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Is Content Demand Being Met?

Posted by tomwiles at 8:38 AM on June 24, 2010

Is Content Demand Being Met?New technology always disrupts. This has always been true, whether it was the invention of the wheel, the automobile, or modern electronics. With each new disruption, interactive business and social commerce is disturbed. Established business and social models are suddenly rendered partially or fully dysfunctional. For every new disruptive technology that comes along, an old business model is broken and new opportunities are created.

It has often been noted that people and organizations both don’t like change. There are some basic reasons at play that make this true.

In the workplace our brains go through an initial learning curve and automates much of the work we do so that we don’t have to continually think about it in detail. Introduction of a new disruptive program or process forces people to relearn what they already knew how to do in a different way, and thus they often become frustrated with it until they absorb and automate the changes.

Organizational change can be far more difficult, and often proves to be impossible. There’s this thing called “corporate culture” that is both a blessing and a curse for organizations. When a new employee comes to work into an existing organization, they quickly “learn the ropes” of what is expected of them. Existing employees often establish their own little kingdoms complete with pecking orders. These pecking orders are often enforced via subtle intimidation through systems of rewards and punishments. The person at the top, whoever is running the business, typically establishes corporate culture, whether they are aware of it or not. They tend to surround themselves with like-minded people they can dominate. In this sort of “look to the top” power environment it often becomes impossible for businesses to fully respond to changing market conditions, and the business dies. That’s why corporations have life cycles.

In today’s world, new disruptive technologies are coming along almost on a moment-by-moment basis.

Fast-forward to modern computers, wireless broadband and smart phone devices. Consumers of media demand the ability to consume the media of their choice wherever and whenever they want on the device of their choice. A tremendous amount of this demand has yet to be met. Old school content creators are reluctant to release their grip on breaking and broken appointment-based content delivery models. The reality is some of them will probably perish as they cling to those dead and dying delivery models. New ones will inevitably come in to fill the real-world demand.

2 Comments

  1. From Andrew at 12:19 pm on June 24, 2010

    I think it will not only take a change in the mindset of content producers but also in content consumers. How many of us have purchased a DVD, which we could watch at any time, and then sat down to watch the same film via broadcast TV because “it was on”?

  2. From tomwiles at 6:31 pm on June 24, 2010

    Andrew, yes I know what you mean. I’ve done that myself once or twice. It’s likely the old conditioning kicking in. Also it may say something about the power of whatever the program is to pull us in, especially if we liked it well enough to buy the DVD.

    There’s actually another part of innovation that we also should consider. In certain economic theories there’s the concept of “the unseen hand” that is rather interesting to think about. One aspect of that is that when someone takes a chance on offering a new product, good or service to the public, they are tapping in to an “unrealized demand” or “potential demand” if the product, good or service is successful. The demand for an innovative new product had to exist in some way even before the product was available in the marketplace. This is an interesting concept to think about in terms of real-world successful products such as the iPhone, iPad, etc.

    Sometimes goods, products or services can be introduced prematurely. Back in the early 1960′s the television manufacturer Zenith was trying to offer a new innovation that was quite a bit like cable TV from what I recall reading in one of their TV set printed manuals. Whatever they called it just didn’t take off — it was obviously a good concept, but it was an idea before it’s time.

    This stuff is fascinating to research and contemplate.