Saturday, 6 March 2010

Do they get it?

The internet and web (cloud) based applications, services and new devices are ushering in an exciting and incredible future for all of us, and no one can precisely predict how it will play out. Very soon all content will be able to be easily sourced through your TV, computers and a myriad of portable devices.

Resistance in Australia is plain to see by the antics of Telstra et al, and the media oligopoly who have been complicit with successive governments to hold back the tide of change and stifle opportunity and freedom to protect their profits. Just one example of resistance to change is the music industry resisting new distribution channels and their failure to adapt to change, now they have lost control. Their mediums are irrelevant, DVD, CD's etc are declining and electronic channels are controlled by new world models like iTunes.

Books and newspapers are quickly going the same way. Movies and television left the building long ago but at least that industry is playing catch-up, too little too late and I think many of the institutions and conglomerates of in that industry today will disappear. What most fail to realise is consumers will always embrace the channel that provides the greatest convenience.

Do old school, old money conservatives just not get it? Established corporations seem to view the web and all its emerging technologies through their limited perception of the past? Will they be the dinosaurs that flee the new business models and huddle together against the cold wind of change and die in venomous denial? Or will they slowly traverse the typical human response to change shock, denial, blame, self blame, uncertainty and hopefully through that slump upward into problem solving and adaptation.

This is not a generational thing entirely, there are plenty of people in the Y and X categories who while the technology is omnipresent for them, they have no vision of what opportunities it presents, and perhaps, nor do they care. For everyone is it too little too late?
One fascinating piece I know of is "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" a paper on government regulation on the rapidly growing internet. It was written by John Perry Barlow, a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and published online February 8, 1996 from Davos, Switzerland. Although primarily targeted to government at the time it has great relevance to todays business institutions. Some notable quotes are:

"Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live"

"You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves."

See the full text *here*

Another interesting article can be found here "Challenging the old media business models"