Just because something is in bad shape apparently doesn’t mean it can’t get worse. Having reported recently that big music labels are losing new singers and bands to Internet-based businesses, the New York Times now speculates that the music business will pretty much just go away. As this article asks, why pay for music at all if you can just stream it to your listening device free?
There’s a lesson there. Many companies can’t bring themselves to imagine Armageddon. They can maybe foresee a bad year or two, but not a scenario that would wipe out their core business. Yet Armageddon is possible. Just ask the record labels, newspapers, Kodak and other traditional photography companies. And more devastation is on the way as the next wave of innovation takes hold on the Internet.
So, established businesses are either going to figure out how to be more objective about the possibility of a bleak future and are going to learn to prepare better, or they’re going to continue to create opportunities for smaller companies to wipe them out, and profit in the process.
It’s surely a lot more fun these days to be in the business of using the Internet to nurture singers and bands, or to be streaming songs, than it is to be a major record label.
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