Actually, that's not true. They just can't seem to do anything first these days.
CNN had a great piece on the fall of Microsoft last week, and believe it or not, I found it relevant to Broadway. The article described how this monster of a company, that led the charge into the computer age, has since fallen to the back of the pack, while their old competitor, Apple (whom they had previously easily bested), and their new competitor Google, jumped out in front.
Microsoft is getting beaten in search, in tablet computing, and, mark my words, Microsoft Office lovers, they will soon be beaten in software, when cloud office docs take off (my office recently dropped Outlook for Google Apps Gmail, and while it may not be the exact same experience, it's free, it's updated constantly, and it takes up no space on my servers. That's 10 versions of Outlook right there . . . in one office.).
When asked why she thought Microsoft had fallen back, Analyst Laura DiDio gave us this gem . . .
In this age, the race really is to the swift. You cannot afford to be an hour late or a dollar short.
Now, I'm not sure about the dollar part. I think a lot can be done with less in 2010 than twenty years ago, as long as you can make up for the cash in creativity.
But I do think Laura is so right on the moolah with the first part of her statement. Because of the speed that modern technology allows, it's more imperative than ever that if you have a great idea for a piece of software or for a TV series or a new private sale solution for Off-Broadway shows (!), you act on it right away, before some else does.
Don't sacrifice quality, however. You know what happened to Friendster when they jumped out too fast. (And if you don't know what Friendster is, I've proved my point).
Complacent companies (Microsoft) and industries (Broadway) can no longer sit back and let the customers come to them.
The information age affords us the opportunity to be faster than ever before.
And if we don't take that opp, someone else will.
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