About

Patricia Handshiegel

Digital Dish covers the ins and outs of an Internet executive moving into the television arena. Disher Patricia Handschiegel is the founder of Stylediary.net, which she sold to Stylehive.com in November 2007. She has a background in Internet infrastructure and technology business, was an advisor to Kaboodle.com (sold to Hearst in 2007), and has contributed as an entertainment/media business writer for Venturebeat.com. She’s also been an early visionary of professional Internet TV content since 2005 and is currently an advisor on several entertainment/Internet projects. Always an entrepreneur, she had a highly profitable babysitting monopoly at 11, lent her writing skill to students at 17 and landed her first published national article at 23.

She has also worked as a ghost writer for a national TV correspondent. At 22, she was recognized nationally for promoting the growth of women’s hockey and advised companies on creating hockey products for women. She’s been quoted and profiled in dozens of media outlets since and is currently developing two book concepts. A serial entrepreneur, she plans to continue to build Internet, entertainment and media companies, with the goal of promoting social change and charities. She is currently involved in the use of technology to help find missing and abused children, and has contributed financially to TheJoyfulChild.org and other organizations. She is the founder of Look|Shop|List.com (in development).

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Digital Dish



Digital Entertainment’s Fatal Flaw?

July 25, 2008 8:57 AM

Not long ago, I attended a great conference where many high-level entertainment media and television executives spoke about the future of the Internet and their companies’ online initiatives. I’m not really the type of person to say something like this, but after a few hours, I wasn’t the only one in the room who noticed that though all were very talented and knowledgeable about the traditional part of their business, a lot of them didn’t seem to know what they were doing or talking about when it came to the Web.

The bigger disappointment, of course, wasn’t that they didn’t really understand the Internet business, but that only one person admitted it. Everybody else tried to sound like they were experts, and honestly, it wasn’t very convincing.

It no longer surprises me to see big media and entertainment companies struggling with the Web as they are. How could they be successful when a lot of their new-media departments are led and staffed with people from their traditional business?

I wouldn’t pretend to know development beyond what I’ve learned in the past two months, nor can I assume that I’d be able to successfully write a scripted series on my first pass, but that’s kind of what entertainment companies are doing to their executives regarding the Web.

The problem is, you are talking about two totally different businesses, with many different elements. There is no way a traditional entertainment or media executive could know what we from the Internet business know about the Web, just as you all know things we don’t about television, production and so on.

I believe the smart play at the moment would be to staff projects with a mix of executives from both. I’m not talking about the guy who has worked in the new-media department of a talent agency, but execs from the true Internet side, who have a history, knowledge in the business and have done this stuff.

I know it’s still hard to execute when you’re a giant entity, but perhaps creating your own incubator for Web projects is a solution. I’m not sure.

What I can say for certain is that there’s still time for entertainment to survive the current and coming disruption. But failure is certain if the industry continues to take the current approach. Coming Monday: How a tech girl would build a digital entertainment project now.

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Comments (2)

Scott:

It's always amusing to me when people say they have it figured out..the fact is that programmers on either side dont have it figured out.On the traditional side 75% or more of Tv shows fail.Do the traditional side folks have it figured out?

How many big budget movies bomb? with or without big name stars! Do the hollywood experts have it figured out? As someone who has been in media for 20 years,all kinds of media i'm here to tell you that no one has it figured out.You try your best,put out th best producr you can and hopefully people will take notice. It took MASH years before it became a hit same thing with 60 minutes.Si the question begs to be asked did the prgrammers who put those shows on the air have it "figured out" when they were failing or only when they became a success?..

The best thing that you said was to have a cross section of experinces and knowledge..no guarantee for success but it absolutely helps in trying to "figure it out"..

I would like to add...there are at least 10 companies that are in the public eye,internet companies that are run by "internet people"...guess what they are not making money because they cant figure it out...on the traditional side same thing..because they just cant figure it out...i think people need to be a little more humble with all they know,stretch there boundaries and be open to as many new ideas from as many people as possible.Perhaps then they will figure it out.

patricia:

@Scott, that's why I'm saying we need both. I've sat on both sides of the fence, and I really think that's the answer right now.

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