05 August 2008

Lesson on value from television

Admittedly I have never been much of a fan of television. Me sitting in front of the TV for more than an hour on any given day is a rarity (unless we are talking about Kansas basketball). So this whole argument may be biased… but her she goes…

As I tune in to evening prime time (is that redundant?) television I am struck by the prevalence of amateur hour. Televisions shows that highlight talent, drama and the shortcomings of those non-professional… maybe paid individuals of dubious talent. You might think that I am being harsh, but I grew up in the golden age of television. And, as a result I have expectations. I want quality and I want professionals.

At the same time, I love local stuff. Just not on television. Local theatre, local live music, local crafts festivals, local galleries… I love it. The same goes with bars, restaurants and lodging. I will take a gamble on an east side southwest grill everyday of the safety and consistency of a Bob Evans or even a Bonefish.

But what does this have to do with television programming. Well, it seems to me that the networks are following blindly, the popularity of cable shows born of economic. They were cheap to produce… they caught on… and the networks grabbed the idea. By this time some have probably even been badly managed or gone over-the-budget-top… but that’s really beside the point.

There is a huge difference between delivering a thrifty product with real value, and a cheap product. But I don’t know that most in commerce discern the difference. And I am fairly sure the majority of the buying public does not think too much about that (b-school) comparison.

In this age of dualistic black and white thinking… there is a surplus of quality at uber premium pricing… and a whole lot that is cheap. Does that mean the new disruptive market opportunity is in value? I certainly hope so.