View from Day One…

New means hope.  New birth.  New life.  New Year.  A fresh slate and the opportunity to re-write our old lives and mistakes…to move forward and become better.

Today I close out my Cyndy Green/thinknews facebook account.  That was new last year and while it was entertaining and fairly easy to pull off, it had zero effect on my life, either personally or professionally.  Flushed out of my system by the end of the day.  (Word of warning:  when you attempt to delete a page, facebook does NOT make it easy.  There’s a twelve day waiting period.  I won’t even go into what is involved in deleting your original account.)

But before going I added a posting, courtesy of a friend – Disruptive Innovation –  and right now I’m reading one of the links from that article:   Mastering the Art of Disruptive Innovation in Journalism, about Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen’s theory (and books).

Scary stuff this. In my youth we would have called it mind-bending. And it is – this concept flip-flops conventional knowledge that businesses sell products and newspapers sell news to all businesses are answering the call from individuals who want to hire them to do a job – to fill time.

So if I have play time, I may want Disney to “sell” me a vacation at Disneyworld. If I have the “job” of getting to work from home, I can consider hiring public transit, a taxi, or an auto dealer to give me a mode of transportation to fill my “job” requirement.

Which brings us to journalism. Here’s how traditional journalism works:

Most traditional news organizations operate a value chain that is made up of three distinct parts. First, there is the newsgathering; this comprises all the resources and processes required to collect, write, shoot, edit, produce and package news and information. Second, there is the distribution of the product; this encompasses all the ways that news organizations get their content into the hands of the audience. Third, there is the selling of the news; this part includes not only sales and subscriptions but also advertising and marketing.

Christensen advocates finding ways to fill the “job orders” of an audience who has time to fill on a commute or waiting in line for a cup of coffee.

Now this is not a light read…and there is a lot to absorb, made easy by examples of disruptive innovation from the past and present…and businesses that failed to heed the new and those that are riding the crest and succeeding.

One scary concept: cannibalism. We often joke in news that we eat our young. The disruptive theory states that if your business is going to be taken down by disruptive innovation, it is best that YOU be the disrupter…the cannibal who devours itself. The odds of survival are increased for the company if it attempts to reinvent itself, keeping the parts that work, rather than simply dying because another company took the best and won.

Now this information is in my system, it is time to mull over its meaning…

Oh – and here’s one of my favorite lines in the article:

A cautionary note: Due to the rapidly changing media landscape, some of the examples provided in presenting these frameworks may no longer be relevant.


Things change THAT quickly.


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