Economic Outlook
Internationally governments are feeling their way along the precipice because the depth and duration of the recession was beyond what most could clearly recall. They are moving – hesitantly – but still slightly dazed by the headlights of the near miss.

At the same time the U.S. government ground to a near halt because of the partisan politics that could last for two years.

Fortunately as in past recessions companies have finally become sick and tired of being sick and tired and realized that government – any government – can’t move things forward…it is up to business to get the job done!

Most of the 80+% of the employed U.S. population (10% tracked unemployed, 8% dropped off the grid) are certain that conditions are and will continue to improve. This was apparent over the holiday buying season where PC/CE/communications sales increased more than 7% with a greater percentage being cash sales…resisting mounting additional personal/family debt.

While company management is optimistic about growth they are paying closer attention to market changes, have enhanced their risk management and have much more effective, stringent cost control efforts in place.

That undoubtedly means low to modest workforce expansion and greater attention to product line extensions rather than revolutionary new product introductions at least for the next two years.

Or to put it another way, more workload/more performance pressure placed on the existing workforce until staff expansion is almost impossible to avoid.

Translation…you need someone who will empathize with you.

Content Flood
Audio and video content is driving, affecting almost every segment of the industry – pipelines, production/viewing systems/screens, professional/prosumer/consumer producers, distribution/storage providers.

Household bandwidth demand will more than triple this year.

Wired and wireless provisioning will be expanded as rapidly as possible around the globe but it will be only marginally in place by the end of 2011.

Provisioners are now looking more closely at their previous friends – now competitors.

Eating away at the telco and cable service providers’ sales increases will be such firms as Netflix, consumer “rights” entertainment provisioners such as ivi.TV, businesses increasing their use of video in their marketing efforts and the growing spectrum of YouTube/similar video sites.

Since most consumers don’t know what level of service they have (iPhone 4ers think the device delivers 4 of “something”), providers in the U.S. are rushing to “enhance” their voice/data/video services with their version of 4G (closer look in upcoming Content Insider).

Sprint initially announced 4G service but in fairness 4G standards hadn’t been established at the time. With the new standards Hess has phased out the advertising terminology.

This has not slowed T-Mobile and Verizon to promote their versions of “real 4G.”

Oh sure they don’t come close to the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) recently published 4G standards…that will be “a little more costly!”

Don’t worry the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) will monitor it, protect you…yeah right!!!.