For Me, TV Is Dying.

This post isn't about business per se, but it does have long term ramifications for the marketplace in general, so bear with me. Last night, I realized I REALLY HATE commercials. Despise - Abhor - Loathe - Detest . . . You get my drift. I know, we all hate commercials — but they have become irrelevant to my viewing habits. They're just a nuisance.

My wife and I were watching 'Fear The Walking Dead' on AMC. We made the decision to record it on our DVR and then watch it with FF capability at 10 PM. At 10 PM, we started the recording and it seemed like there were 8-10 commercials during each break during the show (the show runs 43 minutes).

We really wanted to measure the span of the episode vs. the accumulated time of the commercials — we were almost sure they were the same. Here's the interesting part — we even hated commercials that we had to FF through. Why?

We've moved on. We have Netflix and Amazon on our TV (Roku), we watch them also on our iPads and MacBooks. Guess what? No commercials. In fact, my wife and I have been binge-watching The Good Wife (never saw it before) and are very comfortable flying through episodes with no breaks, commercials, or advertising. All for a small Amazon Prime payment each month.

We also use our DVR for almost all of our TV viewing habits. We record the shows and FLY through the commercials. So we don't even see them anymore — just fast moving pictures flashing on our screen — an annoyance for 5-10 seconds.

Here's the kicker — we're in our early 50's. I know that all generations after us, GenX, GenY, Millenials, etc., have even more fleeting TV viewing habits. In fact, most kids I know don't even watch TV anymore — they get all their entertainment from their iPhones, iPads, PC's, Twitch, YouTube and gaming consoles. Families rarely gather in front of the TV to watch shows together.

There's going to be a tipping point soon where advertisers quickly realize no one is watching their commercials. The rating systems are antiquated and really don't produce true viewer habits (read this and this and this). The viewing public is slowing moving away from conventional TV viewing and quickly abandoning any type of commercial exposure.

What will happen to TV and shows like The Good Wife, Arrow, and Fear The Walking Dead? I don't know — each episode probably runs the network millions of dollars to produce and the money needs to come from somewhere. Maybe the Netflix/Amazon model will take over (see what happened to Longmire). I love watching House of Cards and Daredevil — I wouldn't even mind paying more for Netflix/Amazon Prime if they substantially increased the amount of shows they release.

In the end, commercials are irrelevant to me. If things keep going the way they are, the only generation who will care about commercials are the people who care about the "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials. Again, I understand commercials 'pay' for my show — but I really DON'T CARE.

If you're a business who advertises on TV, and you haven't started already, you better start anticipating major changes soon. This will greatly affect all aspects of TV as we know it — so if you're a network, you probably see the writing on the wall.

"Come gather 'round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you Is worth savin' Then you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin'"

The Times They Are A-Changin'  — Bob Dylan

Ask Rich Gee: Career Questions From Quora.

Frequently, I am asked questions from people within the website Quora — I try my best to answer most — but candidly, there are too many. Here are some of my best answers to great questions concerning people's careers:

What is more difficult in the long run, working for a company or running your own business?

Both are difficult and rewarding in their own ways:

  • Company - you have a boss to keep happy, you have set work hours, you get a regular paycheck, you get a paid location to work at, you get benefits, and you also get jerk bosses, the chance to lose your job instantly, cancelled projects, and frequently depressed coworkers.
  • Business - you have a clients to keep happy, you have flexible work hours, your paycheck is based on how hard your work and hustle, you get to work at home, you get to pay for your own benefits, and you also get no jerk bosses (but jerk clients), the chance to lose your clients at the drop of a hat, cancelled projects, and you might be frequently depressed.

All kidding aside (but I was telling the truth) - both have their ups and downs, sometimes you feel in control with both, and sometimes you feel out of control with both.

I've done both - 20 years in corporate - 14 years coaching - and both are hard/easy, rewarding/frustrating, but all in all - it's a great ride.

My suggestion? Start a company.

How long does it take to settle in at a new job?

On average - 3-6 months. Not only do you need to meet, develop and hone relationships with key people, you need to learn the whole business - how it works, what are the levers/movers, what are the clients like, etc.

You also need to see how the company reacts to emergencies, slow-time, reactive decisions from management, and industry shifts.

I hate to say 'settle in', because when I'm settled, I'm bored. You need to constantly challenge yourself - do new things, meet new people, etc.

Where on their resumes might long-term unemployed job candidates address their current career gaps?

Are you not getting traction with your current résumé? (a lot of opportunities/recruiters/hiring managers passing on you?)

If not, don't do anything. If so, and if the gaps are frequent and wide, you might want to fill in those gaps. Some suggestions:

  1. You didn't sit on the couch all day and watch Jerry Springer. You probably did something - volunteered, side job, etc. Let them know.
  2. Did you try to start a business? Did you do side work (consulting) that you were paid for? Let them know.
  3. If you really didn't do anything for a LONG time and your résumé isn't getting traction, you might say you helped out a sick family member at home - most of the time recruiters might ask a small question, but it's happening more and more every day as our population ages. I know this might be a 'white lie' and a fireable offense - but if you are consistently striking out, you have to do something to change the dynamic.

#3 might rankle some readers — but there are a lot of people who are lost right now looking for a replacement job and they've gone YEARS without employment.

What kind of advice would you give to a 40-something starting a new job where she'll be working alongside 20-somethings?

  1. Listen more than preach. You are not their 'sensei' right now, you just work with them. Also, be patient.
  2. Ask questions. They might know more than you do. And they probably do.
  3. Don't talk about your kids, your injuries, your parents, or any other 40+ year-old concern. 20 year-olds don't care.
  4. Don't try to 'be cool'. Be yourself. Be interested, but be yourself.
  5. Let them make their own mistakes. If they ask you for advice, then you give it to them. Ultimately, they will look to you as their 'sensei' if you do it right.
  6. Try to do things that they do. If they invite you out for drinks, go. If they mention a band, listen to them. If they talk about a movie, check it out.
  7. Compliment them. We tend to forget to do that with our younger counterparts.
  8. Work out, stay in shape, eat healthy, and keep a close eye on your wardrobe style. You don't want to dress like Lou in MadMen. Also keep an eye on your hairstyle.
  9. Look at your glasses style. Too many guys and gals wear really old frames they wore in high school. Get with the program and style up.
  10. Grow an interest in some of the things they might be interested in - music, movies, books, theater, etc. If you show a sincere interest in their passions, they might ask you about yours.

Extra-Credit: Keep up with TECHNOLOGY. I'm 52 and get so angry at people my age who have problems, disregard or disparage simple technology I use easily. YOU LOOK OLD immediately if you have frequent problems with email, the web, your phone (get a smartphone), etc.