Here’s a new perspective on the newspaper question that I have been examining a lot lately. Umair Haque suggests How to Save Newspapers (Or, Why the NYT Should Acquire Twitter). He says that it is time for some different thinking. Twitter is a new delivery mechanism. And newspapers definitely need new delivery networks.
Remember that it was recently disclosed that the Boston Globe had an opportunity to invest in Monster.com fourteen years ago. It would have disrupted their cash cow: classified ads. In hindsight, we realize that they made a big mistake.
He is on to something.
The announcement a couple weeks ago by the New York Times that they were considering closing down the Boston Globe was just another chapter in the story of the troubled newspaper industry. I’ve written about this and related troubles in content-creation businesses a lot lately but here are a few new angles.
Disruptive innovation is hardest on the incumbent. There was a story in the Globe this weekend explaining that, in 1995, the founder of Monster.com, the huge job search site approached the Globe. He offered an equity share for $1 million. At the time, the Globe’s job classifieds generated $100 million per year. The Globe didn’t even have a website then and they couldn’t see why they should compete with themselves. Fast forward to 2009. Monster’s revenues exceeded $1.3 billion last year and the Globe is losing $50 million. Read more