In a new feature that I hope to keep up each Friday, I'll take a look back at the week and summarize five stories I found newsworthy, noteworthy, insightful, interesting, or just plain fun to read. We'll do this to keep ourselves on our game, and to help keep you on yours. Oh, and to save you the effort of having to filter through the 5,000 unread items in your Google Reader.
Let's call this regular feature Five For Friday. And here are my picks for the week ending Friday, April 20, 2012.
The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future
We have reached the tipping point in tech advancement--but what do we do now? The article is an interesting rundown of major breakthroughs in the past decades and how they’ve altered our lives. The focus is on why we’ve stopped innovating with all these great toys we have at our disposal, and while Atlantic contributor Alexis Madrigal sheds necessary light on the problems, a clear solution never really crops up here. The closest thing we get is an approximation of “future-shock.”
The Future of Media = Many Small Pieces, Loosely Joined
Matthew Ingram's GigaOM piece that inspired our post earlier this week. No news here: traditional media’s ad revenue streams are drying up--the print industry has been watching that leak for years, wondering and hoping but not acting swiftly or aggressively enough. With insight, Ingram’s article focuses on the ways the media industry can perhaps turn this around, and it’s not about one big easy solution. While digital-native media has the upper-hand, traditional media should look to multiple (smaller) sources of digital revenue that have the potential to add up fast, such as custom publishing and e-books, as well as leveraging “in-sourced” skills and live events that are already a part of their business.
The Four Worst Innovation Assassins
It’s easy to claim a corporate culture that promotes innovation, yet it doesn’t seem to be a top concern for many companies. Even if you have a leader who seemingly champions the cause, writes innovation expert Scott Anthony, he or she may actually be the single greatest obstacle in innovation's way. Collected in this short list are four of the leader personality types to watch out for, and a simple solution for promoting innovation in your organization.
Physical Media is Dead — Long Live the App
Om Malik on the decay of physical media, the rise of digital media and why apps are the “right metaphor” for the new world. Agreed, but how long before we’re going beyond apps into another type of “container”? This is a fast, rushed, shaky new world, as Malick mentions, and while apps are just starting to take a real, firm hold, it is unlikely they are our most satisfactory content-delivery model. But he brings up a great point near the end--if advertising agencies don't already have a new approach for the new world, they're going to need one if they don't want to find themselves disrupted in the wake of broader media and marketing disruption.
It’s Not About Instagram — It’s About Mobile
The title says it all, but the point is worth discussing: Facebook needs to monetize their mobile app and mobile web presence, which they are not currently doing. If they continue on that path, their revenue and valuation will end up taking a serious hit. While on its surface Instagram is a photo sharing application, the more important reality is that that team built a wildly successful social experience that was mobile at its core. So Facebook's Instagram deal really represents a serious push into mobile, and should be a signal to everyone else (if proof was needed) that having a solid mobile computing strategy and a clear plan for monetizing your mobile assets are the keys to the future of any media company (traditional, digital or social) and--for that matter--any brand that wants to maintain consumer relevance and engagement over time.