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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

More revenues from The Hitchhiker’s guide announced

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Douglas Adams passed away, and with him, the ability of making money of new Hitchiker’s books.

Now Adams’s widow, Jane Belson, has finally found a way to kickstart the money machine, in her everlasting quest to produce money hats off of her late husband’s work.

Eoin Colfer, 43, who is no stranger to milking a series for all it’s worth, said he was “terrified” by the prospect of actually raking it in from the works of another artist. He assured us that fans will buy it, based on almost a quarter of a century of the Hithchiker’s products being a cash-cow. He said that the series being, what he described as a “slice of satirical genius”, would not come in his way of having his way with them in his goal for enlarging his rates in at an order of magnitude.

The Adams leeching also spawned a BBC TV series starring Simon Jones, and amovie that made more people questioning the decision making of the late Adams “Golden Goose” estate.

“My first reaction was semi-outrage that anyone other than me was allowed to tamper with this incredible series,” Colfer said. “But on reflection I realised that this is a wonderful opportunity for me to dip in that pool of income that is the Hitchiker and drink my fill. It was also obvious to me that with such a devout following, I could have my 2-year-old girl write it and still make a pretty penny of the deal.”

“I feel more pressure to perform now than I ever have with my own books, and that is why I am bloody determined that this will be the best thing I have ever written. At any rate, it will be better than the movie and that was actually based on a book”

Jane Belson said: “I am delighted that Eoin Colfer has agreed to continue the Hitchhiker series. I was worried that I will not be able to buy that 300-acre farm on Essex, and might have to settle for a 100-acres.”

“I love the revenues he made off his books and could not think of a better person to chunk out a fast one before the Christmas rush. The project has my full support.”

Adams died of heart failure in 2001, aged 49. In his wake, several cheap shots were released, including “The Salmon of Doubt“, which was left in a nowhere-near-ready-for-print state, a movie that assured viewers worldwide that neither Belson, nor her advisors, have any clue what about her late husband is paying their montly fees (other than sticking the words “hitchiking” and “galaxy”, that is).

Around 16 million copies of his Hitchhiker books, which have been translated into 35 languages, have been sold around the world.

Colfer was a primary school teacher in Ireland before he secured the largest ever advance for a children’s novel by an unknown author. He has sworen since to break that record and improve on it, whatever the damage to his artistic integrity. In recent interviews he confessed of never having it in the first place.

His Artemis Fowl series, about a teenage criminal mastermind who wreaks havoc in this world and the next, went on to sell more than 18 million copies worldwide and a film adaptation is due to go into production next year, despite being devoided of a single original idea. Or because of it.

And Another Thing… will be published in October next year, and sequels will continue to appear as long as the idiotsfans are willing to pay for it.

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Written by Erez

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 14:01

Posted in Books, Business

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Buzzword compliance test

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I saw Scribd‘s embedded web document on a couple of sites; although I think the “web-document-format” is a good idea, I was sort of turned off by two elements. The first is the actual document format, which is Flash (blech). Making it less of a Web-based document and more of “embedded element”, which isn’t quite the same. The second being the “document” name: iPaper.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but naming your product after the latest brand-buzz doesn’t sound like “the here-to-stay next-development-in-web-technology”, but more like “Take the Money and Run“. In a sense, iSomething is akin to eSomething from the days of Ye Olde Web, and there’s not much going around that carry that moniker.

To test that, lets run Scribd’s “platform page” through my imagined iBuzzWorth scanner and see what we find out:

1: Company name is spelled in a "cool, vowel-less" web2.0 name.
2: Product is being presented as a development framework.
3: Use of Apple's iProduct trademark
4: Product is described as "beautiful". No explanation is given to this.
5: Description terms are capitalized, as if they represent a term rather than an adjective.
6: Simple CRUD interface for uploading/embedding documents, no added horsepower to vindicate the claim to power.
7: Usage of the plural form of API, indicates this isn't the technical term, but the marketing one.

There’s more, naturally, but I’ve turned the program off.

Written by Erez

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 11:40

Posted in Internet, Marketing

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“…no worker should be more than 150 feet from a food source”

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Familiar with that one? According to CNN/Money, that’s what Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s founders, used to believe. Past tense because, according to the Wag, they no longer do.

Let me run through the human-resourcing-efficiency math. You have a 100 employees, making 40x (x being your local currency) an hour, working 40 hours a week, that means 160,000x a week, or approx. 700,000x a month. If you fire layoff 30%, then fill those positions with workers that earn 25x a month, you now expend less than 650,000x a month. If you make sure to do the layoffs at the start of the month, and hire towards the end of it, your Quarterly report might even show some major savings.

Unfortunately (for them), Google can’t do this employee juggling. If they could, they’d already outsource the whole GooglePlex to India and fill it with programmers making 0.1% of what their current employees make. Sadly, they need those high-end-salary making guys, and they need them to devote many hours for non-productive actions such as “research” and the famous 20% personal projects time (which may or may not be given these days). And with the Web2.0 bubble in full effect, cutting salaries is a no-no. What is left? Cutting down food expenses (estimated at 72,000,000$ a year), and childcare, and other “non-work-related” perks.

In past years, Google touted these perks as a way to maintain the “start-up” atmosphere where developers spend double-figures of work hours on their projects, as well as come up with innovative ideas and are motivated to research better, and more efficient ways of improving the company. However, these days, this isn’t what making the company richer. The ads dept. is. So now we hear terms like “investment in human resources” and “tinkering with incentives”, which means reducing the money spent on non-profitable ventures, mainly Research. If anything, this will cause those high-end-salary programmers to leave, cashing their overly-priced shares, and being replaced by Pimply-faced youth making much less than those who leave.

Written by Erez

Monday, August 25, 2008 at 10:45

Posted in Business, Technology

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