"Nothing in life is certain except taxes and death", said Benjamin Franklin. In the media our daily certainties are regulation and technology.
Since technology is about new business, new challenges and, we hope, new profits that's the starting point. Those of you with kids I don't need to tell about the new Sony PSP - the rest of you need to check this out. For the West Midlands this has a knock-on effect - it feeds directly into demand for our games production sector.
This is good news for West Midlands and GB Plc. It is also important to see what the big players are doing from a strategic point of view. If you look deeper at PSP you will see this extension of the games platform has extra functionality. You can keep and use photos and music on this piece of kit. This parks a tank on the iPod lawn.
Every teenager wants as much bang for their buck when they are spending their cash. Games and music sounds the perfect combination, playing to Sony's strengths. Sony has been under attack this year but perhaps, as with other late innovators, second mover advantage could maximise profits. This critical Q4 /205 will give us the numbers by which to judge this.
It is with sadness that I refer to the death an acknowledged expert in this area. I was lucky enough to be taught by Paul Geroski when I was at Business School.
Paul died just last week from cancer.
As chair of the Competition Commission he had an important role in UK regulation and the relevance here is that his research specialisms included innovation and business policy.
The principles and ideas we talk about these days in our strategy analyses were developed by Paul and his fellow academics.
Paul's local link is with Warwick University. His death is a sad loss.
Paul's move to regulation is indicative of the importance of this field for our sector. For those of you who read my previous piece on the premium phone line regulator, ICSTIS, the major consultation process on the new code is underway.
I have just been working with clients at the ICSTIS Forum and we now have until just September 23 to submit our comments on this major set of proposals.
This will impact companies in the West Midlands who have a significant part of this £1 billion/year. Now is the opportunity to have your voice heard and it is important that you do so. Benjamin Franklin was both a leading regulator, the only one of the Founding Fathers to sign all of the four major documents behind the creation of the USA, as well as being an extraordinary inventor.
Abraham Lincoln also had one of the first US patents (#6469). Regulation and technology were and will be critical parts of our business, to be managed effectively in a successful business.
* Anthony Robb-John is a media lawyer at Cobbetts, Solicitors