Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Don't Litigate - INNOVATE!

Today will mark an important decision by the US Supreme court. They will rule on whether or not Aereo can exist.  Aereo's business model (in the event you are not familiar with them) is to install a tiny HD TV capable antenna using Line of Site on your behalf.  Then, you are able to access your own personal antenna via the Internet (on the end device of your choice) to watch conventional broadcast TV channels.

The incumbent broadcasters (who have not innovated at all) are scared that their entire business model is at stake, and so rather than innovate, they have chosen to litigate this...all the way to the Supreme court.

I am not currently an Aereo user, however I anticipate that I will be as soon as this litigation 'noise' goes away. On a separate but somewhat related rant, it always bothered me how the FCC handled requiring broadcasters to offer their over the air signals via antenna.  If you have tried it yourself using any of the very cheap (or expensive if you wanted to bother) antennas you can buy at your local radio shack, you would find that very few Americans have the 'line of site' required to be able to enjoy this.  It is a scam of monumental proportions IMO, and one that the broadcasters should have directly fixed using their own innovation.

This same fight goes on again, and again and again - It is so common, that a lot of the time you don't even see it unless you look.  Consider Apple computer, and their lawsuits back and forth with Samsung, for billions.  AirBnB being sued by various governments (hmmmm think the hotel lobby has anything to do with this?).  Uber, being sued and or blocked by local governments (think Taxi lobby).

More and more often I am seeing this across all industries as technical innovation allows people to disrupt incumbents.  It bothers me that we, as citizens put up with this nonsense.  Regardless, I watch as technology eventually always wins out in the long run. All you incumbents are doing is stalling the inevitable.  Learn, to eat your own lunch, before someone eats it for you.  It's time to Innovate, not litigate.

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