My favorite version of the joke, which I first heard from Hans Bethe straight, has Nikita Khrushchev asking his most elite scientists to help the Soviet Union with its difficulty get together its five year plan for the dairy products industry. The biologists and the chemists are completely stumped by the issues of increasing milk creation, however the physicists announce they have solved the milk creation problem happily, but only for the situation of spherical cows. In the graph, he plots some sort of way of measuring success versus some sort of configuration parameter that presumably could be tuning to turn the New York Times into TechCrunch, or vice versa.
The problem is that your paper comes with an organizational architecture that is to use the physicists’ phrase, a local optimum. Relatively small changes compared to that structures – like firing your professional photographers – don’t make your position better, they make it worse. The problem with this analysis is that TechCrunch is completely immaterial to the down sides that the newspaper industry is undergoing.
The financial health of the New York Times and the newspaper industry is not being undermined by news websites, it’s being undermined by non-news sites such as Craigslist, Zillow, and the internet all together. Craigslist has focused on classified ads, in support of classified ads, and unburdened by the trouble of producing the rest of the newspapers, it is able to provide a much more effective solution for the classified advertiser.
Zillow has done a similar thing in the true estate advertising category. Another big revenue source for newspapers is display advertising to consumers. But nowadays, when someone wants to buy something or find an ongoing service, their first thought is to go to the internet directly. Want to find out when a movie is playing?
- 100% property appraisal $175,000 $320,000 $400,000
- Debt-Equity Ratio 2:1 Policy
- Washington, DC
- 1340 S. Santee St
- Formal or casual conferences with customer advisory boards
- As per A.Y. Feigorbaum
- Rent out skills
You used to grab a newspaper, you go directly to the internet now. An organization like BestBuy used to communicate with customers through newspaper ads; while they still do so to some extent, the internet allows them to communicate with consumers through their web site directly. None of the newspapers’ real rivals are in the news business at all, and there is no configuration parameter of any sort that may be tuned to transform the brand-new York Times into Craigslist. The news headlines industry’s primary problem is not, as Nielsen suggests, their lack of ability to adopt disruptive technologies, but instead the disintegration of the linkage between their main activity and their revenue streams.
In days gone by, very good news would draw in readership, and readership would attract advertisers. The largest difficulty for newspapers today is not so much the loss of readership, it’s that marketers now have a lot more ways for connecting to that readership. In applying the lessons of the newspapers industry to the evolution of the scientific publishing industry, it’s the stability of activity-revenue linkage that needs to be closely examined. A good cursory look at the scholarly publishing industry reveals an extremely different situation from that of the paper industry.
First of most, there is a lot more business-model diversity in scholarly publishing. You can find huge companies like Elsevier competing with cottage companies which produce a single journal. You can find large non-profit societies like the American Physical Society that produce extremely cost effective journals and who make a lot of their content available for free.
There are journals that have long survived mainly on advertising and journals that have long survived mainly on society member dues. Gleam great deal of experimentation with business models taking place, including author-paid open access publishers, and combined “open choice” business models. This business model diversity gives scientific posting industry robustness against the chance of anybody business model being severely disrupted.