Which Exit?

April 18, 2011

Myopia is all about forgetting the frames in our minds. We see what we want to see. We don’t see, what’s blocked out. We tend to think about ourselves and the things we think are important. We look from the inside out and we forget we have to look from the outside in.

Even when we are convinced of the existence of this phenomenon, we keep forgetting we suffer from myopia ourselves.

In trying to point my clients towards the rapid changes and shifts in the digital media landscape, I also forget to look at other changes. And these changes might be even more fundamental.

Let’s look at a few very recent ones:

  • In Finland a new party popped up this weekend and one of their main goals is to stop support of troubled countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal.
  • The German Landesbanken have been lending enormous amounts of euros to these troubled countries.
  • If these already troubled countries fail, the Landesbanken will have quite a problem.
  • After Iceland, Greece, Ireland and Portugal, who will be next?

As always it is not technology itself, that will determine what will happen. It is what people want and people do. How will these crises affect the minds, ideas and plans of our clients, bosses, business partners?

As the picture tells us, we are already well on our way to the future.

But where is this road we’re on leading us?

What is our direction?

And if we don’t like that, which exit do we have to take?


The Price is Right

April 16, 2011

Before iPad was launched I started to think about the sort of ibooks that might form an extra attraction for possible ireaders. As my wife came up with the idea that iPad would become something to put on a table, I thought the old fashioned coffee table books would be a nice starting point. In every home I come, I see nice designed and well published books lying on coffee tables: 1 +1 = 3, right?

So I started touring publishers of books covering the arts, photography, design, architecture, history. I was rather stunned to notice these conversations turned out to be flashbacks.

I reexperienced earlier conversations during the rise of web 1.0 with record company management people.

There was, as we now are used to notice, ‘no real sense of urgency’. Of course it could be explained by the fact that all of these publishers were based in a very small country, called The Netherlands, but one would expect these professionals at least to be familiair with concepts like ‘desintermediation’, ‘e-books’, ‘Google’ or ‘ecommerce’. To my surprise they were not. And if they were, they were convinced that it would take years to develop and mature.

This year I started talks with museums to publish ibooks ourselves, without the publishers, since they were the ones that would be desintermediated. In preparation of making a shortlist for ibooks, I came upon art books, already available on iphone, iPad and iTouch. The price for a neat little handy booklet on Van Gogh was $ 1.99.  At least 50 or so well known painters were published as well for the same price.

This brings me to my point. As The Daily set the price for a daily on the iPad, this publisher set the price for nice, neat, little ibooks on painters.

Publishers and for that matter museums will have a very, very hard time to beat this price.

But for consumers, all over the world, the price sure is right.


Gold Rush

April 14, 2011

My last post has been a while.

Again.

This time I wanted to take some time and think.

I was overwhelmed by the introduction of the Harry Potter newspaper, as Rupert Murdoch used to call it. Not because this bold move was unexpected, but because of the pricing strategy. A dollar a week is hard to beat. The Daily cornered the market. Who will enter next?

Market acceptance does not seem to be very positive. It’s hard to find trustworthy data and my first impressions are therefore just that and nothing more. But the general idea points towards the conclusion that The Daily is not a huge hit. Yet, one has to add.

However.

The price is still very, very hard to beat.

By claiming land on this new frontier in the Media Wild West, competitors are hindered or even prohibited to join the Gold Rush.

I’m afraid.