Just An Obvious Thought: Advertising In The Age Of Streaming!

Streaming is proliferating nowadays, and so people are slowly switching from watching traditional TV contents to streaming contents.  In fact, whatever that is streaming can also be duplicated on TV and vice versa.  The big difference is that TV is scheduled and streaming is an on-demand kind of things.

For advertisers, streaming is something radically different than traditional TV because streamers may not accept forced advertising contents.  TV viewers may not care how long or how many advertisements get push through during a viewing experience.  The big words here are may not since TV viewing experience is about potato couching.  On the other hand, the streamers want contents quickly and sometimes prefer the shorter the content the better.  When advertisers push through advertisements in streaming contents, the streamers often get turned off.

The puzzle here is all about how to get viewers who stream to watch advertisements!  We’ve seen clever advertisements been done in movies such as marrying a brand into the content of the movie itself.  For an example, let’s create a fictitious brand of soft drink known as Blahboulous and we marry this Blahboulous can of soft drink with a character in the movie who often loves to carry the can of Blahboulous soft drink around.  This tactic could also make a brand viral since a famous actor or actress is being associated with such a brand!

The question is how to marry multiple brands into streaming contents!  Doing this too obvious would also be a turnoff.  Perhaps, there would be a better method?  I think forced advertising contents can still be done in streaming contents, but this gotta be super concise and short and the fewer the better!  Meanwhile, advertisers should marry their sponsors’ brands into the streaming contents more often.  The combination of both could elevate the advertising streams while irritating the streamers less.


Idea of the day: Omni-Membership

Although Groupon is trying to help online shoppers saving a few bucks here and there through collective discounts, I have to wonder isn’t there a better way to do this?  I think Amazon Prime is onto something great, but could it be better?  I imagine that someone is probably out there and thinking about forming a company that would bundle almost anything they could into one subscription-based program which is similar to Amazon Prime but better.

So, imagine when you go to the movie theater or eating out or shopping in a mall or go online or whatever, you just have to be authenticated as you who is a member of this omni-membership and you automatically got a discount.  Wouldn’t this be way easier than having to pick out a discount yourself on Groupon?  Obviously, this would save you time.  If this could also save you a ton of money, this is definitely a way to go then.

Could Trade War Be A Blessing In Disguise For China?

What I’m about to write could be controversial for the time we’re living in now.  As we all know president Trump’s tariffs on China are the means to push China to negotiate a fairer trade — at least this is how the president promotes to the public.  So far China isn’t willing to be a pushover and so they decide to retaliate pound for pound.  This means whoever blinks first would lose a lot more in the long run, but in the end, both the United States and China would lose in short-term — well, at least this is how the news programs promote this.

I’m thinking that could tariff be a blessing in disguise for China?  How come?  China has been known as the factory for the world since they opened up their market and joined the World Trade Organization.  This means China can ramp up production of almost anything!  As Trump’s tariffs hit China, companies that want to avoid tariffs from the United States and still want to export to the United States would move their operations out of China.  Nonetheless, there are Chinese and foreign companies in China that produce the same stuff but have yet to export their products to the United States would find the vacuum suddenly is a lot more pleasant to navigate and do business.

The Chinese government could also be more lenient toward companies that decide to keep their operation within China, thus allowing these companies to prosper while China’s internal consumer market ought to grow bigger in time.  Remember Google?  Google left the Chinese market a long time ago but now Google has shown signs that it wants to grab a chunk of the Chinese’s huge consumer market.  Unfortunately, Google isn’t making much progress in this front and allowing similar Chinese homegrown companies to grow unchallenged within China.

Since Chinese companies that are going to stay in China could ramp up their production unchallenged as the trade war between the United States and China heats up, these companies ought to grow bigger in a more empty but lucrative Chinese consumer market.  Perhaps some European companies may want to open up their operations in China to give the Chinese companies some competitions.  Anyway, I think Chinese companies could grow unchallenged in their home market and mass produce even cheaper products to saturate the world market even more.  In the end, I think trade war could only harm a weaker foe who got no means to fight back and could not ramp up production.  In the case of China, I think trade war could be a blessing in disguise for the reasons I surmised thus far.


Could The Yuan’s Sliding Allow China To Unload Treasury Bonds?

I’m just wondering!  Lately, the headlines are screaming that China is devaluing the Yuan to help cushion the blow of Trump’s tariff on China’s exports to the United States.  Although this is a legitimate concern that the headlines raise, I’m wondering if there is another hidden motive for the Yuan to slide.

Could it be that the Chinese government is letting the Yuan slides so the treasury bonds that the Chinese own which Americans are in debt to China could stay valuable?  This way China can begin to sell the treasury bonds while the treasury bonds are still valuable.  Once China unloads enough of the treasury bonds onto the market, whatever value China receives from such transaction could then be converted to other favorable assets, investments, and currencies.

Of course, China could always convert the selling of treasury bonds into Yuan and then raise the Yuan’s buying power back up to stave inflation — but then it could begin a deflation.  How?  Well, if too many Yuans that are chasing the same thing could raise the price of whatever, but when the buying power of Yuans get push up the Chinese government then could lend out these Yuans to other countries and International projects such as Belt and Road Initiative projects to stave inflation.  A more powerful Yuan could also allow the Chinese to get more bang for the buck whenever they use the Yuans to acquire whatever.  Thus they also have to be careful about the deflation.

I’m no economist and so I could be wrong on what I’m suggesting.  Nonetheless, I would love to hear other people’s opinions on the suggestion that I’m suggesting.  Am I wrong?  Am I even close?

Ten Advantages of Cao Cao Over Yuan Shao — Still Wise Today!

In a time of war and competition, do strategies from fictional and non-fictional historic works amount to anything in reality?  I like to think some strategies and tactics in such works do encourage self-reflection and humbleness for the creative mind and out of the box thinking do shine some light on whatever matters that are at hand.  I have always loved Romance of Three Kingdoms story because this work does carry some really cool fictional and non-fictional strategies and tactics.

If you don’t know about Romance of the Three Kingdoms, then you wouldn’t know why it’s a great piece of work!  Basically, this piece of work is rather ancient as it was penned by ancient Chinese authors.  Ancient Chinese authors exaggerated a lot of things in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but these authors had also included a lot of known real historical facts.

I like how the intricate plots and interactions among the characters within Romance of the Three Kingdoms play out.  Especially, the coolness level rises to the max when the advisers among different factions try to best each other by using amazing tactics and strategies, both in the battles and out of the battles.  Liu Bei’s smartest adviser Zhuge Liang is especially cool as this guy is being portraited as one of the smartest if not the smartest advisers on earth at the time, in ancient China.  His reputation proceeded him because he could predict ancient weather patterns and devise winning strategies, both in the battles and out of the battles, for his lord.

Cao Cao got some smart advisers too!  In this blog post, I like to focus on one of Cao Cao’s smart advisers who is known as Gou Jia.  According to Wikipedia, Gou Jia flattered Cao Cao with Cao Cao’s ten advantages over Yuan Shao and Cao Cao was so flattered that he hired Gou Jia to be a Libationer.  To tell the truth, I don’t know what is a Libationer in ancient China, but for sure Cao Cao’s many victories were won through Gou Jia’s well-thought strategies and tactics.

In this blog post, I like to think that Gou Jia’s Cao Cao ten advantages over Yuan Shao are still relevant today.  Let me list these ten advantages.  Actually, let me quote Wikipedia’s Gou Jia article:

“Everyone has heard of the rivalry between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu. Liu Bang won by strategy; Xiang Yu was very powerful but he still lost to Liu Bang. Based on my observations, Yuan Shao has ten disadvantages while you have ten advantages. (Yuan Shao) may have many troops but they are useless.

  1. Yuan Shao is overly concerned with formalities, while you behave naturally. You win him in principle.[Sanguozhi zhu 4]
  2. Yuan Shao attempts to achieve supremacy from an opposing position, while you use the Han Empire’s authority to command respect. You win him in righteousness.[Sanguozhi zhu 5]
  3. The Han dynasty declined due to a lack of discipline and law enforcement. Yuan Shao condones his followers and their ill discipline, so he fails in administration. You uphold discipline sternly and firmly among your followers. You win him in management.[Sanguozhi zhu 6]
  4. Yuan Shao appears to be welcoming and accepting but he is actually jealous and suspicious. He never fully trusts his followers and places faith only in his family members and close relatives. You appear simple on the outside but you are actually very discerning on the inside. You fully trust those you have placed your faith in, and you promote meritocracy. You win him in tolerance.[Sanguozhi zhu 7]
  5. Yuan Shao likes to listen to many ideas but is indecisive and he hesitates before he makes any move. You are decisive and you adapt to changes well. You win him in strategy.[Sanguozhi zhu 8]
  6. Yuan Shao uses his fame to attract people to serve him and boost his name. His followers are mostly people who are able to disguise their flaws through persuasion and glib talk. You are sincere towards your followers and do not recruit them for the purpose of increasing your fame. Many loyal and truly capable people are willing to serve under you. You win him in virtue.[Sanguozhi zhu 9]
  7. When Yuan Shao sees others suffering from hunger and cold, he will express his concern towards them. However, he will not do so if their sufferings are not obvious. This is a form of unwise care and concern. You sometimes neglect less important things but when you handle big situations, you are connected to the masses within the Four Seas and the rewards you give out are far greater than Yuan Shao’s fame. Even though this may not be obvious, your care and concern towards others are complete. You win him in benevolence.[Sanguozhi zhu 10]
  8. Yuan Shao’s followers are often bickering and politicking and they give libelous and troublesome advice. You govern your followers with the right principles, so corruption does not occur under your leadership. You win him in wisdom.[Sanguozhi zhu 11]
  9. Yuan Shao cannot distinguish between right and wrong. You respect someone when you think he has done right and you punish someone when you feel he has done wrong. You win him in culture.[Sanguozhi zhu 12]
  10. Yuan Shao likes to display bravado and is not aware of the crucial elements in war. You overcome an enemy superior in numbers with a smaller force, just like a god of war. The soldiers look up to you, your enemies fear you. You win him in military skill.”[Sanguozhi zhu 13]

Do you think in today world, these advantages that Gou Jia mentioned to Cao Cao are still wise words?  Personally, I do think these words are still wise.  I like the advice #3 (management capability matters), #4 (to employ someone is to believe and trust that someone otherwise it would be counterproductive), #5 (don’t be indecisive), #6 (use capable people in important roles and positions), #7 (be very practical and honest when interact with a faction, whoever and whatever), and the advice #8 (destroy corruptions).  To conclude I say these wise words are still relevant today; these words could still be employed by wise leaders of today world!

Basic Income Is Dead. Long Live Basic Equality!

As earth’s population grows larger and automation gains traction each day, how many job categories and niches would dwindle each time before there would be none left for onlookers?  More people mean more jobs are needed to sustain a vibrant society where equality gap could be lessened instead of widening.  More automation means more people will lose jobs.  These two factors are like pouring gasoline onto the fire.

Unethically, such a society could demand people to have fewer children, but such a society needs a strong authoritarian government.  In the West, most governments are democratic, and so such demand would be outrageous.  Furthermore, such a demand is for a weak society, because the society doesn’t have a solution thus resolving into forcing a reduction of population headcount.

A wiser society would not demand a reduction of population headcount — it got a solution for what’s coming!  What solution?  As of now, there is no clear solution for the two detrimental factors I stated in the first paragraph!  By the way, what is a society?  In my opinion, a society is a group of people that stick together for the benefits of the majority.  The two detrimental factors I described earlier would chip away most benefits of the majority in our modern societies.

Few governments and groups are trying out basic income as a testing case for trying to solve the inequality gap between classes of groups of people in our modern societies.  Nonetheless, small-scale basic income test trials most likely won’t yield any good result.  Furthermore, basic income for large countries like the United States and China would be an insane proposition.  No amount of money would be enough to give out to each person in a large country.

I think basic income is kind of screwy too!  For an example, the more money the government prints to give out the more people will spend thus requiring the money printers to print even more money so the government could have enough doughs to give out to even more people.  Get the gist?  Once the government tightens the belt such as stopping giving out money, the basic income scheme would collapse immediately.  A society that is addicted to basic income could also collapse!

By the way, how inflation would work in a basic income society?  I don’t think I know the answer to this as I’ve seen nothing like it has ever applied to a large country like the United States or China.  We all know that if inflation goes north too much everything would become rather pricey because the supply of money is too large — simply put, too many dollars would chase too few demands.

As job loss number increases and automation gains worldwide prominent, the tipping point would become too real when a society becomes desperate and mad.  Nonetheless, as an advanced society could produce just about anything with little effort using automation, the tipping point once again could occur positively as people would no longer require making a living by working the field, factory, office and so forth.

The question is, in the between the transition from a working society to a leisure society, how many people would have to die and how many revolutions would have to occur before the storm could pass and peace could form?  The basic income could work as a dirty solution till the modern society could completely transform into a leisure society!  The question is, will the governments of the world dare to print an unlimited amount of money before inflation hits and destroys the hope and dream of attaining a transformation of a modern society into a leisure one?

Perhaps, basic income is too draconian and would not work.  Perhaps, providing a fair playing field for the newcomers would work?  What do I mean?  Imagine basic income is not basic income but a one-time thing for the poor and the newborns!  What do I mean again?  Well, basic income is too hard to carry out as it requires the governments of the world to continuously print an unlimited amount of money each year.  Instead of basic income, why not basic equality for the poor and the newborns?

What do I mean by basic equality for the poor and the newborns?  Well, let’s say the government would go about to calculate the right amount of money each person needs to have a fulfilling life as long such a person would not do anything too crazy to destroy the money cache quickly such as using drugs, gamble, and whatnot — then a government would give a one-time basic income to all the poor in his/her own country so to provide a fair level of playing field.  Obviously, the rich won’t need any basic income so the government can save money by not giving any to the rich through basic income channel!

Basic equality would save the prudent government a lot of money and yet his/her society would be able to function in a jobless era.  All the newborns could also receive one-time basic income in a form of a trust fund that the government would create for them.  The trust fund would go out to the parents of the newborns for a while till the newborns become adults.  Once the newborns reach adulthood, the government then could give them basic equality (one-time basic income) according to the inflation rate in their time.

Of course, the hope is that the basic equality would buy time for modern societies to transform into leisure societies across the world.  The idea of basic equality, one-time basic income, is to leave nobody behind yet buy time for the governments of the world to see their societies transform into leisure societies where automation would provide everything everyone needs.  When everybody got everything and more, money would become so irrelevant!  In such a society, money won’t buy anything!  In a leisure society, only the smart, funny, easy going, talented ones could become real assets of the world!