The Silicon Valley and Hollywood Dance – It’s a Hit Driven Market

There are striking similarities between Hollywood and Silicon Valley.  The inside joke that I’ve been sharing lately in comparing the two markets –  in Hollywood when actors are out of work (no script) they become bartenders or go to events and pose and in Silicon Valley when entrepreneurs are out of work (no startup) they are consultants or go to events and pose. Each actor or entrepreneur are claiming working on the next big thing.

Both markets thrive because of optimism.  That is why the best survive by seeing opportunities when other people talk about doom and gloom.  I see Hollywood and Siicon Valley striking a balance very soon.  They both need each other.  The both are realizing that they don’t have the skills that the other has.  This NY Times story strikes true.

If there is any proof point look no furthen than Steve Jobs success at Apple.  He and his team have single handedly changed the media game by using the ITunes platform (aka the ITunes store).

Of the NY Times story here is my favorite piece…

Hollywood and Silicon Valley are engaged in an awkward dance, Mr. Miller said.  “Having been inside studios, I know they don’t have the DNA to take early-stage risks,” he said. They get paid to make surefire hits like the Superman movie. “To start something from scratch, to take high levels of risk — generally speaking, that was not how the studios were built.” The two worlds speak different languages and “there is star envy on both sides,” he said.

Yet they have similarities, he said. Both are hit-driven businesses run by small, insular groups of people. More importantly, they need one another. Entertainment companies will founder if they don’t move from old media like television and radio to digital media. Meanwhile, tech companies will fail if they do not understand the content — movies, shows, music — that people will use their technologies to consume.

The economic downturn has arrived at a critical time for the entertainment industry’s transition to digital media. Many of these big media companies will be forced to cut back on acquisitions of digital media start-ups, Mr. Miller predicted.

Eventually, he said, there will be a shake-out, with two or three companies creating professional content for the Web, just as there have been dominant producers of network programming for television.

For now, “everyone agrees these worlds are crashing into one another,” he said.

CBS 2.0 – CBS Buys CNet – Expect CBS to Let CNET Run Things

CBS buys CNET as reported first by I need to digest the impact of this but off the top of my head this is clearly CBS 2.0 – the web2.0ifcation of CBS. I expect CBS to let the CNet folks lead the charge. It’s a public secret that there is some great talent at Cnet waiting for the ‘green light’ to compete. We’ve seen this with the recent moves by Dan Farber. Dan has successfully started CNet in the direction of blogging and social media. Charles Cooper is blogging hard and twittering. CNet has a group of Pros. CBS did good with this deal. If CBS tries to run the show then this could be a dud.

The big question that comes to mind that isn’t that obvious is “Can the West Coast Bay Area build and run media companies”?. There is talent here in the Bay Area, but is there a understanding of the business and economics? Why can’t West Coast Bay Area companies dominate from this coast?

I hope CNET can lead the CBS 2.0 charge.

UPDATE: My good pal Fred Davis has a post on how he sees the CNet CBS combination. Fred should know he was there from the beginning at CNet. I think that CBS did good here. The future of TV is the Internet and the original vision of CNet was to be that leader. Looks like the original vision was validated.