Hey, here’s a question…

…and I genuinely don’t know the answer.

I recently attended the Adobe Max conference and was one of about two thousand lucky recipients of a new Google TV. The unit, a Logitech Revue, arrived last Thursday, and I blogged about my initial reaction on Friday. Since then, I spent the weekend playing around with it more, customizing the UI a little, adding my own bookmarks, deleting some that I won’t use, moving some stuff around, and generally playing around on it, and I have to admit, it’s not bad. Combined with a nice little, entry-level HDTV (40″ LCD, 60Hz, HDMI) it’s a pleasant experience, and I stand by my initial reaction. It’s not bad, in fact, once I realized that I could watch Lynda.com videos on my TV over the weekend, my appreciation of it skyrocketed. I don’t have an HD converter box in my back room, so it’s just straight cable, and as a result, I’m not using the box to its fullest (no DVR functionality, no “Live TV”). I also still stand behind my sort of “consumer confusion empathy” point of view as well. I see the potential, but I don’t know if the mainstream consumer walking into a Best Buy is going to think, “oh, I need that” and move to spend $299 on a device that, at least in my mind, competes for Xbox, Playstation, Macbook AIR, and iPad eyeballs. Each makes a compelling argument. If I’m going to spend $299, why not just spend another $200 to get a dedicated little portable tablet that can browse the web, view video, and has the added benefit of being portable?, etc.

So it got me thinking. Google just reportedly offered $6 billion for Groupon. That’s a lot of money. Why couldn’t Google spend a portion of that subsidizing the shit out of Google TV? Why is it $299? Why not $49? Why not offer every television, DVD, Blu-Ray, game-box, manufacturer subsidized versions of Google TV as well? Why not offer every set manufacturer a $500 incentive to pass along to the customer? Imagine you walked into a Best Buy or Target to buy an HDTV and there were two models, both 42″ or 50″, whatever. One was $1500 and the other was $1000? Or more realistically, one was $1000 and another was $500, then on sale it was, say, $399? The only difference being the cheaper one had Google TV built in? Or even better, what if, for every HDTV you bought, Wal-Mart offered you a free GoogleTV? Imagine the ancillary sales for Logitech for cameras, Harmony remotes, etc?

Part of my frustration was the lack of content and apps when I powered mine up. Now early adopters are used to that. I had an Android phone for months before there was even one compelling app to download from the marketplace. I played Rainbow Six online with the same dozen or so complete strangers for months before anyone else I knew was on Xbox Live, so I’m used to being in virtual deserts, but how compelling would it be, from a developer standpoint to know that after this holiday season, everyone who bought a television was going to be a Google TV user on December 26th? Six billion (with a “b”) is a lot of fucking money. I think it’s technically a shit-load. One sixth of that is still more money than I can fathom, and I can fathom quite a bit. If you’ve got 6 billion to drop on something as ridiculous as Groupon, don’t you think you could put a little of that cheddar behind something you actually own and developed in an effort to see it gain traction?

What am I missing here?

Adobe Max 2010 – A peek inside my conference schedule.

As I mentioned last week, I’m attending the Adobe Max Conference this year in Los Angeles, and I’m really excited. As it gets closer and closer to Saturday, I’m gearing up to blog more and more, culminating in what’s essentially going to be a non-stop blog-tacular beginning on Saturday (the 23rd) and ending on Thursday (the 28th) of next week.

I plan on posting as much as I can in as many media formats as I can possibly squeeze into an already jam-packed schedule.

Speaking of schedule, I took the liberty of dropping my agenda below for you to check out. As you can see, it generally begins early enough, and runs continually through most days ending fairly late in the evening. It looks to be a couple of 12+ hour days with activities and sessions scheduled throughout most of my time out west. Now you can see why I get so excited about the conference and why I’m looking forward to it so much. It’s basically 24-hours-a-day immersion into all things Web/Interactive. If you do what I do for a living, and you do it where I do it, this is essentially the Super Bowl of Interactive Development.

Take a moment and give it a once over. If anything jumps out at you that you’d like to see me blog or write about specifically, by all means contact me directly and let me know what it is you’d like me to blog/video-blog about and I’ll make sure I give it the ol’ college try.

I’m really looking forward to trying my hand at video-blogging some of this stuff to try and get a more spontaneous-off-the-top-of-my-head reaction to the stuff I’ll see and do. Fingers crossed. If not, rest assured I’ll be writing until my hands fall off. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 24, 2010
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Creating Engaging Websites with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Adobe Design Achievement Awards
Monday, October 25, 2010
9:30 am – 11:30 am General Session: Welcome to the Revolution
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Dreamweaver and HTML5 & Javascript Based Widgets
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm From Design to CSS and HTML with Fireworks and Dreamweaver
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Creating Interactive Rich Media Advertising Campaigns with Video
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Sponsor Welcome Reception
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm Meet the Teams
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
8:30 am – 9:30 am Using Web Fonts Now
10:00 am – 12:00 pm General Session: User Experience: The Next Generation
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm The Future of Advertising
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Best Practices: Working with Flash Catalyst CS5 and Adobe Design Applications
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Sneak Peeks
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
8:30 am – 10:00 am AIR for Android: Discovering the Magic
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Designing with Fireworks
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm Adobe AIR Code Camp