Fuse lit

Diane Mermigas writes a good summary of the fuses lit under big, old media and how they’re burning down this year.

In truth, it all comes down to the caliber and vision of company management and leadership — something media and entertainment industries have in perilously short supply. In a quest to conquer the digital fast track, an aging ruling class is anointing their next-in-line top executives and their next-of-kin, few of which have the “right stuff” to reinvent these industries during the next several decades. While many will move their companies into the thick of a digital transition, few are skilled enough to ingeniously mine it.

That will require a new generation of graduates from the Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg school of mavericks and free-thinkers. It also will require a new standard for innovation and imagination, concepts that these weary industries have difficulty budgeting for much less mandating.

Can the incumbents do it? I’m not sure.

She goes on to give them their assignment. It’s very simple: Empower the consumer.

Companies will need to be thoughtful about reshaping industry economics and logistics according to the new rules of play.

The bottom line: they likely will make more money than they do today beckoning to the whims of emancipated consumers….

If the likes of Google (through search and other online analytics) and Apple (through portable devices) taught us anything in 2005 it is that empowering consumers is very good business….

…it looks like the “killer application” of new media is what the consumer wants, when they want it, where they want it.