Category Archives: Entertainment

Top Entrepreneurial Films – Fan Favorites

For my birthday, I took a look at the movies that have influenced my business decisions over the years. Here are my top entrepreneurial films for all the underdogs who could use a good, helping push up the mountain. 

Moneyball (2011) – IMDb

Classic David and Goliath story told by phenomenal actors such as Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. How can a small-budget baseball team compete with the large pockets of other behemoths? Reinvent the way teams are formulated, i.e., reinvent the game… to some extent. It’s amazing to watch the actors/people react to a new process, a major disruptive process after doing things they’ve always done. These characters realize the upheaval of a new process changes the way they do business they react in somewhat surprising ways. “Adapt or Die” as the character played by Brad Pitt says.

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) – IMDb

“You know, for kids. ” Brilliant performances by several well-known actors such as Paul Newman pull off a great script/story into a memorable production. Tim Robbins’s character, an “off the boat”, or shall I say bus, a recent college graduate, has a grand design and is happy to work his way up. So gullible, Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) is caught up in a scheme to have the company’s stock tank, so the board could snatch the company’s stock up for profit. To the board’s dismay, Norville does have a grandiose idea that takes the company in a profitable direction. Great to see the rise and fall of this once optimistic “new kid on the block”.

Other People’s Money (1991) – IMDb

An amazing cast, including the talented Danny Devito, with the help of a fantastic script, developed a phenomenal production. There are many lessons to be learned from this film, but I don’t want to give you any spoilers. When all hope seems lost, there is a plot twist that can only be categorized with the classic quote by Winston Churchill, “The definition of Success is moving from Failure to Failure without Loss of Enthusiasm.”

Erin Brockovich (2000) – IMDb

A woman driven by survival, a single mother, just trying to get by, manages to cling to happenstance, and ride that potential opportunity for all its worth. The system bucking Erin like a wild bull, which she manages, through the pursuit of a passion for people even more dire than her own situation, fights for her “extended family”, and one would argue, fighting for justice for those who could not.

Jerry Maguire (1996) – IMDb

Jerry transcends from Sell, Sell, Sell backed by a recognizable, affinity brand to a budding entrepreneur trying to build a relationship with his client and “keep the lights on”. Anyone think Tom Cruise got this gig because of his work on Rain Man selling Ferrari?

Joy (2015) – IMDb

A single mom within a challenging environment steps up the ladder and claws her way into a successful entrepreneur. One can only marvel at her success and note each step; each challenge was met by bold, creative solutions.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006) – IMDb

The transformation from the academic to the business world was amazing. Climbing the ladder of success or falling into the pit of despair. It’s all perspective.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – IMDb

What a whimsical fantasy that delights and turns my stomach at the same time. I just want to know if the momma dollar and poppa dollar had a family after the run on the banks and the savings and loan?

Bitcoin used as National Currency; Sports and NFTs; Tile Acquisition

I’m trying a different format with the use of video to discuss topics. Appreciate any input. Maybe next time I’ll dress for the part.

Topics of Conversation for this Episode.

  1. Explore the recent decision of El Salvador to adopt Bitcoin as their national currency
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/bitcoin-use-el-salvador-grows-setbacks-adopting-legal-tender-rcna2743
  2. Huge opportunity for EVERYONE involved in NFTs for sports memorabilia.
    https://rosemansolutions.io/2021/11/24/sweet-spot-for-digital-collectables/
  3. Review the acquisition of Tile by Life360
    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/life360-to-acquire-tile-creating-the-world-leader-in-finding-and-location-solutions-301430364.html

Apple iOS Opportunity for Streaming Applications

It’s Like “Fast Cash” from an ATM

What seems to be low-hanging fruit for video streaming applications has not widely been adapted. If a user of the iPhone presses and holds down the App icon a “Shortcut Menu” for the app will appear. Adding a shortcut menu item called “My List” of movies and TVs would allow the application user to jump to their items of interest.

It’s a great way to skip the application menu navigation from within the app and jump to any point in the application that may be of frequent interest. Many of the stream services do not have this capability.

First Prize – Best in Breed – Amazon Prime

2nd Prize Goes to Paramount Plus

Tied for Last Place – Really??

Major streaming services, including Apple TV do not take advantage of this usability feature,

Twitter’s New Tip Jar for Charity Funraising

I’m excited to enable the new Tip Jar feature for fundraising for charities. Twitter users should be able to create a campaign to raise money for a charity boasted with Tweets related to the charity.

The Twitter Tip Jar should allow users to raise money, goal oriented with a tweatable bar chart that indicates progress, current money raised, and target goals.

Twitter Tip Chart should allow multiple fundraising initiatives in parallel, and tweet tags indicate which charity donation.

Twitter Advertising should allow tweet goal oriented tip jar fundraising, and extend the Twitter Advertising model to pause funding tweets based on daily fundraising goals.

Netflix Is Testing A Way To Limit Password Sharing

r Netflix is testing a way it can limit password sharing, in what could signal a notable shift of the streaming giant’s posture toward users.“Is this your account?” an on-screen notification asks some of those trying to log on with credentials from someone outside their household, according to users’ screenshots. “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”Users can then enter their own information and create an account, which comes with a 30-day free trial in certain territories.“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

Source: Netflix Is Testing A Way To Limit Password Sharing – Deadline

Two Factor Authentication verse Location-Based 

This measure is an ineffective approach at best, and a hindrance, worst-case scenario to those valid Netflix users who travel often and take their streaming service on the road.  Many other Internet Services, beyond content streaming,  are now implementing a 2-Factor Authentication (2-FA) approach.  With 2-FA, a user will log into the Netflix app, and then is sent an email or text message with an authentication code.  The code is then used to complete the login of the Software as a Service (SaaS).  This approach could be extended to VOD  streaming services, and for each account “Profile”,  there is a defined mobile number and email address where the access code can be sent.   Only the default account profile can unlock the security details for profiles, allowing the assignment of mobile numbers and email addresses.

How Will Consumers React?

The initial pilot solution seems like a half measure at the moment. I’m not familiar with how they will implement the location-based, “Outside Your Household” solution because of a legitimate use case where some people who have subscriptions actively travel, for example. Surely, these people who travel will appear to be in various locations, according to network topology. On the other side, if you apply a multifactor authentication approach, that’s bound to be more successful in inhibiting the “password sharing” issue. Netflix defines/reevaluates a maximum number of user-profiles per account. Will this help generate more revenue for the “fledgling” streaming service, or anger their audience who may take flight to one of the many other services offered. It’s not the cheapest streaming service in town. Let’s see.

Roblox, Massive Tween Gaming Platform, Goes Public

Popular tween gaming platform Roblox filed to go public on Thursday. The company declined an interview, citing a quiet period.

Source: Roblox, massive tween gaming platform, goes public – CNN

My son and I, OneWildRide,  are hooked on the Roblox game Theme Park Tycoon 2   I’m fixated on building out my park.  For beginners, there are the “out of the box” rides you can buy, and the amount of items you can use to accessorize your park is staggering.    Not only can you add “canned” rides, such as the Gravatron, but the theme park builder can add all different types of roller coasters, water rides, park transportation, etc.

Users of the Theme Park Tycoon 2 are Graded by:

  • number of active users in your park
  • the amount of money you make based on park admission, pay per ride, and concession stands
  • People can “like” your park, and provide feedback at the entrance

Commoditizing Roblox Games

I will shamefully admit that I purchased Roblox Bucks, with real dollars, that can be used on a plethora of items to build my Theme Park.  For example, the Theme Park has a height limit for how high you can build your roller coasters, so naturally, the builder/user has the ability to purchase to lift the height requirements.  You can also purchase additional “packs” that provide the builder enhancements to their rides, such as running the ride in reverse or looping the ride three times instead of the default single loop.  There’s also the conversion of USD to Roblox $$ because builders need to buy the components to build water rides or roller coasters.  You can even purchase concession stands (e.g. Popcorn Vendors).  The builder of the amusement park must also buy/build restrooms and spread out trash cans throughout the park.  There is also the concept of day and night, so make sure to buy/place lamps across the park.

Pay to Play – AI Bots = Theme Park $$

These “auto” bots/characters paying to play in your park may leave if they are dissatisfied, such as no bathrooms.  Also, without trash cans, there will be visible trash on the ground that must be painfully cleaned up, pile by pile, or left there to pile up.  On the flip side, these AI amusement goers will pay:

  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Pay Per Ride
  • Pay to use the loo
  • Pay for Concession Stands, such as Soft Drinks, Popcorn, and Pizza
  • Pay for Theme Park Memorabilia, such as Santa Hats, Tis the Season!

The Theme Park Builder sets the prices for EVERYTHING.  The AI Bots have “thoughts”, such as “This ride is really cheap.” to help you gauge your ride pricing, or “I’m Hungry”, to imply you should buy/place concession stands throughout your park.

Minecraft Anyone?!

I should say someone should have seen this coming, several someones.  You build this Theme Park at the “block” level, very similar to Minecraft, however, it seems, as far as I can tell, the graphics of Roblox seem somewhat superior to Minecraft, although this is a very debatable topic.  Minecraft has lots of 3rd party “mods” or customizations/modifications to the game.  Minecraft has had a lot of time to cultivate its userbase as well as a marketplace for users to buy these modifications.  Roblox as an application/gaming platform seems intriguing in light of the IPO.  I wonder what the highest-grossing games are on the Roblox platform.

Availability

Roblox Theme Park Tycoon 2 is available on Xbox, iPad / iPhone, and Windows to name the environments we use, jumping from device to device wherever is convenient.

Multiplayer Environment

My son constantly wants me to go over to his Theme Park, and go on rides he has just built.  It’s really a lot of fun to go to other builders’ parks.  There is a basic transit system to move between amusement parks.  You can get LOTS of ideas by looking at other builders’ parks, some of these parks put the “real world” amusement parks to shame.  So far, I’ve seen six (6) people playing concurrently, where you can see who has the most Roblox Bucks, and who’s park has the most visitors currently.  Naturally, if you’re not the big kahuna, you’ll want to stroll by the other builders’ parks.  If you are in close proximity, if you time it right, you can log in to the same server, and play with friends.  Doesn’t always seem to work quite right when people jump on and off the game.  There is probably a feature I’m not using to guarantee the same server with friends, maybe the “Premium” version of Roblox?

Build Your Own Roblox Games?  Monetary Incentives?

Wow, I really didn’t contemplate it that much.  I didn’t even think about the possible monetary returns from building one’s own Roblox game.  Not sure what the requirements would be to be a developer, how easy or hard it would be to build Roblox games, i.e. is there a coding language to use, a proprietary language, or just a simple graphical tool to build games.  No clue if there is a “developer/partner” annual cost, which is what I paid when developing applications for the iPhone / iPad.  Also, playing on the iPad / iPhone Roblox platform hosting the Theme Park game, would Apple get a percentage of “In-App” purchases for Roblox dollars?  We purchased Roblox bucks from the PC, and XBOX, so it didn’t occur to me there would be margin paid to the platform on which it runs.

Disclosure – I am not a “Premium” Roblox member or a “game” builder.

Level Up Social Media with Microsoft Power Automate

Create Automated Workflows with Microsoft Power Automate

I’ve been using this powerful workflow automation platform since it was called Microsoft Flow, and was free for low volume usage. Essentially, users can pick any sources of data, create triggers, transform data to a multitude of target systems, and notify through a multitude of opportunities, such as eMail and push notifications. The platform is boundless through “Connectors” to just about any 3rd party platforms from SalesForce to an Oracle database. The basic plan after the free trial is 15 USD per month.

Connectors and Templates: Ready, Set, Go

1st, define your connectors, such as your Google Email account connection details, and your Twitter account information. 2nd, select from one of the many “out of the box” predefined templates, such as from the “Social Media” category.

MSFT Power Automate Templates
MSFT Power Automate Templates

Twitter Use Cases – Configure In Minutes

Once you’ve signed up for the Power Automate SaaS platform, you can start creating workflows in minutes. At first I used the “Templates”, but it is much easier to create workflows from scratch. Here are a few opportunities foe getting started

Retweet based on Tweet Search Criteria

  • Define what tweets you would like to retweet using query search criteria of words, a combination of hashtags, phrases with simple AND and OR logic.
  • Optionally, add a condition before performing an action within the workflow. In this case, we can allow the retweet only if the retweet count is greater than N retweets.
  • Select the returned Tweet ID to perform the “Retweet” action
  • Optionally, add notifications, such as emailing yourself each time you retweet and include elements of the tweet within your Email, such as the tweet text, tweet user ID, or a dozen of other tweet elements.

Catalog Tweets when they meet your Tweet Criteria

  • Define what tweets you would like to store in your “data” repository.
  • Select from one of a multitude of data targets ranging from Excel spreadsheets, Google Sheets, SQL Server, Oracle Database, and dozens of other repositories.
  • Based on the data target, perform the mapping of available tweet elements to the data target fields, such as a database, table, and fields.

And Beyond

Microsoft Power Automate can do automated workflows beyond the social media capabilities highlighted here. I have a wish list of “Triggers” and “Actions” not yet supported by the platform. I’d like to have the same “Trigger” criteria we have with Twitter extended to LinkedIn, and trigger LinkedIn posts based on query criteria, extract, and load into en external data source.