Silicon Beach: At The Intersection of Tech, Media, and Entertainment

One day, eight panels, and over 20 speakers: every year, Silicon Beach at USC features game-changers and thought leaders from Hollywood studios, tech start-ups, and academia. “Silicon Beach is the umbrella term for the future of collaboration between tech, media, and entertainment here in Los Angeles”, says Jay Tucker, Director of USC’s Center for Technology Management and the event’s organizer.

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Anthony Citrano, EdgeCast’s VP of Communications and Marketing, speaking on the Start-Up 101 Panel at Silicon Beach at USC.

Silicon Beach’s focus is what’s going to be next in technology, mobility, content creation, distribution and delivery, while connecting SoCal entrepreneurs with large L.A. media companies. This made for a highly interesting mix of panel topics and speakers (you rarely get to see Netflix and Fox Broadcasting share the stage).

Here are the top 5 insights (of many) that we gathered at Silicon Beach 2013:

1. Implementing innovation takes time

Innovation can take up to 7 years to materialize. Having great technology is not enough. People have to believe in it, and it’s not always easy to innovate in big corporations. You have to be evangelizing.

2. Don’t pivot too quickly

The idea of pivoting has been somewhat overblown in the start-up scene. While it obviously has worked for some, there are also a lot of businesses that can succeed by simply making slight tweaks to their existing business model.

3. Piracy as part of big data analysis:

It’s fascinating how content and media companies have actually been closely analyzing piracy habits online and take them into account when investing into new distribution platforms and models

4. Don’t push second screen on consumers

Second screen apps are great only for certain kinds of programming, such as live events. For shows that require the viewer to pay close attention (such as series or movies), second screen app engagement is lower and sometimes not worth the efforts.

5. Building innovative companies

Any CEO, whether of a start-up or well-established company, shouldn’t be afraid of failure. They should bake risk taking into their company culture and establish reward systems that drive innovation by not punishing failure.

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