My first media job was in New York, where I learned the radio business. My company, Katz Media, had an outstanding training program, where for three months we were drilled in the basics of radio formats, research techniques, sales skills and marketing strategy.
So when I first arrived in Poland in 1997, I felt well prepared. Surely, in a newly capitalist economy, where the entire concept of a media business was novel, my experience and expertise would give me a leg up. Alas, I found that often the opposite was true.
When the smartest guy (or gal) in an industry decides to throw in the towel on a business model, it's time to stand up and take notice. This week, the ever-controversial Nick Denton of Gawker Media - the most successful and well-known of all the blog networks that exploded in popularity over the past decade, declared to the Wall Street Journal, "I don't want to be the No. 1 blog network anymore. That's like being king of the playground."
Basic marketing economics teaches us that the best way to make sure not to make any money is to create a product that is identical to every competitors offer, and then market it in abundance. Unfortunately this is also a good description of the digital media/publishing environment.
Are we stuck? Or are we just at an interim stage in the evolutionary cycle, waiting for the next step to shift the landscape again? In this presentation I introduce some thoughts in regards to how we need to change our thinking if we are to break out of the repetitive cycle we seem to be in.
Technology-based companies typically make one common mistake: They get too caught up in technological innovation, particularly developing new technologies, or get too obsessed with the next killer technology and think the world revolves around their latest invention. Even if they find the right applications for their technologies, they often defer the serious effort needed to figure out how they create economic value – or how do they make money?
I’ve a stack of books sitting on my coffee table waiting for me to write a review. I am reading less and less lately, from a historically high of 4 books a month to now 15 books a year. But I am buying more art books. And I review 2 dozen of books a year. My magazine subscriptions have been cut down from 40+ magazines to less than 10. Many including Wired and Forbes have dropped off from my list and I stopped many of the journals, many are just repeating old things. It is like digging out bones from one graveyard and put them in another one. I’ve picked three books to review and share with you this week: