Posts tagged ‘print’

the value of experience

Downsized I guess I shouldn’t be surprised
Two faced the time has come to be replaced
Betrayal, tiny minds
Something sinister’s going on behind

Before economic rationalism took a stranglehold on the global economy, and the labor market started becoming deregulated, there was a time that management experts did not write textbooks for dummies. In fact, although businesses were generally less efficient, they were inextricably linked to the overall well-being of a country’s economy, and the prosperity of its citizenry.

When up-, down-, right- and optimal-sizing became the vogue for  business narrative, they came with their alter-ego of poorer service, lower quality goods, stakeholder marginalisation and shareholder intrusion. Somehow, balance was lost. In fact, much knowledge and equity in each individual was also lost.

The Media Business was not immune against this backdrop of free-market fundamentalism.

In fact, the corporatization of media has manifest itself as:

  1. Bland, formulaic content production. Safe investments in block-busters, special effects and ‘easy-listening’ radio stations. All under the seemingly prudent guise of giving the audience what it wants while preserving cash flow… what would have happened if the audience had been ‘trained’ differently by the media? Not possible? Then I guess you’re telling me that advertising and promotion don’t work (!)
  2. Ruthless focus on the bottom line. An essential factor in successful businesses. However, this has not only stifled self-motivated innovation, but has mortgaged the future to preserve the present cash-flow. What would have happened if the print media had actively embraced the web and truly found ways for people to pay? What would have happened if local TV stations didn’t ‘give away’ web advertising as part of a bundle in order to maintain¬†broadcast margins? Not possible? Essential. By not actively engaging in change, that change has been thrust upon those very same businesses in a very ruthless fashion.
  3. Devaluing the core value proposition of media... Huh? Media is in the news and entertainment business. The medium is the message for dissemination of information, entertainment and experiential pathos, with clear deference to Marshall McLuhan. Moving away from this precept has affected the core equity of media, the medium is “not the message” when it comes to business.

So, where are the experienced executives leading us through this change? My guess is that many are securing their bonuses, before the next re-structure kicks-in. Till then status quo.

Tell me it isn’t so… I’m listening.

Advertisements

March 4, 2010 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

why molten lead?

As bits to the screen, so are the days of our lives…

In the late 80’s and early 90’s I was involved with a publishing startup. We produced the first full color ‘vogue quality’ magazines targeted specifically at verticals within the computer industry. Starting in a spare back room and outsourcing stuff we didn’t know how to do, we quickly progressed from typesetting to an early version of Ventura (running on GEM), though to a network of PC’s running Quark. Yes! wincrazy eh? We should have been using Macs, but they were too expensive and we loved VMS, unix and they were a bit more interoperable than MacOS at the time, and certainly PC’s that we built ourselves were a heck of a lot cheaper. We went from one solitary magazine to five, and by the way, the magazines were free!

A couple of things we learned. Mr. Packer and Mr. Murdoch had just replaced legions of typesetters and presses with digitally enabled .pdf based printers that signaled the end of printing as we knew it. They were starting to produce color newspapers! We also learned that ‘desktop publishing’ (remember that cute phrase) for the masses really meant trying to see how many fonts and colors could be crammed onto a page. We also learned that you could take a skill, like good page design and repackage that skill with a different tool and you could start a new ‘cheap as chips business’ and make some very good money. Targeted advertising for an industry segment leveraging free content!

So… adding that experience to my varied experiences in media leads me to the following conclusion. A conclusion by the way that I have been espousing since October 2003 (if you’re interested I can tell you why that date).

Here it is. The world of video is changing. Captain obvious you say! But just as printing went from molten lead to bits, so video moves from BNC to bits and from video engineers to IT engineering. Still obvious. Printing evolved through this transition almost 20 years ago and is now losing serious money as a segment. We know that too. This time, video will meet the same fate, but it will not take 20 years! Look at the news. The content owners and distributers want your identity, not because they want to see what you’re ripping off, but rather because they want to prop up their model. Too little too late?

Why and How? This, I’ll explain in forthcoming blogs.

Tell me it isn’t so… I’m listening.

March 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm 2 comments


Archives

Feeds

My Tweets

December 2018
M T W T F S S
« May    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31