Odd and sods from a busy week

May 8, 2009 by Dave Haynes

My apologies for not writing very much the last little bit, but it has been crazy busy.

Among many things, I started my new gig. There are press releases involved with the firm (not about me), so detail on that needs to wait a few more days. Suffice to say I am still in the DS space, though happily not selling just one kind of pots and pans.

The gig necessitates me actually cleaning myself up and leaving the bunker most days to move in the real world, and I am once again tasting the sweet nectar of 10 km/h (for you Americans, mind-wobbling SLOW) Toronto rush hour traffic.

The gig also has me running around quite a bit seeing people and things off my normal footpath, and one thing I have had reinforced is how many screens there are in retail settings that AREN’T working. You walk through a retail section of an office complex and see all kinds of screens, but many of them are off. Sheesh. Why’d they bother?

Also mysteriously off the last three days, the United Mobile Broadcasting Corp. screens on Toronto’s Go commuter rail system. I saw three different cars installed with the screens over three different trips, and each time they were black. The technology part is, I think, well done, but the programming concept is terrible and I’ve never seen many sold ads. Is the system just off because of a glitch, or really, really off?

“Yeah, whatever” is holding a narrowed lead over Digital signage and DOOH in the poll over on the right to scientifically determine, once and forever, what to call this industry.

Radio silence regarding The Digital Signage Show in Las Vegas. Somebody must have gone to it, but I have seen nothing written up other than the usual press release blabber. How’d it go, Mr. Dvorchik?

And Wireless Ronin was forced by those damned securities regulators to post their quarterly results on Thursday. The short story, they’re still bleeding money and trying to cut operating costs. The good news is the company revenue mix is starting to shift more to software and rely less on hardware margins. The bad news is they are not selling a lot of it (not that many firms are right now). Ronin is down to about $12 million cash and securities, which at the current burn rate gives them a year or so.

The company is certainly not the only one having some big challenges these days, cutting costs (people) to deal with it or looking to sell the farm. I don’t want to cause grief for the source, so will say only that one of the bigger software houses has bingo’d its full business dev team in the last few weeks, and also let three senior developers go. Not good. 

But there are signs the economy is turning and based on the activity my new guys are seeing, cause for plenty of optimism. 

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