About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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November 21, 2006


Media Blog

What established players do innovate?

Very few, and very rarely.

That's the whole Innovator's Dilema.

Even Google doesn't innovate much. They are much more likely to acquire. Yahoo! has always tried to acquire through acquistion. Unfortunately, few of their acquistions have actually done well, but at least they tried.

Newspaper companies have spend far too little on acquistion. Scripps, of course, with Shopzilla, has had the most success in this regard.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying to innovate, but disruption is very hard and fraught with danger. Acquistion is a better bet.

And if you can't acquire, partner.

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