Monday, June 30, 2008

"Fully to understand a grand and beautiful thought requires, perhaps, as much time as to conceive it." Joseph Joubert

"The shortest answer is doing." George Herbert

"Thoughts are but dreams till their effect be tried." Shakespeare

Today's image: Queen of in Love Hearts by FotoRita. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Perspective is worth ten IQ points: One of my favorite Gary Hamel quotations and it's relevant again today thanks to the uber-cool Bruce Sterling. Bruce talks about broadcast media and change telling us " only die if you don't adapt." He also says...

"My sense of these media organisations that use this argument of incredibly rapid technology change is that they're screaming that they're being pursued by a snail and yet they cannot get away! 'The snail! The snail!', they cry. 'How can we possibly escape!?' The problem being that the snail's been moving closer for the last twenty years one way or another and they just weren't paying attention. Because if we're honest, if you don't want or need to be first and you don't need to own the platform, it can't be hard to see roughly where this environment is going. Media will be, must be, transportable in bits and delivered to TV screens and various other players."

Read The Giant Monster Snail that eats broadcast media here. Bravos, Bruce!

My sense is the challenge is not getting new ideas into the conversation, it's getting the old ideas (and legacy business models) put into their proper place. The most obvious way to grow broadcast is to create new platforms, new business models that will serve, during some interval yet undetermined in length, to compliment and be additive to the enterprise. It's competing for the future and it requires serious investment.

Therein the problem.

Broadcast has become obsessed with street metrics (e.g., free cash, EBITDA) and continues resisting any major new operating investment. It's not the main channel OR the web. It's the main channel AND the web/DTV/HDR/Mobile/VOD/Interactivity/Data et al. In too many cases broadcast is happy living with Web 1.0 and waiting until someone writes the #1 best selling book on 2.0; this is a strategic error, an error of judgment most often driven by quarterly financial performance. The game is not OR, the game is AND.

The single biggest problem hurting every public broadcasting company is how they are responding to the lack of growth. The response to the growth problem has become the problem. It's traditional media's very large and so very obvious elephant in the room.

Everything digital matters and it matters now. The majority want us to believe they are fast followers, nimble, agile, able to get into the game when it counts. P.S. They're waiting for a leader to follow. Time to stop playing around in the margins, time to stop messing around tweaking the numerator, time to stop making small changes to small things. Make big changes to big things. Change the denominator! Don't fear the snail. Take full advantage of the moment. Take decisive action.

Stowe Boyd blogs about the Nick Carr Atlantic piece Is Google Making Us Stupid ?...

"...the inherent conservatism of the mass media and other mass organizations (those that are based on one:many modes of communication, like government, religions, business, and so on) will lead them to say that this new sort of thinking is illegitimate: they war against it, saying that our new ways of talking and thinking and the social structures that they engender are bad, inferior, immoral, and stupid; and that those in favor of this web revolution are dumb, misguided, or evil fringe lunatics.

Expect more of this. As we move to the edge, those in the center are threatened by the changing of everything, and they will do almost anything to stop it, or at least slow it down as much as possible. It's a social revolution, and those who are losing control will go a long way to stop it, if they think they can."

Read the entire post here. Kudos, Stowe. Well done.

Bonus: The New Anti-Social

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