Category Archives: jason schaeffer

Rise of the Warrior Poets..i mean cops..i mean…

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article in August of last year that caught my attention. It focused on the militarization of the US police force. “Rise of the Warrior Cop“, which showcased the exponential increase in SWOT teams across the US.

Book image below with same title/name.

rise of warrior cop

From the article in WSJ …”the country’s first official SWAT team started in the late 1960s in Los Angeles. By 1975, there were approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by the criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13% of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80%.”

In today’s NYT, they show a very captivating photo on the home page of of three armed SWOT type commandos rushing a protestor in Ferguson, MO. The article suggests this man was protesting a shooting. If so, why all the use of force? Curious to learn more.

military style domestic peace keeping

The question that starts to form could be…how many police officers do we need carrying sub machine guns, bayonets, or transporting in armored personnel carriers? This question can be viewed through the prism of (a) number of violent crimes committed over the last 30+ years and (b) number of crimes committed by assault rifles (and their ilk) vs smaller handguns and less powerful “force multipliers”.  Thus, maybe SWOT style responses are warranted in some cases, others possibly not (see Deterrence Theory as a possible organizing principle).

Anecdotal evidence suggests there is love affair with all things commando in the US, from navy seal books such as The Trident to modern day films such as Act of Valor or Hollywood blockbusters like Lone Survivor.

Presumably this love affair has a direct implication on how we staff our domestic policing forces and/or is a direct outcome of the much talked about “military industrial complex” in the US.

Education and the Physical Alternatives of Higher Learning (MBA or other)

Article on Poets and Quants

An interesting topic is the one posed by higher education and the intrinsic costs of physically attending a graduate program. Virtual learning and “online courses” speak to me for a variety of reasons at this point in my career/life..most specifically, i think it will start to open up a myriad of possibilities for middle aged employees who are intellectually hungry, desire additional learning (for the sheer pleasure of learning as well as sharpening the tools in the kit), combined with access to classes and world class professors.

Folks who cannot “up and quit their jobs” and go “back to school will benefit…and I believe there is pent up demand for an offering as our population ages. Another topic is the creation of hogwans for learning on the other end of the spectrum (children)..but again, i digress… (and not to be confused with Hogwarts).hogwarts

I surmise there is a bit of untapped demand for a new higher education learning product..if the quality is present and meaningful and defined by a strong brand (meaning ..the class/offering is orchestrated by a University such as Berkeley Haas or equivalent)!

Interesting to look at both the opportunity costs (lost revenue, etc) as well as time out of the market when a student leaves the competitive work force and are focused on academic learning with a structured degree.  When comparing physical attendance at a program vs online education, i have yet to see research on the efficacy of the education absorbed and learned.  There are calls for an MBA “test” at the end of the program to merit and measure the learning (and the ROI of attending a two year graduate program)..but hard to fathom we will get to that stage and find a common measurement tool.

This article and its startling title:  “Can half of the business schools go out of business” caught my eye with its click bait type hyperbole!


Richard Lyons, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting numerous times, sharing a breakfast here in LA as part of an alumni event and receiving a warm introduction by him as I spoke to the incoming MBA class a few years back…i take his perspective and views very seriously. He is a charismatic leader and visionary of higher education and has led the Haas school with much distinction.

His thoughts/commentary that within 5-10 years, a number of schools may/could go out of business due to market penetration of MOOCs is intriguing. He is fundamentally speaking to disruption in his discipline. Almost every industry of note over the last 1-2 decades, has gone through massive disruption due to technology (hardware and software), the connectivity caused by the internet of things, and most recently ..IP based content delivery.

Education, as it stands to reason, should not fare any better if the institutions hold true to the “old ways” of teaching and dissemination of its material.  A new model is being fashioned…wait and see! It will be fantastic!

64th Primetime Emmy Awards – Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media

I was fortunate enough to attend the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group event last eve on Lankershim (across the street from Disney Interactive).  I served as a “blue ribbon” judge, sitting next to Mark Cuban and a host of digital folk from MediaLink, Buzz Media  Crackle, Yahoo connected TV leads, etc.

The event kicked off with two categories from the Academy for our review:

(a) Enhancement to a Television Program or Series

Bravo’s Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen • Bravo Media and Magical Elves

NBC Universal
Bravo Media
Magical Elves

Game Of Thrones Season Two – Enhanced Digital Experience
HBO • HBO Entertainment


The Team Coco Sync App
TBS • Team Coco Digital in association with Conaco LLC & Turner Broadcasting System

John Wooden, Producer
Aaron Bleyaert, Producer
Conan O’Brien, Producer
Timothy Campbell, Producer

(b) Original Interactive Television Programming

Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media
Original Interactive Television Programming

Dirty Work • Fourth Wall Studios

Fourth Wall Studios
Rides TV

Psych HashTag Killer
USA • USA Network in association with Universal Cable Productions & Social Samba

USA Network
Universal Cable Productions
Social Samba

What’s Trending With Shira Lazar • Disrupt/Group

Damon Berger, Executive Producer
Shira Lazar, Executive Producer

The Govenors, Geoff Katz and Lori H. Schwartz were joined on stage with Theo Von, the host of “Primetime in No Time” on Yahoo! The auditorium was filled with an energized crowd, sitting next to the 10 foot tall illuminated Emmy “awards”(aka a winged woman, holding an atom).

The judging was followed by a reception and mingling with drinks and dim sum served up under a warm, starless valley eve.  Theo was a great choice to host the event, sparking a few off kilter jokes, but then finding his groove and settling in with the appropriate mixture of irreverence and decorum for the  crowd in attendance.

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Business Development Happy Hour – Financial news vertical

I hosted a BD gathering last week at the Coffee Shop down in Union Square.

Good turnout with business development professionals including Chris Hunter from Yahoo Finance, Mike Dehm and Stephen Smith from Reuters, Nolly Evans from CNBC, Carolyn Levy from AOL Money, Virge Cavalli from Bankrate, Josh Cohen from Google News, Sandy Brown from TheStreet and Marissa O’Hare from Forbes, to name a few of the attendees.

The CNNMoney BD team was in attendance, including Melissa Davis and Michelle Savage.

It was Mojito night in the back room where we swilled, spilled and chatted about online publishing, the soft Q’1 with respect to online sales, advertising networks, traffic from Google and Yahoo search, and other challenges facing this stalwart team.

Next BD gathering – TBD.  Shooting for a June timetable and may invite a few GM’s to pepper the conversation with product development and ad ops.