Gerry Gouy is the New York based Global Senior Business Development Director for MTV Networks International - the world's largest television and mobile video network. Gerry is heading to Sydney for XML "Global Media Ideas" where he'll share with us “The war for your TV: Dispatches from the front lines”.
1. When should you start a business?
If you genuinely believe that you have a marketable solution to a consumer need and you can serve that need better than anyone else then the time is NOW! And of course it helps if you can look at the journey as a large part of the ultimate reward, rather than being motivated primarily by a desire to get rich.
2. How do you turn a creative idea into a business?
Doing your research thoroughly before launching your business will ensure that your product goes to the right market – I see many great creative business ideas globally which suffer because not enough advance thought has been put in to taking them to the right market.
3. Where do you find your inspiration for ideas?
Despite all the technology-driven communication tools available, there is no substitute for face to face discourse and the idea-fest of group meetings to stimulate and bring out creativity. From a global business standpoint that translates to ensuring regular meetings with both large and small potential partners alike – the most creative ideas right now seem to be emerging disproportionately from smaller organizations in smaller countries.
4. What feedback do you take and what do you disregard?
From a global business driven viewpoint, any metrics-based feedback should be prioritized. But no feedback should ever be disregarded – even poor feedback tells you something potentially useful about the person or organization delivering it.
5. Who was the first person to believe in you?
Growing up in Zimbabwe the teachers at my first school made me feel as if anything was possible. Some of them were nuns from Eastern Europe and they imparted a strong sense of independence and self-sufficiency which has stood me in good stead for moving around the world.
6. What has been your biggest creative or business challenge to date?
The increasingly fragmented global video distribution landscape is what’s keeping me awake at night right now (literally as I write this…). Audiences are fragmenting at the same time as devices that can play video are proliferating. Put simply, it’s the most phenomenally interesting time in history to work in media.
7. What excites you most about digital media or technology right now?
The instantly-global and multiplatform nature of creativity – especially in the form of video – is incredibly exciting, as is the opportunity to work on creating the distribution business models which support that evolution.
8. How do we encourage a culture of creativity and innovation?
Beyond the obvious answers such as leaders needing to create the environment and the promotion of clusters of idea-incubation, the biggest hurdle seems to be around how to drive the best ideas to implementation. When I think about MTV’s globally successful mobile apps partnership with Australian transmedia company Chocolate Liberation Front – building global success networks and looking beyond your own back yard seem to be key.
9. What do you believe is possible that many don't?
I believe that time travel is possible. Or rather I should say that I wish it could be true – not because I have lofty ideals of travelling back to Rome in its heyday or Paris in the ‘20s. My time travel goals are a lot more downmarket: I would travel back to Brooklyn in 1977 on a Saturday night to interact with the real-life characters who inspired Saturday Night Fever, or maybe back to Sydney in 1979 to see INXS or Midnight Oil play a pub gig, or even to a Wembley pub in May 1981 to celebrate with Tottenham Hotspur fans after winning the FA Cup final.
10. What will you be talking about at X Media Lab in Sydney?
“The war for your TV: Dispatches from the front lines”
How the key players globally in Search / Digital Retail / Social / Consumer Devices / Apps / Connected TV are gearing up to fight for chunks of the new TV, and how that landscape is unraveling in various countries from South Korea to Russia and Brazil.
You can meet Gerry at X Media Lab "Global Media Ideas" - Register Today!