Hard lessons for news

2 05 2011

by AngryPanda

The struggle of the printing media to take down some civil liberties with them as they die is sort of annoying for me but I rarely write about it. There’s two reasons for this. The struggle that really matters is in the US and I don’t see all that much of it. The struggle we have here is far more intense but no one reading this gives a shit. If you want to read about this stuff there are far smarter people than me already providing for you and today I’m going to quote from one of them.

RULES FOR BUSINESS MODELS

* Tradition is not a business model. The past is no longer a reliable guide to future success.

* “Should” is not a business model. You can say that people “should” pay for your product but they will only if they find value in it.

* “I want to” is not a business model. My entrepreneurial students often start with what they want to do. I tell them, no one — except possibly their mothers — gives a damn what they *want* to do.

* Virtue is not a business model. Just because you do good does not mean you deserve to be paid for it.

* Business models are not made of entitlements and emotions. They are made of hard economics. Money has no heart.

* Begging is not a business model. It’s lazy to think that foundations and contributions can solve news’ problems. There isn’t enough money there. (Foundation friend to provide figures here.)

* There is no free lunch. Government money comes with strings.

* No one cares what you spent. Arguing that news costs a lot is irrelevant to the market.

* The only thing that matters to the market is value. What is your service worth to the public?

* Value is determined by need. What problem do you solve?

* Disruption is the law of the jungle and the internet. If someone can do what you do cheaper, better, faster, they will.

* Disrupt thyself. So find your weak underbelly before someone else discovers it. Or find someone else’s.

* The bottom line matters more than the top line. Plan for profitability over revenue, sustainability over size.

This is only a fraction of the article but first of all it is the good stuff and second some of it applies universally. In this case I intend to use some of those points in my next entry about piracy. I wrote about that once before in morals of piracy but this will be a whole series.

There’s another article “Google takes the FTC to school” that I should really translate for the local politics and press but they would never read it and I care even less about this place than anyone else on this blog. I might have mentioned that. Still worth a read.

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