Society and Media
23 September 2013
What do we do when nobody knows anything?
- Fixed costs are really high, you need to spend all your money before you
know if its going to be successful
- Nobody knows anything
- How do you know what you have to make if you don’t know if it is going to be
successful or not.
- They fired Ron Myers because they wanted him to be the last person to
know, so that he wouldn’t take any of his people with him.
- Ron Howard, is a pretty well known person, but he still couldn’t get support
from studios to make this movie. There is a narrative that things are
constantly getting worst, and it is all about making money. However he
disagrees and he says that no there are a lot of new stuff coming out.
78 Million in Red Ink
- there is a problem with uncertainty, because they filmed a crash scene but
they didn’t use it, a waste of 2 million dollar. They didn’t know what it was
going to look like, they have to spend all the money and they don’t know how
it is going to turn out. It seems like a good idea but then when you film it, it
doesn’t look as good.
All Hits are Flukes
- All hits are flukes, however there are three rhetorical strategies that you can
use, genre, reputation and imitation to help it become a hit.
- One way we can get a desired outcome is to apply a frame, and these frames
are genre, reputation and imitation.
- They tend to frame things based on the reputation of people who have made
- If you frame it with genre, people will kind of expect how the way it is. It is
clearly signal to people of what you are doing.
- They are doing this for advertisers, because that’s where they are making the
money. They also have to please their bosses. Most decisions in these
industries are because of fear. It is not about making a lot of money, it is
about how do I not lose a lot of money.
- These rhetorical strategies can predict whether or not a show gets on the air,
however it cannot predict whether or not it stays on the air.
How to Make Decisions Under Uncertainty
- Organization Decoupling: one of the ways that organization maintain
legitimacy. It is a five dollar way of a one dollar concept. It is what you say
you do and what you actually do. The way you explain your decision versus
what you do. They use audience metrics, looked at focus groups and market
testing. But this is a lie they don’t actually do this. This is how the industry say they make decisions by using audience metrics but they really don’t. They
will take it to the studio executive, and find the comments that relate to the
studio executive and throw away all the contradictions of what the studio
- Publishers look at book scan so that when they are trying to publish their
book, they compare it to books similar to your idea, and see whether they did
well or not. However when presenting your ideas to the publisher, people
tend to remove the bad books that flopped and focus on the books that did
well to compare their book to. This is how people pretend to make decisions
- How do they actually make decision: This is called the Garbage Can Model.
- Under conditions of uncertainty when people don’t know what the outcome
will be people will go haywire and not behave rationally. This also happens in
organizations where you have a whole bunch of people that are hierarchical
organized, they tend to argue about the stuff that doesn’t matter, and only
focus on the important things in the last two minutes.
- They pitch problems and then you have a whole bunch of people giving
solutions, and they all give their solutions and there is not hierarchy. Then
you have solutions that people have, but they don’t ha