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Mikeorren - page 2

Mikeorren has 580 articles published.

Mike Orren is the Chief Product Officer of The Dallas Morning News; President of Belo Business Intelligence; husband to Crystal Orren; and a Mungarian at Munger Place Church in Dallas, TX. All opinions herein are mine alone.

The (currently) lost opportunity with iAds

in Uncategorized

So I imagine, like me, many of you are buying your new iPhones today or at least waiting with bated breath for the New World of the iOS 4.0.

Last week, I followed the WWDC keynote, and despite all the gadget and gizmo talk, there was one thing that stuck in my head. In fact, it haunted me as nothing has since I first wrote the business plan for Pegasus News in 2004:

150 million credit cards on file from people using iTunes and/or the App Store (and now the iBooks Store). 150 Million.

As Steve Jobs said, “We have 150 million accounts — we think it’s the biggest on the web. We’re number one.”

Interestingly, he then segued into a discussion of iAds, but there was no connection.

As someone who has been obsessed with transactional ad models for the better part of this decade, this presented both a tragedy and an opportunity. That night, after mulling the problem while floating in the pool with the pups, I toddled inside and fired off an email to sjobs@apple.com:

From Mike Orren <mike@mikeorren.com>

reply-to mike@mikeorren.com

to sjobs@apple.com

date Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 8:49 PM

subject The half (of iAds) that’s wasted

mailed-by mikeorren.com

hide details Jun 7 (7 days ago)

Steve:

Congrats on launching another product I MUST have.

You can’t meet a group of ad folks without hearing the quote from legendary retailer John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

My sole disappointment in your new offerings is that you have a golden opportunity to solve that paradox and are, for now, ignoring it.

Yes, iAds suck less than regular ads. I appreciate that, as that’s a goal I’ve focused on in my business for several years.

But at a million-dollar minimum, you’re missing most of the local market. AND you have 150 million credit card accounts from people who would love to save money transacting with local businesses.

Do you want to provide a marginally better experience for major brand advertising? Or do you (and your developer community) want a piece of 150 million cups of coffee, shirts, bowls of spaghetti, etc.?

As someone who has focused my life on local commerce, I can tell you that the future of local is transactions. And no one is better positioned to change the world by helping small business than Apple is.

To my surprise, the reply came quickly:

from Steve Jobs <sjobs@apple.com>

to “mike@mikeorren.com” <mike@mikeorren.com>

date Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 9:36 PM

subject Re: The half (of iAds) that’s wasted

mailed-by apple.com

hide details Jun 7 (7 days ago)

What would you do if you were us?

Sent from my iPhone

By then, I was drinking wine on the couch with April, which meant a tacit commitment that I was in the no-work zone. But I couldn’t help myself. I banged out a reply on my iPhone:

from Mike Orren <mike@mikeorren.com>

to Steve Jobs <sjobs@apple.com>

date Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 10:04 PM

subject Re: The half (of iAds) that’s wasted

mailed-by mikeorren.com

I’d launch a parallel iAds program focused on SMBs. It would be a lite, self-serve, but easily prefabbed version of iAds. It would target based on geo- and/or relevance data from apps– only offers that we know are relevant and therefore wanted. It would fill every piece of inventory not claimed by Big Brands.

Revenue from a % of deals bought through the iAds store (which doesn’t exist today, but would be better than Adsense with about a month’s worth of effort).

I’d use local relevance data across all local and nonlocal apps to solve the last mile problem that has plagued and tantalized local publishers since the first low-baud modem.

The big point is this: You have more credit card numbers than anyone. How are you going to use them to make it easy for me to buy locally? The fact that you have my info and with two clicks I can buy makes me more likely to purchase apps and music. Why not enchiladas and coulattes?

iTunes.

AppStore.

iAds.

DealStore.

Every ad a wanted ad*, or damn close to it. If that’s not world-changing, I don’t know what is.

• quoting Jeff Jarvis, but pushing a Platonic ideal that any publisher, Apple included, should be seeking.

—————–

Mike Orren

Sent from my mobile

The next day, I thought some followup was warranted:

Mike Orren <mike@mikeorren.com>

reply-to mike@mikeorren.com

to Steve Jobs <sjobs@apple.com>

date Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 9:19 AM

subject Re: The half (of iAds) that’s wasted

mailed-by mikeorren.com

hide details Jun 8 (7 days ago)

One more thing:

Here’s some scenarios of what I have in mind:

Sally owns an Italian restaurant in East Dallas. She had a party booked for tonight, with a prix fixe menu and now is stuck with more lasagna then she sells in a week. She logs into her iAds account, where she’s previously uploaded her logo and menu and a more general special. She replaces that with a one-night deal of all-you-can eat lasagna, salad and desert for $5. Everyone who logs into a location based app within 5 miles and with iAds enabled gets pushed the opportunity to buy the deal through the iAds store with their iAccount that is used for apps and songs too. Everyone who buys shows their phone with a unique code that Sally can enter on an iPhone or laptop to verify the purchase. Apple takes its cut and pays Sally the difference. She’s out nothing up front. Then, she reverts to her usual 10% for iAds customers. The customers may share a rating of the business or special in-app.

Even better: iTunes Genius knows I listen to a lot of Willie Nelson. People who like Willie also like Rodney Crowell. I have none of his music. Rodney’s playing at The Granada Theater in Dallas. Day of show the theater opens up the 50 remaining tickets for 80% off. (At this point, it’s perishable inventory and they’re happy to get another bar tab in the door.) iAds pushes me an offer for the show and takes the lion’s share. Or, offers me the ticket free with the purchase of a Rodney Crowell album through iTunes.

Maybe I’m playing a bowling game on my iPhone– I can get an offer from a local bowling alley, encouraging me to bring the game into real life again bought through iAds. If there’s no local bowling alley on board, then show me the Toy Story 3 ad again.

At higher levels of integration, an Angie’s List app could not only recommend a local plumber, but allow me to take advantage of a special from one of the recommended plumbers, again transacted through iAds.

The possibilities are staggering. And you already have the engine to easily sell to your users and deliver a cut to the publisher (or retail outlet).

The point is ths: The local ad market is moving to a transactional model, but it is extremely fragmented. No one else will deliver the kind of experience Apple does (and therefore a high enough sellthrough). And almost no one else is positioned to scale with that many credit card holders conditioned to buy with two clicks. Almost no one has enough scale such that the offers can be “bought not sold.” This is what Google and the other ad networks want to do through the phone, but they aren’t nearly as well positioned to transact.

And, most importantly, you can make people’s lives richer by connecting them with local businesses and getting them to go out to do and see things would have otherwise missed.

And wouldn’t it be amazing if the iAds provided enough value and savings over a year to pay for your phone?

Unfortunately, I never heard back. In the meantime, I’ve had more time to think on this, and while I can debate whether or not it’s a good idea for Apple to have as much power as I propose, the undeniable case is that they can. From the dawn of the InterWebs, through AdWords, to Groupon, and towards the future– we are moving closer and closer to a transactional model that is about moving perishable inventory by putting deals in front of the right engaged people at the right time.

The big hole in most of these sorts of business models, as was the big hole in the plan, cribbed from my 2004 bizplan draft, in my final email to Steve is this — you have to have a tremendous number of people (read: credit card numbers) ready to transact with a click or two. Apple is the only media company delivering ads who has that, at this scale.

I don’t know what they’re thinking about in Cupertino today. Maybe it’s how many physical devices they can sell. But I don’t think that is, or should be, the endgame. I’d hope they’re thinking different. Because no one has ever had the opportunity we they face now.

Stream o' consciousness for August 6th

in Uncategorized
googlereader (feed #8)
twitter (feed #10)
"I enjoy the massacre of ads. This sentence will slaughter ads without a messy bloodbath." http://bit.ly/D1qvK (Brilliant ad context hack) [#]
googlereader (feed #8)
twitter (feed #10)
@mleewelch It’s just under a mile, but I highly recommend Club Quarters. Nice and cheap (rare combo): http://bit.ly/MYYVD [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RT @copyblogger: Ironically, it’s a lot easier to have integrity when you have money. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
@bsaren What’s main differential? [#]
blog (feed #1)
twitter (feed #10)
@LevelTen_Colin Step 1. Take your group off LinkedIn and to a social net where people actually use/interact with groups. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Wow. First time I’ve ever been actively blocked on Twitter. And by someone I met under seemingly pleasant circumstances last week. Sniff. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RT @dgouldin: @mikeorren then why do most of the people I know with integrity not have money? (original via @copyblogger) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
@davehucker I saw a retweet that I knew I hadn’t seen. When I clicked user in Seesmic, said I was blocked @ user request [#]
twitter (feed #10)
@mattsingley A free and immediately available copy of Sherpa for iPhone. 😉 [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Listening to The Ozark Mountain Daredevils – It’ll Shine When It Shines http://qtwt.us/las [#]
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 45 songs.
twitter (feed #10)
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. – John Nichols (via @johnperrybarlow)-> what’s your co’s strategy? [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Sad on several levels that the #4 paid app in iTunes store is geocoded sex offender dbase. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
rt @pegasusnews Pegasus News week in view: Serial edition – http://eepurl.com/cSLb [#]
twitter (feed #10)
If you’ve ever pitched or been pitched or might pitch for investment, you must watch Dragon’s Den on BBC America. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
@wmhartnett I didn’t get Cohen either until I saw him live a few months back. Then the skies opened. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
http://bit.ly/NHRKj (via @GraemeThickins) "The lesson: it doesn’t matter what a company needs; only matters what customers willing to do." [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Mad Men premiere dry, @dynamoe? So many illusions shattering. Need an early-morning old fashioned to cope. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
@anildash Count me another vote for genius o’ PM Dawn. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Listening to The Gourds – Tex-Mex Mile http://qtwt.us/ats "I was Rip Van Winkle, but I thought I was Apollo Creed" [#]
generic (feed #6)
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 24 songs.

Stream o' consciousness for August 5th

in me, Me, ME!
twitter (feed #10)
Less-than-annual confontation w/ neighborhood nemesis #walmart. Damn you and your reasonably-priced solar boat lights! #fb [#]
twitter (feed #10)
News from socialnets means lost detail. Did Clinton have sec svc? In my version he snuck in w/ Walther PPK wrapped in copy of Penthouse. [#]
generic (feed #6)
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 25 songs.
twitter (feed #10)
Din w/ April at Lake Ray Hubbard Flying Saucer. Yes, we sailed here. #fb [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Time marches on. Sock puppets get no smarter: http://bit.ly/nPEih [#]
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 14 songs.

Stream o' consciousness for August 4th

in me, Me, ME!
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 24 songs.
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 9 songs.
twitter (feed #10)
Newsflash: People don’t enjoy ads, even online. Film @ 11: http://is.gd/22cFv [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Taking a day off. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Just got a new #shouldbeabandname from @chrismarquardt: Astronaut-Butt Molds – http://bit.ly/2U08N3 [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Weird Al + JibJab+ White Stripes + CNR = Awesome http://is.gd/22ecP [#]
blog (feed #1)
Shared 37
37
generic (feed #7)
twitter (feed #10)
Just because your hamster wheel is made out of platinum and diamonds, doesn’t mean you’re getting off any sooner buah ha (via @gapingvoid) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Just kicked a bottle of champagne. Feeling very AbFab. [#]

Stream o' consciousness for August 3rd

in me, Me, ME!
twitter (feed #10)
Steve Jobs hates the App Store – http://qtwt.us/nsr (I dismissed beginning as clownery bit by end is spot-on) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
@howardowens The fact that they’re addressing you means you’ve already won. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Seeing war over web metrics in @howardowens smaller town puts ours in DFW in perspective http://tinyurl.com/l48ehd [#]
twitter (feed #10)
@howardowens I agree was worth responding. But most important point is that they are clearly afraid of you. Win. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Said before; will again: Someone (FriendFeed?) create a Twit/FB/RSS reader that dedupes links. Bonus points for aggregating who posted. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RT @worklawyer: Re-watched "Paths of Glory" Reaffirmed including on my Top 5 movies for lawyers to watch, http://bit.ly/13TFXY (Me=awesome!) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RT @ideacounter: The number of people alive on earth right now is higher than the number of all the people that have died. [#]
blog (feed #1)
twitter (feed #10)
Why I’m over Central Market; shopping Whole Foods: http://is.gd/1ZshU [#]
twitter (feed #10)
The New Lexicography (or) Wordination Postenko: http://bit.ly/livL1 [#]
twitter (feed #10)
12seconds – Test http://tiny12.tv/NE848 [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Isn’t Robert Earl Keen like 3 years overdue for a proper new CD? http://is.gd/1ZuVY [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Rest of day swimming w/ pups, drinking LaChouffe & Absinthe & eating dinner of tuna, devilled eggs and bruschetta. April spoils me. #b-day [#]
twitter (feed #10)
I wanted my ship’s log to be all analog so I got a moleskine I rarely use. Here’s the digital answer: http://is.gd/1ZvOc [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RT @gapingvoid: From my latest blog post: "Fail cheap. Fail often. Always make new mistakes." ~Esther Dyson http://bit.ly/Yb6t0 [#]
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 41 songs.
twitter (feed #10)
I’m thinking that no one earned anything from WaPo/Gawker angst. Question is who lost less. #newnewnewmediaeconomics [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Marty Robbins only wrote five songs and remade them with lyrical variations 1,000x. All are worth hearing. #whitesportcoatpinkcrustacean [#]
generic (feed #6)
googlereader (feed #8)
twitter (feed #10)
twitpic (feed #12)
twitter (feed #10)
B-day festivus din http://twitpic.com/ckpn4 [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Ambidextrous Sinners #shouldbeabandname [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Tunajuice Cuttinboard #shouldbeabandname [#]
googlereader (feed #8)
twitter (feed #10)
Starting a new job with @pegasusnews tomorrow; found the job through, who else, @twitter – thanks guys! (via @chrisedgemon) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
A lion’s roar can be heard from 5 miles away. (via @ideacounter)–> for my fellow Leos. #fb [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Google v. Microsoft v. Apple – like a 70’s Japanese Godzilla flick: http://bit.ly/AId75 (via @davidgerzof)–> great analogy [#]
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 13 songs.

Sometimes too much is too much

in Biz/Locavore / locaholic

Whole Foods in Lakewood, Dallas
Whole Foods in Lakewood, Dallas

While doing the weekly-ish grocery shopping at the Lakewood Whole Foods this morning, I realized that I am totally over Central Market, which used to be my favorite grocer.
First, a bit of context: Because we live in an area of town where grocers fear to tread, we have to drive a minimum of five miles to get to anything north of a dollar store. And, as demi-foodies, we figure that if you’re going to drive, you might as well go to one of the better stores — and in this gerrymandered burg of dry areas, part of that relates to the ability to buy hooch. We never much cared for the Greenville Avenue Whole Foods, so until it moved to the new store in Lakewood, that meant a drive to the Central Market on Lovers.
At first I thought we were going to the new WF more often just out of laziness because it was closer. But during today’s shopping expedition, I realized that I really am enjoying the shopping experience more. Here’s why: Keep Reading

Stream o' consciousness for August 2nd

in me, Me, ME!
googlereader (feed #8)
twitter (feed #10)
@markbriggs Tell them no need to worry about KOMO. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
… Sweep the leg. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
… You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
(punctuation literal) #karatekid #joeesposito [#]
twitter (feed #10)
"Turn on, tune in, and drop out." – Marshall McLuhan (Honest. McLuhan gave it to Leary cuz it didn’t fit his own rap) (via @johnperrybarlow) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z, uh… maybe we ought to rethink this naming system. (via @scottkarp) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
For those who love/hate the #madmen iconmaker: A Dyna Moe model of media – http://qtwt.us/goq [#]
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 7 songs.
twitter (feed #10)
If you think your business is people interacting w/ content AND comment on your site, check & tremble: http://www.greactions.com [#]

Stream o' consciousness for August 1st

in me, Me, ME!
twitter (feed #10)
At luncheon with #belo head Robert Decherd as speaker. Tidbits tk if interesting … [#]
twitter (feed #10)
"we have been ridiculed for some of our early investments, but the fact is that we were there" #cuecat [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Minor irony: as this talk goes on, many AH Belo sites are down… [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Decherd: "How do you support great journalism in the face of this kind of revenue decline?" [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Current rev of all AHC papers < DMN alone in 2000. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
4th recession Decherd has seen. Difference = Internet. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Decherd: "Have to receive a fair value for what we deliver every day." [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Remembering days of customer complaint over Sunday paper being too big for dog to pick up. (ah, memories) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
"our advertisers don’t care what our circulation is in Tulsa or Amarillo" [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Decherd: Attrition rate from higher sub prices is fae less than modeled. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Decherd: nonprofit model is swell idea. Doesn’t work. (room laughs) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RD: Nonprofit model is not "commonsensical" b/c no wider print distribution. Foundations/donors will lose interest. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RD: philanthropy is fickle. Don’t be lulled into notion it is substitute. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RD: "Briefing has probably annoyed the heck out of a lot of you" Al Dia profitable. Quick "will be there" [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RD: "All about the core" (niche sections didn’t work. It’s metro, sports, etc" [#]
twitter (feed #10)
"Internet cannot save traditional media." Price destruction. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RD: paid online won’t save the day. Online fees + ads not replace what was lost. Industry missed boat years ago. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RD: Kindle is horrible financial deal for us. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
NPR.org has by far the best "site not found" page I’ve ever seen. http://is.gd/1WtO3 (via @ckrewson) [#]
twitpic (feed #12)
twitter (feed #10)
Just got my awesome b-day pressie from April: http://twitpic.com/ca5l4 🙂 Wonder what I’ll be having for my after work cocktail tonight? [#]
generic (feed #6)
twitter (feed #10)
So. Disturbing. Sex dolls for dogs: http://is.gd/1WyJp (Hat tip: Chad Jones via Facebook) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Aggregation of my tweets during Belo honcho Robert Decherd’s lunch talk: http://is.gd/1WzYg [#]
twitter (feed #10)
RT @mikebullock: Hey DFW, rain or shine here are the estate and garage sale listings for this weekend. http://tinyurl.com/9fofxy [#]
twitter (feed #10)
April got us a couples massage at The Crescent Spa. I hope my masseuse is ready for a workout. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
@old97s The bootleg community can suck eggs. Everybody converts to MP3 if they want to listen to the music. #unnecessarypretention [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Closing out the workweek w/ Waco Brothers version of Baba O’Riley #fb [#]
twitter (feed #10)
@old97s I know all that. Just never understood point of being so pristine with recordings that are generally already substandard. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
At stoplight. Crone in next car yelled at me for "the texting." Replied that she needed to mind her bidness; that she is greater danger… [#]
twitter (feed #10)
…she gasped, called someone to report "assault…well, verbal assault!" People behind honked cos she didn’t notice light change #couldntmakeup [#]
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 20 songs.
twitter (feed #10)
Thunderstorm Convertible #shouldbeabandname [#]
twitter (feed #10)
The one thing I absolutely cannot tolerate is hypocrisy … unless it benefits me. Then I blithely ignore it. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Light at the end of the tunnel @ http://tinyurl.com/nykonq (via @seankovacs re: G Voice iPhone app rejection) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Listening to Dwight Yoakam – Please, Please Baby http://qtwt.us/fyq (testing qtweet) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Dear Bob: We Haven’t Met, But Texas Tribune Heart DMN Anyway!! BFF, Okay? « Insomniactive – http://qtwt.us/gyq [#]
lastfm (feed #4)
Listened to 12 songs.
twitter (feed #10)
Interplanetary Biscuit #shouldbeabandname [#]
twitter (feed #10)
Watching Karate Kid recorded of AMC and drinking mimosas… [#]
twitter (feed #10)
…Mom is convincing son that she could never make the $ and bennies in computers that she could make after breaking into foodservice (!) [#]
twitter (feed #10)
… forgot how integral crap soundrtracks were to 80’s films. [#]
twitter (feed #10)
… Was 1984 really a cruel, cruel summer? [#]
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