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Jul
11

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2013 – Day 3 – The Drunkening

Manka Bros., Khan Manka, Herb Allen's Sun Valley Conference 2013, Sun Valley Lodge, Bin Tran, Vin Tran, Lee S Ainslie III, Yousef Al Otaiba, Hans-Holger Albrecht, Paul G Allen, James Anderson, Marc Andreessen, Michael Angelakis, Tim Armstrong, Nikesh Arora, Neil M Ashe, Emilio Azcarraga, Manvinder S Banga, Lionel Barber, Craig R Barrett, Willow Bay, Andreas Bechtolsheim, Marc Benioff, Jeffrey Berg, James Berkus, Michael S Berman, Mark Bertolini, Gary Bettman, Jeff Bewkes, Jeffrey P Bezos, Aneel Bhusri, The Right Honorable Tony Blair, Gregory R Blatt, Anthony H Bloom, Michael R Bloomberg, Steven R Boal, Scott A Bommer, Cory A Booker, Jeffrey H Boyd, Sergey Brin, Glenn Britt, Tom Brokaw, Michael J Brown, Howard G Buffett, Susie Buffett, Warren Buffett, John Burbank, Stephen Burke, Erin Burnett, Ursula Burns, John E Bush, Jeanie Buss, John A Canning Jr., Chase Carey, Wences Casares, Mark Casey, Kenneth Chenault, Peter Chernin, Brian Chesky, Richard Chilton, Chris Christie, Lewis Cime, Adriana Cisneros, Gustavo Cisneros, Vittorio Colao, Timothy Collins, Patrick Collison, Timothy Cook, Anderson Cooper, David Corkins, Delos Cosgrove, Dick Costolo, Cristian Croitoru, Henry Crumpton, Jose Luis Cutrale, Will Danoff, Philippe Dauman, Christopher Davis, Alfonso de Angoitia, John DeGioia, Diego Della Valle, Brian Demain, Andre Desmarais, David DeVoe, Feroz Dewan, William DeWitt, Barry Diller, Daniel Doctoroff, Jonathan Dolgen, John Donahoe, Jack Dorsey, Michael Duke, Mathias Dopfner, David Ebersman, Wesley Edens, Marvin Edwards, Eric Eisner, Michael Eisner, John Elkann, Thomas Evans, Randel Falco, Jose Antonio Fernandez, Michael Ferror, Niall W. A. FitzGerald, Thomas Friedman, Michael Fries, Tommy Frist, Daniel Fulton, Michael Fux, Mala Gaonkar, Whitfield Gardner, William Gates, Melinda Gates, Julius Genachowski, Daniel Gilbert, Thomas Giovine, David Goldberg, Roger Goodell, Bing Gordon, Donald Graham, Brian Grazer, Brad Grey, John Griffin, Andreas Halvorsen, Reed Hastings, General Michael Hayden USAF, James Heavener, John Hendricks, John Henry, John Heyman, Kazuo Hirai, John Hock, Reid Hoffman, Won Pyo Hong, Lisa Hook, Ben Horowitz, Drew Houston, Robert Iger, David Ignatius, Martin Indyk, Phillip Jackson, Eli Jacobs, Paul Jacobs, Robert Johnson, Salar Kamanger, Peter Karmanos, Alexander Karp, Michael Karsch, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Keating, Brian Kelly, Muhtar Kent, Joseph Robert Kerrey, Dara Khosrowshahi, Seth Klaman, Joel Klein, Peter Klein, Philip H Knight, Victor Koo, Robert Kotick, Robert Kraft, Henry Kravis, Ynon Kreiz, Blake Krikorian, Ananda Krishnan, Stan Kroenke, Daniel Lamarre, Michael Larson, Martin Lau, Michael Leavitt, Jay Lee, Eric Lefkofsky, Theordore Leonsis, Max Levchin, David Levin, Phil Libin, Martin Lipton, Bryan Lourd, Kenneth W Lowe, Michael Lowenstein, Dan Lufkin, Dennis P LYnch, Michael Lynton, Maurice Levy, John Malone, Robert Marcus, Morris Mark, Donald Mattrick, Kathleen A McCarragher, General Stanley A McChrystal, Andrew McKenna, General Montgomery C Meigs, Lorenzo Mendoza, Ron Meyer, Roberto Mignone, Hiroshi Mikitani, Bill Miller, Kenneth Miranda, Thomas Monahan, Leslie Moonves, Luis Alberto Moreno, Dan Moskovitz, Craig Mundle, James Murdoch, Rupert Mudoch, Lachlan Murdoch, Nathan Myhrvold, Michael Neidorff, Jonathan M Nelson, Vivi Nevo, Sam Nunn, Michael E O'Hanlon, Daniel J O'Keefe, Don O'Neal, Ronald L Olson, Evan Osnos, CL Butch Otter, Michael Ovitz, Larry Page, Stephen G Pagliuca, Saul Pannell, Mark Papa, William Pappendick, MIchael Pausic, Minxin Pei, Francois-Henry Pinault, Mark Pincus, Laurene Powell, Lawrence F Probst, Rebecca Quick, Thomas Rabe, Jay Rasulo, Jerry Reinsdorf, Danny Rimer, Richard Riordan, Ambassador Charles H Rivkin, Brian Roberts, James Robinson IIi, James Robinson IV, Fernando Rodes Vila, Brian Rogers, Congressman Mike Rogers, Charlie Rose, Daniel Rose, Wilbur L Ross, Haim Saban, Karim Sadjadpour, Sheryl Sandberg, Ricky Sandler, Ted Sarandos, Fayez Sarofim, Nassef Sawiris, Eric Schmidt, John Schneider, Christopher Schroeder, John Scully, Allan Selig, Nicole Seligman, Eric Semler, William Siegel, Herbert Siegel, Ben Silbermann, Christopher Silbermann, Louis Simpson, Eduardo Sirotsky Melzer, Andrew Sorkin, Sir Martin Sorrell, Thomas Staggs, Cristina Stenbeck, David Stern, Michael Stone, Sir Howard Stringer, Robert Swan, Peter Thiel, Mark Thompson, Sebastian Thrun, Thomas Tull, Peter Ueberroth, Joseph Vacanti, Jeffrey Van Harte, Owen Van Natta, Martin Varsavsky, Leftie Vaughn, Michelangelo Volpi, Alexandre Von Furstenberg, Dian von Furstenberg, Casey Wasserman, David Weinberg, Judd Weinberg, Jeff Weiner, Harvey Weinstein, Wallace R Weitz, Robert Werbel, Michael White, Meg Whitman, Jim Wiatt, James Williams, Fred Wilpon, Jeffrey Wilpon, Fred Wilson, David J Winters, Nicholas Woodman, Major General Amos Yadlin, Jerry Yang, Jed York, David Zaslav, Dirk E Ziff, Gianfranco Zoppas, Mark Zuckerberg

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2013

Day 1 – It Begins

Day 2 – Build-A-Bike

Day 3 – The Drunkening

Ugh.

I’m sure the planners of these conferences (not just Herb Allen’s but corporate offsites the world over) always dream great things will happen – that an idea will emerge that changes the world; that partnerships will form to create new and better companies… such wasted optimism.

And at the beginning of the week, most attendees seem to go along with the party line (drinking the Kool-aid and vodka, if you will).

And even though I have been cynical from the beginning (read every Day 1 post I’ve ever had from previous conferences (2009201020112012 – and 2013) – deep down there is a slight tinge of hope that this might be worth my time.

But then the week drags on – and we drink at the bar late at night – have a hangover breakfast with lots of greasy meats – go to some mindless panel about how important content, sports and new distribution platforms are in all our lives – play golf – get drunk – eat wedding caliber food – get drunk some more (repeat repeat repeat)…

Maybe it’s because most of the attendees (like me) are so old and set in our ways.

Perhaps the new ideas will come from the Herb Allen III conference in Phoenix next year (because Herb Allen III is younger!) that focuses on new media… younger moguls, newer, fresher ideas (based on older, staler ideas) – a new energy that everyone seems to need.

Or not.

The biggest problem with Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference is the new moguls all try to act like old moguls – try to hang with the heavy scotch drinkers and cigar smokers, try to wear the Polo shirts that only an old mogul can look right in… it’s not easy to be an old mogul and actually look like an old mogul.

Out of the millions of stiff, awkward middle managers in media companies around the world only one or at most two will rise to become a true mogul (i.e., Ben Silverman will never be a mogul – try though he may; and the jury is definitely still out on Thomas Tull who is attempting to buy his way into moguldom).

You can’t fake it. It has to be organic.

Manka Bros., Khan Manka, Herb Allen's Sun Valley Conference 2013, Sun Valley Lodge, Bin Tran, Vin Tran, Lee S Ainslie III, Yousef Al Otaiba, Hans-Holger Albrecht, Paul G Allen, James Anderson, Marc Andreessen, Michael Angelakis, Tim Armstrong, Nikesh Arora, Neil M Ashe, Emilio Azcarraga, Manvinder S Banga, Lionel Barber, Craig R Barrett, Willow Bay, Andreas Bechtolsheim, Marc Benioff, Jeffrey Berg, James Berkus, Michael S Berman, Mark Bertolini, Gary Bettman, Jeff Bewkes, Jeffrey P Bezos, Aneel Bhusri, The Right Honorable Tony Blair, Gregory R Blatt, Anthony H Bloom, Michael R Bloomberg, Steven R Boal, Scott A Bommer, Cory A Booker, Jeffrey H Boyd, Sergey Brin, Glenn Britt, Tom Brokaw, Michael J Brown, Howard G Buffett, Susie Buffett, Warren Buffett, John Burbank, Stephen Burke, Erin Burnett, Ursula Burns, John E Bush, Jeanie Buss, John A Canning Jr., Chase Carey, Wences Casares, Mark Casey, Kenneth Chenault, Peter Chernin, Brian Chesky, Richard Chilton, Chris Christie, Lewis Cime, Adriana Cisneros, Gustavo Cisneros, Vittorio Colao, Timothy Collins, Patrick Collison, Timothy Cook, Anderson Cooper, David Corkins, Delos Cosgrove, Dick Costolo, Cristian Croitoru, Henry Crumpton, Jose Luis Cutrale, Will Danoff, Philippe Dauman, Christopher Davis, Alfonso de Angoitia, John DeGioia, Diego Della Valle, Brian Demain, Andre Desmarais, David DeVoe, Feroz Dewan, William DeWitt, Barry Diller, Daniel Doctoroff, Jonathan Dolgen, John Donahoe, Jack Dorsey, Michael Duke, Mathias Dopfner, David Ebersman, Wesley Edens, Marvin Edwards, Eric Eisner, Michael Eisner, John Elkann, Thomas Evans, Randel Falco, Jose Antonio Fernandez, Michael Ferror, Niall W. A. FitzGerald, Thomas Friedman, Michael Fries, Tommy Frist, Daniel Fulton, Michael Fux, Mala Gaonkar, Whitfield Gardner, William Gates, Melinda Gates, Julius Genachowski, Daniel Gilbert, Thomas Giovine, David Goldberg, Roger Goodell, Bing Gordon, Donald Graham, Brian Grazer, Brad Grey, John Griffin, Andreas Halvorsen, Reed Hastings, General Michael Hayden USAF, James Heavener, John Hendricks, John Henry, John Heyman, Kazuo Hirai, John Hock, Reid Hoffman, Won Pyo Hong, Lisa Hook, Ben Horowitz, Drew Houston, Robert Iger, David Ignatius, Martin Indyk, Phillip Jackson, Eli Jacobs, Paul Jacobs, Robert Johnson, Salar Kamanger, Peter Karmanos, Alexander Karp, Michael Karsch, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Keating, Brian Kelly, Muhtar Kent, Joseph Robert Kerrey, Dara Khosrowshahi, Seth Klaman, Joel Klein, Peter Klein, Philip H Knight, Victor Koo, Robert Kotick, Robert Kraft, Henry Kravis, Ynon Kreiz, Blake Krikorian, Ananda Krishnan, Stan Kroenke, Daniel Lamarre, Michael Larson, Martin Lau, Michael Leavitt, Jay Lee, Eric Lefkofsky, Theordore Leonsis, Max Levchin, David Levin, Phil Libin, Martin Lipton, Bryan Lourd, Kenneth W Lowe, Michael Lowenstein, Dan Lufkin, Dennis P LYnch, Michael Lynton, Maurice Levy, John Malone, Robert Marcus, Morris Mark, Donald Mattrick, Kathleen A McCarragher, General Stanley A McChrystal, Andrew McKenna, General Montgomery C Meigs, Lorenzo Mendoza, Ron Meyer, Roberto Mignone, Hiroshi Mikitani, Bill Miller, Kenneth Miranda, Thomas Monahan, Leslie Moonves, Luis Alberto Moreno, Dan Moskovitz, Craig Mundle, James Murdoch, Rupert Mudoch, Lachlan Murdoch, Nathan Myhrvold, Michael Neidorff, Jonathan M Nelson, Vivi Nevo, Sam Nunn, Michael E O'Hanlon, Daniel J O'Keefe, Don O'Neal, Ronald L Olson, Evan Osnos, CL Butch Otter, Michael Ovitz, Larry Page, Stephen G Pagliuca, Saul Pannell, Mark Papa, William Pappendick, MIchael Pausic, Minxin Pei, Francois-Henry Pinault, Mark Pincus, Laurene Powell, Lawrence F Probst, Rebecca Quick, Thomas Rabe, Jay Rasulo, Jerry Reinsdorf, Danny Rimer, Richard Riordan, Ambassador Charles H Rivkin, Brian Roberts, James Robinson IIi, James Robinson IV, Fernando Rodes Vila, Brian Rogers, Congressman Mike Rogers, Charlie Rose, Daniel Rose, Wilbur L Ross, Haim Saban, Karim Sadjadpour, Sheryl Sandberg, Ricky Sandler, Ted Sarandos, Fayez Sarofim, Nassef Sawiris, Eric Schmidt, John Schneider, Christopher Schroeder, John Scully, Allan Selig, Nicole Seligman, Eric Semler, William Siegel, Herbert Siegel, Ben Silbermann, Christopher Silbermann, Louis Simpson, Eduardo Sirotsky Melzer, Andrew Sorkin, Sir Martin Sorrell, Thomas Staggs, Cristina Stenbeck, David Stern, Michael Stone, Sir Howard Stringer, Robert Swan, Peter Thiel, Mark Thompson, Sebastian Thrun, Thomas Tull, Peter Ueberroth, Joseph Vacanti, Jeffrey Van Harte, Owen Van Natta, Martin Varsavsky, Leftie Vaughn, Michelangelo Volpi, Alexandre Von Furstenberg, Dian von Furstenberg, Casey Wasserman, David Weinberg, Judd Weinberg, Jeff Weiner, Harvey Weinstein, Wallace R Weitz, Robert Werbel, Michael White, Meg Whitman, Jim Wiatt, James Williams, Fred Wilpon, Jeffrey Wilpon, Fred Wilson, David J Winters, Nicholas Woodman, Major General Amos Yadlin, Jerry Yang, Jed York, David Zaslav, Dirk E Ziff, Gianfranco Zoppas, Mark Zuckerberg

Image Courtesy Of Manka Bros. Media Blogger: OnMedea
http://mankabros.com/blogs/onmedea

It was originally titled Day 3 – “China” – because there was a huge focus today on China opportunities and how do media companies (and businesses in general) crack that Chinese nut?

First of all, you can’t (there’s that cynicism again!). But it’s absolutely true.

To get the scale in China that companies need would require being able to grow our businesses into significant businesses. Just making a few bucks here and there and having a movie work every once in a while isn’t going to cut it. We need to have a significant presence in China to make it worth all this effort.

And as soon as a foreign company gets a significant presence in China – the Chinese government will dial you back. They may not kick you out but they may decide not to distribute your movie for “censorship issues,” or not to release your new handset because of “environmental reasons”(ridiculous, right?) or not offer your content in a streaming service due to some other excuse that the government won’t even attempt to make  creative or fair.

http://mankabros.com/blogs/onmedea/2012/05/03/is-hollywood-funding-chinese-propaganda/I led a panel this morning on “How To Properly Bribe Chinese Officials.” I’ve written on this in the past – and have learned over the years you can actually get a lot more accomplished by offering bottles of Slivovitz and cartons of American cigarettes than by offering cash or personal favors (i.e., helping to get a Chinese government official’s kid get into Harvard, etc.)

We just have to be realistic about China. It’s fine if your expectations are low and you are okay with having a small business and making a little bit of money or using the cheap labor to build your toys and American flags. But for distributing content and for growing a huge, profitable business – China sucks and will always suck.

The only excitement left at this year’s conference (and wasn’t Building-A-Bike and a nauseous river raft ride enough excitement for one person) is tomorrow’s media panel with Rupert Murdoch, John Malone and Barry Diller (the same team from yesterday’s disastrous “Build-A-Bike” exercise).

Watching three guys who really hate each other attempting to be cordial (while offering nothing new) should be truly entertaining.

Or not at all. That’s the problem – just when you think maybe something will come out of the conference, nothing does.

Outside of that, the drunkening continues.

I have now been forced to make my own drinks because Vin Tran has had some sort of breakdown and can barely function (he talks often about bringing shame to his family).

There is a rumor the great Bin Tran will triumphantly return for the final night of the conference since his daughter gave birth yesterday (congratulations, Bin – never go away again).

Adam Fogelson, Alan Spoon, Alexander von Furstenberg, Angela Bromstad, Ari Emanuel, Arthur Martinez, Barry Diller, Ben Silverman, Bob Iger, Brad Grey, Brian Roberts, Bryan Lourd, Chase Carey, Craig Smith, David Geffen, David Rosenblatt, Donald R. Keough, Donna Langley, Edgard Bronfman, Electus, Ezra Kucharz, fairy tale movies, Graham Stanton, Greg Blatt, Greg Morrow, Greg Stevens, Gregg Winiarski, Hans Woolley, Harry Sloan, Hey Diddle Diddle, Jason Stewart, Jay Herratti, Jeff Sagansky, Jeff Weiner, Jeff Zucker, Jeffrey Immelt, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jill Kennedy, Joanne Hawkins, Joey Levin, John C. Malone, John Ferriter, John Foley, John Malone, Josh Abramson, Jr., Kara Swisher, Khan Manka, Louis Castle, Manka Bros., Mark Stein, Michael Eisner, Michael Schwerdtman, Michael Zeisser, Nikki Finke, Notional, On Medea, OnMedea, Paul Telegdy, Peter Chernin, Phillippe Dauman, Richard F. Zannino, Rick Finkelstein, Ricky Van Veen, Ron Meyer, Rupert Murdoch, Scott Garell, Scott Savitz, Shana Fisher, Sharon Waxman, Stacey Snider, Steve Burke, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Sumner Redstone, Terry Semel, Thomas J. McInerney, Tina Brown, Tony DiSanto, Victor KaufmanKhan Manka, Jr. – Chairman & CEO – Manka Bros. StudiosThe World’s Largest Media Company

Permanent link to this article: http://mankabros.com/blogs/chairman/2013/07/11/herb-allens-sun-valley-conference-2013-day-3-the-drunkening/

6 comments

2 pings

  1. Larry Seeley says:

    I love this blog. I was a mini-mogul for years and attended similar events. Your descriptions are perfect–and it doesn’t matter what the underlying business might be–they’re all the same.

    Just wondering how you survive your cynicism.

  2. Vin Tran says:

    Screw you Kahn, my brother can shlep your drinks for now on. I’m staying home, getting wasted, and watching #sharknado. Sayonara Bee Aych!

  3. Carole Sumner Krechman says:

    My partner and I have a been trying to wangle an invite to this event for so many years I lost count. Other than wives, girl friends and Sheryl Sandberg where are the women at this annual Sun Valley bash?
    Murdock is just always an ass, Diller and the rest of that gang all think that their shit doesn’t stink.
    We run a small but profitable studio in the Palm Springs area, some shows on PBS, some on social media sites and soon all on our mobile app designed to show short films in an elegant way on your mobile device. Our network is about to launch on line with 12 channels.
    We are the future and should be at these events even to keep the men guessing and on their toes.
    Who lost my invite? Oh well maybe next year.
    thanks for the honest up date about this love fest in Idaho glorious country.
    Carole .

    1. Chairman says:

      Look, Carole, I’m home now. Wasted at my own home. Hopefully Terry will wander around looking for me all night. It’s true, you will never be invited to Sun Valley – so just stop hoping. PBS in Palm Springs just ain’t where it’s at, man. Maybe if you were rocking the scene in Needles, maybe you’d have a chance, but Palm Springs? Never.

      But I do wish you luck and hope that you will drink enough alcohol to dull the future pain you may feel in your professional life.

      Maybe Comic Con is the place for you – that’s next week and I was supposed to go but I have decided to drink turpentine instead. I think that would be more beneficial to my mental health.

      I gave a keynote speech there a couple of years ago and that should suffice for the comic book dorks, geeks and morons. Please take a look at the transcript and click on the advertising to help Manka Bros. hit our online targets for new media…

      http://mankabros.com/blogs/chairman/2010/07/21/khan-manka-jr-comic-con-2010-keynote-address/

  4. Terry Friedman says:

    Khan, I took a stroll down the Mall last night because I was trolling for the pack of divorcees looking to sack a mogul. Well, I found them. That was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. There is an outdoor lounge area near the Inn, and I felt like I’d happened upon the mothers of the “women” who stalk PGA tour pros. Their perfume was the same, “Desperation.” If Calvin Klein bottled it, these women were buying by the barrel. You could have loaded an armored car with the BVLGARI hanging from them, but it was the stretched out, botoxed, Joker-from-Batman movies smiles that really got my attention. Herb’s security team had a watchful eye on the wolf pack and they definitely weren’t getting in. I recognized one of the ex-wifes (I didn’t recognize her chest – it was 3x bigger than last year). She saw me coming, and the next thing I knew all the heads were turning. Let’s face it. If your wallet’s big enough and somebody can get a ride home on a jet, you’re getting laid over here, even if you look like Activision’s Bobby Kotick. This place is making me depressed. I’m glad Bin Tran is coming back (boy or girl?). Please extend my congratulations. I’m just now waking up, and I think I have to start the day with a series of Bloody Mary’s. My mogul headache is kicking the sh*t out of me.

  5. Terry Friedman says:

    Carole, producing esoteric documentaries for the beg-a-thon channel isn’t going to get you into the media stratosphere like Manka Bros “Cow Jumped Over The Moon.” You see, Herb pays a lot of money for this thing…he rents every bike so they are available to moguls and kids, hands out charge cards for everyone, hires staff at 1:2 for the kids, rents out all the facilities so they are blocked to the public, and the private guides and tours…well, you know the drill. They even move the furniture out of places and move in plants and furnishings more to their taste like they did the other day at Apples in Warm Springs for a kids event. Let’s face it, if Herb isn’t making money off you, a deal you’re doing, or doesn’t know you, then you are never coming. I am off to get drunk and find Khan tonight. I plan to toast old media. People are talking about Tim Westergren…he hasn’t made anyone any money,except himself. New media is a apparently a nice gig if you can get it.

  1. Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2013 – Day 1 – It Begins » Chairman's Blog says:

    [...] Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2013 – Day 3 – The Drunkening [...]

  2. Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2013 – Day 2 – Build-A-Bike » Chairman's Blog says:

    [...] Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2013 – Day 3 – The Drunkening » [...]

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