» Archive for the 'Movie Review' Category

Information Overload – The Movie

Thursday, May 21st, 2009 by Jonathan Spira

“How does Information Overload impact you?” is a question I’ve been asking knowledge workers for quite some time.  In the past six months, I began to capture their answers with a high-definition video camera.  If you think Information Overload isn’t really a big deal, see what the people I interviewed, including senior executives from IBM, NBC, RIM, and Siemens, have to say.  The answers may surprise you.

Information overload describes an excess of information that results in the loss of ability to make decisions, process information, and prioritize tasks.  Organizations of all shapes and sizes have already been significantly impacted by information overload: the problem costs the U.S. economy $900 billion per year in lower productivity and throttled innovation according to Basex.

Basex produced Information Overload – The Movie to illustrate the impact that the problem has on knowledge workers of all levels.  From top managers to administrative assistants, to knowledge workers in the trenches, information overload has a detrimental effect on our ability to perform at our best, leading to poor decision-making, slow project completion and stifled idea generation.  By 2010, the average number of corporate e-mail messages received per person per day is expected to reach 93.  Meanwhile, individual knowledge workers lose as much as 28 percent of the day due to unnecessary interruptions.

Information Overload – The Movie is immediately available in high-definition on YouTube, Blip TV, the Basex Web site, and  the Apple iTunes store.

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.

Conference Call

Friday, December 26th, 2008 by Cody Burke

At 3:25 a.m,, the mortgage calculator tool on the FSK Bank Corp website crashed for 2 hours and 9 minutes, causing a minor inconvenience.  The next morning, a conference call is scheduled to get to the bottom of the problem.

This is the set up for the short film Conference Call made by former Basex analyst Andy Maskin and released last week.  Maskin wrote, directed, and produced the seven minute film, which gives the viewer a glimpse of the people on the other end of an utterly pointless conference call.

Conference Call is an inside joke, the kind of film that if you’ve been there, on that kind of call, is funny and all too true.  There are six participants on the call, led by smarmy Nick, who not only joins late, but interjects himself in the conversation mid sentence, interrupting a question about heavy network traffic with “Heavy traffic, where? 2-85 looked clear to me.”  Awkward small talk ensues.  As people join the call, it becomes apparent that no one really knows anything about what happened, and the attempt to investigate the mortgage calculator crash is a formality at best, as Phil, the one who will ultimately make the final decision, never actually joins the call.

There are some genuinely funny moments in the film, most involving Nick.  He hits the mannerisms of a self-absorbed and clueless manager perfectly, mistaking Kevin the Australian of being British multiple times, and spouting vague requests such as “When will you know when you will know?”.  A hungover and barely conscious Cindy also brings some great comic moments, including the classic escape technique involving “another call.”

A really enjoyable aspect of Conference Call is the pacing, Maskin manages to capture the feeling of watching time tick away as you wait for someone to join, find something, or exchange meaningless small talk.  Luckily, the film is a funny seven minutes, unlike the awkward real life calls it reminds one of.

Conference Call is presented by Flight Risk Films, and can be viewed here.

Cody Burke is a senior analyst at Basex.