Wednesday, January 14, 2009


With more and more communications companies developing their own methods of high speed internet and television transmission, it should come as no surprise that Verizon has jumped on as well. The company has begun to roll out it's massive FiOS program. Which seeks to provide consumers with amazingly fast (roughly 50 megabytes a second) internet service and crystal clear high definition television. Rather than finding a way to shove more information at greater speeds through the existing copper wires used by most companies, Verizon seeks to accomplish this by replacing the existing wires with fiber-optic cables, which are much faster. The downside, however, is that these are also very expensive to install, with an estimated cost of $700 per home. Reactions to this have been mixed, and many are wondering if the costly move by Verizon is going to pay off for them, or if it is going to end up costing them money in the long run.

In regards to strategy, this is a perfect example to study the inner-workings of Verizon and find out what is going on with the company. One of Verizon's chief goals has always been innovation, and the company spends roughly seventeen billion a year on developing new products and strategies. Verizon has done repeated analysis of this move, and their planning has showed that even though FiOS may be costly in the short term, it has the potential for long term gains down the road. The company is attempting to move further away from traditional communication methods, and has begun to drop off in providing land line phone service (which will eventually be phased out entirely). To this end, the FiOS maneuver fits perfectly. Verizon plans to gain a competitive strategy advantage over their competition (AT&T primarily) by being the first to use new technology. It is a major resource investment for the company, and not one without risks, but Verizon is attempting to be a first-mover in their market, and the move does fit with their growth strategies.
Verizon has always been a company that has attempted to innovate. Although some of their recent actions have definitely left their customers and investors a tad bit puzzled. To find an example of this, we need only look back at the Alltel merger debacle. Although it has still not been finalized, and there is no word yet on the stance that the government is taking on the matter, the merger has been viewed by most to be a questionable decision at best. Verizon has recently shown up behind AT&T in overall profits, and for the company to acquire another division, especially one that is already in high amounts of debt is not a financially savvy maneuver.

Personally, even though Verizon has made some questionable decisions in the past, the FiOS service really does seem as though it will pay off. The service is currently up over one million subscribers from the previous year, and has released to very positive reviews in the public. Of course, it is a major investment, and some analysts have speculated that Verizon has the potential to lose over six billion dollars if things do not go as planned. However, Verizon has always been a company whose strategy thrives on being the first and the fastest. I feel if they stick with the FiOS service, and fully commit their resources, it will turn out positive for both the company and their customers.


Meet sexy singles!

Meet sexy singles!

Meet sexy singles!

Meet sexy singles!

If you were an adult (or even a young adult) during the 1990's, you may now be wondering whatever happened to the Supermodel. Models such as Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford ruled the runways and high fashion covers during this time. In fact, when one mentions the term 'supermodel', these are often the faces that come to mind. But over time the modeling industry seems to have gotten "watered down." There is certainly no shortage of models in the world. But for some reason or another, Supermodel Status evades them. So what has happened to this particular status? And furthermore, where has the Supermodel gone?

What is a supermodel anyway?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the supermodel as a famous and successful model. The most prominent criterion for being named a supermodel is that one must have some sort of celebrity status.

Anyone attempting to enter the modeling industry will tell you that becoming noticed by top agencies seems virtually impossible. The world of modeling can often be quite cold and ugly, with only a selected few being singled out for large campaigns and jobs. Surprisingly, the qualities that one had to have to be a "supermodel" aren't much terribly different than those one must have today. But there are some interesting reasons why this title is rarely bestowed on models currently in the business.

Models are no longer required to be "pretty."
The concept of what a model should look like has changed drastically over the years. At one time, blue-eyed blondes were all the rage. Eventually the world came to appreciate glamorous brunettes (like the late Gia Carangi), and eventually more attention turned to African-American models. The conditi ons for being a model were typically stringent, with ladies being required to adhere to strict physical proportions, while retaining their feminine curves. But over time, these standards evolved, and the subtle curves gave way to jutting hip bones, spindly legs, and bony shoulders. The faces once full of vigor, mischief, and seductiveness, began giving way to blank stares and disaffected expressions. In fact, the models strutting down catwalks in the years following the Supermodel 90's have been conventionally less "pretty" than their predecessors. Designers and agents began celebrating many different types of beauty. Models with unusual and exotic features (such as the androgynous Kristen McMenamy) started popping up on runways across the world. This served to be encouraging to the masses, as it allowed many more traditional looking women to enter the market and become successful---thus trimming away the notion of the "Supermodel."

"Video Killed the Radio Star"...

In 1979 a song called "Video Killed the Radio Star" was released by a British band called The Buggles. This song explains how the glorious days of radio entertainment were snuffed out by the introduction of television into society. The same concept might apply where supermodels are concerned. With the advent of reality television and major shifts in the entertainment industry, came the ability to become an instant star. Take Elisabeth Hasselbeck for example. The Rhode Island native parlayed her popularity on hit CBS show "Survivor" into a career in television, hopping from the Style Network, over to ABC's daytime show "The View." Though Hasselbeck is primarily known for her outspoken conservative views, her many red carpet appearances prove that the line between the "un-famous" and the infamous is very blurry.

This ideology applies to other genres in the entertainment industry. Becoming an instant celebrity through music or acting often boosts the artist's visibility. Endorsements and promotions often find these singers and actors thrust into modeling engagements. Thus, their increasing fame has ultimately edged out supermodels, as the entertainers are often just as beautiful (and more charismatic) than the models themselves. In a world where the ever-rotating demands of the masses drive the economy, people are finding that room for supermodels is slowly disappearing.