A Few Good Articles

Before I finish up with a longer post I’ll get to tomorrow, I thought I’d relay a few good articles on the financial crises:

$700 Billion Bailout Celebrated With Lavish $800 Billion Executive Party

How Did The Economy Go Bad?

The Onion’s 2008 In Review: The Economy

And this: (not too far from the truth)

In The Know: Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?

“Real people” invade Amazon

Seth Godin points readers to evidence that there’s real people working at Amazon.com (::yahoo(“AMZN”)::). This is just one of the many reasons that great service is sending more and more customers to companies like Amazon.

By doing something that customers don’t expect—Amazon stands out from the crowd. One person has a good experience. They tell their friends, and their friend’s friends. By using money that would have been spent on marketing on a better experience, Amazon gets very sticky customers for a cheap price. Widening the moat, one day at a time. It’s unfortunate that the stock is a little too expensive for my taste.

Make sure to check out the Amazon reviews of the Bic Ballpoint Pen that Seth linked to. Out of all the pens I’ve tried, this one’s the best. As noted, the ink consistency is just right for a variety of different papers. (Click the “Comments” of Matt Williams’ review – I’m glad some people have a sense of humor).

Reality Bytes

So I just finished watching the debut of Dancing With the Stars. I saw a bit of the last season, and I really didn’t like it. But as far as reality shows go, my dislike was nothing out of the ordinary.

However, I have two reasons for watching this season: the first being Mark Cuban. Cuban is an interesting guy. I don’t follow his adventures in the sports world, but I like his blog and think some of his posts are right on the mark (no pun intended). Obviously, I don’t agree with everything he says but I like alternative points of view. It will be interesting to see him on the show. He certainly doesn’t fit in with the other male contestants — but I guess if he enjoys himself that’s all that matters. The second, being Josie Maran — for obvious reasons.

Bureaucratic Innovation

I think the biggest problem with reality TV at the moment is lack of originality. Every show is either a direct copy or a “rhyme” of another (usually successful) show. Is it because the networks are too afraid to take a chance on something new? Or have the creators/writers truly run out of ideas? I have the tendency to believe it’s the former rather than the latter. And that’s just one reason why eyeballs are moving away from traditional media sources and on to new media. More original, more creative content. If and when the big guys do get it right (it happens every once in a while), they have the talent and the resources to do a fantastic job.

Outside the bureaucracy of the large content generators, it’s easy and cheap to try new things. Throw it out there, quickly gauge the public’s response, and either make the necessary adjustments or continue to expand the content. Maximum tinkering and survival in small niches of content on The Long Tail. In my opinion, a combination of both these features — being nimble/innovative and having the resources of a large content generator — would produce the best results (another reason why Google (GOOG) is so successful).