that which was not. Zuckerberg, the computer geek frat guy, created something totally different – a way to sort what was worth knowing from what was not based on what your buddies thought. For Page, the Internet was a fascinating robot, a machine. For Zuckerberg, the Internet was a newly discovered life form, a living, breathing, ever-evolving organism.

Google Plays Catch-Up

It turns out that other people like Zuckerberg’s paradigm of what the web should be. Like the Blob, Facebook has spread itself relentlessly across the web, quietly oozing into places like Yelp, Spotify, and on every blog and news media site known to man. Its presence is now inescapable; as a result, many of its 800 million users spend more time at Facebook than at any other corner of the online universe.

Just as Microsoft realized it had miscalculated the importance of search and tried desperately to catch up with Google, Google is now in the position of desperately trying to catch up with Facebook when it comes to social media. The new Google+ is trying hard to grab a bigger piece of the social media pie for Google and is proving that Google hasn’t become so big that it can’t still evolve.

While Google+ might just give Facebook a run for its money, Facebook launched its own set of aggressive changes at its recent f8 developers event. From the new timeline feature, to verbs other than “Like,” to relegating uninteresting bits of news to the ticker, the f8 event sent a tidal wave of changes across the social web. Just when it thought it was gaining on Facebook, Google+ is once again two steps behind.

Three Takeaways for Your Business

Those of us who rely upon the might of Google and Facebook to market our products and services may not care who ends up as Silicon Valley’s undisputed ruler; we mostly just want to know how to use the two companies’ battle spoils to boost business. Here are three takeaways from the Clash of the Silicon Titans that you can apply to your own marketing:

1. Zuckerberg’s paradigm is probably going to win, but that doesn’t mean that Page’s paradigm is going to go away. Search and social media are eventually going to live in symbiotic harmony. For the foreseeable future, we will continue to use Google as the primary means to look up phone numbers, get directions, find the closest pizza joint, and learn the final score of last night’s football game. However, once we click on the pizza joint’s site or visit our favorite football blog, we’ll immediately see which of our Facebook friends have already been there and we’ll be influenced by what they have to say about it. Who finds your content is now just as important as – and influences — if your content is found in the first place.

2. Pay-per-click is still best left with Google, but not for much longer. At the moment, Google is poised to conquer a whopping 41% of the US online advertising market. This is still one arena where Facebook is playing catch-up to Google. However, they are catching up fast. Ad analytics are still stronger with Google, but Facebook has social media and word-of-mouth on its side. For the time being, ROI with Google’s AdWords is stronger, but sharing your PPC budget with Facebook isn’t a bad idea.

3. Online video will be a field commander in both armies. Google owns YouTube; Facebook shares videos. With the new f8 changes, videos are weighted more heavily than other types of content, meaning that a video you upload is more likely to make it into your fans’ news feed. Whether you’re trying to dominate the search engine results page or get your message to spread on Facebook, online video will be an increasingly important part of your efforts.

This war between Google and Facebook probably isn’t going to end in a clear victory for either side. For now, Facebook will continue to rule social media, but Google will continue to rule search. While we still need both, as a marketer, you can’t afford to neglect either one. Caught in the middle of these Titans, make sure you are paying due homage to each — unless you want your business to become collateral damage.

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Have some thoughts about this topic or general comments? Share them below.