Wanting what you cannot have

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I was recently in a discussion where a few of the meeting participants were asked to define the most important question for their business area (in media) right now. Their suggestion was: “What is the right model for digital media?”. They had spent considerable time trying out new projects, revenue streams and other ways of working. Them and everyone else, I should say. This search has been going for 15 odd years or so.

The discussion made me think, and somewhat provocatively I suggested a new question instead: “Is there a right model to be found?”

Sometimes you get so caught up in trying to solve a problem that you forget whether the question you are trying to answer even is the right one to attempt. What if there isn’t a good model out there? What if the media industry have spent the last 15 years on a wild goose chase? Looking for something that will never be considered as good as their original business – however successful it may be. It could be the case. And even if it isn’t, the possibility should be considered.

Businesses come and go. Some change. Some don’t. I think the key must be to know what category your business is in, and then work with it under the prerequisites that come with that.

Being a dying business is not the same thing as having a bad business. It can be very profitable while doing so, but it won’t last. Accepting that might be the best strategy for such a business.

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