Guardian column: Innovation

My Guardian column this week used the Economist’s Project Red Stripe to look at the need for and means of innovation in the news business (nonregistration version here). Snippet:

We need new and innovative journalistic products and companies with sustainable (read profitable) business models. We need to pay for journalism.

This means that journalists need to take responsibility for their economic fate. But that’s not the way most of us were brought up in the trade. I was instructed to stay far away from business – and the people who did it. But, of course, with the internet, that has changed. Now the news industry is desperate for new products and new business models. But journalists often do not have the knowledge of business required to build sustainable enterprises. Indeed, their culture is famously resistant to change and to business.

So I wonder whether and how innovation can spring from within.

  • David Marshall

    I am thinking that I can make this “Drinks with Dell” post fit here!

    David Marshall Says:

    August 13th, 2007 at 10:40 pm
    Jeff, I know you have shown a renewed interest in Dell’s efforts to connect with their customers on the web. In the event that you haven’t heard, Dell has officially started their “Free Motherboard Upgrade Program” for their XPS 700 customers. Go here and work backwards to see the many posts that Lionel has put up.

    As I have expressed before; I am saddened by the lack of coverage that an “event” like this has attracted. It seems that most everyone takes aim at companies like Dell, criticizing them for not “listening” to their customers. And now that there finally is solid tangible proof that Dell really is not just talking about listening to customers, but are “putting their money where their mouth is”, the media excuses the lack of coverage with, “It isn’t what the readers want to hear about.”

    No doubt, that if the media decided that they wanted to make it newsworthy they could, but that would require some guts and no doubt is too risky. I was able to get a large media outlet to cover the “bad and the ugly” of the XPS 700 launch, but try as I might, I cannot get the editors to comment on the “good.”

    As the jobs continue to shift to Asia, and as China marches higher and higher on top of its 1.5 Trillion pile of American Dollars, maybe it is time to make “Doing the noble thing”, popular, before everyone in our culture considers it popular to buy foreign.

    I lived in Taiwan for 12 years and service is everything. I had a ceiling fan installed by some mom and pop outfit in Tiachung. Two guys worked all day to get it installed and to see me satisfied. It cost me $20 U.S., yet somehow they managed to “see” profit! China didn’t just stumble into this world economy.

    David Marshall Says:

    August 13th, 2007 at 10:43 pm
    Now how sad is that. I spelled my home city wrong! Taichung! If just feels better making it right!!

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