Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Your failed business model...

... is not my problem...


If only it were true... nowadays a failed business model seems to be everyone's problem except for the company that implemented it in the first place - they can deduct their losses, lay a bunch of people off, or Just Ask George and get corporate welfare on the taxpayer's dime.

In the realm of publishing, however, it is true, and somewhat funny... every new technology is accompanied by the whining of corporate execs who swear that it will destroy their company / undermine the country / irreparably harm the fabric of spacetime, because they are lacking the creative vision to use the new technology to their advantage. Remember that the film industry spent hundreds of millions of dollars fighting the VCR... it took them another three years before they figured out they could get rich selling tapes themselves. I can just picture the board meeting:
Minion #1:
"Wait - *we* could sell these."
Minion #2:
"Don't be stupid... where will we get the movies?"
Minion #1:
Minion #2:
"Oh. Right."

It's interesting seeing the current batch of whiners. They fought Napster tooth and nail... and now iTunes makes a few $million a day. They put a bunch of college kids in jail for trading movies online; Netflix just made it easier and more timely to pay for the movies.

Bottom line: if a typical zero-conscience company can't make money here in the land of conspicuous consumption, they don't deserve to exist. Other than for the entertainment value they provide when they crash and burn. (Maybe they should sell tickets to *that*. And then set up a lemonade stand outside. Guaranteed profits.)