Overcoming the “Tucker Reaction”

Chris Schroeder offers a great read this morning in MediaDailyNews that compares reaction to disruptive innovations in communications today to those in the film, “Tucker.” You know the story. The guy builds a better automobile and is crushed by the auto industry.

As the music industry arrests file sharers, as the cable industry lobbies Washington claiming that basic cable is better for the customer even if they don’t want 80 percent of what they are forced to buy, as the television industry declares that skipping ads on TiVos is illegal, as the movie industry fights to hold onto traditional distribution, I have thought a great deal about that movie.
The article parrots a theme I’ve been hammering lately, that this is a time for business innovation, not circling the wagons.
Personally — and I cannot document it — I think most people don’t want to be thieves, but at the same time they also don’t want to be told what to do, think about, or enjoy. For traditional media and distribution channels to embrace the power of the individual, it will take some significant rethinking about how they do business, how they will make services available when the individual is the aggregator, what their cost structures and perks are, and what life is like in an anti-monopolist world. In a word, it will take innovation, and innovation across the board — from product and services to business models to mind-sets
We’ve entered the Age of Participation, a Postmodern fruit where everyday people are calling the shots in their experience of life. The very foundation of Modernist, top-down business practices is crumbling, and we need to make the transition to new models. Every day, it seems, more and more people are waking up to this reality, but the “Tucker Reaction,” as Schroeder calls it, won’t let go easily. Fortunately, such manipulation is more difficult in our culture today, but that won’t stop the status quo from trying.

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