I am not only your supplier, but in this new media world I’m also a competitor – big creator of user-generated content, blogging at www.kellblog.com and tweeting from http://twitter.com/kellblog.
Add thank you to Mark K., if present, for helping to finance the company along the way.
Book written in 1982, turned out to be pretty prophetic (e.g., information society, from hierarchy to networks)Managers are paid to known. Uncomfortable topic. Always a breakthrough sign in a customer relationship.You should pretend you’re starting over because the other guy actually is.Because the web is “dead” we need to think about the implications of that and look at the next layer down – Internet as platform – and the next layer up, apps that are leveraging it and how they are written, for which devices, and which interfaces.Data. Media industry has historically been content and format centric. As a math geek myself I’d say that while content really does matter – who knows your audience better? The audience or the guy with the website log files?
Fact is no one knows what the future of media industry will be.Anyone who says he’s sure is a potential victim of Twain’s quote. And ‘apparent sureness’ is not a great criteria. [Anecdote on HBR question answers: direct 3.4, evade 3.3, stumble 2.6]And we can’t let the apparent slowness of change – it has been over 10 years since the mainstreaming of the Internet -- lull us into complacency.Saw my first PDA in 1992, browser in 1994, and WAP BI demo in 1997 – it does take a long time for major change to happen. Predicting the answer is often much easier than predicting how that answer unfolds – e.g., all-in-one copier/fax/printer, or e.g., all-in-one phone, mail reader, book reader, music player, …We’re not paid to make money just at the end, but somehow all along the way
Digg turned out to be a feature: social bookmarkingFacebook turned out to be a company: aggregator of web 2.0 services – photo sharing, video sharing, status updates/tweets, IM, …Twitter turned out to be a platform – who’da guessed that? I access thru Tweetdeck, Brizzly, more than Twitter. And I’ve linked Twitter to LinkedIn for status updates, but not Facebook. Yes, that because it was obvious 3 years ago that LinkedIn, which started out as online resumes, would end up a social network but that Plaxo, who was supposed to keep business cards up to date would miss that, despite both being Sequoia companies … but in any case, it was obvious that I was going to need one social network for work and one for friends … Ning turned out to be nothing. I called that one at least. But it’s still alive and repositioning. Unlike Google Wave which is already dead. Fail fast, so they say and Google did that indeed.
Is location a feature? Facebook (Places) thinks so. So does Twitter (locations)Is it a company?Is it a platform?
Diagram from Clayton Christensen about disruptive technology. And how, over time, new technologies first disrupt the low-end of the market and then the high-end. Examples would be:Hard disks: small laptop disks price/performance over timeMinicomputers: now racks of pizza boxes and new software (e.g., MapReduce) are disrupting the supercomputer marketWeb publishing: a few years ago, need to “know something about tech” to make a website, then came blogger to make simple blogs, and now Wordpress which is starting to evolve into a low-end web content management systemOriginal Kindle would never dream of a textbook. Now the new one, maybe. Or what about the iPad and Inkling?
Speaking of reinvention, no better place to talk about re-invention that textbooks.First, let’s talk form factor. E-books are great Christensen example: the early e-book readers were only good for text only looks like fiction. Diagrams and images need not apply. Over time, though the e-readers got better and better and with systems like Inkling (on the iPad and from a fellow Sequoia company) can not only deliver educational textbook and magazine quality graphics but can start to exploit the media to improve, annotate, and animate the experience. Or we could talk about the business model for the textbook: buy vs. rent vs. buy-and-sellbackOr we could talk about the book itself: how adapting the book to a given course can make it not only more relevant but elimiante buying multiple books and using only parts of each. And eliminating used-book cannabalization in the process and the need for editions to do “planned obsolescence.”Or we could talk about the online educational experience and go beyond the book to include social networking and a focus on the individualOr heck, we could go beyond that and just disrupt education in general. So is publishing being disruptee or now the disruptor?But let’s talk about the book itself.Whether it’s business model: rent vs. buy and re-sellWhether it’s form factor
The web is about HTML. The Internet is about XML.
Moneyball: baseballMedicine: evidence-basedManagement: evidence-basedFootball: Professor “go for it on fourth down” -- might all be looking for professor jobsMedia?Who knows the audience better? The editor in chief or the guy with the weblogs?
Reduce the marginal cost of innovation and experimentationFocus on content and not on the containerFocus on content and not the distribution channel, but understand the mobile market and build an apps strategy where appropriate – web on a phone won’t cut it in most instancesBalance quants with quals
Dave Kellogg Keynote at MarkLogic Digital Publishing Summit