That’s the Ticket

Overnight successes rarely live up to that description. So many times in the technology world, someone will have a good idea, everyone starts talking about the possibilities of this greatest next big thing, and suddenly the hot air of hype is everywhere. Then the pinprick of inertia deflates the balloon of over-inflated expectations and yesterday’s great idea becomes another technology also-ran. In the meantime, companies and people continue to work on the original concept, ecosystems are born, business models are changed and the idea from so many years’ past becomes a reality and an “instant hit”.

The overnight success feeling is what I had when I stopped by the ETI Software Solutions' booth at TelcoTV 2010. Pete Pifer , the founder and CEO, had shared with me his idea of TV Ticket® some years back. He envisioned a world of pre-paid video and the advantages that a prepaid model would bring to both consumers and operators. Pifer, being a pragmatic entrepreneur, is not one to hype his ideas, so he continued to improve the idea and perfect it until the market was ready.

One of the keys for his idea to work was all-digital implementations of video networks. With IPTV and widespread implementation of digital RF, the patented TV Ticket pre-paid solution became ready for primetime. The advantages of a prepaid video service made sense, as it would open up the market to people with no or poor credit, provide a way for people to obfuscate their identity when purchasing certain type of programming and allow gifting of service from one person to another.

What I did not get, when Pete explained his idea to me so many years ago, were the various ways his invention could serve as a promotional tool. Lo and behold, ETI Software Solutions was using TV Ticket to promote TV Ticket at their TelcoTV 2010 booth and thoughts of using this as a promotional vehicle became obvious. In this brief video, Frank Gine, ETI Software EVP, explains what I could not envision when TV Ticket was just a mere idea. 

[Note, the above video is not of the same quality as when my video partner, Roger Bindl, is with me.  I missed Roger at this event!]