Blog Archives

Can a Jet Get Jet Lag?

Randomness is a wonderful thing.

‘Silicon Valley’ is a brilliant show, even without T.J. Miller. Although, admittedly, we do miss the on-screen hilarity of the obnoxious yet somehow likable Erlich Bachman of “Bachmanity” and “Aviato” (spoken in that very specific manner).

The off-screen and behind the scenes T.J. Miller is another story altogether. And it was reportedly not a good one as revealed by castmates and executive producers/directors of the HBO show.

Regardless, there are so many fantastic characters who do make ‘Silicon Valley’ one of the best written and acted shows on television. One of these aforementioned characters is none other than Matt Ross who plays equal parts tech giant and megalomaniac, Gavin Belson.

(FYI – There is one f-bomb in the video below)

That’s his character’s signature mentality. He has another signature–I’ll save that for another day when laughter is needed.

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X Marks the (To Be) Bought?

Have you ever seen a shinier apple Apple in your life?

Whoa!

In a phrase, the iPhone X looks, “insanely great.”

Apple’s major product advancements yesterday, most notably its iPhone X (not the letter, but the number) ended with a surprising bang. And, in doing so, with a rather curious statement. At around $1,000 (monthly payments are available) for the iPhone X, Apple is celebrating its 10th iPhone anniversary with a serious question of not what the phone can do (seems incredible), but rather who they envision paying for this phone?

Next month and, equally important, in the years and many subsequent models to follow.

A $1,000 floor, not ceiling, is a gutsy price (although, give ’em that its a simplistic price tag, in quintessential Apple style) to determine if an Apple smartphone will be affordable. Akin to high-definition TVs with all the bells and whistles (in some cases, literally), too high of a starting price could, well, price out major portions of its valued market. Will that hurt its profit margin? Who knows. But, it might damage something the tech giant holds just as dear as a defining part of its amazingly successful brand…

Part of the legacy of the late Steve Jobs is that he put/led his team’s effort to put 1,000, 10,000 and x number of songs in our pockets, along with a smartphone that’s literally a handheld supercomputer for each of us to define ourselves. Interestingly, yesterday’s exciting presentation (new iPhones, Apple Watches, etc.) took place center stage in the new Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s new spaceship campus. However, what would Steve Jobs say about the $1,000 price tag?

Hmmm…

How many of Apple’s x -umber of consumers will say the iPhone X is insanely great?

How many of Apple’s x-number of consumers will say the price of the iPhone X is insane…great?

Bachman’s Exit is…Insanity?

Jian-Yang! T.J. Miller!

For any fan of the pitch-perfect comedy on HBO about Silicon Valley, which is aptly titled Silicon Valley, the adapted shout above is pitch-perfect.

What’s not perfect for any fan of Silicon Valley was the shocking news that one of its endlessly hilarious ensemble stars, T.J. Miller (Erlich Bachman, founder of Aviato), announced with HBO that he would not be returning for the forthcoming fifth season next year. The aforementioned hit show features brilliant writing, deft insight into the happenings and quirky (to put it lightly) characteristics of northern California’s tech culture and a cast of actors and actresses that make up one of the best casts on television.

So, that begs THE question: Why leave now?

For an actor who thrives on a life as an off-the-wall entertainer, the following excerpt from a recent interview was a sobering applause break for a rare glimpse into the man T.J. Miller.

Erlich Bachman T.J. Miller will be missed.

Not as much as the spoons designed perfectly for enjoying yogurt at snack time, but close.

Erlich Bachman knows what I’m talking about. Jian-Yang also knows, but he doesn’t care…plus, he’s is busy setting the garbage on fire.

Jian-Yang!

The Wisdom of the Garage

Public vs. Private.

This is a fiercely debated and complex issue that has a myriad of avenues to explore and a variety of micro and macro points to consider for in-depth analysis. Today, the focus will be centered on the latest example of this classic, everlasting battle of ideology and basic societal structure.

Speaking of putting ourselves into the right mindset…

Regarding ObamaCare, the people do have a fever of frustration and the only prescription appears to be increasingly less government.

The federal government, under President Obama, has had between 2-3 years to put together a website for his signature achievement…in the 21st century…in the year 2013.

Now, healthcare is recommended to be dealt with over the phone by the government.

Can’t imagine any problems or scams there. In a related story, Nigerian princes are discovered to be very happy this week.

Aside from fact that the policy of the law is unequivocally flawed, bad, unworkable, unsustainable and unfair, let’s focus on the website. Consider that Facebook (“thefacebook” back then) was digitally built by a group of college students (granted, from Harvard) that took user’s information and compiled a personal profile for them that was capable of being viewed, updated, shared and commented on by his or her friends with seemingly no limit on activity.

It worked.

Why?

Put simply, the founders and builders of “thefacebook” had the market incentive to create the best product because of the competitive landscape in social networks. They had to be the best for survival’s sake. Therefore, the company had to recruit the best talent with the skill-set to continually innovate and improve their product for the public and, most importantly, their voluntary members. Money had to be allocated prudently and the business decisions required great intelligence and foresight.

In the private marketplace, you have to be the best or you will very likely fail and go out of business. For many, that is the bottom line and the daily reality.

Conversely, in government, there is no such marketplace. Money is provided, which is usually bloated beyond belief. Correction: The public’s/our money is provided to the government contractors and is bloated beyond belief. Even still, the transaction is done so through a maze of red tape and is absent any competitor, let alone several. The public sector is not conducive to consistently producing high quality and innovation influenced by a variety of critical market incentives, pressures and rewards.

“Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov.” As reported yesterday by Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, the aforementioned statement was a weekend notice from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The obvious question: Why weren’t the best and brightest brought in in the first place?

The obvious answer: The best and brightest don’t work in the government.

Silicon Valley is the hub of technological genius in the United States and even around the world. This is one of the places where the best and brightest work. Freedom to imagine is coupled with personal responsibility and monetary limitations, which creates the atmosphere for ingenuity and potentially terrific outcomes. Contemplate how many successful start-ups and society-altering companies were born in garages (Apple, HP) and small offices just outside San Francisco.

People in a garage with nothing more than a crazy, outlandish dream and a little business savvy have established a better and a more cognitive environment than the hundreds of millions of dollars the federal government doled out for the new healthcare.gov website that had years to be constructed.

If Apple or Google had premiered like this, there would be no Apple or Google today.

Actually, that’s not true.

Apple and Google never would have concocted, put together and premiered such an unworkable and fiscally unsustainable disaster for the public.

That’s the lesson from the best and the brightest.