“I have never seen a successful business model built on the verb ‘should'”

9 Feb

I’m a compulsive underliner. I tend to prefer physical books over their electronic counterparts because “pen based annotation” is still largely superior to fiddling around with the Kindle’s highlight feature.

These were the first sentences I underlined in Mark Briggs’ “Entrepreneurial Journalism: How to build what’s next for news“. They’re from the book’s foreword, written by Jeff Jarvis. You may have heard of him.

Too often, I hear newspaper folk lament that people “should” pay for their news. I have never seen a successful business model built on the verb ‘should’, nor on tradition, virtue or what a journalist most wants to do. Successful, sustainable businesses are built on the public’s, and our success will be measured by how well we satisfy those needs in a competitive marketplace.

It’s important not to think of “pay” solely in monetary terms. Every startup, every business, every brand, every publisher is competiting not just for the public’s money; we are also competing for the (continued) attention of the people formerly known as the audience.

Which may be harder to capture than their wallets.

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