Richard H sent me this link to an article that explains why the print versions of newspapers are so important even in this internet age.
As I read this, I kept thinking back to my experience at DEC.
When Sun started producing workstations, DEC laughed. Knowing the
huge investment that DEC had in developing its operating system,
there was no way that some pipsqueak upstart could afford the
Surely the almost free version of UNIX that they acquired would be
no match for the mighty VMS. As Professor Richard Newton used to
say of the huge, cumbersome hardware sold by DEC, all that stuff in
there isn’t for nothing. Surely there must be a reason why DEC’s
hardware is more complex than SUN’s.
Yet, SUN ate DEC’s lunch. After being partially responsible for
putting DEC out of business, SUN is suffering the same fate from the
likes of Intel and Linux based machines. Interestingly enough, Sun
is making the same arguments DEC used to make to explain why their
proprietary version of UNIX called Solaris, is better than the
Linux free software.
The huge presses, tons of ink, and massive fleet of trucks of the
newspaper business does not necessarily add to the reader’s
experience of getting the news. Ultimately, if the huge effort
and expense you put out does not have as huge an impact on
the customer’s experience of your product, then you are nothing
more than an Ed Sullivan Show act. Ed Sullivan frequently had
circus type performers on his TV show. Sure, what they did was
complicated and very hard to do, but I kept asking “is it
entertaining”. Apparently the answer was “not for long”.
It is not the barrier to entry that makes the reputation of the
major dailies, it is the quality of the news reporting and the
quality of the other features. As the NYT lets that quality
slip away, their dominant position will disappear.