Friday, November 18, 2011

Talking Some Business Today

We're off on a Friday; and I see our US friends have a short week next week, too. It might be a quieter next seven days or so.

I just realized this a business post for the most part. I wanted to talk about San Pail and a few other things, but bah, some things catching my eye as a marketer and new business dude who's worked with a lot of start-ups got me rambling.

Seth Godin has been on a roll lately at his blog.
If you try something that doesn't work, try something else. If you have an idea to change the sport for the better and a superior slams the door in your face because they are focused on the fence and not jumping over it, try another door.  Trying to change racing via an effort is all that many of us ask of racings executives and participants.

I use a lot of items to handicap, and I use several items to enjoy it. One product I use is my Blackberry playbook. I can watch race video, read my printouts and pp's with ease. It's slim, light, can fit in a big back pocket, and it has been reliable. I paid $600 for mine, and this Friday you can get one for $199 via Black Friday sales across North America.

Big George Foreman, harness owner, grillmasta(!) and the former heavyweight champ is on twitter. He talks about harness racing sometimes, and his love for horses. I was surprised to see him so conversational. You can find him at @georgeforeman.

Yesterday was interesting at Aqueduct. Out of the nine winning horse's yesterday, seven had the #1 pace adjusted late fig, and the other two who failed to win with the top fig, were second. This is one of the more fascinating areas in handicapping. Some days things click with certain horses or certain metrics. Track bias, for example, can turn the entire odds board on its head. If you have a deep closer with top figs, they can be 3-1 fair odds on a fair track, 8-5 fair on a closing bias track, and 10-1 on a pure speedway.

Equinometry is a fine addition to the blogosphere. He looks at things handicappers are interested in, like takeout and ticket construction.

Grabbing and capturing and holding customers. Your cable company does it, as does your phone company, and many others. Once they have you as a customer and cultivate you, it makes it difficult for you to switch. For a subscription model, LTV (or lifetime value) is pretty much the only method you need to look at (with a healthy respect and back-modelling, for initial CPA's). It's the same way for racing via the net. If I land you for a month you might give me $100 in revenue. If I land you and keep you for years, you can be worth millions. I just do not see this in our racing ADW model - I simply see cannibalization and an intransigent focus on initial CPA's. I could be wrong, but that's what I see.

Speaking of models along these lines, Amazon.com started shipping their Kindle Fire this week at a bare-bottomed $199. It costs them more to make it, but their LTV says it's worth it. When you have a Fire you are linked to the Amazon cloud, Prime, and it spurs website sales. It is disruptive to the iPad.
  • Disruption occurs given two criteria. The first: that incumbents move upmarket to the most profitable segments, ignoring low-end competitors at the bottom of the market. The second: that the low-end competitor introduces a product with a scalable technology or business model advantage at its core that has the potential to displace the incumbent. This is exactly what Amazon has with the Kindle Fire. 
 Does racing have a disruptor to pull out of the hat? Probably, but it would take about 45 jurisdictions to agree to implement it. That would take effort.

Have a great Friday folks!!!

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