Insights

Netflix soars as Blockbuster plans bankruptcy!

by Sal Fuentes

When I saw this CNET article today I was reminded of the blinding pace in which business transformation now occurs.  Another powerful, once ubiquitous brand faces extinction because of the continuing evolution of technology.  When Netflix first launched I had no fear for Blockbuster, I am an impulsive person and I just was not going to wait three days to get a movie or plan ahead to make sure I had one for the weekend, they would always have the impulse market, right?  The advent of on-demand video, streaming services and of course the ubiquitous i-Tunes video offering has made the whole concept of destination based content trips, well, quaint.

It makes you wonder what will be next? Do we need printed maps anymore in the era of Google Maps and the GPS?  Obviously the Kindle and I-Pad are betting heavily in the digital distribution of novels, textbooks and magazines and do you every wonder if the guys at My Space look at Facebook and wonder how “did we screw that up”?  The fact of that matter is that market leaders can rapidly by caught and passed in this era of rapid technical development.  Furthermore the content and community categories are incredibly susceptible to changes in user behavior and digital distribution. It is incumbent upon market leaders to “stay paranoid” as former Intel CEO, Andy Grove used to say.  Complacency is the forbearer of failure and the key ingredient to the demise of market leadership.  I really admire companies like GE that make reinvention and challenging of the status quo critical elements of their corporate culture.  I often wonder as a consultancy how we continue to encourage our clients to follow that path….. Would love to hear your thoughts.  Sal

BBC Gets Focused

by Sal Fuentes

This recent post to the BBC Blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/2010/08/bbc-online—putting-quality-f.shtml is great look into building product strategies for web media companies.  Because so many media sites are for profit or publicly traded you would never see their product strategy posted publicly.  The BBC being a public “service” is forced to get approval for key strategic moves and must publicly account for their decisions.  I think you will find their focus on efficiencies and quality interesting and quite different in a world where “demand media economics” are dominating the discussion.  Now granted they do not have the pressure of share holder return and valuation, but it is a thoughtful strategy and worthy of discussion.

Would love to hear your thoughts

Letting go of the past!

by Sal Fuentes

I was really encouraged after reading about Nomad Editions in a recent New York Times article.  The company intends to create digital magazines tailored to users specific interests. For less than 50 cents a week the user receives a “digital edition” with video, audio and two or three features.  What I love about the model is that it goes beyond the generic RSS subscription experience and provides great editorial content customized for the new pad/mobile centric user.

Too many media companies refuse to let go of the old delivery paradigms and financial models.  In trying to use mobile as nothing more than an audience hook to their traditional models, they are missing the fact that mobile is the new marketplace and competing in the arena will be a competitive imperative in a very short amount of time. I am anxious to see how this progresses.

Would love to hear your thoughts….