Thursday, December 31, 2009

Trial and Error is 'The New Normal': Happy New Decade 2010

I was having lunch earlier in the week with a partner in a management consulting firm here in Munich. His firm specializes in consulting to media companies including broadcast, newspaper and magazines. Conspicuously absent from his client mix were digital media companies. In asking him what kind of work his firm did with these traditional media companies, he spoke of restructuring and cost cutting measures, mentioning specifically that when a media company looses revenue, the first thing they do is cut marketing. "But you can only cut so far", I responded, "how much from expenses saved is put into R&D"? He had no answer for that, meaning probably that the answer was none.

We discussed the digital revolution for awhile and how it was gutting the publishing business. I explained that the problem most companies had with interactive mediums was that the solution was a process as opposed to a fixed answer - and what worked yesterday, won't necessarily work today. "It's trial and error I guess?", he said, with an almost bemused wonder ofDigital Media, Career, Munich, Choice, Independence is having choices, Infinite Wisdom Consulting, Management Consulting, Munich, Seth Godin, The New Normal, Traditional Media, Trial and Error how-the-hell-could-anybody-ever-make-any-money-off-that? If I cut $10 from your budget you've got $10. You can see it in your hand. But if I invest that $10 into coming up with new ideas to keep your particular Titanic from sinking, can you see that? Not today. And the things you need to see, instead of cold hard cash and an office full of empty cubicles, are opportunities - opportunities to turn that leaky barge into a seaworthy vessel one day again on new and un-chartered seas. And precious few management consultants have the ability to see things like that, let alone newspaper companies or magazines. Things like opportunity not immediately quantifiable. But opportunity cost is - what it costs you when you fail to take advantage of an opportunity. You can measure that in your competitor's new BMW around here. And that's where Infinite Wisdom takes its cue. To look at a business' future as a qualifiable process and a willingness to embrace opportunities instead of wasting time and money over a lost quantifiable past.

Seth Digital Media, Career, Munich, Choice, Independence is having choices, Infinite Wisdom Consulting, Management Consulting, Munich, Seth Godin, The New Normal, Traditional Media, Trial and ErrorGodin supposed today in his blog that if we are unhappy with what we have accomplished in the last ten years that maybe we should spend the next ten years at least doing something proactive, that we won't look back on and say we missed something. Something fun. Something motivating. Something qualifiable. His book, Survival Is Not Enough, sums it up for me and all those management consulting firms and traditional media companies who should be spending their time on creating a new future instead of trying to manage their fading past.

2009 saw my parting with a partner over this idea exactly. She made decisions based on survival alone, and that wasn't enough for me. And now we journey apart, - she survives, alright, but at what cost? Not one I was willing to pay. And so I write my future, everyday. With trial and error as my guide. Trying and failing and trying and failing until the law of averages eventually rules in my favour. If that's my price of success, I'll happily pay and at least have fun in the making.

Happy New Decade, all. Welcome to 'The New Normal'.

For my New Year's post from last year in Vietnam, click here.

For more on digital marketing and social networking see:

Xing vs. LinkedIn: Round II
Trial and Error: The New Normal
What's Wrong With My Social Networking? Xing vs. LinkedIn I
Low Tech Germany. Who Knew?
Advertising People and Blogs
How to Write the Best Blog in the World
What If Gutenberg Had a Blog?
If Blogs Are Free Does That Make Them Worthless?
Detri-Viral Marketing II: The Top 10 Social Media Blunders
Bright Lights, Big Internet and the WWED
Saigon Digital Marketing Conference Successfully Avoids Plumbers Convention
A Tale of Many Marketing Conferences
Detri-Viral Marketing I: How Web 2.0 Can Go Against A Brand
Marketing Predictions for 2009
Barcamp Saigon 2008
"Ignore Everybody" is Born: A Plug for Hugh MacLeod
Are the Bloggerati Missing the Market? Asia has Risen,
Into the Gapinvoid - Web 2.0 Social Networking Born 20 Years Ago

1 comment:

  1. Bully for you. Go forward, make your path, leave no tears.


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