In the Good Book, in the Book of Exodus, the Jews wander in the desert for 40 years before they reach the Promised Land.
They don’t wander for 40 years because they were lost.
How lost can you get in the Sinai, which is half the size of Northern New Jersey? No matter how lost, you ultimately hit the water at some point!
They wandered in the desert for 40 years so that anyone with a memory of slavery in Egypt would die off. Even Moses is not permitted to enter the Promised Land.
New technologies are like the Israelites wandering in the desert.
Their adaptation often requires that those who have a memory of ‘how we did things in the old days’ die off… or at least retire.
The leaders of most media companies today were born in the 1950s. They grew up in a world of television channels and typewriters. They came of age just as computers were entering the workplace. Bill Clinton, the definitive boomer, is said to have sent only 2emails during his time in the White House (the great Internet bubble). I doubt that our current President is capable of doing even that, although he seems to have some passing familiarity with ‘the google’. Maybe.
When today’s 21 year olds are sitting in the White House or running Viacom, the web will be second nature to them, (first nature more likely). They won’t have to think about ‘how to use the web’. That’s all they’ll do. When they run for office, they won’t need a bevy of assistants to set them up on Facebook. They’ll have been there all along.
About 18 months ago, we were invited to a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. $10,000 later, we got a change to meet Hillary for our 3 mintues. (This is what 10 grand buys you apparently). We told her that the video on her website sucked. We seemed to get her attention for a minute.
“You should be all over Youtube” we said.
“What?” she asked.
“Youtube” we said.
“Never heard of it.” She seemed intrigued. She called over her head of Media and her finance chief. They joined us.
“Youtube’ we said.
The looked blankly.
“Let me write it down” said the head of Media.
“No… its YOU.. not u-tube”
“We’ll have to check it out”
New technologies come along, but it takes time for a new generation that understands that technology to get into power. The old folks have to die off.. or at least go for a walk in the desert.