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« Media 2.Uh-Oh: Intro | Main | Media 2.Uh-Oh Part 2: Layer Cake »

October 11, 2006




Lay off the pipe!

Chris Dodge

While not as "hard" as a traditional pipe (or channel as it may be called), we're seeing some other "soft pipes" arise which are primarily around:

- Branding: building a house-hold name recognition for a product/service, e.g. YouTube = user-generated content as did Kleenex = tissue pape
- Scale: building enough traffic around a brand to achieve some economies of scale, e.g. bandwidth negotion leverage/discounting
- Self reinforcement: a relatively "self-contained" community that is self-referential so that the brand and scale is amplified exponentialy, e.g. YouTube video comments on other people videos.

Yes, there is no barrier to exit from these soft pipes, per se, but perhaps some of these soft pipes will help create the next set of Media Moguls.

On a side note, when there is no one regulating the "soft pipes", (e.g. Hollywood Studios, network channels, etc regulating the hard pipes), then there will be a subsequent problem with unfiltered cluttered media option choices. A new "recommendation" model will have to arise over time to help consumers make educated choices.

These are exciting times indeed.

Tom Evslin


You're right on as usual. The logical conclusion is that more and more spectrum ought to be unlicensed - esentially an Internet of the air. Although there was originally a good reason for it, government-awarded spectrum is now an exercise in pipe-making and political entrepreneurship.

Evidence? The exciting stuff like WiFi is happening in the few unlicensed shards of spectrum which do not support monopolies rather than in the vast wasteland of regulated and allocated spectrum.

I blogged more about this at


The link to Larry Lessig's site is broken. It needs http in front of it.

Dave McClure

you're right that you can't control the pipe when the internet provides alternatives.

you're wrong that no one has control just because there's no more pipe.

owning great content -- or the ip and tools to source future great content -- makes a difference. owning a large audience of advertisers, and the best methods to optimize for advertising monetization, also play a huge part.

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Now that is an interesting discussion. Just lay off the pipe then.


Això és realment interessant, ets un blogger molt hàbil. M'he unit a la seva alimentació i esperem que busquen més del seu missatge meravellós. A més, he compartit el seu lloc en els meus xarxes socials !

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