When Innovation Begins

William Gibson, a science fiction author best known for his book Cyberpunk (in which he first coined the now familiar term “cyberspace”) wrote: “The street will find its own use for things”.

I have always taken that to mean that consumers, not manufacturers, are the final arbiters of how a technology or product will […]

By |September 7th, 2007|innovation, Strategy|0 Comments

Mimicking bacteria – strategy for success?

History tells us that it is rare indeed that a single individual will come up with a totally new idea that leads to innovation (even Newton is purported to have needed a bit of help in the form of an apple). Innovation is more likely to arise from the recombination of existing ideas in novel ways […]

By |September 6th, 2007|Culture, innovation, Leadership, Strategy|1 Comment

A chance to learn from history

The New York Times features an article – Whiting Out the Ads, but at What Cost? – covering the growing debate about a new Firefox add-in called AdBlock Plus.

Briefly, AdBlock Plus is an enhancement that allows users to effortlessly block ‘undesired’ content displayed within web pages. Primarily used for blocking banners and rich-media advertising, the add-in allows […]

By |September 5th, 2007|Media, Strategy, Web 2.0|0 Comments

Short-sighted view of the growing importance of digital channels

I noticed an interesting job advertisement in the papers over the weekend. The job title – Online Communications Manager – caught my eye, as I had recently been wondering when we will see organisations  invest the same levels of resources into managing their relationships and interactions with customers over digital channels as they do, say, […]

By |August 27th, 2007|3rd Horizon, Culture, Leadership, Strategy|0 Comments

2/10 Technologies & Trends, or "macro-myopia"

I’ve long recognised that there is a category of technologies and trends that are “2/10 signals” or events; that is, technologies (and their underlying trends) which largely fail to live up to the ‘hype’ in the first two years of existence but that, when we look back ten years later, we see that technology represented a […]

By |July 8th, 2007|innovation, Media, Strategy, Web 2.0|0 Comments

How will tomorrow’s consumers differ?

The UK Centre for Future Studies has released several studies outlining key demographic changes over the next 15 years, and the impacts these changes will have on lifestyles and consumer values. The following are some excerpts from their findings:

We will be living in an older society. This will be the result of increased […]

By |July 6th, 2007|Culture, Strategy|0 Comments

Meta-Convergence and Demand Singularity – Part I

For the past 24 months, I’ve been seeing signs that a unique strategic challenge is emerging, one which will significantly impact every industry, including media, before the end of this decade: demand singularity.

We can already see that a form of ‘meta-convergence’ is happening in nearly all consumer industries, in that more and more companies are trying to be all things to all people. They are trying to sell everything to everyone.

Coca-Cola no longer sells just cola – it sells water, fruit juices, energy drinks and teas/coffees. Pepsi Co. is now the largest US vendor of potato crisps and similar snacks. McDonalds no longer sells just burgers, it sells salads, yoghurts, cereals, and cafe-style coffee. Woolworths doesn’t just sell groceries, it offers banking, petrol, electrical and whitegoods, music (including iTunes cards).

Today, there was news that the eponymous watchmaker, Tag Heuer, was moving into the eye glasses market!

We’re seeing a similar meta-convergence in the media space.

Newspaper companies, like Fairfax, now offer music, video news, audio programs and, elsewhere, movies-on-demand. Web publications are moving into print and vice versa (e.g. Sensis/Trading Post). Search engines are moving into rich media and broadcast media (Yahoo! + Google). Electronic games companies are moving into cinema. Outdoor advertising companies are embedding mobile media capabilities. The list goes on.

The root cause of this trend is economic.

Companies are leveraging technological efficiencies to re-engineer traditional value/supply chains, in an effort to squeeze additional profit or growth through ‘economies of scope’ (i.e. cost savings achieved by increasing the variety of goods and services produced using existing infrastructure/staff).

This trend is likely to continue (and accelerate) for the remainder of this decade.


By |July 4th, 2007|Culture, Media, Strategy, Web 2.0|2 Comments

Free-to-Air TV finally responds to download issues

Interesting story today in the Sydney Morning Herald about the decision by Channel Seven to synchronise its broadcast of two high-rating shows – Heroes and Prison Break – with that of their US TV premiere.

The stated objective of this move was to reduce the loss of audiences to DVD and (I suspect, more importantly) […]

By |June 27th, 2007|Media, Strategy|3 Comments

Where did this come from?

As many of you already know, I left my previous position with Austereo earlier this year, and have returned to the ‘coal face’, as it were.

After 2+ yrs of living and breathing the process of both devising and implementing a business case + strategy for launching an ‘interactive’ division within a traditional broadcast media company, […]

By |April 7th, 2007|Austereo, Interactive, Media, Radio, Strategy|0 Comments