Monday, May 24, 2004
The death of the sitcom. Good riddance - most of my generation grew up absolutely loathing sitcoms and their inane laughtracks (OK, OK, apart from Diffrent Strokes). What happened? Radical innovation by competitors because of technological discontinuities - new genres emerging from new entrants on cable networks. The interesting bit is that this drove a massive shift in consumer wants - and all of a sudden, the resources and competences of the networks and producers weren't just misaligned with the environment, they were creating competence traps: the networks would have been able to compete more effectively without those old resources and competences.
The point is that this endgame competitive dynamic is the result of the radical innovation new entrants unleashed 20 years ago. And the networks and their producers still can't really compete - the innovation is still not coming from them. Why? Because they won't get rid of their old resources and competences, which are, in the shifted environment, massive innovation blockers.
That's why they're losing share of mind, disposable income, etc, fast - my demographic, twentysomething guys, is the first to go - but the others aren't far behind.
Of course, I didn't have to write all this - I could have just corporate TV sucks, and I think you would have gotten the picture.
Here's a nice piece for context:
"...There's a scene in one of the "Back to the Future" movies, set in the year 2015, where Marty McFly Jr. walks into his family's television room and barks out a lineup of TV channels he would like to see. Seconds later, a big movie-theater-like screen lights up with a grid of multiple TV screens, each showing a live broadcast of his favorite channels.
This is what Hollywood thought TV of the future would look like."
And here's an example of another industry who's business model is decaying - and again, the rot is as much internal (competence traps and strategic myopia) as external (technological discontinuity).