In 1994, when I lived in San Francisco, I published a little eight-page newspaper called the Internet Gazette.
My friend Jim Warren, founder of the Computer Faire, the original consumer PC show, gave me the idea and it worked like crazy for my then-fledgling Internet consulting business.
I had two stories on the front page of the first issue…
On the right hand side, an article about the Internet Music Underground, a group that proposed to revolutionize music by making music downloadable off of the Internet.
On the left hand side of the front page, I commissioned Hank Duderstadt, a multimedia pioneer, to write an article about what I thought was right around the corner: video on the Internet.
In both cases, I guess I jumped the gun a bit, but back in 1994 putting text and pictures on the Internet was already a snap and I wanted to get to the good stuff.
— Fast forward to Halloween, 2005
Sometimes you can wait so long for something, you forget what you’re waiting for.
That was the case with me and Internet video.
I wouldn’t exactly say I lost patiences. Ten plus years is a long time to be patient about anything, but I did get distracted.
Then, in the early fall of 2005, I got my wake-up call.
Brad Fallon phoned me and asked me if I was online. I said I was and he pointed me to a web site that sold Halloween costumes,.
But they didn’t just sell them any old way…
They sold them with a full blown QVC-style program which they streamed to personal computers from the Internet.
Two skilled hosts and a parade of models displaying the various offerings and highlighting their unique features.
I was mesmerized.
Brad and I talked about ways the program could be improved. For one thing, the costume merchant transferred the QVC concept a little too literally.
The web site was exactly like an old-style TV program that didn’t allow you to stop it, pause, or jump to the exact item you were interested in.
But hey. for a first try it was brilliant.
— Refining the concept
Brad’s not the kind of guy to let grass grow under his feet.
Even though he had no experience with video, let alone TV merchandising, he set to work to apply the idea to his thriving wedding party favors business.
In his usual modest, matter-of-fact way, he sent me this link a few weeks ago, when his experiment was still in beta.
Now it’s ready for public viewing.
Here’s the deal (as I see it)…
TV didn’t obliterate print, but it sure did upset the apple cart and TV networks quickly eclipsed the power and influence of the print world.
Internet video, I believe, has the potential to do the same thing on the Internet.
There will still be a huge demand for text and picture pages, but in certain categories, video will have the effect of a marketing sledge hammer.
I’m sure glad I’m not competing with Brad Fallon selling wedding party favors online.
When you see this site, you’ll instantly know what I’m talking about.
The world of merchandising physical products will never be the same… This is history folks.
P.S. Share this letter with your friends. It’s too good to keep under a bushel.
– Ken McCarthy
P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business with my clients.
If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.