Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why Toronto Can't Have A Champion Hockey Team

There are lots of little reasons that Toronto can never have a winning NHL or NBA team... but the root of all these problems is one little fact that you never hear the sports shows talk about.

The real bottom line is that compared to the United States, Canada doesn't really count. Even if you discount the fact that our market is so much smaller money-wise... in the community of world-class athletes, Canadians don't matter. Not even in hockey.

Sure, there is honour in being a Leaf... when you're ON THE ICE. But if you're a top-level player OFF THE ICE at a social gathering with other millionaires, and they're talking about their lives in Chicago or Los Angeles, nobody cares what's going in Toronto. You are instantly a nobody and you don't matter.

No amount of incentive can keep great players in Canada when the United States want them. Even if Toronto somehow builds a great team, the key players will be poached to US teams as quickly as possible. After all, players at NHL/NBA levels got there because they are strong competitors who fight to excel. They're not the kind of people who like to "settle in a quiet comfortable place" - they are people who gravitate to higher and higher competitive levels, continuously chasing higher rewards - precisely the culture that USA does much better than Canada.

So if you're waiting for that Leafs Stanley Cup, you'll be waiting until the Canadian market is as big as the US market. Probably not in our lifetime.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Open Letter to Everyone Who is Whining About Free Downloads Killing The Entertainment Industry

Having been on every side of this scenario at one time or another (musician, consumer, producer, marketer...) I am very, very tired of hearing how downloading/streaming movies/music for free is "illegal" and "destroying the industry".

You know, before there were DVDs, torrents, MP3s, etc., there were entertainers who got paid to entertain.

Somewhere along the line, an industry of creating and selling entertainment 'containers' (CDs, cassettes, VHS tapes, etc.) popped up... so entertainment companies were no longer selling entertainment, they were now selling entertainment containers.

This turned out to be a MUCH bigger market, and so entertainers now make salaries that are highly disproportionate to the service they are providing. (Example: Tom Cruise Acts in 1 movie, and gets payed for selling 1 MILLION DVDs.) This system is clearly broken.

Now, the system can be fixed: since technology has made the 'containers' obsolete, entertainers could be forced to go back to selling entertainment.

It's like when the refrigerator was invented, and we no longer payed people to cross the ocean to chip icebergs to get us ice. Did the former ice fetchers complain that people with a fridge were "stealing their intellectual property" and "cutting into their potential sales"? No, they just realized that their product was obsolete and no longer profitable, so they stopped selling it and went back to their core service, which was ocean transport.

Technology moves forward - fighting it is pointless because you cannot stop it - your choices are only a) embrace it or b) let it destroy you. Complaining that it's "not fair" because it suddenly prevents you from raping consumer wallets just shows your ignorance.

Accept it: entertainment containers are becoming obsolete. Anyone with a PC can make their own. But there will always be a growing market for entertainment.

Despite what you may have heard from David Byrne, this lack of 'containers' will NOT hurt up-and-coming artists trying to get RICH and FAMOUS. It will likely hurt artists who just want to get RICH - so those in it for the money will stop or slow down, and we'll be left with those who do it because they have something original to say. But it's easier than ever to get FAMOUS: just throw a video on YouTube - if you're as good as you think you are, people will find you... and then they will pay to see you at a concert or theatre.

So what will the entertainment industry be left with? Much less CRAPPY entertainment, MUCH MORE high-quality entertainment, and FREE ACCESS to disseminated copies of it. Win-win-win.

And sure, it will hurt SOME parts of the industry: specifically those which do not add value. If your business model was to take a DVD that costs 5 cents to produce, put someone else's content on it, then sell it for $50 - yeah, you're going out of business. And good riddance to you. But if you're ADDING value, creating something from nothing, you now have a global audience advertising your service.

So, to the whiners:

If you are a singer, remember: you are not in the business of selling CDs; you are in the business of singing. If you are an actor, remember: you are not in the business of selling DVDs; you are in the business of acting.

"Illegal downloaders" are not "stealing your intellectual property" or "cutting into your potential income" - they are providing you with UNLIMITED FREE ADVERTISING for your ACTUAL product or service.

And if after unlimited free advertising, your product is still not making you money, then I've got bad news for you: your product stinks.

Monday, October 21, 2013

'Talking Dead' is stupid

What is the point of 'Talking Dead'?

Things you will never hear on the Talking Dead post-game show that follows new Walking Dead Episodes:

1. "I work/act on the show, so let me tell you what's going to happen next!"
2. "I'm an unpopular entertainer who's not just here to promote some unrelated project!"
3. "I didn't like that episode!"

P.S. I have never watched an episode of Talking Dead - so if my assumptions are wrong, just let me know.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

You're Welcome (Once a year, at least)

I'm petitioning the Canadian government to institute a new national holiday on the day after ThanksGiving. It's going to be called You'reWelcomesGiving. (After all, it would be rude not to.)

If you would like to support this petition, or if you have suggestions for You'reWelcomesGiving traditions (example: throwing up turkey and/or stuffing into a cornucopia), please add your comments to this post.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


Is Nest the Tesla of appliances, or is Tesla the Nest of cars?

Either way, when they release the "Nesla" (an electric vehicle that parks upside-down on your ceiling to control the temperature, humidity and CO2 levels of your home) we'll officially be living in the future.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Creationists vs. Evolutionists

If I were a Creationist, I'd use this argument to win any debate with an Evolutionist:
"If your theory of Evolution is true, why are there still Creationists?"