This Shift Matters More than Others

factoryoldI am a huge fan of Clay Shirky, and he wrote this post about the death of newspapers over on Medium. Then today I see an HBR blog post about how publishing is NOT dead. I’m not sure the two articles are as contradictory as they sound, but there was one line in the second article that jumped out at me:

Still, the future of publishing is bright. While every business needs to adopt a true culture of change, clearly there is no lack of potential. Once you accept the fact that business models don’t last, it becomes clear that there are, in fact, more opportunities to create and curate content, access top talent, attract investment, and make money than ever before.

Satell throws that out sort of casually: “once you accept the fact that business models don’t last…” That’s the big shift that needs more of our attention. I think many MANY organizations (and whole industries) have failed to accept that fact. They look backwards and they see business models that have stayed very stable, so they continue along that path.

When you make the shift, however, to understanding that business models don’t last, the world looks a lot different. Your strategic choices become different, and the capacities that you need internally begin to change as well.

Take a look at your strategy and your culture and then ASSUME that your business model won’t last. How does your strategy and culture look now?


  1. 25.08.2014 at 10:02 am

    Don’t fall in love with your business model. For sure.


    “That’s the big shift that needs more of our attention.”

    It’s a big shift that has had the “attention” of the newspaper business community for years, plenty of time for “attention,” and they seem really, really slow to adapt. Yes, it’s a big shift, but it is one that has to be made.

    It is a shift where the “problem” has already been identified for quite some time, and unwillingness to adapt in the interest of maintaining a traditional business model is now harming newspaper businesses.

    I guess at some point we don’t need more “attention” towards identifying the problem itself, we need to get to work solving the problem.

    • 28.08.2014 at 7:27 am

      Point taken! Attention without action gets you the same result.