TV and Me: Adjusting to the Barrier
April 17, 2009 11:10 AM
A few weeks ago, I was laughing about some of my early efforts to create TV and Web TV projects, and the long, crazy course that followed in the few years I explored the business. I thought it’d be kind of cool to look back on it a bit, so my next few blog posts will do just that.
Let me just tell you. On the surface it seems like television is an easy business. You would just assume that an idea that seems great or interesting could be a show, and that to get it on TV you just have to tell someone. If they like it, they’ll take it. That’s that.
Anybody reading this knows otherwise.
I have never worked as hard as I have trying to make Web and eventually broadcast TV projects. It isn’t just because I was new to the business. Web TV was difficult because it was new to everyone. Broadcast, on the other hand, has the most brutal barrier of entry ever. It was quite a culture shock for someone who comes from an environment like the Web, where the barrier of entry is drastically less.
Of course, over time everything gets easier. You find the smoother processes and adjust to the conditions.
I am still in utter awe of it. I am not joking when I say that creating something like Facebook is nothing compared to creating something like this. I am not talking about running Facebook, monetizing it, etc. But in terms of putting something together, the difference between a Web site project and a TV project is literally like bunny hill versus Olympics.
For a really long time I suffered from the adjustment. It was exasperating. I seriously think it ages people.
Of course you stick it out. There’s always money and time invested in any project, and as an entrepreneur you want to see it to an outcome, regardless of what it is. I still struggle with the rigorous endurance required, but I’m much more in TV business shape now. I’m thankful.
I don’t know why it was so hard to adjust to the climate difference between it and the Internet industry, but it certainly was. Media business is far easier, even. It’s almost possible for anyone to walk into a network and appear on camera as a guest these days. I’ve seen it.
But television is very different. I realize now it’s streamlined for those who do it often, and you get a knack for the process, who is doing what, etc. However, it was quite a change from what I was used to.
This past year was the hardest, but without a doubt one of my first lessons in TV business was a hard (and funny) one. I will post it next week.