Tales From The Main

Snapshots of small town life - zany characters and our neverending poker game.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Frustration – and a perspective on life from a trusted source

Frustration was the word of the day. Moose was at his best – calling down with crap and hitting miracle cards on the river. I really don’t mind since I will make money in the long (and short) run from players like that but it can get frustrating at times. All in all I turned a set three times – only to be rivered three times! When the dust settled I was down $500. Luckily I am on my get back in shape kick so there was no beer tab to pay on the evening.

Carol and I spent a pleasant – if somewhat decadent – weekend out of town with some friends. During the course of the weekend they mentioned that they had funded a charity that supports homeless and otherwise down on their luck people, and that they primary contributor to the down on their luck part for these people is gambling. Ouch. Especially considering that my friend had asked me about my business plans and I had somewhat enthusiastically told him about my ideas for marrying webcam technology with online poker to produce a new level of interactive gaming.

To be honest at first I just brushed the comment about poker being a form of gambling aside. Yes you do use money to keep track of who wins - but so does business. As for poker being true gambling - that's arguable - it really is a game of skill and over the long run a better player will always win - unlike roulette or slot machines - where over the long run the casino will always win. The real issue is that nothing of true value is actually created. No facilitation of value creation even occurs. Truly all that I might accomplish by building the most successful and wonderful poker engine the universe has ever seen, and attracting hordes of customers and in the process making myself fabulously wealthy, is to faciliatate the creation of legions of users of homeless shelters. Not really the outcome I am searching for.

So net net. Their comments hold weight. Couple that with the fact that they run a highly successful company yet still seem to have time to dedicate to charity, family and fun – more so than even Carol and I – leads me to believe that I need to rethink my choice of entrepreneurial activity. I still think that macro trends in our world are conspiring to bring about an increase in the desirability of video contact between people – I’m just going to rethink how I monetize that interaction.

Over the years I have been toying with the concept of immersive teleconferencing. Yes I know that it has been talked about for years and has existed in rudimentary form. These days however there is a definite transition from lab to field – company’s like HP are releasing systems – albeit expensive systems – that mimic face to face contact and allow the users to suspend their disbelief about not actually being in the same room. I’m currently reading a business book about moving your company’s product away from competitive oceans into ‘blue’ oceans and feel that I have a germ of an idea for blue ocean videoconferencing. Stay tuned.

Hours Played 8
Net - $500

Hours Played 107.5
Year to date net of expenses + $2681.00
Hourly rate + $24.93


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