Dismantling media company digital strategies

Umair Haque is spending time with media companies these days. That’s us, so we need to pay attention.

First, he takes on this rather amazing statement from Time-Warner boss, Richard Parsons, “The Googles of the world, they are the Custer of the modern world. We are the Sioux nation.” Umair says this is completely backwards, and I couldn’t agree more.

From a strategic pov, Google is the one who is hyperflexible and capable of mounting quick yet disproportionately devastating forays into new markets and new value chain segments.

Finally, note the fact that if strategic thinking seems almost impossible for today’s mediacos, that’s because, well, for many, it is – they are trapped in an ever deepening value chasm.

He adds that the biggest reason digital revenues fail to scale for media companies is their need to take care of their existing lucrative businesses. Amen to that, too.

In another insightful post, Umair looks at the broadband destination site “Honeyshed” and proceeds to rip apart their business plan. It’s stuff like this that makes Umair a must read for those of us in the media strategy business. He lists five reasons not to believe their marketing, including “..it’s just another mass media play in a micromedia world,” and ends with this conclusion:

The point is that markets, networks, and communities are the chokepoints of the post-network economy. Honeyshed’s ultimate failure is that it is none of these – it’s just another lame, inert, rigid, channel.

The thing I like most about Umair (besides his remarkable mind) is that he has a sharper sword than most. He doesn’t mince words, and while some think he comes off as arrogant, it isn’t arrogance when you’re just, well, right.

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