Tuesday, April 12, 2011

iPhone Kills the (Previous) Video Star -- Cisco's Flip Is Dead

Wow -- although not completely surprising. Just announced - Cisco is immediately killing off its Flip business (which it just purchased for $590 million a couple years back). 550 employees are getting pink-slipped ... very sad indeed.

I predicted this a long time ago -- i.e., the stand-alone pocket cam is a tough sell to consumers right now who can get HD video capture in their all-in-one smart phone.

Another casualty of the iPhone ...

"Wicked's" Wicked Witch IS Wicked After All!

Warning! This post is decidedly not about digital media -- it is a New York slice of life.

My wife and I just took the kids to New York City for the first time -- and, not surprisingly, one main reason is to see their first real Broadway shows (they both love the theatre). What does that mean for kids? The musical "Wicked" of course.

The musical lived up to all its hype -- great show, great spectacle. My kids loved it. They loved it so much so that they wanted to do a quintessential New York thing -- stand outside the stage door after the show to see the musical's stars exit the building and get their autographs on their Playbills (it was their first real Broadway show after all). That's what Broadway stars do, right?

The two leads in "Wicked", of course, are Glinda, the good witch, and Elphaba, the Wicked witch (who, in the show, is not so wicked after all -- but is just believed to be -- and that is the whole point of the musical of course).

So, the Wicked Witch isn't so Wicked, right? Well, not so fast.

Glinda (the Good Witch) didn't disappoint -- as she left the stage door, she was nothing but smiles, adorable, gracious and effusive with the kids. She signed the playbill with aplomb. The kids were thrilled.

But, then we kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Elphaba (Ms. Wicked herself). The security officer outside the door essentially told us she would be coming. 15 minutes passed, 30 minutes .... We rationalized all of this by thinking that she must still be taking off her green make-up -- that's got to take forever.

So, we kept waiting and waiting some more ... extremely patiently (I got to hand it to the kids). The payoff would be worth it. Both witches signing the playbill -- how cool would that be for the kids? Frame that for them -- a keepsake forever!

But then, without explanation, Mr. Security Man closes the door matter-of-factly and extremely abruptly breaks the jarring news to the kids -- "okay folks, that's it -- no one else will be coming out the door."

Huh, what? Tens of adoring little kids standing outside the door (including my own) all looked at each other -- and all of us parents -- incredulously. Their little hands held little pens for the Wicked One to sign their little playbills! And, their little hearts were a little broken for that little special moment that never came after waiting for more than a little bit of time (ok, so that is a bit dramatic ... but it WAS disappointing). At least it would have been a little more polite for the Wicked One to let the little security man know that she wouldn't be instilling a little joy in those little lives at that little moment.

(That little moment brought me back to a traumatic moment in my own childhood that still haunts me -- I was in D.C. during the filming of the classic movie "All The President's Men" in the mid-1970s; Robert Redford was there filming a scene; I had a chance to approach him, so I seized that moment. I was a smiling kid after all, right? So, I approach Mr. Sundance himself -- he is a giver after all. I ask him politely for his John Hancock. And, what does he do? He looks me in the eyes and proclaims, "No son, if I gave it to you, I would need to give it to everyone." OUCH! That stung!)

So, the final verdict? The Wicked Witch lived up to her name after all! Maybe that IS the point after all!

(so off we went -- following the grey brick road to the Meatpacking District where we had a great meal that didn't disappoint and all was right with the world ... ).

(Post-script -- check out the restaurant "Spice Market" in the Meatpacking District; then go have a drink at the top of The Standard Hotel; and don't miss out on checking out the restrooms -- THE most incredible views you will ever see from a restroom ... ever! And, yes, I am being serious here).