The Horrors of Moving

Horror movies had a character to give a warning to the would-be victims. Here are some moving stories to serve as warning for your own moving stories!

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Horror stories of old, and some of the new, come with a warning.

The most common interpretation of these warnings is to have the would-be victims stop at a gas station to fill up their vehicle with gas. As they wait for the tank to fill, an eerie-looking person will step out and approach them. He’ll give an ominous warning that the direction they plan to go will lead to chaos, and most likely death.

Moving can feel like a horror movie, which is why you should listen to horror stories of others and heed the Message from the Harbinger.

Here’s the familiar “Harbinger” scene from a recent classic, The Cabin in The Woods.


(If you haven’t seen The Cabin in The Woods yet, go watch it! Also, if you have seen it, go watch it again. I’m even reading the novelization!)

The Harbinger is meant to give the would-be victims an opportunity to try a different path or change course completely. In The Cabin in The Woods, and other horror classics like it, The Harbinger scene is the ominous foreboding of what’s to come if the would-be victims don’t heed his warning.

…They don’t.

If the would-be victims listened and changed, then there would be no story, no horror movie, and no victims.

Your moving story doesn’t have to end like theirs.

Take heed and listen to the following stories so you can save yourself from the same peril that befell these victims! (insert ghostly wailing)

Never Trust a Neighborhood

James (not his real name), had been in his new house for barely a full week. It was Sunday, and he opened the garage to pull out his wife’s car as they made ready to go to church. Sitting in the driveway was his work truck.

Something was missing!

The work truck was a Toyota Pre-Runner, with an open bed.

As a pest control technician, James would use an expensive leaf-blower with an attachment to spray treatment chemicals on lawns. It was brand new. Cost nearly $1000.

Moreover, it was gone!

The previous neighborhood James had lived in was rundown. Cars were parked on lawns, a few homes had windows boarded up, and some of the residents had questionable jobs. However, the truck sat out in the open with the leaf-blower in plain sight…no one touched it.

This new neighborhood, although nicer, was still being built. No one parked his or her car on the front lawn, all the windows were intact, and everyone had a job.

Yet, someone had stolen equipment that James didn’t even own.

However, he still had to help pay to replace, to the tune of $450.

The Warning

New neighborhoods, though they may look nice, can still hide secrets.

If you’re not familiar with the area, you can get information from those who do live there. Check out City-Data Forums to see what locals have to say. You can post a question about your neighborhood there and get answers.

Make a Checklist

Bob (not his real name) had moved into a lovely two-story home with his wife and kids. He’d set up a bundle package through a local home services provider, getting his internet, cable TV, and phone from one source. Bob liked the convenience of the single check, and he was finding that it saved him some money.

Six months after the move-in, however, he got a bill with late-charges, overdue fees, and about seven months of monthly charge.

For services on his previous home!

Bob had forgotten to cancel the internet service at his last house.

With those built-up charges, Bob had to do a payment plan, as well as work with his credit company to keep his credit score from taking a hit.

It would take years before Bob could pay down the bill.

The Warning

Make a checklist to ensure you haven’t missed anything before you move out of your home. It may seem tedious, but when the moving process revs up, you’ll most likely be too busy to remember everything yourself. A simple piece of paper with the items listed can save you time, and in Bob’s case, money. You can even use the notes app on your smartphone to write out a list.

If you’re worried that you missed a crucial step, check out The Art of Happy Moving. The Art of Happy Moving has a checklist you can download. The checklist breaks down the timeline needed to get things ready for a smoother transition.

If you want to make a list yourself, that’s fine, but make sure you make a list.

However, most of all- don’t forget to cancel services at your old home!

Missing Pieces

On a Friday morning, Jack finally found time to start opening boxes that had piled up in his living room from the recent move. The process of moving had been bumpy, but so far, everything had smoothed out.

He’d hired movers to help, and they’d managed to get everything out of his apartment and storage unit, and into his new home in the time allotted.

However, the very next morning he had to go back to work and the stacks of boxes in his living room sat there for several days.

Now he finally had time to get the unpacking done.

As items came out, he noticed a couple of his Bluetooth speakers were missing. He was sure he’d packed them in the right box, but they weren’t there. All the boxes had been taped up, so the movers couldn’t have opened them and helped themselves to some of Jack’s stuff before they left.

Where were they?!

After opening every box, and stacking the contents everywhere else, he was still sure the speakers were missing.

He headed back to his old apartment and asked the management if someone had turned them into the lost and found. The answer was “no.”

The next week Jack searched the boxes again, called friends who’d helped him move, and still couldn’t find them.

It wasn’t until he’d just about given up hope that he found his missing speakers- right next to his bed. He’d pulled the speakers out of the box before taping them up so that he could show a friend. The friend had put them on top of the boxes when they’d loaded up the moving truck. The movers had placed them next to his bed.

The Warning

You can inventory your entire house to avoid something like this. But then again, that would take a lot of time.

Apps, like Sortly, allow you to take pictures of your stuff and the app will create QR codes that you can print out to put on boxes. You can then scan the closed box to see what’s inside, or what should be inside. While this doesn’t eliminate the possibility of lost items, it can help you track your stuff and provide peace of mind.

Bad Movers

To get his stuff across the country, Vince hired movers who would pack his stuff, as well as his car, into containers. They’d agreed to deliver it to his new address and help him unpack.

Vince, being busy, flew to his new home and continued working until the movers showed up.

When they did show up, however, they demanded “extra fees” because of some trouble getting it across the country. While Vince hadn’t agreed on this stipulation, the movers had the keys to the truck.

Vince also noticed that his car wasn’t with the truck.

Since his stuff was held hostage, and his car was nowhere in sight, Vince had to walk to a nearby gas station to use their ATM. Then he had to walk back, hand over the money, and wait for them to unload all his belongings.

With that finally done, Vince had to then negotiate for his car.

Another trip the nearby ATM and he was given the keys and an address.

He didn’t know how to get there, so he had to plug in the address to his map and use public transportation to get there.

At last, Vince had found his car- it was in a paid parking space, and he had to pay the parking fee to get it out.

The Warning

Make sure you have, in writing, the exact agreement you’ve made with the moving company that you’ve hired.

Before doing this, check them out on the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. Moving companies who do lousy work will get reported. A simple search of the moving company name, plus the word “complaints,” will help you find out who’s been complaining about them.

More reputable moving companies, though they might be more pricey, will save you a headache and you won’t have to worry about your stuff being held for ransom. They may provide a written contract for you, but you should still make sure you have, in writing, the exact agreement you made with them.

Save the Jump Scares for the Movies

Horror movies, with their copious deaths and arterial blood spray, are the best place for scary things to happen.

Not your moving experience.

Although every problem can’t is avoidable, you can take some steps to eliminate problems or at least mitigate them. Things like a checklist, writing up a “mover agreement,” or taking inventory of your stuff can save you from a jump scare along the way.

There is one last thing you need to set up for your new home- setting up your new home services.

Home services, like energy utility, home security system, and internet service provider, can be set up before you move in. It’s highly likely you’ll be moving to a new neighborhood, one you’re not familiar with. You may not know who provides energy, or what ISPs are in the area.

Check out the best internet packages and deals from KonectEaze. Here you’ll find internet, cable TV, phone, home security, and in certain places, energy utilities. You can research providers here and find out what deals are available by merely searching your new zip code.

You can save yourself some time, headache, and cash all in one place.

Do you have a moving horror story? Share it in the comments below.

For news and updates on moving, home service providers, and horror stories, keep the browser open to On The Download.


Should Netflix Have Content Quotas?

Netflix provides a lot of content. But should a percentage of that content come from a specific geographic region?

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Roughly 90% of what I watch, I stream through Netflix. If I’m not streaming through my TV, then I’m streaming it through the Netflix app.

I consume my content this way because of convenience. It's easy, it's right there, and there are no commercials! Yes, I'm admitting I’m lazy. It’s something that I’m working on. Netflix is also enabling me.

Despite Netflix enabling of my apathy, I enjoy the content offered. It also helps that I checked out the best internet deals and packages.

Not everything I find there is something I want to watch though.

I would prefer, every now and then, to partake in content that’s centered around my hometown of San Antonio, TX. Not southern California dolled up to look like San Antonio. Instead, I'd prefer a more realistic facsimile.

Not only that, the program should present the city of San Antonio as it truly is. The representation should be based on current trends and not what people in Hollywood assume it is- some uber-conservative town steeped in old thinking (San Antonio is quite progressive, and I should know, I live here).

Can I find this on Netflix?

No, not at all.

Should it be a near-accurate representation of San Antonio in both image and sociological makeup?

I would say, “Yes.”

And can I require Netflix to create that show just for me?

Given my laziness—yes, absolutely I should!

Is it the right way to create content?

…hmmm.

Content Quotas

Although I might have some influence—something like 0.000000000000000001% influence—I highly doubt Netflix will scramble to make my dream become a reality.

Why?

Because they’re not even doing that for the European Union.

Recently, the EU took to changing up the rules they impose on outside entertainment services. Part of that rewrite includes demanding that Netflix allot 30% of their catalog to content centered on European works.

Netflix, understandably, balked at the maneuver.

I can see where the EU is coming from though.

They want to see more and more content that reflects the socioeconomic, ethnic, and regional background of their viewers. This will lead to less alienation, and hopefully, more confidence in oneself. Or maybe they’re just looking to provide opportunities to the content creators themselves? I’m inferring those last two points.

Anyway, this move could backfire.

You’ve heard the saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”?

The road to hell can start with these good intentions.

By holding Netflix responsible for creating content specifically geared towards a subset of their audience, Netflix gets hamstrung. They need to figure out what types of programs those viewers like to watch, bring in producers for it, and create the appropriate content. This ties up money and creative powers.

Sure, it helps those specific content creators.

But are they going to create something worth watching for the wider audience? It's possible.

Ethics aside, forcing the many to watch something that appeals to the few will end up alienating the larger group in the end.

And if there’s a quota to meet, then quality will get sacrificed so that Netflix can say, “Hey, we met the quota, so what are you complaining about?”

A Different Tact

Is it more advantageous to create content aimed at specific sub-groups?

Sure. Why not?

As I mentioned earlier, I demand a program centered on San Antonio that doesn’t involve someone butchering a Texas accent, or making all Texans look ignorant.

But forcing Netflix to create that just for me will end up alienating viewers from Dallas, Houston, and the hipsters up the road in Austin. Soon they’ll get their own shows too. When that happens, I’ll refuse to watch them based on principle. This will drive overall viewership down and put Netflix in a bind. They could end up losing money on this content.

This solution is bad.

To solve this problem I’m required to (sigh) get up and do something about it.

If I desire to watch content about San Antonio that represents it honestly, then I need to go out there and make it myself. And if it’s no good, then Netflix can pass on the project. This will, in turn, force me to work harder to create content that’s of quality and will appeal to the mass audience.

And it will involve…sigh…work.

For those who want to have content that better reflects who they are, they’ll have to go out and create it themselves. Or get on board with a project.

Others Can Help

Given how much Netflix is pouring into their content creation, they probably can accommodate new content from creators from specific areas. If the content is approved, Netflix can add it into their catalog and appeal to that specific sub-category whilst still putting out content for the larger audiences. Netflix will handle the distribution while the creators handle the production end.

Another option would be for local and regional governments to offer incentives to content creators. For example; the San Antonio Film Commission offers a 7.5% incentive on film and television project with at least $100,000 of approved San Antonio spending (check the details at filmsanantonio.com). This is to help content creators secure locations and equipment in San Antonio for their projects.

With this kind of assistance, burgeoning projects can find a place to shoot their film in and around San Antonio. They can avoid straining their budget and keep an authentic look. Once filming is wrapped, they can move forward with presenting it to distribution outlets, like Netflix.

It serves as a better motivation for content creators, as opposed to making Netflix go and find content creators. While it sounds a little elitist, this keeps sub-par content from getting distribution.

In the end, it will work out better for Netflix, the greater viewing audience, and even me!


LinkedIn; The Good, The Bad, and The Annoying

Since the beginning of September, there have been not one, but two articles published that slammed LinkedIn. Is the professional network site that bad?

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Since the beginning of September, there have been not one, but two articles published that slammed LinkedIn. Both authors write their own columns on technology and business, and both seem to be fed up with the social media platform. LinkedIn is supposed to be the “professional” social network. A place where professionals and their professional persona’s, gather and expand their networks, talk shop, recruit new talent, and increase their influence. These two posts, however, have ardently stated that LinkedIn is anything but that. The mission statement of LinkedIn—To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful—has been missed. At least, according to these two authors. Has it?

LinkedIn as it Should Be

LinkedInAt first, LinkedIn looked like just one of the many knockoffs of Facebook. At least, it looked that way to me. But over time I’ve come to see it as a helpful place to expand my network. I’ve also come to hate it as well. This isn’t about me hating or liking the site. Because, after all, you didn’t read this far to hear my opinion and my opinion alone. LinkedIn’s purpose was to enhance everyone’s professional experience and career in a way that only a social media platform could. Look at it this way; LinkedIn is the virtual equivalent of a networking event. You’re supposed to show up and get to know other people. If you can help someone, then fine. If you can’t, then that’s okay too. The main argument here is that this virtual networking event has devolved into a clutter of spammy sales pitches and pushy people who call themselves influencers. Has it? Some may argue “no.” And others will argue, emphatically, “yes.” I find myself stuck in the middle. Because there is no one reason to call LinkedIn completely “bad.” Conversely, there’s no one reason to call it completely “good.” Then we should look at both the good and the bad. In between both is the annoying. Before we get to that, I have to do my job and mention that you can use LinkedIn anytime you want. So long as you’re using the best internet deals in your area. There, let’s move on.

The Bad

Let’s start with the “bad,” and get that out of the way first. LinkedIn was meant to be a place where professionals go to network and find contacts. It wasn’t meant to be a place where people are constantly bombarded with sales pitches. Unfortunately, there are plenty of spammy sellers out there. One such example; When I was hired as Content Writer, I went on LinkedIn and changed my status to reflect that. Within a week I got a connection request and a message. LinkedIn gives you the option to send a note with each connection request. Part of the reason is to introduce yourself. Make an impression. Another reason is to ensure it’s not just some spambot trying to connect with people willy-nilly. This connection came with a note. It said something to the effect of “I think we can help each other out, let’s set up a call.” I didn’t want to say yes, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to have another connection. Well, the phone call turned out to be a waste of my time as this person had obviously not done their research. They’d seen “content” and assumed they could sell me some service related to content. The content marketing goals of my job, clearly stated on my profile, didn’t match up with theirs. While this is common, the next story is even worse. Living in San Antonio, we’re home to the greatest basketball team that’s ever played the game- The San Antonio Spurs. As you’d expect, there are always deals on season-ticket packages. And there are sales associates who sell those packages. These sales associates are on LinkedIn. One such associate requested a connection. And with the connection came a message. This one stated that I could get a season ticket package to give out to potential clients, or to members of my team to boost morale, or as an incentive. Again, if this person had done their research, they’d learn that I wasn’t in charge of anybody at the time. I was also not directly meeting with clients. As much as I wanted to mess with the guy, my conscience won out and I told he’d be better off trying to sell to someone else. This is the most common issue with LinkedIn- people who see a title or someone who might have some cash, and they pitch them their service. A little bit of time spent looking into my profile would have saved them this time. They could have then focused it on someone who might actually need, and be inclined to buy, their services.

The Annoying

LinkedInAs much as I hate people connecting with me on LinkedIn to pitch me, I’ve resolved not to be that person. After all, what I do, and how I do it, is not something that I can wrap up into a tidy little package and hand off to anybody. This is grandstanding, it’s a fact of my job. I write, and it takes a lot of time to do it. Because I’m constantly creating content every day, I need to fill the creativity well. That involves interviewing people. Without LinkedIn, I would have to dig through websites and make a lot of phone calls to get to a specific person. LinkedIn can help cut through all that by giving me a direct line to the desired connection. That rarely happens. Sigh. There have been several people that I could directly help if they would just agree to a twenty-minute interview. But they either don’t monitor their LinkedIn profile directly, or they have someone else do it for them. As a result, getting in touch with them is impossible. What should have been an easy way to network with valuable business contact turns out to be another dead end. And so, it’s back to the long way. I have to call their company and try to talk my way through a couple dozen layers before I get in touch with the right person. Or maybe I’m just going about it the wrong way?

The Good

Let’s end this on a high note, shall we? There are some good things about LinkedIn. First of all, I use LinkedIn to check the pulse of my industry. As a content writer and someone who works in the publishing industry, I can’t afford to ignore what other people are doing. I do check other news sources for my information though. I would be remiss, however, not to keep a direct eye on my target audience. It also helps to know what’s going on in my industry. Secondly, despite all the spammers and connections who ignore me, I have made good connections. I’ve met a couple clients through LinkedIn and the experiences have been positive. They recognize my skillset and how it can compliment them in their professional endeavors. Another will always ask me for insider advice on publishing, which I’m happy to give. The fact that he keeps coming back and asking leads me to believe he needs more than just advice though. But that’s for another post. Thanks to LinkedIn, however, my professional career has been made easier. It’s no walk in the park, but a social network that makes networking easier is much appreciated. I can’t imagine growing my personal network through just face-to-face meetings. As confident as I appear to be on LinkedIn, in person, I’m awkward and socially inept. So that’s where LinkedIn helps me out. Which is nice. But they’re not the “magic bullet” to making my career take off. I still have to put in the work to make that happen. Sigh.

Why isn’t LinkedIn like LinkedIn?

LinkedIn, for all of its flaws, still has advantages. And those who are aware and know how to leverage them, LinkedIn is great. But LinkedIn has missed the mission of its mission statement— To connect the world’s professional to make them more productive and successful. I would say I’m marginally more productive and only slightly more successful. Part of that is my fault. I pick and choose how to use the platform instead of going all in. The other part is on everyone else on LinkedIn.LinkedIn Look at it this way; a lawnmower is meant to mow lawns. It’s not meant for cross-country driving. Although there are stories of people who have succeeded on such a journey with a lawnmower, it’s not commonplace. LinkedIn was meant to be used as just a networking site. It’s for professionals to talk shop and share knowledge. Instead, there are way too many sales people trying to use it to make their next sale. And they’re not even doing a good job of that. LinkedIn has benefits, but it will only reach its full potential if everyone uses it the right way.

3 Things to Know about Rise Broadband

There's the big players in the ISP industry with their usual technology. Then there's Rise Broadband; gaining ground doing it at a fraction of the cost.

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The technology and methodology used in the ISP industry (Internet Service Providers) is dominated by fiber, cable, DSL, and satellite. But there’s another one that’s gaining ground- fixed wireless. And the champion of fixed wireless is Rise Broadband. It hasn’t been easy for them, however.Rise Broadband The ISP industry has some big players- AT&T, Spectrum, Verizon, to name a few. And these big players have control of all the major metropolitan areas. There are some areas that are still “free,” but for the most part, it’s the big guys and not anyone else. For a new company to enter the space it would take a lot of money and a head-on type of tactic. But Rise Broadband isn’t doing that. And yet they’re succeeding. What else should we know about Rise Broadband?

Island Hopping

To understand how Rise can contend with the big players and carve out their own niche, let’s look back into history. World War II to be precise. While the Nazi’s expanded and sought to hold onto Europe, another conflict was raging in the Pacific. Here the Allies had to contend with the Empire of Japan. General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific, had a problem. The Japanese Empire, a much bigger and well-equipped force, had advanced throughout the Southwest Pacific, taking and fortifying islands all over the area. With this many fortified islands over such a large space, a head-on attack by the Allies would be costly and time-consuming. MacArthur opted for a different tactic, Island Hopping. As far back as the late 1800s, the idea of “Island Hopping” was proposed and even used in limited capacities; instead of a full-frontal assault, resources would be focused on only key islands. They could cut off other islands and isolate more dangerous threats this way. MacArthur used island hopping in a more expansive capacity. And it worked. It also saved time. As MacArthur found success with the tactic, the Allies were able to take strategic positions across the Southeast Pacific at a satisfying pace. Japan reacted by withdrawing and consolidating their forces. This allowed the Allies to retake more islands with little resistance. And they continued to use the tactic in their assault on Japanese forces until they reached the island nation itself. Rise Broadband, though it’s not fighting a world war, is doing something similar. Instead of trying to get into the metro and urban markets, they’re instead selling internet to rural areas. But they’re not selling the “usual” methods of delivering internet.

Fixed Wireless

Fixed wireless is relatively new in the ISP industry, but not unheard of. It’s no “best-kept secret.” If you haven’t heard of it yet it’s probably because of all the marketing of the other ISPs. That’s changing though. Fixed Wireless uses line-of-sight to transmit their signal from a tower to a receiver. There’s no need to install cables out to the home or business. What’s needed is a receiver installed on the property, and from there, Wi-Fi can be used to provide internet within range of the receiver itself. But that’s all that you need to know about Rise Broadband and fixed wireless.

It’s Cost Efficient

Instead of taking the time to dig and bury wires out to a structure, or install an unobstructed dish, Rise Broadband can install the receiver and related equipment quickly. There’s no need for cables to be pre-installed. All that is required is a power source. From there, Rise installs a receiver on the structure and ensures there’s a clear line-of-sight to the transmitter. If there’s no transmitter in the area they can build a tower there to install one. Or better yet, attached a transmitter to something tall. If there’s another tower nearby, or a grain elevator or just a tall structure will do.Rise Broadband Time is saved and the customer gets internet access much faster. This is how Rise is so competitive; their equipment costs a fraction of what the larger providers use. Installation is relatively quick, and they can bring the internet to areas largely underserved. With these lower equipment costs, Rise can use that money for other endeavors, like maintenance, customer service, and marketing. In a sense, they’re island hopping around the big players as opposed to taking them on directly.

It’s an Alternative

Rise BroadbandFixed wireless, specifically Rise Broadband, offers rural customers another alternative. For the longest time satellite was thought to be the only option available for those in rural areas. As Rise Broadband continues to expand, they’re finding a customer base eager to take advantage of something new. Rise also offers fixed wireless in urban and suburban areas as well. Even though Rise has been focusing on rural over urban, residents everywhere are open to a different delivery method for their internet. Especially when 50 Mbps download speeds are available!

They’re Leading the Way

As the largest fixed wireless internet provider in the US, Rise Broadband is setting the course for how these types of companies operate. Back to the island-hopping metaphor; Rise Broadband didn’t waste time and money trying to break into major urban areas first. This may have been the “logical” first step. Yet, they didn’t take it. Showing ingenuity, they opted instead to go after rural customers first. This worked well for them. Many of the normal internet delivery systems are often too expensive to install when terrain and distance get involved. They may not be the first ones to do it, but they’re the first ones to have significant success with it. And when something works, other people are likely to copy and improve upon that formula. There’s also the fact that many of the big players didn’t see a pressing need to speed up installation. When urban areas are growing and there’s a healthy customer base, taking care of the rural customers falls by the wayside. With fixed wireless, Rise Broadband had a way to deliver reliable internet and at a lower cost. And they could do it quickly. This doesn’t mean they’re without competition entirely. Many rural customers use satellite internet. Despite what many say, it’s a reliable means of internet delivery, and there are endeavors to strengthen it as well as improve latency issues. But Rise has a better option available now. As a result, many customers are willing to take it. This is how they’re building a loyal customer base.

Moving Up

Rise Broadband is still considered a “small” ISP. It is, however, the largest fixed wireless provider. By continuing with their “island hopping” like strategy, they’ll be able to maneuver around major urban areas and continue to increase how many customers they serve. Much like MacArthur himself, Rise is moving quickly to isolate and cut off a much larger force. Within the coming months and years, it may not be surprising to hear more and more about Rise Broadband. As of this writing, there’s no news of any change in their strategy. They’ll continue to expand as they’ve been expanding. Are you curious to see if they’re in your area? Check out Rise Broadband internet deals to see if they’re available. For those not familiar with history, MacArthur and the rest of the Allies did win over the Empire of Japan. Thanks to island hopping, many more lives were spared than if they’d gone for a full-frontal assault. While Rise is not seeking world domination, they’ve established their presence in the ISP industry and are showing no signs of slowing down.

3 Reasons Hulu is Helping Disney

Hulu is going to be owned by Disney soon. Good news for Disney, if they're okay with losing $1 billion. Yet, Hulu is actually helping them. Here's how...

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Hulu, one of the big three streaming services, is going to be owned by Disney soon. Well, 60% of it will be owned by Disney. And this will happen after Disney completes its purchase of Fox Entertainments assets. Good news for Disney. Except when Hulu costs them about 1.3 to 1.6 billion in losses. Yet, this isn’t a bad thing. Maybe not at first. Disney, like any company, wants to make money on its assets and not have those assets lose them money. Especially when that amount starts with a ‘b.’ The positive here is that Disney is going to be enjoying the returns on Hulu’s efforts. Sure, in the short term, Disney is going to lose some money. Some. It’s a big amount, no doubt about it. I’ve never owned $1 billion. I doubt I will ever be worth that much in my lifetime. Disney, on the other hand, is dealing in multiple assets and properties across the globe. A billion here, a billion there is an acceptable loss for them. At least, it is from my perspective. They’ll most likely earn that $1 billion back in a month from all the merchandise they sell. What’s really happening here is a training or an upgrade montage.

The Upgrade Montage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBGGEZSAfyY Nearly every action movie has a training or an upgrade montage. Sometimes both. This montage is a series of clips of the hero, or team of heroes (as in the case of the Big Hero 6 clip above), get some new trinket, ability, or skill. Then they figure out how to use it and use it well. If Big Hero 6 isn’t your type of movie, then check out others on the streaming service of your choice. Or on cable. But first, save yourself some time and money by checking out the best internet deals and packages. Now go watch an action movie right up to when the hero gets the upgrade. Then stop. It’s not enough to get the upgrade, the hero(es) in question must use it and in the right way. Time is at a premium when it comes to movies, however. Audiences are not going to sit and watch hours upon hours of training, mistakes, learning, mistakes, frustration, mistakes, more frustration, learning, mistakes, and on and on. That’s real life. People who are training themselves want a break from the monotony of training. They don’t want to watch it in a movie. To get around this issue, producers put all that training and upgrading into a quick montage. Little scenes with quick action, one-liners, some slapstick comedy, and then show the little wins. Once the little wins are established, they show bigger and bigger wins. By the end of the montage, the hero(es) are proficient in said new skill/ability/talent/technology. A big part of the training montage is the song. Sometimes it’s an instrumental piece, written to highlight the difficulty of the training and/or upgrading. As the montage progresses the keys change to a higher key, signaling an emotional uplift. This comes right as there’s a small win. The music then builds as there are bigger and bigger wins. Once the hero(es) manage to reach a predetermined level of aptitude, the music crescendos, and the montage is over. Case in point; Fallout Boy’s “Immortals” is edited down to fit the montage for Big Hero 6. The key changes are kept in to signify when there’s a small win, and on and on until all six members of Big Hero 6 reach the appropriate level of aptitude. Fallout Boy was a good choice for the film, playing to the younger audiences and the hip feel of the movie. If they went with a different band or sound, it would have taken away from the overall feel of the movie. In real life, unfortunately, there are no training montages. It’s a day-in, day-out grind to train and keep training. As people work towards a goal, there’s no background music. If there was an option to have a full orchestra playing while I worked, I think I would take it. Nothing like hearing music firsthand to really stoke the creative fires. For Hulu, they’re in the middle of their training montage. There’s no music, no short clips. But we are past the hard part.

Small Win

The Handmaid’s Tale won Golden Globes and Emmy’s this year, making it Hulu’s first original content to take home such honors. To capitalize on this, Hulu has begun to put money and effort into more and more original content. Endeavors such as these take time and money to pull off. About $1.3 to 1.6 billion in money to be exact. But it’s not a bad thing for Disney.

Long-Term Gains Over Short-Term Revenue Goals

Any new endeavor takes time. The Handmaid’s Tale is a signifier that Hulu is onto something that works. It may not be perfect, but it’s successful. And successful is better than perfect. What the drama has done is show Hulu what to do, how to do it, and where to improve the formula. Sure, Disney has their revenue goals, as all companies do. But to enjoy bigger revenues in the future, maybe taking a $1 billion loss will be worth it? From the lowly perspective of a content manager, that makes sense. Of course, we’re talking about large sums of money in the abstract. I can’t begin to understand how the accountants involved in dealing with the real money feel right now.

Better Strategy

Making money for the sake of making money is a bad strategy. I’ve taken jobs before simply for the money. Sometimes it was because I had to. There were bills to pay and children to feed. So I took a job I hated because it meant my children wouldn’t starve. Then there were the jobs that I took because I thought “Hey, more money, should be fun, right?” But I was wrong. So, very, wrong. This “more money” type of job came with a boss who had unrealistic expectations of me, not to mention he wasn’t completely honest with the requirements of the job. It also didn’t help that other people within the company were incompetent and that just made more work for me too. But I’d be making more money, right? That didn’t matter. After all the time I spent on the job, I barely had time, or energy, to enjoy the fruits of my labor. So I quit. Hulu is doing it differently. They’re focusing on what works and improving that than just focusing on what makes money. This comes back around for them. By focusing on what works, they will be making more money. And more efficiently too.

Calculated Risk

Everybody must take risks in life. Otherwise, life would be very boring. Companies must take risks too. Yet, companies need to be wise in the risks that they are taking. For now, Hulu is risking billions of dollars in losses for Disney to fill out it’s stable of original programming. They aren’t doing this recklessly though. As stated before, they know what works and they’re using that as a guide for further endeavors.

Montage Ends

Hulu has their small wins and as they continue to duplicate them, there’ll be more mistakes. It’s easy to say, “mistakes will happen, learn from them.” But for those who make mistakes, and must pick up the pieces afterward, it’s not so easy. Mistakes can be demoralizing. Learning from them isn’t always fun either. Hulu is doing just that, making their mistakes, picking themselves up, learning from them, and trying again. Maybe when it’s all over they can make their own movie about it and have their own upgrade montage to show the process. Should be interesting.