Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best New Cable Show - Men of a Certain Age on TNT

The best new cable show on television is TNT's "Men of a Certain Age." A TV show that gives twenty somethings a glimpse of their father's world and something the old men to relate to. It is sort of the male version of "Sex in The City," I like to call it "No Sex in The City."

Scott Bakula, of Star Trek: Legacy and Quantum Leap, plays Terry, the older ladies man that Ray Romano and Andre Braugher live vicariously through. Episode 2, Let it Go, has Terry stealing a car of a crazy driver running a stop sign almost hitting him and a pedestrian. Prior to this incident, he confronts a family man that made him spill his coffee while he walked with Joe (Ray Romano) and Owen (Andre Braugher) from the coffee shop.

Sitting at lunch, Terry tries to talk Joe and Owen into going to the house of the coffee stop sign runner from earlier in the week (with no dice). However a work friend has a brother as a policemen, so Terry runs the license plate anyway. Terry doesn't know what awkward moment he is in for later in the episode.

Road Rage
Now if you run someone of the road, in society, it is ok to yell at them and get in a verbal fight at the scene of the crime, but don't go to their house to confront them later (as Terry did). It was sort of awkward to see the exchange between Terry and the Road Rage family. They even said they were going to call the cops. What has this society come to when people can run stop signs, while talking on cell phones, and then when confronted not apologize?

Andre Braugher, of cult TV classic "Homicide: Life on the Street" and my personal favorite "Hack" plays Owen, a 49 year old family man with three kids and a debt up to his ears. Working at his father's car dealership he finds out how fun it can be to work in the family business (hated it!). It reminds us that we make the bed we sleep in, which means to me, don't rack up a credit card bill and have three kids if you want to quit your job. Sure you have a lot of nice things but you end up painting yourself into a financial corner and their is no getting out. Forget about keeping up with the Joneses, Enjoy your freedom instead of material things.

Ray Romano, "Every body Loves Raymond" star, finds out in "Men of a Certain Age," that everyone doesn't love him anymore. Struggling with a gambling problem and separated from his wife of two kids, Joe (Ray Romano) struggles with a new life of gambling, beers, and great friendships. Recently losing $300 and having his bookie meet him during the day at his business of record, Joe decides that betting $2,000 can some how fill the empty hole that his wife has left in his life, after saying her and Joe should date other people.

Gambling in America
Gambling is everywhere, from friendly poker games to bookies breaking legs in back alleys. Joe's obsession with gambling breaks up his marriage and strains all of his other relationships. Gambling is a disease that can be all-encompassing. The need for a bigger and bigger rush can drive someone to continue to lose more and more money. Michael Brodrick quickly learned from War Games that the only way to win is to not play. CNBC tackles the issue of gambling and dives deep into the underground gambling life in a new segment The Big Business of Illegal Gambling, a must watch CNBC original.

If you enjoy drama with a funny streak, guys hanging out in coffee shops and hiking, then "Men of a Certain Age" is the TV show for you. I am now glued to TNT on Monday nights at 10pm PST for "Men of a Certain Age."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CNBC: Must See TV (Part 2)

Executive Vision

The series, hosted by CNBC’s Melissa Francis and Simon Hobbs, is broadcast globally across the CNBC network. Reruns play on Tuesday's at 10pm PST.

Episode #1 The Blueprint for Breakthrough Leadership: Health Care

Episode #2 Navigating the New Leadership Landscape:Retail

Episode #3 Building a Global Leadership Brand: Technology

Episode #4 Leading in an Interconnected World: Transportation

Episode #5 Being a Leader - A Job That's Never Done: Energy

The most interesting episode of the bunch is Episode 3 about technology and building a global leadership brand.

In Episode 3, Executive Vision explored the following leadership themes:

- Leading with passion
- Taking calculated risks to get ahead
- Motivating and inspiring teams for success
- Leading in competitive times
- Staying relevant as technology changes

Marissa Mayer is "one of the most powerful women of her generation." The 20th employee at Google and its first woman engineer - she's now one of its most influential leaders. As Vice President of Search Products and User Experience, Mayer puts her stamp of approval on virtually everything you see on the search site.

A Stanford alumn, Mayer joined Stanford graduate students Sergey Brin and Larry Page how famously started Google in a Stanford dorm room. Marissa Mayer decided to pick Google over multiple offers from other Fortune 500 companies because she wanted to work with the best and brightest, at the time that was Sergey and Larry.

Also chiming in was Jimmy Wales. He turned his vision of a world in which everyone has free access to all knowledge – into the collaborative phenomenon Wikipedia. He’s now bringing people together through the web-hosting service Wikia.

Jimmy Wales Wikipedia page says, "Wales is a self-avowed 'Objectivist to the core'; Objectivism being a rationalist and individualist philosophy developed by writer Ayn Rand in the 20th century."

Other executives (including Dr. Jean Botti, Chief Technical Officer, EADS; Bill McDermott, President, Global Field Operations, SAP; Gerald Quindlen, President & CEO, Logitech; Ram Shriram, and Founder, Sherpalo Ventures) offered their vision in a round table discussion about being a leader, and inspiring teams for success.

A must watch if you haven't been lucky enough yet. Executive Vision gets my highest recommendation, a real must watch!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CNBC: Must See TV (Part 1)

If you love business and marketing as much as I do, you have to start watching the following show on CNBC:

The Business of Innovation

Hosted by Maria Bartiromo, get access to what's happening in cities across the world. Whether it is redefining healthcare, reshaping cities, or my favorite of the three-part series, rethinking work; The Business of Innovation aggregates some of the brightest minds of our time to solve the most pressing questions on all of our minds.

Episode 3 (rethinking work) offers a peek into offices and classrooms of the future that will help us solve the following problem; “each week, more than 40% of employees use incorrect information to make decisions, thereby wasting time and resources.” Thought leaders including James Surowiecki, Author of "Wisdom of Crowds," shows us that the solo expert model must change to a group think model. The wisdom of groups, with diverse backgrounds, can solve a problem and make better decisions than just one expert.

Showcased as an example of the group think model was InnoCentive, an open innovation platform for external experts to solve corporate challenges. With time to market a more important factor in success than security of ideas, many external experts are looking for methods to analyze consumer emotions, environmentally friendly bottle Caps, and turf treatment granules with increased adherence to foliage, to name a few challenges.

Re-runs show on CNBC Monday’s at 10pm PST of this interesting and hopefully continuing show about the Business of Innovation. Stay tuned for more great shows and documentaries from CNBC.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Most Infuential Internet Professionals of 2009

In no particular order, here is just a short list of the most influential SEM professionals of 2009.

Avinash Kaushik - writer of Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity, analytics evangelist for Google. Avinash recently received the 2009 Statistical Advocate of the Year award from the American Statistical Association. If you can't get enough read Avinash's blog Occam's Razor.

Danny Sullivan - Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land, He oversees the entire Search Engine Land website, directing coverage plus writing articles to boot! Thanks for keeping the Search articles flowing and the dissemination of the knowledge to us Search Marketers.

PPC Heroes - Keeping us on the cutting edge of PPC, this blog often has those Wow! moment articles. And heroes, don't forget, "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World!"

Pete Cashmore - Tech media wunderkind Pete Cashmore founded the Website Mashable from his home in Scotland when he was just 19 (over achiever!). Now based in Silicon Valley, it's a must-read for the tech cognoscenti, and Cashmore is widely regarded as an expert on how to use, consume and profit from social media.

Steve Ballmer - Bing! unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on May 28, 2009 at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego. Gaining more search volume share and more of our hearts, Bing! is fastly becoming the next best search engine, to Google that is. How did Microsoft do it? Buy the rights to distribute Bing on Yahoo! Search, Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!