Here’s a competitive advantage, if you can harness it: Be ready for change.
- There are newspaper companies that either don’t believe things are really going to change, aren’t changing that much, or change won’t effect their businesses.
- There are newspaper companies that believe things are changing, and believe they are embracing change, but they are still chained to tradition or fixed mindsets.
- There are newspaper companies that understand change and are ready.
By change, I don’t just mean things will be different. I mean change as a constant state.
In 1900, the power of information technology doubled every three years, according to Ray Kurzweil. Today, it doubles every year. Note the exponential rate of increase. The more our computing power increases, the faster the pace of change, the more change is poured into the pipeline. Change is no longer an event. Change is now part of the human condition.
It’s not enough just to adopt new information technology; you need to know what’s coming and predicatively adapt elastic content and business models.
I first started thinking about rapid change when I read a piece in an airline magazine about Kurzeweil. I was reminded of his theories in another article from an old Inc. magazine I just read. There is a lot about his theory of the singularity that demands more study and is beyond this simple blog post, but I think we all have observed the rapid pace of information technology advancement. We’ve noticed it, but have we really thought about what it means for how we run our news organizations, both as businesses and content providers? Whether the singularity is soon or a long way off (or just a crock), there’s a lot of change to get through just to keep going.