One thing heavily overlooked is how technology shrinks the supply chain.  By supply chain I mean in the broadest and most general sense how a product or service is ultimately delivered through to the end user.

This morning Fred Wilson wrote about Demand It! From Eventful.  With Demand It! the basic concept is simple – users demand a certain service (movie, concert, or other event) and if users can accumulate enough “demands”, the event will come to their location. Historically, concert organizers played an important intermediary role.  Through the use of technology, bands can no identify the most attractive markets and sidestep any analysis previously done by intermediaries.

Technology also helps to capture a more precise quantitative metric and I believe this is an important reason why technology is able to shorten and consolidate the supply chain generally.  Intermediaries in markets like summer concerts would frequently rely heavily on their understanding of how successful a certain genre of music would be within a given market.  Historically bands would be beholden to these intermediaries, but they can now rely on a more quantitative measure of interest within a given geographic market.

There are a plethora of other examples of how technology has shrunk the supply chain.  The move to digital files has allowed content creators to deliver directly to the end market because the move to digital significantly curtained shelf space scarcity. With shelf space no longer a constraint, content creators and end users are no longer beholden to intermediaries like record labels and music stores who have historically provided a vetting process to determined what content passed down the supply chain.  Because of constraints like limited shelf space downstream in the supply chain, these intermediaries culled or funneled the content that actually made it to the end consumer, but with digital files producers can now go directly to consumers.

eCommerce solutions allow producers of a product or service to deliver their product or service directly to the end user – in many instances bypassing several layers of retailing. Airline ticketing provides one of the best examples of how the move to eCommerce shrunk the supply chain between producer and the end-market buyer.

Kickstarter is another example of how technology is shrinking and consolidating the supply chain. The list goes one. With unlimited choice, the importance of search and curation are certainly key.  And creating a relationship with a fickle consumer is clearly easier said than done – but we’ll save these for another day.

With technology shrinking the supply chain and consolidating players within the supply chain, end users can work quickly and easily back up the supply chain.  This is exactly what is happening in the case of Demand It!. End users have the able to push their wants and desires back up through the supply chain. Quirky, which uses a wisdom-of-the-crowds approach to product development is another example of how consumers can push their desires up the supply chain.

The shrinking and consolation of the supply chain will also open up new services and opportunities for end-users to push their preferences up the supply chain. Over a decade ago John Hagel and Marc Singer wrote about infomediaries, which are services that act as a personal agent on behalf of consumers to control their personal information. is an example of these infomediaries. Project VRM is another example of how users might leverage infomediaries to work up the supply chain.

Lately, American Express has been very active integrating promotions with social platforms.  I first noticed foursquare deals a few months ago and this past week noticed Amex has several Twitter-related promos running. Both leverage Amex’s recently launched (relaunched?) Amex Sync.  Essentially, Amex card holders get pre-specified discounts when they perform certain tasks on social platforms (ie check-in somewhere using foursquare or tweet using a certain hashtag) and use a linked Amex card to make purchases.

It is any interesting approach for several reasons. First (as in the case with twitter), it broadcasts both that the user made a purchase somewhere, but also that they made a purchase using their American Express card.  In the case of foursquare, I imagine most users check-in to a location before they make a purchase.  Seeing the Amex deal listed provides a reminder to use the linked Amex card right before the purchase is made. Finally, social is largely a mobile phenomenon – something I plan to expand upon later.  This provides a natural intersection from which to influence purchasing behavior.

I’ve written in the past how adoption always follows an s-shaped adoption curve. When it comes to digital data adoption we are in the fat (steep upward sloping) part of the adoption curve.

Reuters reported on Monday that Google is now streaming 4 billion videos a day.  Moreover, 60 hours of video content is uploaded every minute -suggesting it would take 10 years to watch just want is uploaded in a single day.  Sure there is duplication. Storage is “free” and whenever a resource is free, it tends to be wasted. Reuters reports YouTube is only making money on about 3 billion videos streamed weekly – would be interesting to know the make-up of those videos.

Perhaps most interesting will be what YouTube does with their Original Channels. Some of these media partners include the likes of Madonna and Jay-Z.  YouTube has become the MTV of the digital decade.

It surprises me how many Internet properties overlook network theory. With storage prices at zero for the end user, aggregators win.  Aggregators are the bookmaker of the digital decade.

Gigaom reported that a future Boxee Box upgrade will allow users to access live over-the-air TV programming.  I’m a big fan of Boxee and of the Boxee Box.  The ability to search across different video content services is a key element of what TV needs to be.  As I’ve written about in the past, universal search – if it can ever be delivered – is an important aspect of the future of TV.

Certainly OTA matters. Something like 40-60 percent of the TV programming US households watch still come from the channels available free over-the-air.  But with the OTA tuner dongle, users will still need to install a digital TV antenna and herein lies the hurdle.  OTA programming can be great uncompressed HD content – but the need to set-up the antenna is still a big (enough) hurdle from keeping many from relying solely on OTA and other Internet-delivered content. When the mass market can access “OTA” video programming across an Internet connection and not be beholden to an antenna, then will consumers truly start to move away from traditional paid TV services to other online delivered content.

It was announced yestereday that Richard Branson made a personal investment into the mobile payment technology Square.  I’ve recently been using square and absolutely love it.

Amazon is now a library – sorta. Last week, Amazon launched the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library which gives Kindle users who own an actual Kindle device (and not just use the Kindle app on other devices) AND are Amazon Prime subscribers access to 5,000+ books they can “borrow.” A few things worth noting:

1) this is probably the first example of a subscription service for digital books.  We have subscription services for other digital content (music, video, games) so books are a logical step. I assume all digital content will eventually be available either through a unit price or through a subscription service.

2) Amazon is quickly making all of their subscriptions a part of their Prime offering.  Prime subscribers now have a digital video subscription (instant streaming of movies and TV shows), a digital library subscription, and a free two-day shipping subscription. With each addition, Prime subscription becomes more attractive to two audiences, the first audience is the group that actually wants the new additional offering and the second audience is the group that finds the new addition attractive on the margin (and of value when coupled with the entire suite of services).  Ultimately this raises the number of overall Prime subscribers which in turn provides Amazon with more collective bargaining power and consequently the ability to increase the value of what is offered.  In other words, Amazon can go to the studios or publishers or whomever and say, “hey we have XXX million subscribers to our video/book/fill-in-the-service and we’d like you to do/provide/settle for….”

Mary Meeker’s 2011 Internet Trends if you haven’t seen them already.  You can access the slides here.  I’ll add my commentary when I can.