Saturday, May 30, 2009

What happens when http://www.google.com/nonprofits/ links into the Printernet?

Every non profit on the planet wants to print stuff. Every non profit on the planet needs what they can get at google.com/nonprofits. Every non profit on the planet would love to print stuff. At minimum a leaflet. But usually a newspaper or a series of informational posters. Every non profit on the planet wants to distribute that print at minimum in their community. At best to every community of interest in the world.

If Google can offer the tools for an amateur to build a website in an hour, how hard could it be for software to build a newsletter or a poster?

Printernet = 50,000,000+ print pieces distributed around the world over night with a minimum carbon footprint.

Since I'm seeing the same thing as Barb Pellow, The States might be ready for QR Codes

This is old news in Japan and Korea. It's new-to-me in the States.

Printing Industry News, Commentary & Analysis, Research and Consulting
from WhatTheyThink: "Print is NOT Dead – It is Interactive!!!

By Barb Pellow

May 28th, 2009 -- With the increased focus on interactivity and multi-channel communications, marketers want to integrate online media with documents to enable a cohesive and unified marketing tool. At the same time, however, fully executing these multi-channel programs is often elusive. Although technologies like text messaging, short message codes, and PURLs are seen as promising, they lack a quick, precise, elegant encoding system to efficiently transport the recipient from paper to an online experience."

Science = Common Sense, Systemically Applied . So the snippet is just common sense for education

from Education Week:
Scientific Reasoning: No Child's Play
: "Primed with a few simple instructions, a group of 5th graders ventures into a rich ecosystem, alive with birds, invertebrates, and even a few mammals—like the rabbits they see, but can’t catch.

This habitat isn’t a lake, river, or forest. It’s a scruffy school courtyard in the heart of southwestern Detroit

The elementary schoolers, wearing hooded sweatshirts and jackets on this raw April day, dig into the lumpy grass with hand shovels. One team spies an earthworm slithering for cover. “Look! Look!” a boy shouts. A classmate scoops it into a plastic vial.

Friday, May 29, 2009

DP: Printernet: WSJ's D Conference Fumbles Transition to Web 3.0

WSJ's D Conference Fumbles Transition to Web 3.0
@PBS: "-- The organizers of the tony, high-priced tech conference known as D All Things Digital, included a manifesto of sorts in the program guide titled 'Welcome to Web 3.0.' In that treatise, organizers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher define Web 3.0 as 'the real arrival, after years of false predictions, of the thin client, running clean, simple software, against cloud-based data and services. The poster children for this new era have been the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch...'"

Data Point: Printernet: Manuvis pilots its new SaaS offering to printing operations

Printernet = ground to cloud to print to ground to cloud to . . .
Manuvis pilots its new SaaS offering to printing operations - Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink: "Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cleveland, OH - Manuvis Corporation, a leader in innovative, event-driven, real-time enterprise manufacturing intelligence application software, announced a pilot of their FactoryMRI(R) Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence product in a printing operation that utilizes Didde-Glaser presses. The new Software as a Service model will offer an opportunity for most companies using Didde-Glaser printing presses to cost-effectively take advantage of the power of Fac"

Still one more piece of the printernet falls into place..alassis and The Dallas Morning News Join Forces

From a printernet framework, print sales people and MPS sales people could selling newspaper ads to deliver true multi-channel marketing campaigns to small business and non profit organizations. The opportunity is the newspaper ad sales process needs to be fixed. more at PBS MediaShift

Valassis and The Dallas Morning News Join Forces - @Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

LIVONIA, Mich. and DALLAS, -- Valassis, one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, and The Dallas Morning News, the flagship subsidiary of A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC), today announced a powerful, innovative alliance that changes the way advertisers reach households in the Dallas-Ft. Worth designated market area (DMA)."

DP: Another piece of the printernet tested in Denver And the model for someone to get the margins of the textbook industry.

The education printernet is the same thing as described in the snippet. Only it's also printed in the classroom or the CRD for sharing in the classroom and with ads only from Public Health and Civic organizations. Hotel rooms = classrooms.
MediaNews Group Starting Test of Home-Printed News: "CHICAGO MediaNews Group is preparing to put its 'Individuated News' personalized newspaper to the test in real homes in Denver next week.

Peter Vandevanter, vice president of targeted products for MediaNews Group, told the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) 'The Power of Print Conference' that the subscribers will get home delivery of a printed paper, through home printers or portable devices, with content personalized to their demands and including hyper-targeted advertising and coupon offers.

On June 3, the I-News product will be expanded with the installation of printers in 25 Denver households and the rooms of 60 guests of the extended-stay, Vandenvanter said. The expansion of the project was reported by Bill Mitchell, leader of news transformation and international projects at The Poynter Institute, who interviewed Vandevanter at the WAN meeting.

Another score for Xerox UK!

James Byrne increases short-run options with iGen4 buy | @printweek.com "Hampshire printer James Byrne has addressed a growing demand for digitally printed short-run work after investing in a Xerox iGen4 digital press.
Someone in the UK is having a nice year. Maybe he or she should have a talk with our guys here in the States.

Oops! R H Donnelley, publisher of Yellow Pages files for bankruptacy. It's not about blablabla End of Print blablabla

It's about a large organization that couldn't get out of it's own way to be able to turn their bugs into features. It's an old continuing story. It's the Goliath and the Tower of Babel problem. We're not going to have a recovery, we are going to have a reorganization.

It usually happens every 500 years or so. - roughly 1500, 1000, 500, 600 BC, . . . 3,000 BC. It's the flock of Black Swans. The last time the right person at the right place at the right time was Gutenberg. Re RH Donnelly the game is to watch who gets to pick up the pieces.

Re everyone else, what is going to be the new Gutenberg? I'm betting that it's going to have something to do with wireless Print.

The "dr droock" Magic Bullet to fix High School education at the bottom of the pyramid

Move the teachers from classroom to classroom, instead of the kids.
Versioned customized Print connected to the wireless Cloud, instead of textbooks, will help. The opportunity for Print is that if used correctly it allows the creation of a still small place.

From the LA Times:
American Indian's administrators believe that one of the secrets to success in middle school is having one instructor teach all subjects except physical education. The goal is to have that teacher stay with the same children all three years

Why:
1. Too much time on task is wasted by the kids and too much time on task is wasted by teachers and admins managing hundreds of kids going from room to room.
2. If the kids stay put they will create their own natural safe place in school. Learning can only happen in safe, comfortable places.

The hard part:
1. Creating flexible ability groups has to happen in the classroom not at the admin level.
2. Teachers have to become great at managing projects and being ready to take advantage of those ineffable, unpredictable teaching moments.
3. Teachers have to share the power over the time and space of the classroom.

The principles describing why this should work apply to anyone too busy being busy to do the jobs they are supposed to do in the first place. The short story is that no one can learn logical thought if they don't have the time to practice it. The other part is that learning when you are afraid is well nigh impossible.

It's why for most meetings, most of the time spent is time wasted. And why Warren Buffet is successful and why Mentored Apprenticeships is the solution to the Community College training problem and why Trade Shows should be reorganized and textbooks reinvented. It's also the reason that "educating the customer" is a waste of time.

It's also the reason that "No Drama" Obama is just the right person at just the right time at just the right place.

It's all about the Communication Ecology. The point is how does communication work within the thought model of
Behavioral economics which does justice to what man is really like, both individually and collectively. We are prone to laziness, greed and fear. There is a weak tendency for a minority of individuals to break free from the fads and fashions of men, and pursue profit exclusively. Remember, thinking hurts, so people conserve on it, unless the reward for thinking exceeds the pain. from the Aleph Blog

The problem was never the End of Print. The problem is the mobile capacity gap in the States.

You can't get to wireless Print, until the wireless piece is in place.
A “Qik” way to more transparency?My PR Brain:"Now, with the US finally catching up to some of the rest of the world in our mobile capacities . . . "

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kodak: Preview of Next Column at PBS.Mediashift. I want to write about Variable QR codes at litho speeds, but I need some real info.

If anyone from the PR outfits at Kodak, Consolidated Graphics or mieller direct visits and has the time, I need a little info. I want to do a follow up column about QR codes at litho speeds. I'm pretty sure the Stream Printheads can do it. All I need is some confirmation that my hypothesis is correct.

It's clear that any of the fully digital equipment from all the globals can do it. HP, Oce, Screen, Donnelly for versioned newspapers. Of course, all the cut sheet high speed devices from any of the globals.

Of course, relatively few people read blog posts, even at PBS. But you never know. It could get picked up. Based on the responses to the last column on QR codes, I think I'm seeing that there are lots of smart folks in start ups that have been doing the development on the ground here in not-Asia. The fact that the column was picked up by Martin Langeveld at Nieman Journalism Lab, tells me this might have some real traction. The fact that in two days there are 15 comments in the thread is more confirmation of the "this might have traction" hypothesis.

The audience over there is mostly newspaper people. The site is supported by PBS and the related site, IdeaLab is for Knight Foundation Award Winners.

Meanwhile a Proof of Concept Project in South Africa has all the pieces in place on the ground to gather the data that Versioned Print is the missing piece to build communities.

You can get the details at the post called Bringing Hyper-Local, Citizen-Driven News to South Africa , by Harry Dugmore 2008 Knight News Challenge Winner. It would be perfect for any global. I'm thinking Oce, HP, Screen or Xerox + Xerox Foundation for the versioned print in the service of community building. Click on the link above if you want granular details, but just to give you a flavor of what I'm seeing, here's a snippet from Mr. Dugmore's comments:
. . . And that's just one of the projects that we think Hyper-local journalism can be a bit crusading about in South Africa that lack of local construction is exactly what is happening, and what we must get to grips with in Grahamstown. As a newby here, I'm struck by how this is so much less an apartheid city spatially -- sure it is still segregated into largely white and wealthy and largely poor and black areas-- but there are so close by, all in this one valley. Most places in SA, black South Africans were forced to live miles away, often 3 or 4 miles away in small towns, and 10 miles or more in bigger towns (I'm using miles not kilometres for no good reason!) But despite our closeness here, we've got a way to go to creating a local sense of what 'local' is. . . .
If anyone decides this is interesting, get your people in South Africa to get in touch with Mr. Dugmor in Grahamstown. If anyone thinks it would be helpful I would be honored to volunteer to manage this on line using basecamp. Face to face meetings near Brooklyn, NYC are also fine.

Column Deadline Monday AM: QR codes at Litho Speeds?
I have to get the first draft done by Monday am, so I need whatever info by Sunday night, EDT, although the editing process will go on until Wednesday. The column will probably be posted the following Monday.

I think I'm seeing a path to make a significant contribution to the textbook/High School education problem, but would love to highlight something that is really happening on the ground. If you've visited here before, you know that while I love the blablabla, it's real events on the ground and data that make a difference.

So any real info about Stream Printheads and most especially the possibility of the QR code piece, would be much appreciated. Feel free to post any info as comments. Or if you prefer send me an email at josefowm (a) gmail.com

DP: Looks like everything you need to know about QR codes is here

Andy, thanks for the link. More after I've had a chance to sift through the site.
CodeZ QR;
"CodeZ QR is a COPI company. COPI stands for Computer Output Print & Internet.

COPI is a multifaceted technology solutions provider to users and vendors of the high volume computer output industry.

Over the last 28 years, our team of talented professionals has worked to expand our worldwide reputation for excellence and integrity.

We're proud of all that COPI is and what we've accomplished, and we'd like to share it with you. Come meet our team and find out about our company's mission and history."

DP: Looking to do business with the federal government?

Recovery Act Opportunities
@ Recovery.gov:

Looking to do business with the federal government? Check out FedBizOpps.gov for all federal government contracting opportunities. All federal agencies must announce proposed contracts expected to exceed $25,000 on FedBizOpps.gov. The site lists all major solicitations, contract awards, subcontracting opportunities, surplus property sales and foreign business opportunities. For actions related to funds made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, use the Search Recovery Actions option on FedBizOpps.gov

Did you know that you can search online now for federal Recovery-related jobs, career planning and many kinds of financial opportunities offered by the U.S. government?"

BP: When News Corp is extending the deal with Google, it says something good for Print is going on

The faster Murdoch clears the path for newspapers, the faster newspaper stock prices will get to where they should be and the more likely education printernets will fix high school education.

News Corp hopes for broader ad deal with Google
@Reuters: "CARLSBAD, California (Reuters) - News Corp hopes to sell Google Inc access to a greater swathe of its media properties, its executives said, as an advertising deal between the two companies comes up for renewal.

Senior executives at News Corp and its MySpace online service said at the All Things Digital conference on Wednesday that the company was working with Google to try and make their existing advertising deal better for both parties."

DP: If Time Warner Is Set to Separate AOL , Why wouldn't HP spin off the Print piece?

Time Warner Is Set to Separate AOL -
WSJ.com
: "Time Warner Inc. is set to announce a separation of its AOL division as soon as Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter.

Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes has signaled for months that Time Warner was likely to move forward without the Internet unit, and the company said last month it expected to spin off all or parts of the business"

DP: at Bloomberg.tv. "$4 trillion dollars in money market funds."

. . .says Mr. Marsico, Marsico Capital Managment.

That's lots of money prowling around. It will be interesting to see where it flows and and most interesting when it pounces.

Another score for Xerox UK!

Anybody else starting to notice a pattern? Things keep happening in the UK and Canada. What are they doing that Xerox USA should be doing? Or is it just that the UK/Canada part of Euromerica is different in significant details from the States part of Euromerica. If that's the case, the task at hand is to figure out the principles that seem to doing fine there, modify as necessary and bring them here.

Hint:
It's all about the differing communication ecologies. Shakespeare in the round is different from Shakespeare in a proscenium. Shakespeare in German is different from Shakespeare in Spanish is different from Shakespeare in Dutch or Japanese. But it's still Shakespeare. It's the same story. Just different space/time specific places in which to tell the story.

At any rate, if you take the click from the snippet you'll see that first that Duncan Print bought a DocuColor 700. Then they probably found their market. Then they bought another box to serve the market they already have. Nice! It's a simple OEM organic growth story for the "analysts." I especially like that Free Flow connects digital, shmigital to the real action in litho. That's the kernel of the printernet part.

Plus you can do metrics!

How many X boxes are on the street?
How many of those X boxes will want to turn into Y boxes?
How many software upgrades will you sell connecting litho to shmigital?
How many software upgrades will you sell as the printernet scales?

Go through the whole product line all over the planet. Then you can give the "analysts" a spread sheet that even they might be able to understand.

I wonder what the path is to upgrade to an iGen4?
Duncan Print buys iGen3 and . . . @printweek.com
Tim Sheahan, printweek.com, 28 May 2009

Duncan Print Group is aiming to push its turnover through the £8m mark after investing in a Xerox iGen3 digital press.

The iGen3, which will replace an outgoing Xerox DocuColor 7000, has been installed with FreeFlow Print Server – an investment that will complement the Hertfordshire-based company's litho offering.
. . .
Peter Taylor, director of production and graphic arts at Xerox UK, said: "The investment in print technology and workflow are two areas of improvement that the UK print industry is evaluating in order to deliver increased value to end-users."

In 2007, the company had a turnover of £7.8m.


Why Newspapers are coming back ...Pt 3 and more blabla about textbooks.

I would love to get IDEO (see snippet) to focus on High School education.

It turns out that educating a class of kids or any other interest defined community is very similar. You don't sell textbooks to a community. You sell them newspapers. So why wouldn't you do the same thing for the 50% of high school kids who have decided it's not worth the time and hassle to get a piece of paper that "certifies" they are ready for the next step in their lives.
The Future Of News In The San Francisco Bay Area Is Here - @The Next Newsroom Project:
San Francisco Magazine posted a story today that finds reasons for optimism called, "Newspapers are dead. Long live journalism!"

As part of the package of stories, the magazine also engaged design thinking firm IDEO to help conceptualize some scenarios for what the future of news might look like. There's a five-page spread mapping out IDEO's work in print, dubbed "News Flash From The Future," thoat can be found on the IDEO site. You can view the PDF version here.

It may be all Euromerica, but Germany is still Germany

We have a similar tensions in the States. NorthEast v SouthWest. If you get a chance take a look at the silliness erupting over the latest Supreme Court nominee.

Different strokes for different folks. It's all good. While it makes life more complex, the most lasting solutions only emerge from the clearest clash of different dna. It drives evolution.

from FT.com
Anger over German role in GM shake-out:
"GM says it has three plants more than it needs in Europe, prompting bidders for the business to compete on pledges not to close plants or cut jobs in Germany, which will provide most of the European government loan guarantees needed to keep the Opel/Vauxhall operations afloat."

Big Oops for Reed Exhibitions: Next time don't stop the music!

If you tried to stop a rock concert, the high school kids would riot. If you ignore the rhythm of real life, you can't teach high school kids, you have to live with tiny margins and whine about the "End of Print" and the economy blablabla.

Clearly Reed Exhibitions couldn't hear the music and don't have any rhythm. It's a signal v noise problem. The point, taken from the snippet below, is
Keep this up and there will not be another Pacprint – suppliers will just take their budgets and do something where they are treated with more respect. Change, adapt and be reasonable and there might be.
Trade shows have a broken business model
I know it. You know it. Everyone knows it. The enormous amounts of money vendors put into trade shows mostly serve to increase SAG to unsustainable levels. The primary driver is "we have to go, everyone goes."

That money could be much better invested in printernet publishing and local brainstorming meetings with local OPM/PSPs + industry verticals and/or community chambers of commerce (that's what we call them in the States.) The item on the agenda is designing and implementing proof of concept projects from which everyone can earn while they learn. That's what InfoPrint did with the CMO. If everyone looks closely at what they did, the model is pretty clear.

Here's my favorite part:
This is Australia, a place where basic freedoms are very much treasured. Your behaviour last night was not in accordance with this, nor with commercial pleasantries, nor common decency but the thing you demonstrated most profoundly was a complete lack of respect, sense of fun and enjoyment.
Go Andy McCourt! Go Australia! If you replace Australia with "Brooklyn" and I could copy and paste to fill some space in a Brooklyn version of a printernet published community newsletter that I could distribute in High Schools.

The full text follows:
Open Letter to Reed Exhibitions from Andy McCourt -
@ Print21:
Thursday, 28 May 2009

My name is Andy McCourt. My first PacPrint was 1984 and I have visited and reported on just about every International Graphic Arts trade show in the world, including the ones run by Reed Exhibitions such as the UK’s Ipex. I have served on the marketing committees of two Ipexes and a Pacprint, plus numerous industry initiatives over the years.

Last night, 20 minutes before show close, your security people confronted, challenged, intimidated and generally behaved unacceptably toward a paying exhibitor – OcĂ© Australia – who had the good grace to provide an entertaining end-of day music interlude on their stand. The crowd loved it and there were even fellow exhibitors enjoying it. I understand another exhibitor – Curries is hosting a similar on-stand concert so good on them too for having the imagination and creativity to add ambience to the event.

What we don’t need is a repeat of the plain rude attitude of your people. Trade shows are about show business too, or don’t you know that? Despite billing Reed as the ‘World’s largest exhibition organiser.’ I don’t care what you are – you were out of line last night. Exhibitors have invested huge sums to be here under challenging circumstances and musical entertainment is a consistent feature of all great trade shows from Ooompah bands at Drupa to blues bands at Print Chicago and rock bands at IPEX.

This PacPrint has just about taken place in the most challenging commercial environment in living history. If nothing else, by marching onto stands with live music and attempting to stop it, you are also depriving visitors of enjoyment, camaraderie and a great wind-down to a busy day.

This is Australia, a place where basic freedoms are very much treasured. Your behaviour last night was not in accordance with this, nor with commercial pleasantries, nor common decency but the thing you demonstrated most profoundly was a complete lack of respect, sense of fun and enjoyment.

Keep this up and there will not be another Pacprint – suppliers will just take their budgets and do something where they are treated with more respect. Change, adapt and be reasonable and there might be.

Lighten up Reed. And to Curries and the band Colour and the Waves; crank up the volume and rock on baby! We can entertain our way out of recession!

Regards
Andy McCourt
Disclaimer: The is the opinion of Andy McCourt and in no way reflects the opinions or views of the publisher or the companies mentioned, including Oce, with whom the writer is employed.

Xerox: Awards are good. Margins for OPM/PSPs are better. A Xerox Printernet is best.

See snippet below for the awards part.

Imagine the awards and new leads and thus nicer margins if Xerox got into printernet publishing. A simple 4 pager in color sent every two weeks to all of their customer's customers.

The problem to be solved is that printing is not sold. It is bought. The way to get new business is to be "top of mind" when the printing event is about to occur. The paradox is that if you try to stay "top of mind" with relentless calling, the customer sees you as a nag and slightly desperate for business. You may be top of mind, but you get put into the "hard to business with" bin. The bin you need to be is in the "easy to do business with."

To resolve the paradox is a four page 10 1/2 by 13 1/2 full color bleed iGen produced newsletter sent to the customer every two weeks. Here's how to do it.

1. Do the deal to get the content from The Good News Gazette. The owner is a very experienced MBA who recently left one of the global search companies. She started this site while she is looking for the next big thing. She has a great deck describing Printernet Publishing as the next big thing. I'm on her Advisory Board so I can kibbutz in private without getting sucked into a day job.

Plus she's starting to post good news videos at YouTube. That means a QR code to get the kids to play good news on the mobiles. It's a killer app. In fact the whole newsletter could be just big high design QR codes with some advertising in Print. They'll love it in Japan, Australia and the UK.

On her site it says

Why good news? Because it makes you feel good, and the more you read, the better you feel. Our mission is to bring you stories that highlight the positive, inspiring and heartwarming, that help you feel good while reading the news. Happiness is contagious, and we’re here to help spread it. Welcome to the Good News Revolution!

2. Get an awesome graphic designer to take snippets from the website and re purpose for the newsletter.

3. Front page is snippets and the name of the OPM/PSP in question. Maybe some QR codes going forward.

4. Page 2 and 3 are filled with feature articles. One or two beautifully illustrated stories of interest that week or in different parts of the world. Make a deal with the Christian Science Monitor. They have gezillions of just the right kind of story and they recently went web only and open to new business models.

Page 2 and 3 could just be a 13 by 19" bleed image taken from the NASA on line library. The stars and colors will reproduce beautifully on the iGen. Or a wonderful poster.

5. Use text only ads in the far right column. Think Google AdSense. You can sell ads to Adobe or Apple. If you can get the right person on the phone, it should be a no brainer. If you can sell enough ads, it should be a zero addition to SAG at the mother ship.

6. Put a correctly prepared, customizable PDF in the Cloud. Maybe supply an HTML version for the Printers website.

Win-win-win = "Why wouldn't I do that?"
The OPM/PSP wins because he doesn't have to waste time doing marketing materials or getting "educated" in business development. He also wins because he stays top of mind with no counterproductive prospect calls. Plus the salespeople will have time they need to do value added sales, instead of being forced to be overpaid under motivated prospectors.

The customer wins because getting good news once every two week helps her have a nice day. Helping someone have a nice day is a huge value given.

Xerox wins with no cost marketing and thus improving margins by getting SAG closer to 16%, not by reducing headcounts or even slimmer margins on boxes. Plus it would eliminate most the money for "educating" the customer. Just send them the Mail Program in the box. Maybe most important it would harvest the awesome value created by the network of more than 600 Premier Partners.
Xerox Honored for Leadership Excellence -
@Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:
Thursday, May 28, 2009

NORWALK, Conn. -- Xerox Corporation received top honors from channel publications and their readership for its strong partner program, leadership and innovative technology.

For the third consecutive year, Xerox was named 'overall winner' for workgroup color printers in CRN's 2009 Channel Champions Awards, taking the top spot in all three sub-categories - 'expected sales,' 'competitive pricing,' and 'product margins, SPIFs and rebates."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

C'mon Kodak: Focus on the offset Print piece. Stream Printheads in Europe. Can Stream Printheads print QR codes?

see snippet at the end about 1st Stream Printhead in Europe
If Stream printheads can do QR codes you can blow this whole thing wide open. Imagine, neighborhood versioned pURLs at web offset production costs and speeds.

You have all the relationships with every newspaper production person in the business. If you talk to Goss that will get you very close to 80% of the people you need to get to who will anser your email.

Talk to Oce and you can fast track versioned newspapers in color and give HP a real run for their money. If you have to give up or slow down Stream Inkjet, it might be worth it. With Oce, HP and Screen boxes already in place, is more investment really going to pay off?

Newspaper front pages as lottery tickets. Win-win-win = why wouldn't I do that?
Everybody willingly pays from $2 to $5 dollars for a lottery ticket. Put a lottery ticket on the front page. A QR code that takes the user to a website to find out what they won. Start with a free 3 week subscription as the "thank you." Then $10, $25 etc with a $10,000 weekly prize. Make sure that there is a $250 winner in every community you want to be in.

Newspaper wins by getting people to willingly pay a $1 to buy a lottery ticket/newspaper. Plus identifying a new subscription base.

Customer wins because $1 for having a day to dream about what they will do with the money is value received.

Kodak wins by selling Stream Printheads.


Digital, shmigital.
It makes sense that you drank the digital Kool-Aid. Kool-aid is just the right beverage during a land grab. During dot.com days we had Pets.com and funny money. We also had Amazon and real money. But the land grab is over for digital printing. It's too crowded to get any margins. Between HP and Xerox in the production space, the landscape is pretty settled.

You still have the photos on line piece. That's a great piece. 30,000,000 users at Kodak Gallery? Facebook has a nominal value of $10 billion and they still haven't earned a penny. You have people's most treasured images and a raft of products that they are happy to buy and receive. One of your calendars has been my traditional holiday gift from the kid since the Ofoto days.

Meanwhile Stream printheads are game changing. The dirty little secret is that large scale direct mail doesn't need color images and fancy stuff. Just the right message to the right person at the right time. With Stream printheads on a web offset press it's good enough. The general rule of getting to scale is good enough is good enough.

Now that you have a Creo person heading up the print piece, it should be better. Now that we're seeing the end of the "End of Print", offset will be coming back. Smaller, but totally redefined.

Go Rochester! C'mon Kodak. I'm still betting that you are the little engine that could.
Kodak Announces First Stream Printhead Install in Europe - Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- meiller direct, one of Europe's largest providers of direct marketing services, is the first European beta customer for Kodak's Stream Printhead.

Kodak's Stream Printhead is a monochrome continuous inkjet solution for inline digital printing on high-speed web devices such as offset presses and inline finishing equipment. The technology enables commercial printers to bridge between offset and digital printing, extending business and revenue opportunities by adding value to printed pages."

One more Aussie doing amazing things: QR codes for teaching PE. And consider the margins in K -12 textbooks.

Here's the point:
So how successful was the activity? Well, the lack of motivation usually shown during revision activities was non-existent and the level of understanding the kids demonstrated was also excellent.
"lack of motivation . . .non-existant" + "level of understanding . . .was excellent" = higher margins than selling boxes to Purchasing Agents or MPS to managers who don't want to buy anything. K - 12 textbooks can not deliver "lack of motivation nonexistant" or "level of understanding was excellent."

It's not anyone's fault. It's not blablabla lack of vision blablabla greedy blablabla End of Print blablabla. It's just one more broken publishing business model ready to fall from the tree.

K -12 Textbooks, meanwhile, have enough top line revenue for nice margins for OEMs, OPM/PSP's and MPS. Plus clicks galore! Plus the budget for them already exists and the blablabla is that they are a must have. But Associated Press was a "must have" for newspapers, back in the old days.

Using Geocached QR Codes for Revision in a PE Classroom
@Mr Robbo – The P.E Geek:
"Today I completed an alternative revision session with my senior VCE Physical Education students prior to a major assessment piece next week. In the past I have completed the standard revision activity with my students that requires them to answer questions on a page. However this time I went around the school with a handheld GPS and marked 12 random locations. I then got 12 of the key questions the students are required to understand and entered them one by one into a QR code generator. Once this was completed I placed them at the 12 different GPS locations. Now with this completed I was finally setup for the activity.

The students were then given a blank answer sheet and the GPS location of the first QR code. Once they managed to find the code they used their mobile phones to scan and reveal the question which then needed to be answered correctly in order for me to share the next GPS location. This process repeated until they reached the last QR code which included some further information about the assessment piece. The students were also encouraged to utilise their MP3 players to listen to their audio workbook and podcasts of key content if they were unsure of an answer."
And this one from another post at the same blog.
So how do I see this being used in a classroom? Well with a site like http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ or Winksite you can generate your own QR codes in a matter of seconds. The site allows you to generate a code that can contain a URL, Text, Phone Numbers and RSS feed or an SMS and then allows you to save it as a JPEG image or embed it on a website. My mind is racing with ideas for such a groovy easy to use application of technology that most of our students already have their hands on.

So here are a few ideas about how I might use the power of QR codes in my classes . . . . more?

DP: Here's one way Print will go wireless and eliminate textbooks

from Pongr.com
Here's how it works:
Take a picture
See a print ad, billboard or logo and want to learn more?
Capture it with your camera phone.

Here's the textbook part:
If you see something in your non-textbook and want to learn more

DP: Why newspapers are coming back . . . Pt 2. And still another opportunity for versioned newspapers

If no one has, somebody really should get in contact with the folks in Cedar Rapids. Oce? HP? Screen? AlphaGraphics? maybe even big X to do the High School piece.

Complete Community Connection: more reinvention in Cedar Rapids
@ Nieman Journalism Lab: You can’t really call it a blog post when the printout stretches to 33 single-spaced pages, but it’s highly recommended reading: Steve Buttry, the “information content conductor” of Gazette Communications in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has published “A blueprint for the Complete Community Connection” as a nine-parter on his blog. More conveniently, you can download the whole thing at Scribd (very simple registration required.) In his previous incarnation at the American Press Institute, Buttry worked on the Newspaper Next project, which urged newspapers to adopt disruptive innovation as a strategy, rather than being disruptively innovated against.

DP: Here's why Print will reinvent High School and the Printernet will scale

Once Print goes wireless . . .
"Physical and digital are really one and the same for today’s youth."

Interactive print media connecting with mobile marketing strategies
@Mobile Marketing Blog by Pongr: "The trick is, print media needs to be viewed as a physical link to the digital, mobile world. Physical media is obviously important and not going away, but just as people can quickly and gracefully float back and forth between their physical and digital lives, we all are coming to expect the same from the advertisements we find appealing; subconsciously at first, but quite consciously when the advertisements fail to acknowledge our version of the “real” world that is mobile, digital and bricks & mortar all at once. Physical and digital are really one and the same for today’s youth."

Still one more datapoint to show that the margins in organizing busyness are going to be worse than boxes.

Paperless Office in Perspective A Document Management System for Today "Paperless Office is not black or white - learn how to adopt successful paperless office strategies at your organization through incremental change."

Why my IRA thinks newspapers are coming back

McClatchey (MNI) is selling for $1.20 this morning at 10 am EDT. On February 18 it was $ .53.

GO Print!

A window on the Euromerican New Economy

GM bankruptcy nears as bondholders shun tender offer
@ Reuters:
"Chrysler is seeking approval this week to sell itself to a 'New Chrysler' owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments, Chrysler's union and Italian carmaker Fiat SpA. A hearing on the sale will take place on Wednesday."
And
Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told reporters after meeting Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne in Berlin that the Italian carmaker's offer looked serious but that rival bidders Magna and RHJ International remained in contention.

"There's no favorite," he said. "Everyone knows that improvements are still necessary."

In an unexpected twist, China's Beijing Automotive Industry Corp (BAIC) also submitted an offer, potentially turning the three-way race into a four-way battle. that would also include U.S. carmaker Chrysler.

Huge opportunity for versioned newspapers in London ! But the window is going to close very quickly.

Transport for London launches coveted tender for freesheet distribution @printweek.com "Adam Hooker, printweek.com, 27 May 2009

Transport for London (TFL) has launched a tender process for its morning freesheet slot, which could see The Metro ousted from tube stations for the first time in 11 years.

The new contract is for a shortened seven-year cycle and allows the winner to place newspapers in the 250 tube and 20 bus stations across the TFL region between 6am and 11.30am Monday to Friday.

A tender of initial "expressions of interest" went up on the Official Journal of the European Union yesterday.
Here's the pitch to the Metro, Murdoch or anyone else in the game.
1. A 16 to 24 page tabloid.
2. Pages 1 and 2 are the News in Brief.
3. Pages 3 and 4 are the Sports Highlights.
4. Pages 5 and 6 are feature stories versioned by Metro stations
5. Pages 7 and 8 are reserved for public service stories from local councils, National Health or other government communications.
6. p. 9 through 16 - on slow days for local advertising by Metro Station.
7. 16 to 24 to ??? if and when advertising grows.

Win - Win - Win - Win - Win - Win. Usually win-win-win gets the deal.
1. TFL wins by having an inexpensive way to reach everyone and to communicate different messages at different stations.
2. Oce and OPM/PSPs win by the clicks and expanding their printernet presence.
3. The publisher wins becuase of the ad revenue.
4. Local politicians win with a cheap, very fast way to communicate with their constituents.
5. The local communities win by enabling local economic activity.
6.The customers win by having to something to read on the commute, fold down, put in the pocket, then read again at lunch.

If the stars are right, it means six wins. You only need to three wins to pass the "why wouldn't I do that" standard.

The Path to Scale
Start with four representative communities - Metro Stations. If it works there keeping adding to likely stations. Eventually you can spread into school based distribution and help fix the high school education problem.

Oce got rhythm! "After all, if you don't sell anything at a trade show, you can at least have some music!"

It is most definitely time for the whole industry to lighten up. The future will be bright or it won't. But as Mom always told me, "As long as you have your health . . " Since I've retired, I've learned to really apreciate Mom.'

Besides, if Servio Noterman can learn to play the saxophone in three months good enough to perform, it says to me he has just the right DNA. To me it means he understands how to best spend his time and understands the true value of "good enough."

Oce lets the good times roll
@Print21: "Taking to the stage on their PacPrint stand, the company band belted out a number of tunes, including songs by the Violet Femmes. Not just limited to those on the factory floor, the band also includes Oce's managing director himself, Servio Notermans, who in only three months has managed the art of the saxophone.

'We have practiced every day for the past three months,' he said. 'After all, if you don't sell anything at a trade show, you can at least have some music!' "
Members of the Oce band: Servio Notermans, centre, saxophone.

The view is often clearer from the edges. The message from PacPrint sounds about right.

Print CEOs positive of industry future -
@Print21:
"Morgan warned managers that they must “look forwards, not backwards”, and be cautious when it comes to cost-cutting. “We must not cut back on marketing and other spends like apprentices,” he said."

I have a quibble about the marketing stuff, but apprentices? Now that's something we should try out in the States. Take the money invested in "career education" both in High Schools and C ommunity Colleges and repurpose it for a National Apprenticeship Program.

It will need mentors to manage the kids and the printers are too busy. On the other hand, we have lots and lots of grey beards who would love to nurture the next generation and don't really want to have face time day jobs. Plus we have all the headcount that had been reduced to satisfy Money that has now turned it's attention away from the Casino and back to the Real Economy.

Konica Minolta and Kodak's Nexpress. What's next?

Konica Minolta is one of the lurking titans. Canon is another. Kodak needs to do something. They did a deal in Australasia with Konica Minolta. It's a much better fit than Heidelberg in Euromerica. Later in the story at Print21, "According to Kaji, the deal with Kodak is only the start of things to come for the progressive Konica Minolta, which is planning for further growth."
Konica Minolta snaps up Kodak Nexpress distributor deal
@Print21: " Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Konica Minolta kicked off PacPrint with a bang after revealing a Kodak Nexpress on its stand. The machine was not placed there by mistake; as of today, Konica Minolta is now the official distributor of the Kodak Nexpress digital production colour presses throughout Australia.

The agreement maintains Kodak as the service partner for all Nexpress press installations. From now on, all new Konica Minolta Nexpress press customers will be handled through the existing Konica Minolta call centre."
Global stuff often happens first in Australasia.

Done deal: (pictured) Hiro Kaji, Konica Minolta (left) with Steve Venn, Kodak (right).

Easy tends to lead to dumb, whether it's High School Kids or Board Directors

from The Aleph Blog
Thirteen Aspects to our Current Economic Situation:
It’s tough being a corporate director. ;) No, it’s altogether too easy, which leads to complacency. Consider the situation at the banks, or at the FHLBs. Years of leverage expansion, where the livin’ was easy, made them lazy, and unwilling to challenge their managements. No surprise that their reasons for existence are being chalenged now.

Action at the bottom of the pyramid real estate market (USA) is humming nicely.

It's the same top-of-the-pyramid illusion. When all the noise is about the top falling apart, it's hard to get the signal that activity at the bottom is increasing.

What looks like a meltdown from the Board Room turns out to be an opportunity on the ground. if you earn money at the top, it's a crisis. The closer you get to the ground the easier it is to earn a living.
Home Prices Continued Their Decline in March - NYTimes.com: "In many urban areas, including those tracked by Case-Shiller, the residential real estate market is essentially cleaved in two. The top half of the market is largely stagnant, with owners unwilling to sell and buyers unable to buy. “Move-up” families seeking another bedroom or a better kitchen are an endangered species.

The low end, however, is sizzling, as investors armed with cash and first-time buyers equipped with tax breaks compete for foreclosed properties."

Xerox Scores in UK. It has nothing to do with being a Market Services Provider

PMT makes double Xerox investment to match digital demand from printweek.com
Tim Sheahan, printweek.com, 26 May 2009
PMT Digital has invested in two new Xerox digital presses as part of an ongoing investment programme that it said will continue throughout the year. The Cambridgeshire large-format and digital printer has upped capacity with a Xerox 700 and a mono 4112 machine in order to help cope with an increasing demand for digitally printed training manuals.
Here's the nothing to do with Marketing Services Provider part.
According to director Tim Egan, the spike in demand has stemmed from the company's reputation spreading by word of mouth in the retail and utilities sectors."

The Cloud is not the Internet. The Cloud is 4G. In Tokyo, Samsung has 4G in trials.16Mbps on the downlink

The printernet is Ground-Cloud-Print-Cloud-Ground. It scales as 4G scales. Paper becomes an on ramp to the Cloud through cell phones and RFID.

It's why the PIA should stop worrying about Do Not Mail and work hard to close the 4G gap in America. It's also why Google, Amazon and Apple don't have to give dividends and still have great stock prices. The cell phone like email before it, are the true killer apps.

Imagine a high school not-textbook that was only pictures and QR codes, presenting the mystery in a picture that could only be solved by going to the nuanced understandings possible in words and diagrams. Then imagine those words being captured for convenient sharing in Print.

To understand how Print connects to the Cloud, it's important to see the Cloud for what it is. People under 30 understand it. People still in High School live in it. The internet is too inconvenient and can't be shared. Cell phones and Print are very convenient. Sharing a picture on a cell phone or in Print is very easy.

WiMax in Japan Looking Down on 3G
by Wireless Watch Japan:
"According to Tanaka, UQ has been achieving up to 16Mbps on the downlink and up to 3.9Mbps on the uplink since free trials of the service began in February 2009. The trials are taking place in Tokyo (all 23 wards), Yokohama and Kawasaki using some 600 Samsung base stations, which are compliant to WiMAX Forum Wave-2 Phase-2 specifications. Wave-2 Phase-2 supports various additional features compared with Wave-2 Phase-1, such as QoS for real-time and near real-time video, multicast broadcast services, and IPv6. Moreover, UQ is the first major mobile WiMAX operator to use FFR (fractional frequency reuse), which, says UQ, can improve overall spectrum efficiency by 85 per cent compared with a typical ‘3-frequency’ operation."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

QR Codes get on the radar at Harvard's Neiman Journalism Lab. and K -12 Textbook morphing gets just a little closer

My column at PBS Mediashift went live sometime in the early morning. At 10:40 am, Martin Langeveld posted QR Codes: A tool for Journalists? at Nieman Journalism Lab, at Harvard.

Serious newspaper people visit the Nieman Journalism Lab. In the comments to Langeveld's post I said,
The real breakthrough, in my not so humble opinion, will be in K - 12 education. A single printed sheet can give the headlines with a QR code to take a student to a wiki or video adding to the student’s knowledge at just the moment that he is interested in it. I’ve seen high school kids with their cell phones, they would love it.
Most likely, if I'm thinking this way, there have to be thousands of other people who are thinking exactly the same way. It's that "no new ideas" thing.

At any rate, sooner or later it will be picked up. Someone will run a proof of concept. It might turn out that you can get measurable data on learning outcomes. If and when that happens, K -12 textbooks as the learning tool of choice start going away.

Bad news for textbook publishers. Good news for the Print industry.

Go education printernet!

The addressable market for the education printernet in NYC and why K -12 textbooks are toast.

Old rules in NYC we single source sales made to Purchasing Agents at the DoE. New opportunity is selling to 80 percent of Prinicipals at the building level. Given how much trouble some of these very smart, well education, non Dept of Ed young people are having, the issue for the them is getting more learning happening and saving time being busy with non value added tasks.

More learning happening and eliminating clerical time is the exact sweet spot of the Education Printernet.

So, get in touch with every Principal who graduated from the Leadership Academy.

This series in the NYT is most definitely worth the read.
Controlling Interests - New York City Principals Are Younger and Freer, but Some Raise Doubts - Series -
From NYTimes.com:

"Nearly 80 percent of the city’s principals were not on the job in 2001;

Chad A. Altman, the 28-year-old head of a Bronx elementary school, was still studying public policy at Carnegie Mellon University when the mayor was petitioning Albany for school control. Indeed, 22 percent of today’s principals are under 40, compared with 6 percent in 2002; about 20 percent of them have less than five years of teaching experience, double the percentage in 2002."

The blabla about direct mail with a couple of swipes at trade organizations continues at Print Ceo continues and Harvey Says. . .

You can get into the conversation and add your two cents here at PrintCeoBlog
  1. Harvey said on May 22, 2009

    It is natural that any media that has failed to deliver substantial ROIs like the traditional direct mail product mix has, is soon to go bye-bye. Everything that I have seen and experienced about the true power of variable direct mail confirms to me (and all of my clients) that well constructed, dynamic variable print direct mail, followed by well-trained telemarketing appointment setters will be proven to be the cross-media program of choice for B2B marketers once they learn how to wield this power. When done creatively, we have experienced response rates well into the 50-80% range

Click on the picture to see what I\
At a global
I would get in touch with Harvey. I saw his stuff a couple of years ago and it's perfect for printernet publishing. Plus your OPM/PSP/VARs can make nice margins with very short runs.

What is this going to mean for Big Direct Marketers (Junk Mail)? and the opportunity for "transblablaba" and InfoPrint

"The industry is going to be shrinking: fewer people having cards and fewer cards being issued," said David Robertson, publisher of the Nilson Report. "The legislation, though, is coming as a second punch. The first punch, and much worse for the industry, was the recession."
In the funny money economy a 2% return made "sense." Without the funny money the mass mailing that made sense with 2% ain't going to do it. On the other hand, marketing to people who pay their bills should increase. People who pay their bills on time is nice, but the press runs are going to be much lower.
Credit-Card Issuers to Market to 'Deadbeats' @Advertising Age - News: "YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) -- Deadbeats may once again become the target audience for credit-card marketing.
Of course, in the credit-card world, 'deadbeats,' until now, were people who paid off their bills every month, incurring no finance charges, usually while racking up rewards."
The InfoPrint part is
Mr. Robertson said. "There will be much more reliance on loyalty programs and making them as robust as possible ... to retain existing customers."
Since they have spent the last year or so talking to CMOs and doing scientific like investigation, they knew all about this a year ago and should have a head start on everyone else. Check out this post at TransPromo-live way back in February.

As usual Kevin Phillips has it just right! It's about Asia, not Euromerica. For globals it's about the printernet.

Living in the States, the Going East thing never worked. It's east from NY, but it's west from LA. It's alot easier with Euromerica, Australasia, Centralasia and Africa.

The blablabla follows
Unfortunately, as a American educated, my geography isn't as good as it should be, but . . .

The Metropole of North Euromerica = London-NY -Amsterdam
The Metropole of South East Asia = Hong Kong/Shenzen.?
The Metropole of Centralasia = Cairo-TelAviv-Abu Dhabai?
The Metropole of Southern Africa = Johannesburg?
The Metropole of Northern Africa = Cairo ?

Miami is Venice. Sydney is Venice. Los Angeles-Vancover is Venice. Nairobi is Venice.
Other Venices are ???? India?, Brazil?, Central Asia?, etc, etc, etc . . . . .

The point is that Print first emerged during the First Price Revolution. I'm betting that Print + Web = Printernet will emerge from the Second Price Revolution. It will emerge wherever it emerges. But it will spread once it gets to the The Venices.

Kevin Phillips:
The New Politics of Inflation: Asian and . . . "The fallacy guiding Washington policymakers circa 2009 can be summed up. The global, but Asia-linked Second Price Revolution is the truth that U.S. officialdom seemingly cannot face.

The current inflationary politics of trillion-dollar budget deficits and Federal Reserve printing presses are pouring gasoline on still smoldering red embers only barely covered by 8-12 months of gray deflationary ashes. Both Americans and foreigners concerned about the incendiary potential of inflation and the devaluation of the dollar have good historical reason for concern."

Advertising is the tax you pay for a suboptimal product

Will a Microsoft ad blitz woo you from Google? @ZDNet.com: "Microsoft is hoping an $80 million to $100 million ad campaign can get you to try its search engine over Google’s. Will it work?"

HP: C'mon, spin off the print piece. HP recalls 15,000 laptop batteries sold in China | Reuters

HP recalls 15,000 laptop batteries sold in China
from Reuters: "BEIJING (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co, the world's largest PC maker, is recalling 15,000 laptop batteries distributed in China because of a danger they could overheat, China said on Tuesday on its quality inspections web site."

A teacher in the UK is using QR codes to teach anatomy so how hard could it be to replace textbooks?

Thanks to Roger at 2d codes for the point.
If Jarrod Robinson in the UK can paste QR codes to a skeleton and rig up a laptop to improve learning about bones, imagine what would happen if we harness variable data printing to on line videos and insert the appropriate codes.

High school kids love their cell phones. High school kids love video. Video is the best story telling medium on the planet. I learned more about D-Day from watching Band of Brothers on my time (DVR) than I learned in three weeks of lectures in a high school classroom.

Print is the best learning to think logically medium on the planet. I continue to work with the logical thinking stuff. Now that I'm retired it's much easier.

Here's how to teach art history and history in general with posters.
Here's how to teach anything with T shirts and baseball caps.
Here's how to teach anything with a deck of cards.
Here's how to go to the web from the back cover of a book or p.24 of a versioned newspaper.

Why wouldn't Xerox or Google or Amazon or a textbook publisher staring at the oncoming light at the end of the tunnel do this?
Bone Up on QR Codes
By Roger ⋅ March 27, 2009

Jarrod Robinson is the teacher we would all like to have had during our school days. Having invented QR Code orienteering he now keeps his students busy and interested learning the major bones of the human skeleton with the aid of QR Codes Click to go to 2d CodersCodes to see the video

Why it's Apple v Google for control of cell phones

I found a post Chris Moss's Blog this morning with the ten reasons a Blackberry user loves Android and T1 Mobile. It's not a this is better than that post. Just some nice observations.

Apple's model is selling iPhones. Google's model is something to do with advertising for now. My theory is that it's about harvesting behavior in physical space to be able to sell more advertising in physical localities and to take a second run at Newspaper advertising.

Apple has a huge lead in being the top dog leading the cell phone pack. Google is google. Pretty soon it seems that Apple will introduce the tablet computer disguised as an a bigger iPhone. I have to believe that some tablet computer OEM will put Android behind a touch screen + a whisper net connection and do the same. Amazon?

In retrospect, doesn't IBM look smart and HP look a little less smart?

I'm hoping that one of them will see the opportunity in education to join cellphones/tablet computers to customized print + QR codes to replace textbooks with Cloud born customized Print.

New Column is up at PBS and why I love the internet

The title of this week's column is QR Codes Connect Print to the Web. Early this am (EDT) I got an email from a visitor to PBS that pointed me to 2D Code. Where I found this:

In Japan QR codes are found on everything from business cards to fresh lettuce. Now they are coming to the West and advertising and promotion will never be the same again. 2d Code will keep you informed as it happens, with news, views and analysis.

If you would like to create a QR Code here is a list of the best online QR Code Generators and if you would like to download a reader for your mobile device there is also a list of the best QR Code Readers.

and this:

2d code: Latest post

Ain't the internet cool? What's not to love?

Underfunded pension? Turn that bug into a feature

It seems that forcing bond holders to trade debt for common is becoming a standard operating procedure. But as a common stock shareholder, that doesn't make me happy. On the other hand, why not figure out a way for pension holders to have a chance to exchange some of pension guarantees for some hybrid preferreds? That might make the CFO happy.

It's non voting so I don't have to hate it. Issue at $25 with a guaranteed coupon. I think 5 or 6% would make it pretty attractive. Plus it's liquid in the secondary market, if the pension holder wants cash now, they can sell it now. That should make them happy. Plus it would probably attract some new money that doesn't know where to go.

You can figure out the exact package, but if you bundle the deal with new career training or subsidizing the cost of starting a new business with advice and discounted click costs, it should be possible to make me happy, make the CFO happy and make the pension holder happy.

Win-win- win is usually sustainable. Plus it's cheaper than the 8+% you have to with unsecured notes.

Besides, the PBGC is going to be pretty stressed. That should incent pension holders to take a fair deal. Eric Lipton at the NY Times says: Bankruptcies Swell Deficit at Pension Agency to $33.5 Billion

Oce,HP, Screen, Alphagraphics, Staples, et al: 200 Prospects for Versioned Newspapers

I don't have time or want a day job, so I'll leave the separating out prospects from leads to you. But you can start at Wikicity.com. Maybe you can convince a couple of them to go into the textbook business.

But that's really the place for Xerox. It turns out the easiest way to replace textbooks and fix high school education is with a one pager that comes from the Cloud with designer QR codes. Plus big X can already talk to anyone in the ed space.

"Web 2 Print" is not about taking orders. It's about getting leads.

Taking an order from anything that can be described at a web site is easy. Getting leads is hard. Producing the work profitably is hard.

So, why invest time and money in doing something that's already easy? On the other hand, investing time and money to turn something from hard to easy always makes sense. Remember easy for me, hard for you is the unassailable advantage of a Printer.

One possible approach is:
1. Make it easy for the customer to construct the specs from the web with one from column A and one from column B.
2. Then say "When you think you've put together the job you want, give us a call."
3. On the call, make sure your people don't worry about selling. Just help the caller define the job with enough clarity to get the job done and for your people to give a contract price while they are on the phone.
4. Don't worry about getting the job. Focus on getting the address, email and phone number.

NOTE Step 3 is Consultative Lead Identification
That's where your people suggest the time for money trade off or the paper change that will cut the price without cutting the profit. It's also where your people find out if the caller is a possible prospect, what kinds of problems they face and which pitch will probably get them interested.

Presto, you have a new lead! With no direct mail or marketing! Plus you can keep track of it every day. And you can take the appropriate next steps in real time instead of corporate time.

Kodak: Turn what looks like bugs into features

Read the conversation that Noel Ward started at PrintCEO.com. It will really help managing your institutional investors.

HP MarketSplash Development Team: Turn a bug into a feature

Figure out a way to buy local newspaper and cable TV ads in the White Label version. And make sure you listen to what DJ Dunnkerly has to say at PrePress Pilgrim.com.

In a high school, it's called lazy. In a boardroom it's called groupthink. And why I think XRX may be ready to execute.

Whatever it's called it's one of the many reasons that smart good people make really dumb decisions. The two snippets below comes from today's FT.com. It's a limited-feedback and signal-v-noise problem. It's why President Obama listen/talks to everyone. It's not just politics. It's just good management.

You think what you think, because you see what you see.
The issue is not what you think nor getting the new idea. In fact there are no new ideas. Just better ways to implement the old ones. The issue is what gets on the radar and attracts focus.

President Bush saw/focused on some things. Vice President Cheney saw/focused on others. Colin Powell saw/focused on still others. Some high school principals see/focus on some things. Other high school principals see/focus on something else. If you focus up, you see/focus on what's important to up. Likewise if you see/focus down.

If you see/focus on the group you are supposed to serve, it's pretty easy to make better decisions. For a public company, the Board Room should see/focus the stock holders, not the management, not the good of society. Those other concerns are decision making constraints, not the objects of focus.

In a high school, a principal should see/focus how well the students are learning to learn, not the teachers or the school board or the local politicians. Those other concerns are decision making constraints, not the objects of focus.

You see what you see because of who you listen to, where/when you grew up and the constraints of decision making. If you are too busy being busy it's hard to see/focus on anything. The paradox is that the best pointers to the relevant slices of reality comes from compare and contrast. When everyone sees the same thing, compare and contrast are impossible.

Diversity in the absence of violence is an evolutionary advantage. It's also the real secret of America's success and why I love Brooklyn and New York City and Australasia and the Internet and Printed Books. It's also why I think Xerox USA might be ready to execute.
Diversity fails to end boardroom groupthink:
"Ms Alexander, whose election is expected next week, has called for greater boardroom diversity, saying it could put an end to the “groupthink” that contributed to recent financial disasters. “It is clear that teams that have diversity within them don’t result in groupthink. People come at things in a different way and organisations have to take those into account,” she told the Financial Times.

Given the mess an overwhelmingly white male business elite has made, the idea of changes to company boardrooms looks compelling. Ms Alexander, a former chief executive of The Economist, is not the only person who thinks so. Lord Myners, the City minister, told the House of Commons Treasury committee that too many directors were “people who read the same newspapers, went to the same universities and schools and have the same prejudices”. . .

Writing in the Wisconsin Law Review, Prof Fairfax cites studies that show heterogeneous groups make higher-quality decisions because of their disparate backgrounds. “When group members all have the same perspective, it limits the range of information they have and the issues they consider,” she writes.
Snippet number 2: US Governance Reform Must Not be Ducked
The winds of change that brought President Barack Obama into office will soon blow through US boardrooms. Unfortunately, executives are not welcoming this as a breath of fresh air but see it rather as a dangerous intrusion into their affairs.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Four Defensible Values of News-on-Paper

It's not about the news or advertising. It's about sharing and convenience.
Downsides of Not Having the Print Newspa…
from non(pr)ofit

1. Losing the ultimate portability. Print’s biggest advantage over digital has always been the portability of it. You can take it with you anywhere and read it anywhere — even on planes when the “no electronic devices” ban is in effect. It needs no electricity, no charging, no connectivity.

2. Different shared experiences. While it’s certainly possible to share what I read on digital devices, it’s just not the same as passing a newspaper around to a group of people, or reading comics with my son, or clipping a story to save for later.

3. Disposability. With a newspaper, when you rip a page or spill coffee on it, it’s not a big deal. With a digital device, a spill could cost you $299. This might be something you get used to, or devices might adapt to their surroundings and get more rugged. But ultimately when you swap an inexpensive print paper for a more expensive device, there are trade-offs.

4. Convenience on the go. Print newspapers are super-convenient to pick up cheap while commuting, traveling, hanging at a cafe, or doing anything while out and about if you don’t have your other digital devices with you. That might be less true with the advent of smartphones, but print publications always seem like great fodder to fill up time on the go."

Kevin Phillips: The global economic engines are moving. From California it's West. From NYC/Europe it's east.

Kevin Phillips:
The New Politics of Inflation: Asian and Monetary:
"When future chroniclers describe the late 20th century and early 21st century global inflation now about to renew, the rise of Asia will be an even bigger causation than the massive money expansion set in motion over a quarter of a century by the U.S. Federal Reserve. And this will be true even though Chairman Ben Bernanke has been pouring trillions of dollars into the bail-out of a reckless and metastasized U.S. financial system.

In a nutshell, the rise of Asia - approaching 60% of the earth's population and on the cusp of a plurality of world wealth- is realigning global economics and political power. The history of such great realignments is inflationary
. . .
When I published my first book, The Emerging Republican Majority way back in 1969, I discovered that Washington politicians and pundits had trouble grappling with unanticipated watersheds in the political status quo. Now the same seems true again for the seeming incapacity of the New York and London financial power structure to deal with the economic upheaval now occurring. So here's a relevant bit of economic history - and an admission. The Second Price Revolution notion has been one of my theses since the inclusion of a chapter about it in my 1982 book on the radicalization of Reagan era economics (entitled Post-Conservative America)

Yes we can! Says the Empowered Black Women's Network.blogspot.com and Go Big X! and Go Ursula Burns!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Ms Burns has just the right DNA, focus and experience to get the high school education problem fixed. My problem is that I can't get the right people to see that's it's much easier than previously believed. And it's all about the educational printernet + RFID + QR codes + Cloud computing and the ecology of communication.

I'm hoping that some wonderful PR person will get this on her radar, or Quincy's radar, or Tom's radar. They should be able to extract whatever is useful in what I may have stumbled upon and finally get the bottom of the pyramid high school, the childhood obesity and the addiction pandemics to at least bottom out and start moving in the right direction.
Xerox Names Ursula Burns, a BLACK Woman as CEO!
From Empower Me! The Empowered Black Women’s Network:
"I have been so busy with my son’s graduation but finally had time to catch up on news today. On Thursday, Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy officially passed the torch to Ursula Burns. I have been watching the grooming process for a while now and it was a given that she would get the top spot. I am so very proud to see that she has finally gotten it. Here is the link to the article. She is the epitome of an Empowered Black Woman! Sisters, hers is an inspirational story and proof that you CAN make it happen."

Sophie, What's the timetable to get erasable paper to market? and Imagine: XEROX University PARC, fixing science ed, SAG at 16% with NO MO' FIRING

PARC basic research and engineering is awesome. It's always been awesome. Maybe the present idea is to find a VC to make a gezillion dollars from erasable paper. see snippet below

Actually, shareholders might be a lot better off. Then Xerox USA can stay focused on executing Color Cube (Qube) and XPS and leveraging the investment in Global and Com Doc. It would also take PARC out of the SAG and free PARC from confused incentives.

Meanwhile the really cool basic research is the thing about purifying water with minimal power requirements. Erasable paper is a global nice to have. Purifying water is a global must have.

Basic Research + Engineering + Product = Money
The underlying problem is that basic research is science. The paradox is that basic research develops fastest when it is freely accessible. But earning money in the old economy is based on limited access.

Even more difficult are the conflicting incentives. How can anyone realistically expect to get anyone at Xerox USA to fast track a technology that could reduce office printing by 40%. Of course as the MPS piece scales it will be great. But until then it just doesn't make sense. The risk is that by the time that happens, it will be too late to get first mover advantage.

MPS is going mainstream now. In a couple of years it will be a mature market. It's much harder to earn money and get to scale in mature markets. I assume that Xerox USA believes that since they have 51% of that market now, they will have it going forward. That kind of value chain thinking blew up GM. It is much too risky for Xerox USA going forward.

And of course, we all know that the nature of science and engineering is that it can be replicated, patent or no patent. In fact once it is patented every smart engineer has studied the patent to figure out how to improve it. What happens when a non office printing company or a start up in Australasia gets focused on this? And then what happens when they make the deal with any of the paper companies that actively on the prowl for ways to restore their margins?

It is a classic "innovator's dilemma." Without the constraints of a legacy business model there will be nothing to hold them back from taking it to scale. That's the well worn path taken by PostScript and the GUI.

Meanwhile, from the world's point of view, if there is technology that could reduce office printing by 40% it should be here now, not later.

As I see it, there are three ways to resolve the paradox.

In the old days the best way was either by collecting rent from a patent or putting tech into a product that could be sold. The risk is too long time to market. With incremental improvements to an existing product line the risk is managed pretty well. But with disruptive basic research it's much too slow. Consider that the basic research for epaper was done at PARC.

Going forward, the best way to get to market fast enough is to partner with an outfit focused on getting it to market. That's why big Pharma depends on small companies to do the basic research. Big Pharma is about having the scale to get it to market.

Basic Research + Students = Money + Basic Research + Teachers
Perhaps the best solution going forward is to set up a University. It's working really well for Stanford and MIT. But Xerox University Parc would focus on the communication part. Stanford is moving in that direction with the D School. XUP could move in that direction from the engineering side. Maybe John Seeley Brown would leave FXPL and come back to sit on the Board of Trustees. The best would be PARC + FXPL = XUP (xerox university parc.)

At any rate, that would open public money and tuition fees for teaching more people to do basic research. It also opens the opportunity to train and support K -12 teachers working so hard to communicate the wonders of science and engineering.

FUJI won't do it. Xerox USA won't do it. They are still struggling with their VCE (value chain economy) dna. UNE (user network economy) dna spreads fastest without the constraint of legacy global communication ecology. That suggests that it's now time for PARC to differentiate and grow separately. The most likely space to grow is in the communication ecology of a University.

You have everything you need except the authority to give recognized degrees. We are now in what might be a once in a lifetime opportunity for some University in deep financial trouble to do the deal. I'm pretty sure that some part of the University of California system could use your help. Degree granting authority is easy for them, hard for you. Doing awesome basic research and engineering is easy for you, hard for them. Learning is easy for students, hard for teachers.

"Easy for me, hard for you" drives the division of labor and evolution. It should be "win-win-win" and thus pass the "Why wouldn't you do that?" business development/sustainability test.
from BBC NEWS
Hello clouds, hello sky, hello future:
Despite the abundance of web visionaries and start-up kings, one of the most arresting ideas came from the office printing firm, Xerox.

For a company so intimately tied to the printed word, Xerox's chief technology officer Sophie Vandebroek was resolutely upbeat about the future, even in an age of electronic information.

'We noticed that more than 45% of what is printed in a day in the office or home goes into the recycling bin, or worse, the waste basket,' she told me.

'What our researchers came up with is a paper that you print today and then in a couple of days, it's blank again. You can put it back into your printer and print again.'"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Google v Amazon v Apple for Cloud control?

Why is Apple building a $1 billion server farm?
@Eideard: "North Carolina lawmakers are pushing to give Apple Inc. a multi-million dollar tax break should the company bring an East Coast computer server farm to the state – an estimated $1 billion investment, according to a state official with knowledge of the recruitment efforts…"

Why Google didn't buy the New York Times and the future of newspaper advertising

Google Almost Bought a Paper
@Green Business | Reuters:
"The real reason may be twofold. First, as Schmidt readily concedes, the targeted papers are either far too expensive or burdened with too much debt and liabilities. Second, the advertising model for general news reporting is obsolete, and Google's execs have decided instead to work with papers such as the Washington Post (the parent company of which also owns TBM) to come up with a new model that can subsidize serious general news gathering."
Here's the future of newspaper advertising. Sure it's about the customer experience but it's also about real time feedback on what is interesting to a user, by tracking what he clicked on, they selling them an ad at just the right moment of interest. Both common sense and very clever.
So what does Schmidt have in mind for the Washington Post? "It seems to me that the newspaper that I read online should remember what I read. It should allow me to go deeper into the stories. It's that kind of a discussion that we're having." In other words, the paper will store and archive a catalogue of the stories you read, steer more stories along those lines to your eyeballs, and keep you coming back for more by knowing what you're most interested in. Google already remembers what you search for, in order to more accurately match ads to your search screen. Now, it seems, Schmidt would like to apply this technique to news gathering.