3 minutes estimated reading time
“Big Content” Is Strangling American Innovation – Harvard Business Review – ‘Big content’ is an interesting turn of phrase. It has a lot of negative connatations like ‘big tobacco’, ‘big food’ or ‘big pharma’. While ‘big content’ doesn’t kill people with its actions, it does capture the malignancy on society and on the economy. But big content is also soft power. The article points out how badly big content is in adjusting with technological, societal, social and economic change. Part of the problem seems to have been the ability of big content to use lobbying as a crutch. Secondly, big content does a lot of work oppressing its creators ability to earn and looking after the needs of authoritarian regimes like China – Innovation has emerged as a key means by which the US can pull itself out of this lackluster economy. In the State of the Union, President Obama referred to China and India as new threats to America’s position as the world’s leading innovator. But the threats are not just external. One of the greatest threats to the US’s ability to innovate lies within: specifically, with the music and movie business. These Big Content businesses are attempting to protect themselves from change so aggressively that they risk damaging America’s position as a world leader in innovation. Many in the high technology industry have known this for a long time. Despite making their living relying on it, the Big Content players do not understand technology, and never have. Rather than see it as an opportunity to reach new audiences, technology has always been a threat to them. Example after example abounds of this attitude; whether it was the VCR which was “to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone” as famed movie industry lobbyist Jack Valenti put it at a congressional hearing, or MP3 technology, which they tried to sue out of existence. In fact, it’s possible to go back as far as the gramophone and see the content industries rail against new technology. The reason why? Every shift in technology is difficult for them. Just as they work out how to make money using one technology, it changes.
Why the Rich Envy the Super-Rich – WSJ – interesting keeping up with the Jones’es phenomena going on
Gallup: Chinese People See Themselves Struggling – WSJ – I think that the points made about Gallup’s sample size and methodology are interesting
Schumpeter: The status seekers | The Economist – status moving from goods to virtue-related experiences in developed world
Night Flight (TV series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – I found Night Flight eerily prescient of a YouTube play list
Convenience store Lawson creates portable convenience store to reach earthquake stricken customers – the convenience store in Japan plays as big a part in people’s retail lives as Tesco or Sainsburys does in the UK. Retailer Lawson has managed to cram a convenience store in a small van to reach quake-stricken areas.
Groklaw – Prior Art, Anyone? Anyone? Barnes & Noble? Google? Motorola? – Updated – Microsoft and Paul Allen patents in trouble?
Google’s China market share: declining | FT.com – its not just Baidu who is gaining
Discounters boom in UK: News from Warc.com – makes sense as a way of ducking inflation
Analysis: Why Did Walmart Buy A Social Media Firm? – I spoke to Arun as he was writing this piece whilst grabbing a hot dog with my old friend David Ingle. I see this as Walmart reclaiming their heritage in innovation: in supply chain management – they drove the move to ‘Made in China’, new retail formats – the big box store that nuked independent retailers and data-mining personified in the ‘beer and nappies’ urban myth
FT.com / Technology – Instant messaging forecast to hit texting – not terribly surprising however Disco may change this