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The Back of an Envelope (at Ignite NewsFoo)

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Ignite presentation by Andrew Walkingshaw (@covert) of Timetric (http://timetric.com/, @timetric) at Ignite! NewsFoo

Ignite presentation by Andrew Walkingshaw (@covert) of Timetric (http://timetric.com/, @timetric) at Ignite! NewsFoo


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  • 1. Andrew Walkingshaw @covert, @timetric http://timetric.com/The back of an envelope.
  • 2. Enrico Fermi (1901-1954)
  • 3. Trinity Test: July 16, 1945
  • 4. 10 One. 1 10 100Orders of magnitude
  • 5. Three rules: 1. State your assumptions 2. Justify your guesses3. Be “dimensionally consistent”
  • 6. Population of Chicago: ~5,000,000 Households: 5,000,000 / 2 people ≈ 2,500,000 Pianos: 5% of households ≈ 125,000 pianos Assume: each piano tuned once a year, taking ~2 hours: => ~250,000 piano-tuning hours=> 250,000/8 hours per tuning day ≈ 30,000 days 200 working days a year => around 150 tuners
  • 7. And, actually:290 “musical instrument repairers and tuners” – (source: Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2009)
  • 8. Sanity check.
  • 9. How big is the US newspaper industry?value ≈ number of papers sold x revenue per paper npapers * $/paper = $total
  • 10. Readers:(number of potential readers x papers per reader) Revenue:net price + ad sales per copy
  • 11. How many papers are sold a year? 225m people (aged 20-80) so around ~100m households maybe 25% buy a paper? => 25m daily circulation~400 days a year, so 10bn a year
  • 12. How much revenue per copy? Sales revenue: ~$0, more or less Revenue from ads ≈revenue per ad x number of ads ≈ 2¢ x 100 ≈ $2 per copy
  • 13. So total US newspaper industry: ≈ 10bn papers x $2/paper ≈ $20bn per annum!
  • 14. Actual number: $24.8bn print ad revenue(2009: Newspaper Association of America)
  • 15. Online: 200m working adults 200 working days per year 4 pages each 4 ads a page$5 cpm per ad = 0.5¢ per view=> 200m x 200 x 4 x 4 x 0.005 ≈$3.2bn online ad revenue
  • 16. Actual: $2.7bn (NAA, 2009)
  • 17. (For comparison: Bloomberg LP do ~$7bn revenue per annum.)
  • 18. When in doubt: check!
  • 19. Thank you! http://timetric.comhttp://withpretext.comandrew@timetric.com @covert, @timetric

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