See in all directions

Last week, Brett Sandusky aptly used the dawn of agency pricing to urge publishers to develop greater foresight in thinking about how they run their businesses.

Building on the advantages of agile content, Sandusky called on publishers to forsake legacy models and create digital businesses that may look very different from what they oversee today.

Over the weekend, Don Linn took on independent retailers who use what he described as a “tin-cup strategy” to deal with the challenges they face. Linn’s advice: don’t “let external events control your destiny.”

Sandusky and Linn clearly articulate the ways in which publishers and retailers are playing what amounts to a negative-sum game. Focusing on the immediate, the incumbents work hard to preserve the current order. Along the way, they miss opportunities to create distinct and sustainable alternatives.

It’s a great time for publishing, maybe the best time ever. Unavoidably, it’s a tough time for publishers and retailers, who need to see in all directions to help set their own paths.

Over-invested in the prevailing model, incumbents (and their trade associations) risk becoming equally invested in its problems. The solution here is not to shift the world back to the model that used to work. That genie is out of the bottle.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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