News of the Day 3/25/2010

Toy line/media synergy, Google/China splits, and biofuel leads to green chemicals? It's a day of coming together and coming apart in geeky job news.

Write your resume with the reader in mind – Some good advice.

Know what we need? More home foreclosures. A very convincing contrarian argument that makes a good case for allowing foreclosures to proceed, and that a lot of foreclosure stoppage efforts are deceptive and unhelpful. I've wondered about some of this, and I think this article has put me firmly in the "managed foreclosure" camp – to not avoid foreclosures, but to make them easier to handle for those going through them.

The evidence pretty much indicates we're in a jobless recovery and it's a big one. Lots of useful charts and easy to understand explanation. Big points – hiring not firing is the problem, demand increases won't fix the problem right away, and a lot of the issue is long-term joblessness/trouble in finding work.

Starbucks has dividends, plans expansion. A sign of the maturing of the company, but also, I hope, a sign of some economic stability – considering how hard they were hit.

Geek Law:
A violent video game ban in Sweden? Maybe. The language sounds vague and this is pretty easy to challenge.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens June 18th – Somewhere between a ride, a multimedia experience, and a touch of MMO, this Universal Studio feature sounds interesting. Now does it have legs to be worth the investment when Harry Potter has been eclipsed by other properties?

Mattel challenged it's designers to come up with toys that'd be part of a simultaneous film, movie, game, and toy release. Ah, It's like going back to the 80's all over again . . .


Twilight Manga sets many records – Everyone surprised, raise your hands. Everyone who raised your hands – slap yourself for being silly with said hands. Big point here is that this could A) be a gateway to other manga and the books, B) you better believe others are paying attention to this synergy. Give you any ideas for your business, book, etc.?

Genomatica gets $15 million in investing – They did biofuels, but moved into green/sustainable chemical production. This may be part of a trend towards green chemicals over biofuels since the biofuel market isn't too hot right now. Something to follow – especially if a green chemical infrastructure makes it easier to swing back to biofuels.

Publishers are big on the iPad – and so are advertisers, who are anxious to sign ad deals. Is the iPad heading for a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of success? Still, it shows a lot of people are interested in the device, and this could be enough to build sustainable content and interest for the iPad – if not tablets in general.

Google is paying the price for it's China pullout, mostly loss of presence on some cell/smart phones made in or for China. Can't say I'm surprised, though some of this appears to be purely economic decisions. I can see this being advantageous for Google since if anyone tries to make nice with the Chinese government, they've just handed Google a way to wack competitors with bad PR – take a look at how Congress slams Microsoft over their Chinese presence.


Ten Tips to Survive as a Theater Director – Probably applicable to a lot more.

Video Games:
Zynga jumps into the prepaid card market for it's games.

Why your submission was rejected – and what to do.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: With companies desperate for content, are we going to return to the 80's cartoon-toy synergy – only now it'll be mass multi media?

-Steven Savage