These two areas have always focused my interest, both personally and professionally. But one issue that I have often though about is that media and technology and not on the same dimension. Media is horizontal. A thematic business area, such as energy, healthcare or infrastructure, just to name a few examples. Technology, on the other hand, is vertical. It pervades every aspect of every business area.
In previous projects, such as Rojo Vivo or Factual, I failed at finding the right intersection between the two. Everything, starting from the partners with whom I launched those projects, suffered from this imbalances --and many other, not the point at hand today--, a factor which undoubtedly contributed to things going awfully wrong.
What am I referring to? My background and deep biases drove me towards not valuing technology enough. Perceptions of raw talent, business acumen, commercial expertise or even shared passions around media have empirically been much more relevant criteria when it came to designing past projects' basic architecture (i.e. ownership and initial team structure). Being truly technologically savvy was hardly on the map.
And what do I mean by technology? Not just what software engineers learn at university. We could call this 'product technology', and it is critical, but technology spans well beyond that. One of the fields in which I have felt more alone and somehow trapped, for example, has been accepting the crucial importance of developing appropriate management information systems and structured working protocols from day one. We could call this 'corporate technology'. And the funny thing is that, over time I have discovered that precisely those university-trained engineers, and not your typical business major or MBA, are often much more prone to sharing this view!
The 2012/2013 harvest should see the launch of professional ventures truly integrated with technology. WIP at this stage though...