Christmas With The Service Outage

Remember Christmases when the outages of Netflix or Steam wouldn’t have been factors?  It was only a few years ago when it wouldn’t have been as noticed or even regarded.

Of course now we can add large-scale technical glitches to other holiday annoyances like non-working Christmas lights, traffic, closed businesses, and crowded airports.  I wonder how used we’ll get to them.

I imagine not very.  We expect instant service from our technology, even if we usually accept much less.  However I imagine Netflix and Valve know this and will work to correct things for next year.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at

Valve Made Money Via Free

TechDirt has a great analysis of a larger analysis on Valve’s profitability, specifically how TF2 worked when it went free.  The major lessons are research, connecting with customers, make it so pay isn’t needed to play, and give people a good reason to buy (not a negative).  In short, it appears to be a giant  mass of common sense, which of course makes it rare and remarkable.

Well worth reading.

Also, what I’d add here is that Valve’s approaches are not based on adversity, they’re based on building alliances and providing value (as noted “piracy is a service problem.”).  This is a great model that is also common sense, but begs the question why common sense seems so alien today.  I’d argue that once companies get big enough to throw their weight around, and gain enough “age” to feel they’re fixtures, there’s a risk of abuse.

Steven Savage