Don't Fall Victim to Creative Destruction in Your Industry

Published: Feb 02, 2010

An interesting blog from Seth Godin today manages to be short, to the point, kind of depressing and yet uplifting all at the same time. In a nutshell, it describes the process of creative destruction—and with specific reference to the publishing and newspaper industries, which are firmly in its grasp at the moment.<p><img class="embeddedObject" src="" width="245" height="179" border="0" align="left" alt="printing press">The post--Who Will Save Us?--deals with the concept of saving a dying industry (book publishing, newspapers) by keeping things exactly as they are or have always been. In Godin's mind, that's just not feasible: " We need to get past this idea of saving, because the status quo is leaving the building, and quickly. Not just in print of course, but in your industry too."<p>He has a point: while many—your present correspondent included—will find things to lament about every newspaper that goes out of business, every imprint that silences its presses, the fact remains that these things aren't disappearing because no-one wants to see them saved. They're disappearing because the pace of progress has left them behind, rendered their technologies and business models obsolete. And they'll be replaced—indeed are <i>being</i> replaced—by new developments. <p>While that's bad news for the "pressmen and the delivery guys and the squadrons of accountants and box makers and transshippers and bookstore buyers and assistant editors and coffee boys," it's good news for someone else. Who, you ask? Why not you? You don't have to be the Oracle of Delphi to see which way the career winds are blowing right now,* so why not position yourself to take advantage of the shifts? Whether that's through formal training, playing around with social media until you've got it figured out, or just by volunteering somewhere to keep your current skills up to snuff, there is something that everyone can be doing to ensure that they're not resigning themselves to the middle of the pack.<p>And if the middle of the pack sounds like a comfortable place to be, consider Godin's closing line to be your wake up call: <i>"Every revolution destroys the average middle first and most savagely."</i><p> *Yup, I'm aware that's a tortured metaphor that mixes Greek mythology with a Bob Dylan lyric and the word "career". In the spirit of all things new and tech-savvy (and to save me from re-writing it), I'm going to call it a mashup. See what's possible when you let us creative types loose?<p><i><b>--Posted by Phil Stott,</b></i>